Breaking Bad

Season 5 Episode 1

Live Free or Die

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 15, 2012 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (13)

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out of 10
419 votes
  • Is the "5.5" rating a joke?

    24 votes average 5.5 out of 10?

    That can't be right. I demand anyone who gave this less than a million out of ten get on here and explain yourself.

    EDIT: Well, after 100 votes it's up to 8.1. Better, but still inexcusable.
  • As good as it is to have Breaking Bad back, this wasn't the episode I hoped for.

    Breaking Bad is one of those shows that for it's entire run has kept you asking "How the hell are they going to get out of this one?". We had that answer going into Season Five, and now we are back with Walt and Jesse realizing their job of clearing their names from being connected to Gus is not over and they have one more key piece of evidence to destroy before they are free.

    The episode starts off with a time jump, it is Walt's 52nd birthday, and he is sitting down for breakfast at a Denny's. I liked the use of the older look Walt at the beginning of the series when he was less of a bad ass and simply just a shy awkward chemistry teacher. This scene clearly defines that at this point in time it appears as though Walt is not in control and that he may be on the run. This set's up Season Fives story arch of Walt taking control of the drug world, even though the episode never gets to that point.

    Walt increasingly becomes more of a bad ass without having reason to be, or at least that is how it felt to me. The character has gone through major changes from early on, but I think they jumped the gun on making him a little too crazy and in charge before we have scenes showing him in that position.

    The episode was very slow paced, other than the scene in the desert involving Walt, Jesse and Mike. The magnet story-line was cool, but for the first time in the history of Breaking Bad there seemed to be little to no urgency having already pre-determined what the story line for Season Five was going to be. It was never a matter of like mentioned earlier "How the hell do they get out of this one?" but rather a matter of "We know this will go off without a problem and everything will turn out ok"

    For a show that is going into it's final run of episode, I was hoping for a much better transition into Walt being the new drug kingpin. The opening scene was by far the best scene of the episode, but it even could have served more purpose had by the end of the episode Walt been in an established position of power.

    Like usual the actors did a top-notch job of portraying their characters, probably the most notable being Jonathan Banks and Bob Odenkirk in this episode. We have come to expect these type of performances from Cranston and Paul, but this episode really allowed many of the supporting characters to steal the spotlight away.

    Maybe it was the huge build-up that had been made for this episode, but simply in the end I felt it could have been just a tad better. I am still excited to see where Season Five will take these characters, but hopefully the rest of the season feels a little more intense and each episode has that potential game changing feel too it.
  • PMA - Positive Mental Attitude

    The cold open provided an awesome frame for the season - how does Walt end up at Denny's to purchase some heavy duty weaponry?

    Everything that followed was surprisingly fun for Breaking Bad. Walt, Jesse and Mike team up for a heist of sorts (magnets!) and Walt's confidence couldn't be higher. Surely we' see him pay for it soon...

    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!!!
  • Magnets!

    Well after 9 months of anxious waiting, Breaking Bad, my favoritist show ever, is back. What did I think of the premiere? IT WAS AMAZING.

    We start off with a cold open unlike ones we've seen before. It's in Denny's, the restaurant. We see a man playing around with his bacon, and we see the man as a slightly older Walter White. He's making the bacon say '52', like he did in the pilot episode. At this point in time he's still 50 (he'll be 51 in like 3 episodes I believe), so this takes place a year or so from where we are.

    He meets a man in the bathroom who gives him keys to a car. What is in the car? A GUN. Bam, cold open is over. Obviously some big stuff had to have happened to get to this point, and we're going to find out what exactly happened later on this season of course. Gonna be fun.

    Parts I liked in this episode:

    1. Mike about to kill Walt but Jesse intervening. I like that Jesse is still protecting Walt and doesn't want him to die. Obviously he doesn't know about Walt poisoning Brock... yet. I still believe that will come into the plot later on.

    2. The magnet. This scene was awesome. Jesse was right and the magnet worked. The laptop flying out of his hands was fun to watch, and his reaction to being right was funny. The junkyard guy is a good character, I hope we get to see more of him in the future.

    3. "Because I say so." Walt is so full of himself. It's great. Their plan obviously worked and there's nothing anyone can do about it, because Walt says so.

