by Nancy McDonald

I rarely make mistakes in my life. I mean, I don’t mean to brag, but seriously. Since I was born, I’ve done pretty much everything right except for maybe the purchase of an MC Hammer doll when I was seven years old. But it came with a cassette single so, you know, I had my reasons. Anyway, that being said, I am also an extremely busy person. Rarely do I have the same night free every week in order to watch any given television show so I have a bucket list of things I’d like to watch before I die. Since its premiere, AMC’s Breaking Bad has been on this list. I didn’t know much about it at all other than that it starred the dad from FOX’s Malcom in the Middle, he portrayed a high school chemistry teacher who gets cancer, and he starts making meth. But with the great word of mouth it received and then, eventually, all of the award nominations it received, it was a given that it would be watched sooner or later. Once the fifth and final season started this year, I noticed a lot of hoopla on Facebook concerning the episodes. I decided it was time. I was going to watch this Breaking Bad.

If you don’t like the pilot, stop watching and seek help. Nothing is wrong with this show. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul work perfectly together; Cranston bringing the geeky genius of Walter White to life and Paul bringing the slightly dim-witted, but passionate as hell Jesse Pinkman to life. Along the way, Mr. White and Jesse form a love/hate relationship and, well, make a lot of the blue stuff. The supporting cast is all terrific. The writing and directing are superb. I found myself watching 3 or 4 episodes at a time and not even realizing it. I finally finished seasons 1-4, but I didn’t finish in time to watch any of the fifth season. If I had started watching a long time ago, then I wouldn’t be waiting on season 5 to be released. Thus, my mistake. You better believe that when the fifth season is out on DVD I will definitely be making that purchase. Here are my top 3 episodes (although this list could change once season 5 is released). Also, some spoilers may be ahead so read with caution.

1. “Gray Matter” (Season 1, Episode 5)

The whole reason why I added this episode to the list is the intervention scene. It was powerful, extremely moving, and even managed to be somewhat funny. Everyone has valid points for why they want Mr. White to seek expensive treatment for his cancer. And every actor is astonishing, Cranston in particular. I feel like I held my breath during that scene, which can’t be right because it’s several minutes long, but still. In my opinion it is one of the best scenes out of the whole show.

2. “Peekaboo” (Season 2, Episode 6)

This episode focuses more on Jesse Pinkman’s attempt to retrieve some of his product from a couple who stole it from one of his employees. He breaks into their house, fully prepared to do whatever it takes to get what is rightfully his. The first problem is that they aren’t home when he breaks in. The second problem, the bigger problem, is that a child is home. What I like about this episode is that we get to see a different, more sensitive side to the Jesse Pinkman character. Any viewer who was weary of him up until that point had to change their minds about him after this episode. Even if it was only a slight change. It helps that Aaron Paul is one hell of an actor.

3. “Box Cutter” (Season 4, Episode 1)

Oh yeah. The blue stuff really hits the fan in this episode. I won’t give any details away, but I will say that the suspense nearly killed me. Also, extreme kudos to Giancarlo Esposito, (who plays Gus), who is nothing short of astounding. Up until that episode, I liked him to a certain extent, but after this episode I realized why he was nominated for an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor (although he lost to his co-star Paul). But it was nice to see Gus finally take matters into his own hands, even if his actions were horrifying.