Breaking Bad

Season 3 Episode 12

Half Measures

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 06, 2010 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
676 votes
  • Getting you ready for the phenomenal season finale

    In my opinion, Breaking Bad was boring throughout most parts of season three and the first half of "Half Measures" doesn't significantly deviate from that. However, after a certain point, as the mood goes down and the intensity goes up, the season's penultimate episode started to really impress me, just to then throw me for a loop with one of the best cliffhangers in all of the series' episodes.

    First things first, "Half Measures" commences with a montage of the dull routine that Breaking Bad's most prominently featured crack addict, Wendy, faces every day. As it wasn't just done for kicks, but to establish Jesse's situation in this episode, these amusing one and a half minutes are well done in every way and once again show Vince Gilligan's weird but great way of telling stories. Jesse then illustrates what fatal plan he has in mind for the two drug dealers that killed Combo one season earlier both to Walt and the audience, which makes for some very good conversation time between the series' two protagonists. While the Jesse scenes are generally way more entertaining than the Walt scenes in this episode, there are also some nice debates to be experienced as the camera turns to the White household. Nevertheless, Jesse is the man this time around and Aaron Paul advances to hitherto unforeseen acting magnitude in this and the succeeding episode.

    The previously mentioned turning point somewhere in the middle of "Half Measures" comes when Jesse is abducted by the unamused Mike and Victor and ends up encountering his boss, Gus Frings, for the very first time. With Breaking Bad's most talented cast members in one room, Mr. Paul is again the one standing out as the goosebumps have already kicked in. They wouldn't have stopped until the episode's final shot, had the writers not had the awkward idea to put a prolonged scene of Marie "getting [Hank's] groundhog to see his shadow" right in the middle of it. After these misplaced but decent minutes and some Jeopardy! on the White's TV, time is also ripe for real life jeopardy and, I can only repeat it, an incredibly awesome cliffhanger that prompts you to continue watching. Not only is it the most unexpected and thrilling, it also serves as the perfect premise for an outstanding season finale that is sure to follow.

    All in all, "Half Measures" does a precise job at boosting the stakes for "Full Measures" in its final moments and entertains in the rest of the 47 minutes. It may not be flawless, but definitely the best season three got up to that point.

  • 312

    If Hank getting pleasured in a hospital bed sounds like your cup of tea then this was the episode for you. The ending did surprise me a bit and I have to commend the show for respecting its viewers by having key events from the show's first and second seasons play a part in the third season. But Walt killing someone? I just cannot wrap my head around how they will justify this, but I have faith in the crew to explain it.

    This was mostly a setup for the season finale, it was like the relief pitcher who comes in in the 8th inning and keeps the lead before handing it over to the closer. I am fine with that as long as the finale is good though.
  • perfect

    Jesse is mad when he realizes that the two drug guys working for Gus use kids to do their bidding. He reaches a boiling point when he learns that the kid they used who killed Combo was murdered, and so he takes matters into his own hands. Will Walt come to the rescue?

    Good episode. Shocking ending. I couldn't imagine what was going to happen, and when it ended I was really surprised. This show is really good at keeping the audience wanting more, and this ending is a prime example of that. Overall grade is an easy A+. Perfect
  • Jesse goes after the people who murdered Combo and Walt tries to keep a reign on Jesse

    I'm very methodical and careful when it comes to rating episodes. I never give something a 10 unless it's absolute perfection or unless it's an episode where something so momentous happens it's impossible to label with anything but a perfect score.. There are people who won't give 10's to anything and rate things super low for no reason other than to make a statement. However, for me, the last two episodes of this season of "Breaking Bad" were about as close to perfect as it will get. It may have been perfect. Either way, besides a few scenes that dragged their feet a bit and slowed things down, this episode was all build up to the final incredible scene.

    The whole plot with Jesse, at first, seemed slightly interesting but as if it might not go into new places, but it opened up an entire new plot: the sudden realization that her younger brother was responsible for killing Combo as a gang initiation has caused him to become unhinged. I'm not sure I understand exactly how important Combo was to Jesse, but if there's any way to show him losing control, this is a great one.