    4. The whole Saul Goodman/Walt scene near the end was good and revealed that Huell HAD taken the ricin; obviously this was part of Walt's plan to get Jesse back on the winning side. "We're done, when I say we're done." And when Walt was walking toward him, Saul was probably scared to death, knowing what he's capable of.

    5. "Scared of what?" "You." This is important because everything Walt has been doing has been to protect his family, and now his wife, who knows more about him then she probably wants, knows he is capable of killing someone. Great acting.

    Everything about this premiere is great, best part being the cold open probably because it makes you wonder a lot of things.No doubt this season is going to be wild. And I'm going to be watching every episode, screaming "Holy crap/ Oh my god!" as things get more and more intense. Great to have you back, Breaking Bad. A+
  • Live Free or Die, a Series Classic!

    Live Free or Die was a perfect episode of Breaking Bad and I really enjoyed watching because there were some classic scenes where Walt takes the reigns of power. I loved the character depth and plot development for all of the characters. The suspense and action were phenomenal. The story played out perfectly and it was awesome as Walt took control of those around him. Hank was amazed at how right he was and it was great to see he can still make things difficult. The way the guys wrecked the evidence was awesome. The last scene with Skylar and Walt was interesting because she seems to be getting more scared of how things are going. This is GREAT TV and I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Great to have the best show ever back!

    I think those who voted low, just wanted to keep things going like in the season finale.. but you cant expect such a thing in the first episode!

    amazing show, as good as always!
  • Between a Rock and a Magnet

    The future glimpse at the beginning of the episode shows Walt as a Mr. Lambert (his identity from Saul he will assume probably) and it takes place further down the road from now. So back to the present the DEA don't know what to make of the Gus Fring explosion in the hospital but when Mike finds out that Gus is dead he knows Walt did it. Mike is still recovering from last season's massacre and is at the mobile hospital Gus was revived at. He drives on up to the border again and meets Walt and Jesse there and pulls a gun on Walt. Jesse manages to talk Mike down and listen to them. The police will have their hands on the laptop that Gus monitored all of them with and will incriminate all of them in the meth scheme. They then try to discover a way to erase the contents of the computer since it has now been logged into the evidence locker at the local police station. Walt thinks of an explosive but Jesse proposes a magnet and they begin testing with a borrowed crane magnet used in a junkyard to erase a computer at a long distance. They put the magnet into the back of the truck and Mike manages to do his magic and get them parked right next to the evidence room. The power of the magnet quickly gets the attention of the precinct cops and when Walt isn't sure that the magnet is working he flips it to high amp and the truck flips over sideways. Jesse and he work their way back to Mike's car and get away clean with the whole evidence locker FUBAR. Walt is sure they got it done and rides his air of confidence with him for the remainder of the episode. Skyler's admittance that she is indeed afraid of Walt as a direct consequence of his choices to kill Gus are indeed a step into his Scarface dotted path along with having gotten Saul to poison the kid last season for Walt. Walt probably sees himself as close to a God at this point having toppled his enemies and securing his way out of going to prison. Also an example of Walt's presence was Ted Beneke promising to not be killed and that he would never tell anybody about what happened when Saul came over the night to give him the money. Skyler remains unreadable and whether she still gets the same "thrill" out of criminal activities she did last season or whether or not that will turn to repulsion towards Walt remains to be seen. However the humor of the episodes come when the junkyard owner asks Mike, Walt, and Jesse if they have any metal on them (bodies, pockets, etc.) and an implication at Jesse and his reaction made the funniest part of the episode. But Hank isn't done yet by a long shot and this season has much more to show us. Hopefully Point B Walt we see as Mr. Lambert will be the end of this half of the season or the next but seeing a flashforward of sorts where Walt continues to ride his metaphorical horse into the straits of darkness are why we Breaking Bad viewers continue to watch because Walt is always changing and is never the same from one episode to the next. I hope that there are great things in store for us this season as Breaking Bad begins it's final season, even if it is only the first half.
  • 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. 10/10

    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.
  • Season Premiere Disappoints

    It would be pretty difficult to curb my enthusiasm for the season premiere of Breaking Bad, but I have to say that this episode did not entertain me. Too slow-moving, not enough aftermath to what happened.

    And it was a complete jumping the shark moment with Walt and Jesse using a magnet to destroy evidence in a police station. This show was always somewhat realistic (to an extent) but this was just too much.

    Just not Breaking Bad quality I have to say.