Breaking Bad

Season 1 Episode 5

Gray Matter

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 24, 2008 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
418 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Walter and Skyler attend a former colleague's party. Jesse tries to free himself from the drugs. Later, Skyler organizes an intervention for Walt.

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  • Talking, talking, and even more talking - yet it's actually quite a great episode!

    While being without a doubt the most dialog-focused episode of the season, "Gray Matter" was the one that got me hooked again as I first watched this fantastic series. The premise is the same as it was in "Cancer Man" with Walt and Jesse still going separate ways. The one now gets confronted by his family due to his aversion to cancer treatment plus his continuing strange behavior; the other once again tries to succeed in life on his own after both his parents and Walt have left him alone.

    The pre-credits scene brings a huge novelty for Breaking Bad as we see Jesse suiting up for a job interview that didn't we expect it? doesn't work the way he wanted it too. I always love to listen to this dude talking and so I quite enjoyed this introduction, however, it also brought us Matt Jones' Badger, a junkie similarly as unsuccessful with life as Jesse. I really don't like his character and I'm not at all able to take him seriously since he's just too moronic. Now that wouldn't be too bad if "Gray Matter" were the only episode he's starring in, but unfortunately, he returns for eleven additional episodes in the future. Through that, you can reason that I didn't enjoy the scenes with him on screen that much, although Aaron Paul partially compensated for that with great acting. The real assets of this episode were all the conversation scenes between Walt and Skyler plus sometimes Walt Hank, and Marie. In one outstanding scene of almost 15 minutes, the latter of this list stage an intervention for Walt. Each and every one of them gets the talking pillow (applause to whoever came up with that idea!) and with the number of minutes increasing, you'll find yourself more and more admiring the screenwriting and acting work the cast of Breaking Bad has done with this scene.

    "Gray Matter" had other touching, amusing, or simply entertaining moments too, which made it a generally really good episode for me. It's just that because of the emphasis laying on the conversations, it's not that thrilling anymore if you re-watch it and, as I've already said, Badger ruins it a bit for my taste.

  • Walter has a weird sense of honour.

    Despite featuring brilliant performances from everyone involved, this episode was weak. Walter White prefers to cook meth and ruin people's lives rather than take the money from willing friends who even think that Walter has long back earned that money. Weird sense of honour if you ask me. And I don't get the hate against Skyler. That woman is awesome as far as I'm concerned.
  • Just started watching BREAKING it get any better?

    Ok so I heard I MUST watch this. I Loved WEEDS, (except from seas. 6 on) LOVED Dexter but even then I had to watch 4 to 5 episodes to get sucked in. We watched 4 Episodes of Season 1 BREAKING BAD and not into it yet. Getting a little better, not much. can't get into the characters, think they are dull, and Walter's side kick is stupid and annoying, Walter is dull, cant stand his wife... I want to like this so far I else feel like I do then they loved it ? Curious. Will give Season 1 a go then see if it sucked me in. "The weirdness of "Weeds" sucked me in after episode far not this???? opinions.. email magawags @ yahoo Thanks!!!!!!!!moreless
  • "Wanna cook"

    This was definitely the weakest episode of the season but it did have its good moments The episode was mostly about Walter's decision for treatment and after a long talk he has decided to go ahead with chemotherapy We are also shown how much Jesse is struggling without Walter because of his failure to get a job and failure to cook the perfect crystal Jesse even tries to get a new partner but things get out of hand However the end has put things into place for a good end to the season with the reunion of Walter and Jesse.moreless
  • "Breaking Bad" is stuck in a rut. It should be much further along by this episode.

    "Breaking Bad" is having a hard time catching my attention. I constantly drift off when the writers start letting the characters perform banal, boring and whiney behaviors that do not push the story forward or promote the characters. This show is just not growing legs and walking over the cable system. All the actors do their character by the numbers and nothing new is added to the stable. Every once in a while, Walt seems to break ranks and take the show in a new direction but the next scene or episode shows a no-brain learning curve and no follow through. When will this show catch fire? Next season? They are running out of episodes and the shows have already been written.moreless
Frederic Doss

Frederic Doss

Off-Duty Cop

Guest Star

Juanita Trad

Juanita Trad

Medical Technician

Guest Star

Robert Arrington

Robert Arrington


Guest Star

Jessica Hecht

Jessica Hecht

Gretchen Schwartz

Recurring Role

Matt L. Jones

Matt L. Jones

Brandon "Badger" Mayhew

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Walt Jr.: Excuse me... Hey... We forgot our IDs and we're wondering if you can do us a favour and buy us a sixpack.
      Guy: You know, what you're asking for is illegal.
      Walt Jr.: No... it's not.
      Guy: Yeah, it is. (Takes out his police badge.)

  • NOTES (2)


    • Title:

      The episode's title refers to a component of the central nervous system. Crystal meth (the drug Walter produces) can destroy up to 11% of a person's gray matter over a prolonged period.