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Breaking Bad season 1

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Breaking Bad
Season 1
DVD cover
ShowrunnerVince Gilligan
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 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America 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 celebrates his 50th birthday breakfast with his wife, Skyler, and their teenage son, Walter Jr, before heading off to his job as a high-school chemistry teacher. Frequent coughing fits result in Walt passing out at his second job at a car wash. Later, he is diagnosed with Stage 3 terminal lung cancer. Walt does a ride-along on a methamphetamine lab raid with his brother-in-law, DEA Agent Hank Schrader. DEA agents apprehend a cook/dealer named Emilio. Walt, waiting in the car, spots his former student Jesse Pinkman escaping the raid through a neighbor's window. Walt tracks down Jesse to propose a partnership wherein Walt cooks crystal meth and Jesse manages sales and distribution. They begin cooking crystal meth in a remote area of the desert in a recreational vehicle. Walt's skill in chemistry results in a pure, highly valuable product. Jesse approaches Krazy-8, a local distributor and cousin to Emilio, to arrange distribution. At a meetup with Walt, Emilio recognizes him from the DEA raid. A panicked Jesse tells Walt to run but knocks himself unconscious. Knowing the dealers intend to kill them both, Walt pretends to teach Emilio and Krazy-8 the crystal meth recipe before poisoning them with phosphine gas and driving off.
22"Cat's in the Bag..."Adam BernsteinVince GilliganJanuary 27, 2008 (2008-01-27)1.49[4]
Returning to Albuquerque, Walt and Jesse try to dispose of the two bodies in the RV, which becomes increasingly complicated when Krazy-8 disappears. Driving back to Jesse's from work, Walt discovers a barely-conscious Krazy-8 wandering the streets of Jesse's neighborhood, returning him to the house and restraining him with a bicycle lock. Walt continues to procrastinate killing Krazy-8, instead providing him with food, water, and a means to relieve himself. Meanwhile, Skyler grows suspicious of Walt's recent behavior and, at an ultrasound appointment, questions him about his recent phone call with Jesse. 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 dead body using hydrofluoric acid as instructed by Walt, but he elects to use his bathtub instead of Walt's suggestion of a plastic bin, resulting in the acid eating through the bathtub floor and leaving a huge mess of dissolved body parts. Two children playing in the desert area where the RV had been find a gas mask that Walt and Jesse accidentally left behind.
33"...And the Bag's in the River"Adam BernsteinVince GilliganFebruary 10, 2008 (2008-02-10)1.08[5]
Skyler's sister, Marie, mistakenly believes that Walter Jr. is smoking marijuana and asks Hank to scare him straight. Hank takes Walt Jr. to a rundown motel to teach him about gateway drugs. Walt and Jesse clean up the remains of Emilio, and Walt is torn between whether to keep Krazy-8 alive or kill him. While bringing Krazy-8 food, Walt collapses while descending the stairs and smashes the plate on the floor. Upon waking up, Walt reveals to Krazy-8 that he has lung cancer—the first person he tells—and they start sharing the unexpected things they have in common. Krazy-8 also sows mistrust against Jesse, warning Walt about working with a drug addict. Walt decides to release Krazy-8, but while disposing of the shards of the 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, Krazy-8 attacks him; 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 they need to talk.
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 outside of the drug world. Walt and Skyler attend the birthday party of Elliott Schwartz, Walt's former colleague and current CEO of Gray Matter Technologies, where Walt also reunites with Gretchen Schwartz, his former fiancée and current wife and business partner of Elliott. After reminiscing with Walt about their time as graduate students, Elliott offers him a job at Gray Matter. Realizing that Skyler must have told Elliott about his cancer diagnosis, Walt declines, believing it to be charity. Jesse attempts to replicate Walt's meth recipe with his friend Badger but is unsuccessful. Walt Jr. is busted by an undercover cop for trying to purchase beer as a minor and calls Hank to pick him up. Hank feels guilty about Walt Jr. not contacting his own father, but does not lecture Walt Jr. 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 insists 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 offer to cover the cost of his treatment. Gretchen calls Walt to discuss their offer but tells her the assistance isn't needed, lying that his insurance covers treatment after all. 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 undergoes his first chemotherapy session. Walt and Jesse continue their agreement in which Walt will cook the meth while Jesse handles sales. When Walt removes his shirt during a cooking session, Jesse recognizes the chemotherapy marks on Walt's chest and deduces that he has lung cancer. Meanwhile, Hank ties the recovered respirator to Walt's high school's chemistry lab. Hank falsely arrests the kindly school janitor on charges of stealing equipment, who has a criminal record for drug possession and had a small amount of marijuana in his car. Walt shaves his head when he discovers that his hair is falling out. When their initial batch of meth only yields $2,600, Walt insists they need to ramp up production. Jesse's friend Skinny Pete introduces him to the distributor who replaced Krazy-8: psychopathic drug lord Tuco Salamanca. When Jesse demands up-front payment for the meth, Tuco severely beats him and steals the meth. Walt later confronts Tuco on his own, causing an explosion in his hideout and forces him to pay for the stolen meth. Impressed, Tuco agrees to work with Walt.
77"A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal"Tim HunterPeter GouldMarch 9, 2008 (2008-03-09)1.50[8]
Walt and Jesse face production difficulties when they are not able to procure enough pseudoephedrine pills. Jesse, who is now living in the RV, puts his house on the market. 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 to produce larger amount of meth by an alternative cooking process. They deliver the promised amount of meth (4 lbs) 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 before driving away.


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)". Amazon.com. 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)". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 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". AMCTV.com. January 18, 2008. Archived from the original on May 11, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
  10. ^ "Breaking Bad - Season 1". Amazon.co.uk. 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". TVShowsOnDVD.com. 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". Emmys.com. Retrieved April 10, 2020.

External links[edit]