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Best Breaking Bad episodes, ranked

The best bits from possibly the best TV show of all time

Best Breaking Bad episodes, ranked
28 March 2020

As Better Call Saul goes from strength to strength, it’s important we don’t ignore the show whose brilliance made it all possible. It’s nearly seven years since Breaking Bad’s finale came to our screens, but its influence can still be felt in a big way – not just in its prequel show and spin-off movie El Camino, but in the storytelling and dramatic tension in many of the most popular shows to have come to network TV and streaming platforms in the years since.

We’ve taken a look back and picked out the 10 best episodes from one of the most memorable and bingeable TV phenomena of recent times.

Need to catch up? You can stream Breaking Bad's five seasons on Netflix. Up to speed? Upvote your favourite episodes of them all below.

All seasons or under £20
All seasons or under £20
Breaking Bad: The Complete Series (DVD)
£16.08
Don't have Netflix? You can now get the entire show on DVD for a few pennies over £16. Bargain. Prefer Blu-ray? You'll find links for the seasons on disc below.
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

Best Breaking Bad episodes

1. Ozymandias (S5 E14)

£3.59
Buy the Season 5 Blu-ray at Amazon

The moment when it all came to a head. When five seasons worth of ramped up tension reached a conclusion which many saw as inevitable but some believed would never arrive. Given all the build-up, both on-screen and in media coverage, there was a huge amount of pressure on showrunner Vince Gilligan and his team to get it right. They did that, and then some, with countless moments that forced you to catch your breath from screaming inwardly.

14
2
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

2. Face Off (S4 E13)

£2.98
Buy the season 2 Blu-ray at Amazon

There was a sense among some fans that the Gus Fring arc could have been stretched further, but the time at which that catharsis does arrive speaks to the pacing of the show, both episode by episode as a whole. By bringing Jesse’s narrative to a head, leaving his and Walt’s relationship at a cliff-edge, we’re given two tracks moving at great pace and one continuing even as the other looks as if it has nowhere further to go.

10
0
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

3. To’hajiilee (S5 E13)

£3.59
Buy the Season 5 Blu-ray at Amazon

If ‘Ozymandias’ saw Breaking Bad pull the pin on the grenade, this was them ratcheting up the tension to ensure the moment of truth would be more explosive than anyone could ever imagine. And yet, despite leading Hank into peril and providing Walt with no feasible out, the episode manages to make viewers sick to their stomach while leaving just enough reasonable doubt about what might lay ahead.

8
1
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

4. One Minute (S3 E7)

£11.74
Buy the season 3 Blu-ray at Amazon

With the decision to split the final season in two, we knew a lot would be riding on the final episode before the break. Thankfully, they knocked it out of the park. After a slow start to the final stretch, we got one of the gentlest and yet most dramatic “oh, shit!” moments in recent TV history and surely the most important Walt Whitman reference in any piece of 21st century culture.

8
1
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

5. Felina (S5 E16)

£3.59
Buy the Season 5 Blu-ray at Amazon

When you look at how certain other shows wrapped things up (not naming any names), Breaking Bad deserves plenty of plaudits. To provide a fitting conclusion two episodes after something as complete as ‘Ozymandias’ is no mean feat. Considering all the wild theories which proliferated online throughout the final season, and all the ways it could have gone, ‘Felina’ was the closure fans of the show earned.

8
1
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

6. Fly (S2 E10)

£8.24
Buy the season 2 Blu-ray at Amazon

Perhaps the most polarising episode in the entire five-season run, ‘Fly’ is hated by some fans of the show, but for others it’s one of the most perfectly crafted Breaking Bad episodes in existence. It’s a bottle episode, sure, but one which allows the show to explore the world it has built, with literally nowhere else to hide. By doing so little, the episode lays bare Walt and Jesse’s relationship in ways a deeper action sequences wouldn’t have been able to.

7
2
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

7. Crawl Space (S4 E11)

£2.98
Buy the season 2 Blu-ray at Amazon

Before 2019 movie Uncut Gems, ‘Crawl Space’ was perhaps the best shorthand we had for claustrophobic nausea on the big or small screen. While some of Breaking Bad’s best episodes leave you feeling enthralled, the beauty of this is how uncomfortable it makes you as it breaks the fourth wall and encourages you to examine who you’re rooting for and why. What’s more, you don’t get a full resolution – you’re just kicking the can further down the road.

6
1
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

8. Salud (S4 E10)

£2.98
Buy the season 2 Blu-ray at Amazon

Amid all the amazing vistas and New Mexico landscapes of Breaking Bad, the brighter colour scheme of ‘Salud’ really stands out. The episode, which takes place over the border in Mexco, showcases one of the show’s best cameos in Steven Bauer’s turn as Don Eladio. The finale, which keeps you guessing before, during and after, is as good as they come in this show.

6
1
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

9. 4 Days Out (S2 E9)

£8.24
Buy the season 2 Blu-ray at Amazon

This, for many, was the moment Breaking Bad graduated from an interesting diversion to the kind of show you could really get yourself lost in. It’s an episode that ensures you can’t help but care about the fate of the show’s lead characters, be it in terms of Walt and Jesse’s business or the White family plot that provides the real heart of the show.

6
1
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Best Breaking Bad episodes

10. Gliding Over All (S5 E8)

£3.59
Buy the Season 5 Blu-ray at Amazon

With the decision to split the final season in two, we knew a lot would be riding on the final episode before the break. Thankfully, they knocked it out of the park. After a slow start to the final stretch, we got one of the gentlest and yet most dramatic “oh, shit!” moments in recent TV history and surely the most important Walt Whitman reference in any piece of 21st century culture.

5
3
Thanks for voting