Breaking Bad

Season 1 Episode 1

Pilot

56
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 20, 2008 on AMC
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
621 votes
22

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Walter White is a high school chemistry teacher who learns that he has lung cancer. With a new lease on life, Walter becomes a drug dealer to secure his family's financial security.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Really good

    10
    Loved this episode Bryan Cranston is great as Walter White and can see that he feels the only way to make a difference is to make lots of money although Drug Dealing does have its risks. I keep watching as I only just started this but its very good.
  • Breaking bad

    9.0
    Breaking bad
  • aracely

    10
    Perfect
  • Yesok

    10
    Great
  • The Beginning of Everything

    9.0
    Suicide is not a solution, but cooking crystal meth is. That's the lesson that Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, learns over the course of Breaking Bad. He's doing this with the help of a former student, Jesse Pinkman, who is a rather dim-witted fellow, but one that has experience in cooking and also selling the stuff the unlikely pair commences to make in this pilot. Added to that are Skyler, Walt's pregnant wife, Walt Walt's handicapped teenage son, Marie Schrader, Skyler's sister, and her husband Hank, a successful DEA agent. And with a fantastic cast and crew, these are enough ingredients to create a ten-time Emmy-winning show that is additionally the best-rated fiction TV show on IMDb.



    The main characters are introduced through a handful of incredibly accurate scenes, with my favorite being the view on Walt as a teacher, in which his passion for the subject is obvious, but his disappointment with his apathetic class is as well. A couple of minutes later, Jesse makes his appearance in one of the best scenes the whole first season has to offer. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have a brilliant screenplay by Vince Gilligan to work with, but they deserve praise on the same level as they portray their characters fantastically well. I could say that for numerous scenes in this pilot, but this particular part is a rememberable gem I'd like to point out. It doesn't take long for feces to hit the fan, and once it does, 'awesome' is the singular word to describe it. The process of cooking crystal meth is staged superbly and also remarkably improved by the great soundtrack choices and the unique way of editing all of that a deserved Emmy for Lynne Willingham.



    Other hugely impressive parts about this episode are the cinematography and the set design. The bleak parts of Albuquerque where the series is set are perfectly reflective of Walt's mentality and are captured in such great pictures by the Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll. There's almost no scene in the 58 minutes of this pilot that doesn't include an amazing point of view by the camera team and the inventive shots impress me every time I decide to watch the episode. And last but not least, actually most importantly, the story and the screenplay are just wonderful. They get even better over the course of the seasons, but this pilot is a terrific start already and gives you an outstanding first look at the interesting characters Mr. Gilligan has invented. I don't quite consider it a 10 yet, as I'm aware of how excellent future episodes of Breaking Bad will be.moreless
John Koyama

John Koyama

Emilio Koyama

Guest Star

Aaron Hill

Aaron Hill

Jock

Guest Star

Evan Bobrick

Evan Bobrick

Chad

Guest Star

Steven Michael Quezada

Steven Michael Quezada

Steven Gomez

Recurring Role

Marius Stan

Marius Stan

Bogdan

Recurring Role

Carmen Serano

Carmen Serano

Carmen

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (7)

    • In the original script to the pilot episode, Jesse's name was going to be 'Marion Alan Dupree,' and he was always going to be referred to as his last name.

    • Unlike the episode, Walt would never be able to actually ride-along with DEA agents. They have strict rules about this and civilians are not even able to enter the DEA cars.

    • Vince Gilligan admitted in a Season 4 episode podcast that the location of the show was supposed to be set in Riverside, California. The original pilot was filmed there but they learned of the incentive ABQ was giving out for production teams to film there. They ended up staying in ABQ.

    • Bryan Cranston and Dean Norris were interestingly also cast in "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006). This movie had a part when the family makes a sleep-over stop in Albuquerque. Both actors showed up in the movie at this point. Therefore, it's possible that they were already scouting or starting production on Breaking Bad as far back as 2005.

    • Casting: Bryan Cranston and Anna Gunn have both previously guest starred on Seinfield. Anna played one of Jerry's girlfriends while Bryan was the infamous dentist Dr. Tim Whatley.

    • The chemical formula shown in the intros, C10H15N (149.24 molecular weight), is the real formula for methamphetamine.

    • A plaque on the wall of Walt's home says he did research in proton radiography in 1985 that contributed to someone's Nobel Prize win. According to the Nobel Prize website, the winners in 1985 for Chemistry were Herbert Hauptman and Jerome Karle who won for their development of methods to determine crystal structures.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Walter: Chemisty, it is the study of what?...Ben
      Ben: Chemicals?
      Walter: Chemicals...no. Chemistry is, well technically, chemistry is the study of matter. But I prefer to see it as the study of change.

    • Jesse: (to Walt) Some straight like you, giant stick up his ass, age what? Sixty? He's just gonna break bad?

    • (Walt gets handed a gun)
      Walt: This is heavy.
      Hank: (Referring to the police force) That's why they hire men.

    • (Walt is washing his student's car)
      Chad: Hey, Mr. White! Make those tires shine. Ha! (Takes a photo of Walt washing the wheels)
      Female student: (on the phone) Oh my god! You won't believe who's cleaning Chad's car.

    • (referring to Walt's penis)
      Skyler: What is going on down there? Is he asleep?

    • Walt Jr.: So, how does it feel to be old?
      Walter: How does it feel to be a smart ass?
      Walt Jr.: Good!

  • NOTES (6)

    • Featured Music:
      "Come on Home and Have Your Next Affair With Me" by Stonewall Jackson
      "Dirty South Hustla" by Carolina Slim
      "Tamacun" by Rodrigo y Gabriela
      "Mango Walk" by The In-Crowd
      "Dead Fingers" by Working for a Nuclear Free City
      "A Gosar" by SDK (feat. Tori Papa)
      "Get Low" by Pudge
      "Apocalypsh*t" by Molotov
      "Out of Time Man" by Mick Harvey

    • Original International Air Dates:
      United Kingdom: September 28, 2008 on FX
      Czech Republic: January 14, 2011 on Nova Cinema

    • Awards and Nominations:  2008 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series (won) 2008 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for a One-Hour Series (nominated) 2008 – Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (nominated)

    • Bryan Cranston studied real chemistry procedures, items, methods, etc via a professor at USC (University of Southern California) for Breaking Bad. As such he had to call the writers to correct some mistakes in scripts.

    • An actual DEA agent was brought on board to show the actors/crew how to make crystal meth.

    • Filming Location: Albuquerque, NM

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Jesse: You ain't Welcome Back, Kotter, so step off. No speeches.
      Welcome Back, Kotteris a television show about a former high school Sweathog that returns to his roots as a teacher. The title character, Gabe Kotter, reached out to the current Sweathogs to try and help them through their difficulties.

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