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
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  • 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.