    We also find Mike, the P.I/hitman, visiting Walt and telling him a story about half measures and full measures. It's a crazy little story and gives us some background into Mike, one of the only supporting characters I've wished I could know more about, and also sets up the events in the final moments of the episode.

    Honestly, you can't talk about this episode without mentioning the final scene. Jesse and Walt are ordered by Gus to not touch the two men who ordered the woman's son to kill Combo. Jesse sees this as a tragedy and plans to kill them himself. Walt knows Jesse's instability prevents him from doing the right thing and he knows Jesse will end up being killed. As a result, Walt does what he thinks is right for Jesse, somebody who he has caused guilt and emotional strain: he kills the two men. That final scene where Walt runs the two men over and shoots them both in the head finds Walt finally getting his hands completely dirty. We've seen Walt do things in order to keep himself safe and in never in a physical way.. however, we've never seen him kill anybody. Everything changes from here on out.

    And that final line: "Run." Simple yet sums up everything about where the show could go from here on out. Just an excellent hour of television and sets up the finale perfectly.
  • 312

    These kind of episodes is exactly why I watch this show. It had a slow burning style with an amazing payoff in the end. I love how the writers are bringing things up that happened in season 1 or 2 and using them perfectly in this season. Like Wendy for instance, I thought we'd never see this girl again, she played a big part in this episode, and I enjoyed it very much.

    The cold opening was absolutely hilarious. I could not stop laughing, and the song was perfect for the scene. In this episode, Jesse wants to kill the two drug dealers that are forcing Andrea's brother to kill people. He tells Walt only to have his idea rejected. He decides to do it by himself until Gus steps in.

    We got some character development with Gus, it looks like he has great respect for Walt, I was surprised at what he said. The two drug dealers and Jesse make up in the end until the little boy, Thomas, gets killed. Wow, that was unexpected, not as unexpected as the very end though.

    The final scene, wow. One of the best scenes I've ever seen on television. It was wildly unexpected and disturbing. Jesse ready to kill the two drug dealers only for them to get killed by Walt. GREAT setup for the finale, and I just can't wait for the next episode.
  • Pure Perfection

    An extremely satisfying pre-season-finale :D
    The tables have turned in a drama that was beginning to look like it had lost it's touch. Walt's back to his roots deciding between doing the right thing while by doing the wrong thing.

    This episode is the reason why this show just keeps you on the edge of the seat and just when you think you should get comfortable, things take a shocking turn. The director did an extremely good job in presenting the story. I don't want to give any spoilers but needless to say my faith in the show, though never truly lost, is completely restored. I can't wait to see how the creators end this great season. For a minute there, I thought this episode WAS the season finale..for me that would've been enough. That's just how good this show, particularly this episode, is :)
  • This is why I watch this show.

    Firstly , I want to start by saying that this episode is (in my opinion) the best episode in this season,probably the best episode of breaking bad ever,and I can't wait for the final episode next week.

    I don't want to ruin the surprise so i won't write what happened in this episode,but i rather write about the big change that Walt has gone through,and of course about the big impact of his decisions and actions on his world.
    at the start of the show,I believe that Walt couldn't hurt a fly(actually it's kinda funny considering the episode from two weeks ago)and through out the show that changed.
    Directly(like the guy he strangled in Jessie's basement) or indirectly (like the plane accident,Jessie's girlfriend and on) Walt has become the villain(of sorts)every actions that he makes leads to disastrous outcome,whether if it's to him or even somebody that he doesn't know.
    I guess that the phrase "The path to hell is paved with good intentions" really is right,especially in Walt's case.
    All he wanted was financially take care of his family,not a bad intention,but yet it caused so much pain and misery.
    In this episode we see that change in Walt in full color,in full detail,and man what a change it is.
    I believe that this is the best on TV ,because of the great acting,because of the great writing ,and especially because of those jaw dropping moments,those few precious moments that you are still trying to figure out what the hell just happened here????!!!!.

