Breaking Bad (season 1)

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Breaking Bad
Season 1
Season 1 DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes7
Original networkAMC
Original releaseJanuary 20 (2008-01-20) –
March 9, 2008 (2008-03-09)
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2
List of episodes

The first season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on January 20, 2008 and concluded on March 9, 2008. It consisted of seven episodes, each running approximately 48 minutes in length, except the pilot episode which runs for approximately 58 minutes. AMC broadcast the first season on Sundays at 10:00 pm in the United States. The first season was originally going to consist of nine episodes, but was reduced to seven by the writer's strike. The complete first season was released on Region 1 DVD on February 24, 2009[1] and Region A Blu-ray on March 16, 2010.[2]





No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
11"Pilot"Vince GilliganVince GilliganJanuary 20, 2008 (2008-01-20)1.41[3]
Walter White, a 50-year-old high school chemistry teacher facing a midlife crisis, finds out he has Stage 3, inoperable lung cancer. He keeps the news a secret from his pregnant wife, Skyler, and their teenage son, Walter Jr. Walt rides along with his brother-in-law, DEA agent Hank Schrader, on a raid of a methamphetamine lab, in which they catch a cook/dealer named Emilio. Walt sees his former student-turned-meth cook/dealer, Jesse Pinkman, escape from the raid. Walt realizes he can use his knowledge of chemistry to cook meth and make enough to support his family after he dies. He enlists Jesse's help and they begin cooking in a remote area of the desert in an RV they buy. The pair create a pure, unadulterated form of crystal meth. Jesse tries to sell the meth they made, and one of the dealers is his ex-partner Emilio, who forces Jesse to show them the lab. Emilio recognizes Walt from the DEA raid and knocks Jesse unconscious for betraying him. Under the guise of teaching them his recipe, Walt poisons them with phosphine gas, knowing the dealers intend to kill them.
22"Cat's in the Bag..."Adam BernsteinVince GilliganJanuary 27, 2008 (2008-01-27)1.49[4]
Walt and Jesse try to dispose of the two bodies in the RV, which becomes increasingly complicated when one of them, Krazy-8, wakes up and escapes. Walt finds him barely conscious walking along the street and puts him in his car. They eventually imprison him in Jesse's basement. Meanwhile, Skyler grows suspicious of Walt's recent behavior. She asks him about Jesse, whom she discovers after he calls Walt at their home, and Walt covers by telling her that Jesse sells him marijuana. Skyler visits Jesse and threatens to call Hank if Jesse contacts Walt about marijuana again. Jesse disposes of Emilio's body using hydrofluoric acid as Walt instructs, but he ignores Walt's warning to use a plastic bin and uses his bathtub instead, resulting in a heavy clean-up when the acid eats through the floor below. Two children playing in the desert area where the RV had been find a gas mask that Walt and Jesse left there.
33"...And the Bag's in the River"Adam BernsteinVince GilliganFebruary 10, 2008 (2008-02-10)1.08[5]
Skyler's sister, Marie, believes that Walter Jr. is smoking marijuana and asks Hank to scare him straight. Hank takes Walt Jr. to a drug house to teach him about gateway drugs. Walt and Jesse clean up the remains of Emilio. Walt is torn between whether to keep Krazy-8 alive or kill him. Krazy-8 gets in Walt's head and creates mistrust and conflict between him and Jesse. While bringing Krazy-8 food, he collapses while descending the stairs. Upon waking up, Walt tells Krazy-8 that he has lung cancer—the first person he tells—and they start sharing the unexpected things they have in common. Walt decides to release Krazy-8, but while disposing of the shards of a broken plate he sees that a shard is missing, and realizes that Krazy-8 has concealed it to use as a weapon. When Walt confronts Krazy-8 with this information, Krazy-8 attacks him, so Walt strangles and kills him with the bicycle lock restraint. Walt lies and tells Skyler he was working late at the car wash, but she has already talked to his boss and knows he quit weeks ago. That night, when Walter gets home, he tells Skyler that he has something to tell her, and, off-camera, reveals his cancer diagnosis.
44"Cancer Man"Jim McKayVince GilliganFebruary 17, 2008 (2008-02-17)1.09[6]
