Breaking Bad

Season 5 Episode 1

Live Free or Die

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 15, 2012 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
399 votes

By Users Episode Review


    Breaking Bad: Loose Ends

    Instead of starting off Season 5 with fireworks, Breaking Bad got things going with a powder keg.

  • Episode Summary

    Walt heads over to see his family, still being kept under guard. News of the deaths at the senior's centre spreads while Walt plots his next moves in order to ensure his family and his secrets are kept safe. Hank realizes that his investigation will be a long one upon discovering the destroyed superlab.


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    • A season opener to spark excitement

      After season four's phenomenal finale, there's a lot of cleaning up to do for the surviving Breaking Bad characters. But who says that can't be thrilling?

      After a rather difficult reacquaintance between Walt and Jesse and Mike, creator and screenwriter Vince Gilligan comes up with yet another insane, but totally believable dodge to solve the situation that these three are in and it's quite fun to watch. Reason for that is also the weird yet amazing script that suddenly shifts the conversation's focus on "why some men put a metal ring through the end of their prick" as Larry Hankin's guest starring junkyard owner so eloquently puts it. This series has always had a talent for fantastic dialogue and "Live Free or Die" proves that once again, with the dead-pan hilariousness of the acting cast increasing the entertainment value.

      The plot of this episode didn't leave out more serious territory though and can get quite intense in some, as of now, unresolved arcs, which also include the ambiguous flash-forward pre-credits sequence. Tension for the succeeding episodes is definitely secured and "Live Free or Die" did a great job at establishing the premise and already creating gripping scenes in one go. It's not big-time story-wise and through that, the series' slow side becomes sensible here and there, but these 42 minutes were well-made television in all aspects and I very much enjoyed watching them.moreless

      doesn't the first scene give you a heads up to season 6 lol that Walter will be on the run from his brother in law.
    • The most critically acclaimed crime drama television show is back as Season 5 begins with a knock-off

      Walt heads over to see his family, still being kept under guard. News of the deaths at the senior's centre spreads while Walt plots his next moves in order to ensure his family and his secrets are kept safe. Hank tries to close his investigation. The most critically acclaimed crime drama show to ever hit television (it's true, no joke) is back as it will start off the first half of Season 5 this season and air the second half of Season 5 in the next season... which sucks but time will go by fast. I don't get why people are disappointed in this. More people are pleased by this by some call it "slow-moving". Compared to the Season 4 Premiere last summer which was very slow-moving for me. This Season 5 Premiere was not slow at all and the dialogue was very well written here. I was entertained throughout the episode and UNLIKE the Season 4 Premiere last summer, it actually had more things going on to start off the new season and I was very satisfied by that. The storyline was very well done, it has a enough scenes to keep you entertained. Sure maybe a couple of scenes in this episode can be just a bit boring mainly with Skylar but that's not really a problem at all. I loved this episode as it was very entertaining, extremely well done writing and acting, and just everything about this episode was terrific. The episode also had some good humor that made me laugh. I enjoyed how Saul told Walter "We're done" then Walter gets out of his chair then slowly walks towards Saul and tells him "We're done when I say we're done". The whole thing with the magnet was also very awesome and one of the best things that happened in this show. Not really a lot of Hank in this episode though but that's fine. I thought Mike almost killing Walter when he heard about Gustavo's death was pretty intense. This Season 5 Premiere was just a very magnificent, well-crafted, and highly satisfying follow-up with the Season 4 finale. I am very pleased with this Season 5 Premiere and I look forward to what the rest of the season has to offer. Overall, I'm a huge BB fan and if you're a fan like me then you're gonna enjoy this episode... I wasn't disappointed at all, that's all I can say. 10/10moreless
    • Going too Far

      What an awesome premiere! It is possibly my favorite premiere (Boxcutter makes it really hard to decide) had everything you would want in a premiere: intrigue, intensity, comedy, and excellent acting by all but mainly from Cranston. This probably won't be his best acted episode of the season but Cranston showed in this one that the standard of acting we have grown accustomed to will be there in season 5 if not even better.

      In an interview at Comicon (I believe) Vince Gilligan said this season will be about winning and what it means to stay on top. In this first episode we see that Walt will be willing to do anything to keep his crown, but we also might have seen the first glimpses of what he has to do to stay on top and that is he must go too far. Walt has always made decisions that he never fully understands the consequences of when he makes them, and if the cold open tells us anything, it is that his actions will once again bring him down to size, with him having to do something very drastic with a dangerous device to keep himself in the game.

      Therefore I believe Walt's New Hampshire ID and license plates work as a metaphor of how far Walt is willing to go to live free and do what he wants and to live on his own terms as he told the young cancer patient in season 4's Hermanos episode. I interpret the opening scenes as Walt had once decided to run away from all the problems he is about to face this season and give up the life of a drug lord and run with the money he has, but later decides it is much better to live free and do what he wants: and what he wants is to be Heisenberg.moreless

      i have no clue why the average is so low!!!this was a fantastic premiere.....anyone who has ever watched breaking bad knows that the season start out slow...that not even a legitamate complaint....and thats beside the point anyway since this episode was not slow or was probably the best season premiere the show has ever done next to the 4th seasons at the very least deserved an talking to you "thefanof"....come on!!!moreless
    Jim Beaver

    Jim Beaver


    Guest Star

    JB Blanc

    JB Blanc


    Guest Star

    Monique Candelaria

    Monique Candelaria


    Guest Star

    Christopher Cousins

    Christopher Cousins

    Ted Beneke

    Recurring Role

    Steven Michael Quezada

    Steven Michael Quezada

    Steven Gomez

    Recurring Role

    Featured Episode Clip

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (2)

      • The crew used the same Denny's from last years Season 4 premiere, the one where Walt and Jesse head after Gus kills Victor. Vince says they actually paid Denny's to use their restaurant.

      • The title of this episode could refer to the New Hampshire license plate motto "Live free or die" as Walt also identifies himself with a New Hampshire drivers licence in the flash forward at the beginning of the episode

    • QUOTES (3)

    • NOTES (5)

      • During the first half of season 5, Vince Gilligan says it now takes about three weeks per episode to write, in an attempt to carefully walk through each character's storyline. They shoot the episodes in 8 days.Therefore, Vince is happy about the hiatus which will allow the writers to continue working through the episodes.

      • Just days after this episode aired the 2012 Emmy Nominations were announced. Five acting nominations were handed to the show: Bryan Cranston receives his 4th nomination in 5 years for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama, Aaron Paul receives his 2nd nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama. Anna Gunn receives her first nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama. Giancarlo Esposito was nominated as a Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama. Finally, Mark Margolis was nominated for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

      • Cast: Betsy Brandt (Marie) is credited but does not appear.

      • AMC decided to split up the airing of the final season in two parts. Eight episodes will air in July and August, while another eight episodes are slated to air in summer 2013.

      • Production on the fifth season began in January 2012 with filming beginning in March 2012.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)