    Finally i just wanna say this episode is the best,and i can only imagine what the writers have in store for us in next's week final,personally i cant wait.
  • Split-pea green paint. Shouldn't be hard to determine what kind of vehicle it came from. Maybe we'll see Walt finally get a 'real' mode of transportation, something meeting the approval of Walt, Jr. *grin*

    - May contain spoilers -

    We knew this was coming. We waited for this. Some of you were close in your predictions as to what would occur in this episode.

    Skylar is asserting herself into Walt's domain. I think he is not completely comfortable with this. Remember in the beginning of season 1 when he used the excuse that he knew Jesse Pinkman because Jesse sold him marijuana? When Skylar reprimanded Walt about this, he told her 'climb down outta my ass…' I believe Walt is now a bit uncomfortable because Skylar has cleverly injected herself into Walt's new world, albeit, necessarily. Jesse's dogged determination to wreak revenge on the drug dealers who employed Andrea's little brother, Tomas, to kill Combo, is rightfully a concern to Walt for Walt is aware of what consequences Jesse's action will have. He tries in vain to sway Jesse to suppress his anger and shelve his plan for vengeance. Now we begin to see more of just how 'parental' Walt feels towards Jesse. It has appeared before, but now Walt is fully aware of the real danger Jesse faces dealing with the 'corporation.' Obviously Walt is trying to save Jesse from himself because Walt knows that Jesse's life is actually in danger, immediate danger. Walt and Jesse, as we truly see in this episode, display a father-son relationship, as somewhat dysfunctional as it is. In one scene of this episode we see Walt helping Walter, Jr. with his driving and giving in to Walt, Jr.'s insistence that his two-foot style of vehicle operation, due to his cerebral palsy, is okay if only he receives a letter from the physician. In a previous episode, Walt was not okay with this, but now relinquishes. In the final scene of 'Half Measures' we shockingly witness what Walt will do to protect his Jesse…

    Hmmm…what about Walt's fugly Pontiac Aztek? It is obviously damaged now. Forensics will surely find split-pea green paint transfer on the clothing and bodies of the two decedents. He'll finally have to get rid of that miserable excuse for a car and probably at the same salvage yard where the beloved RV was put to rest. Walt, Jr. wants to use it for his driving test, but I would not be surprised if Walt finds something sporty to replace it and appease Walt, Jr., say a vintage muscle car.
  • Another outstanding episode of the best show on tv

    Breaking Bad continues to surprise me week after week, throwing things at the viewer from every different direction. I will admit, when this episode started, the cold opening gave me the feeling that it was going to be another slower episode... I couldn't have been more wrong. They packed so much in to 45 minutes but nothing felt rushed or out of place. For the past 2 or 3 episodes, BB has been focusing on heavy character development with little action. With any other show, that would get boring quickly but Breaking Bad shines when it comes to episodes with heavy dialogue. While the episode focused quite a bit on Walt, (Especially at the end... but more on that later) This one was centered around Jesse. Aaron Paul stole this episode, and after his work in "One Minute", he is becoming one of the best young actors I have ever watched. I am trying to keep this spoiler free, so all I have to say is this:

    The final scene literally made my jaw drop. If you aren't watching Breaking are missing out on what tv is truly capable of.
  • Dang!!

    From the opening moments to Walt's final "Run!" at the end, this one had me riveted with it's many twists and turns. At the end, my jaw was hanging open. Brilliant!
    This episode reminded me of the Walt and Jessie of season 1. Great interplay between the two of them. I felt kind of bummed that Jessie fell of the wagon. Hopefully it's a one time thing. I hope that now that Skyler kind of wants "in" she'll forgive Walt and love him back again. Good to see Hank is on the mend. It should be interesting to see how his story plays out after he's back on his feet.
    Way to go, writers!
  • Outstanding as a whole. It's the build up and resolution (and cliff hanger) that made this one pure gold.

    This episode was really outstanding as a whole. While the episode starts sober, it builds into one of the best climaxes of the season. Additionally, it dives deeper into something that's been brewing since the first season -- Walt's angry side. We also get some more back story on Saul's private investigator and some minor pieces about Walt and Skyler's marriage as well as Hank's recovery.