As Jesse and Walt's meth begins to spread in Albuquerque, Hank starts looking for the new drug kingpin, unaware that it's Walt. At a family barbecue, Walt reveals to Walt Jr., Marie, and Hank that he has cancer. Hank promises Walt that he will always take care of his family. Walt Jr. becomes upset that Walt is acting like everything is normal. Jesse becomes paranoid that law enforcement is after him, and he visits his family's house; Jesse's parents are disappointed and worried to see him in such a state. Jesse finds out that his younger brother, who is very successful in sports and music, is smoking marijuana to deal with the intense pressure from their parents. Jesse covers for him but is forced to leave his parents' house, as they believe the marijuana is his. Jesse visits Walt to try and convince him they should continue cooking, but Walt tells him never to try to see him again. Walt and Skyler visit an oncologist who says Walt's cancer is treatable. Skyler is hopeful, but Walt does not think getting treatment is financially feasible.
55"Gray Matter"Tricia BrockPatty LinFebruary 24, 2008 (2008-02-24)0.97[a]
Jesse becomes frustrated that he cannot secure stable employment. Walt and Skyler attend Walt's old friend Elliott's birthday. Skyler tells Elliott about Walt's cancer, and Elliott offers him a job which Walt declines, feeling insulted about an offer of financial help. Jesse attempts to cook meth on his own but cannot replicate the quality of Walt's product. Walt Jr. gets caught by an undercover cop trying to buy beer and calls Hank to save him instead of Walt. Walt's family attempts an intervention to persuade him to undergo chemotherapy; Marie says everyone should let Walt make the decision on his own, to Skyler's dismay. Walt tells everyone that he needs the agency to make a choice for himself and that he does not want to live his last days miserable with treatment. The next morning, he relents and tells Skyler he will accept Gretchen and Elliott's assistance. However, he calls Gretchen, who he used to have a relationship with, to tell that it isn't needed, lying that his insurance actually does cover treatment. He goes to Jesse's house and asks to resume their partnership.
66"Crazy Handful of Nothin'"Bronwen HughesGeorge MastrasMarch 2, 2008 (2008-03-02)1.07[7]
Walt and Jesse come to an agreement in which Walt will cook the meth while Jesse sells it. Jesse soon discovers Walt's motivation for their collaboration. Meanwhile, Hank ties a recovered respirator to Walt's high school's chemistry lab and investigates further. Hank falsely arrests the school janitor, who has a criminal record for drug possession. After discovering the start of hair loss, Walt shaves his head. When their initial batch of meth only yields $2,600, Jesse's friend Skinny Pete helps him find the distributor who replaced Krazy-8: psychopathic drug lord Tuco Salamanca. When Jesse demands up-front payment for the meth, Tuco instead beats him and steals the meth. Walt later confronts Tuco himself and causes an explosion in his hideout, forcing him to pay for the meth; Tuco agrees to further dealings with Walt.
77"A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal"Tim HunterPeter GouldMarch 9, 2008 (2008-03-09)1.50[8]
Walt and Jesse face difficulties producing the large amount of meth Walt has promised to Tuco. Skyler has a baby shower at which Marie gives her a diamond tiara for the baby. Skyler decides to return the tiara given to her by Marie, only to be detained at the store and informed that it had been stolen; when she confronts Marie, Marie flatly denies stealing it. Walt and Jesse break into a warehouse and steal a large barrel of methylamine, which they need for a new recipe that produces much more meth in much less time. They deliver the promised amount to Tuco and his associates, No-Doze and Gonzo; when No-Doze makes an offhanded remark to Walt, Tuco becomes enraged and savagely beats him in front of the horrified Walt and Jesse.


Breaking Bad's original score is composed by Dave Porter. The show also uses music from other recording artists with music supervision by Thomas Golubić. Select songs from Season 1 are featured on the Breaking Bad Soundtrack available through iTunes and Amazon.[9]

Home video releases[edit]

The first season was released on DVD in Region 1 on February 24, 2009,[1] in Region 2 on December 14, 2009,[10] and in Region 4 on July 8, 2009.[11] It was released on Blu-ray in Region A on March 16, 2010.[2] Special features on the DVD and Blu-ray include two audio commentaries—"Pilot" by creator Vince Gilligan, cast members Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, and RJ Mitte, and editor Lynne Willingham and "Crazy Handful of Nothin'" by Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, and writer George Mastras; "The Making of Breaking Bad"; "Inside Breaking Bad"; AMC Shootout – Interview with Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, and Mark Johnson; deleted scenes; screen tests; and Vince Gilligan's photo gallery.[12]