    Without giving too much away, Jesse seeks resolution for the slaying of his former "associate" Combo, but tangled alliances give way to a confrontation with Gus. Jesse isn't happy with the results of the meeting, and feels betrayed by Walter for sending his revenge plan up the ladder. He refuses to settle, and Walter is... well... scared for Pinkman's life. This tension is built up for the final scene, which begins with Jessis hitting a line of meth and breaking his sober streak. It's the build up and resolution (and of course the cliff hanger I won't mention) that made this one pure gold.
  • Run!.

    An excelent build up for the finale.

    Don't read if you don't want spoilers.

    My jaw dropped. What a nice cliffhanger!. Just like in "One Minute" the last scene is what makes this episode perfect.

    I don't want to say much about the episode, but there's one thing for sure... I won't be able to sleep tonight.

    The image of Walter shooting the drugdealer in the head will be stuck in my brain forever.

    How the hell will they manage to get out of this trouble is something I can't imagine. They are in deep least Jesse, and I don't think Gus is going to let it slide. He must be killed. So is either Gus or Jesse.

    I don't see Jesse getting killed anytime soon, because with Gus in the picture Walt is more restrain and that's no fun to it'll be Gus. that even a word? I don't know, my english kinda sounds right but I have no idea. I hope you get what I was trying to say.

    I'm thinking right now...If Gus get killed that means that Walt won't get paid for all the meth he cooked. I think the deal he made was 3 mill at the end of 3 months and with Hank's medical bills...I'm really hoping that Skyler sugest him to cook.

    In the other hand Hank gets out of the hospital, because he got a boner, lol.

    Greetings from Argentina.
  • No Country For Young Men

    This week's episode of Breaking Bad was superb in form and the execution of the action. Jesse's revenge storyline is one of the most intriguing of this past season, this episode had its fair share of false buildups but the standout moments are when Jesse stands up to Gus insisting that they use children for their enforcing and Gus just said "No more Children" to the two and forces them to reconcile. Apparently Gus isn't the stand up guy we thought he was and we found out how little he thinks of Jesse or how his employees do business. But with the phrase "No More Children" it sort of struck a mood for this episode making the audience know that the kid gloves are off and it's time to man up. We also saw the relapse of both Walt and Jesse, Jesse going back to drugs and Walt who insisted on not being a criminal the whole season finally decided to take fate into his own hands. The last thirty seconds will blow you away, and Jesse walking the Green Mile towards the two hoods was super suspenseful and he would've shot it out with them too. Breaking Bad is sort of dealing with growing up with Jr's driving storyline but also with how Jesse is only a young twenty something and how old he is isn't the measure of what he has to deal with. Can't wait for the finale next week.
  • And with one word, the entire landscape is transformed...


    The culmination of Walter and Jesse's twisted familial bonding is nothing short of spectacular.
    For 3 seasons we've watched Walter try to do everything in his power to keep his family safe and secure (financially and litterally). Walter's always held Jesse at a distance, but now he has accepted Jesse as his responsibility. His moment of realization was palpable during both "The Cleaner"'s perfect monologue about the difference between half-measures and full-measures, and in the scene where Tomas' death report plays on the news. Right then and there, Walter dispensed with the half-measures and took control of the situation again for the first time this season! Albeit with some less than desirable results.

    All season long, our 2 main protagonists have been lost. Jesse firmly believing he was the villain of the story, when in fact, he turn out to be the slightly damaged moral compass. Walter letting go of his control over his situation and following orders was so outside the norm for him, that he wasn't himself all season. With that full-speed collision and gunshot, he regained his title of "Heisenberg" and is now back to being the best him that he can be. Totally unpredictable and dangerous. Make no mistake - Walter White is the villain of this story.
    After his attrocious actions last season, Vince Gilligan realized they would have to work hard to make Walt sympathetic again. This has been the point of season 3. to rehumanize these characters just so we can watch them fall all over again. The only thing is, we thought we were watching them fall all season long. Nope. That was the period of rest and relaxation. Bravo writers. And a special kudos to Adam Bernstein, who's direcorial choices in this episode are impeccable. Flawless. 10/10. Bring on the finale!