On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the series' first season has an approval rating of 86% based on 43 reviews, with an average rating of 8.3/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Though at times it feels forced and its imagery can be gruesome, Breaking Bad is darkly gripping and features a strong sympathetic lead in Bryan Cranston."[13] The first season of Breaking Bad also received generally favorable reviews on Metacritic, scoring a 73 out of 100.[14] New York Post critic Linda Stasi praised the series, particularly the acting of Cranston and Paul, stating "Cranston and Paul are so good, it's astounding. I'd say the two have created great chemistry, but I'm ashamed to say such a cheap thing."[15] Robert Bianco of USA Today also praised Cranston and Paul, exclaiming "There is humor in the show, mostly in Walt's efforts to impose scholarly logic on the business and on his idiot apprentice, a role Paul plays very well. But even their scenes lean toward the suspenseful, as the duo learns that killing someone, even in self-defense, is ugly, messy work."[16]

Awards and nominations[edit]

The first season received numerous awards and nominations, including four Primetime Emmy Award nominations with two wins. Bryan Cranston won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lynne Willingham won for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series. Vince Gilligan was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for the pilot episode and John Toll was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for a One-Hour Series for the pilot episode. Cranston also won a Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series. The series was nominated for Outstanding New Program of the Year at the Television Critics Association Awards. The series also received three Writers Guild of America Award nominations with one win. It was nominated for Best New Series, Patty Lin was nominated for Best Episodic Drama for "Gray Matter", and Vince Gilligan won for Best Episodic Drama for his work on the pilot.[17]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2008 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Bryan Cranston
for "Pilot"
Won [18]
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Vince Gilligan
for "Pilot"
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) John Toll
for "Pilot"
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing - Drama Series Lynne Willingham
for "Pilot"


  1. ^ The data can be calculated by taking the season's total number of viewers (8.61 million) and subtracting the official totals from each of the other season one episodes.


  1. ^ a b "Breaking Bad - The Complete First Season (2008)". Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  2. ^ a b Lambert, David (January 15, 2010). "Breaking Bad - Slight Delay for Season 2 DVD and Blu-ray (and also Season 1 Blu-ray)". Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2010.
  3. ^ O'Connell, Michael (September 30, 2013). "TV Ratings: 'Breaking Bad' Finale Smashes Records With 10.3 Million Viewers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
  4. ^ Yanan, Travis (January 29, 2008). "Sunday original finals: 1/27/08". The Programming Insider. Archived from the original on February 1, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ Yanan, Travis (February 13, 2008). "Sunday original finals: 2/10/08". The Programming Insider. Archived from the original on February 15, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ Yanan, Travis (February 20, 2008). "Sunday original finals: 2/17/08". The Programming Insider. Archived from the original on February 27, 2008. Retrieved January 28, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ Berman, Marc (January 31, 2010). "Breaking Bad Ratings". Mediaweek. Archived from the original on April 18, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ Levin, Gary (March 11, 2008). "Nielsens: 'Runway' finale rules on cable". USA Today. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  9. ^ "Music From Breaking Bad Season 1". January 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  10. ^ "Breaking Bad - Season 1". Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  11. ^ "Breaking Bad - The Complete 1st Season (2 Disc Set)". EzyDVD. Archived from the original on March 2, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  12. ^ "Breaking Bad - 1st Season DVD Set Gets Detailed in the Studio's Press Release". December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 12, 2010. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
  13. ^ "Breaking Bad: Season 1 (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved June 21, 2020.
  14. ^ "Breaking Bad: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  15. ^ Stasi, Linda (January 17, 2008). "TOUR DE PANTS, Breaking Bad is Not Your Typical Drama". New York Post. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  16. ^ Bianco, Robert (January 17, 2008). "'Breaking' is far from bad; it's fantastic". USA Today. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  17. ^ "Awards for "Breaking Bad" (2008)". IMDB. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  18. ^ "Breaking Bad - Emmy Awards, Nominations and Wins". Retrieved April 10, 2020.

External links[edit]