Breaking Bad (season 2)
|Breaking Bad (season 2)|
Season 2 DVD cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||March 8 – May 31, 2009|
The second season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on March 8, 2009 and concluded on May 31, 2009. It consisted of 13 episodes, each running approximately 47 minutes in length. AMC broadcast the second season on Sundays at 10:00 pm in the United States. The complete second season was released on Region 1 DVD and Region A Blu-ray on March 16, 2010.
Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) are kidnapped by Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) and his uncle Hector (Mark Margolis), lead figures in the rival Mexican drug cartel. Walt and Jesse manage to escape before Hank Schrader arrives and kills Tuco in a shoot out and capture Hector. Walter and Jesse expand their meth dealing into the areas formerly controlled by Tuco, and later are forced to partner with sleazy lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) to help protect them legally from the DEA. Skyler (Anna Gunn) becomes more suspicious of Walter's current activities particularly after learning that he refused money for his medical payment from his former partner Elliot (Adam Godley) and wife Gretchen (Jessica Hecht). Jesse moves into a duplex owned by Donald (John de Lancie), with Donald's daughter Jane (Krysten Ritter), a recovering heroin addict, living in the neighboring unit. Jane and Jesse become romantically involved. Hank's actions in the Tuco shootout lead to a promotion at the El Paso office, but he suffers from a panic attack after witnessing the death of a Federale during a IED attack by the Mexican cartel, and returns to Albuquerque.
Walter learns his cancer may be spreading, and decides to cook up one last batch of meth over a weekend with Jesse, anticipating to leave the profits for his family after he dies, only learning afterwards that his health condition is improving. However, he is still compelled to leave the meth cooking business after finishing the current batch. When one of Jesse's friends and dealers is killed by a rival gang, Jesse falls back to taking drugs, dragging Jane down with him.
Meanwhile, Walter worries about further trouble with the rival gang and has Saul arrange a meeting with Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), the owner of a restaurant chain used as a cover for a large-scale drug distribution. Gus offers to buy the remaining meth batch for more than $1 million, but requires the product to be delivered immediately. Walter forgoes his daughter's birth to retrieve the meth from Jesse, but find him and Jane passed out from taking heroin. Walter ransacks the place to find the drugs and delivers them to Gus. Donald arrives to find Jesse's place a mess and Jane's relapse, and orders her to put her affairs in order before he takes her back to rehab. Jane, aware of Walter and Jesse's meth production, threatens to reveal Walter's involvement to authorities, and coerces him to give Jesse his share of the drug money. Later, Walter shares a drink with Donald, unaware of his relationship with Jane. Donald's talk gives him reason to reconsider his attitude towards Jesse, and he returns to Jesse's the next day to have a talk. Walter again finds Jesse and Jane passed out from drug use. In an attempt to wake them, he turns Jane onto her back, causing her to suffocate on her own vomit. Believing Jane will have a bad influence on Jesse and her previous threat towards Walter, Walter, in tears, watches Jane die. In the morning Jesse wakes up to find her dead, believes himself to be at fault, and enters rehab.
Walter prepares to undergo surgery to remove the cancer, but while sedated, reveals the existence of a second cell phone to Skyler. When Skyler, who has exposed the other lies he has told her, confronts him on this after he recovers, he offers to tell her the truth, but she refuses to listen and leaves with the children. As Walter contemplates his situation by the pool, he witnesses two aircraft collide over Albuquerque, a result of mis-guidance given by Donald, shown now having resumed his work as an air-traffic controller and still grieving at the loss of his daughter. The wreckage falls across the city, including a pink teddy bear that falls into Walter's pool - an image used throughout episodes of this season.
- Bryan Cranston as Walter White
- Anna Gunn as Skyler White
- Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman
- Dean Norris as Hank Schrader
- Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader
- RJ Mitte as Walter White, Jr.
- Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis
- Steven Michael Quezada as Steven Gomez
- Charles Baker as Skinny Pete
- Christopher Cousins as Ted Beneke
- Matt L. Jones as Badger
- Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman
- John de Lancie as Donald Margolis
- Tom Kiesche as Clovis
- Rodney Rush as Combo
- Michael Shamus Wiles as George Merkert
- Raymond Cruz as Tuco Salamanca
- Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo "Gus" Fring
- Tess Harper as Mrs. Pinkman
- Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca aka "Tio"
- Sam McMurray as Dr. Victor Bravenec
- Carmen Serano as Principal Carmen Molina
- Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut
- Jeremiah Bitsui as Victor
- Nigel Gibbs as APD Detective Tim Roberts
- Jessica Hecht as Gretchen Schwartz
- Danny Trejo as Tortuga
The episode titles of the first, fourth, tenth, and thirteenth episodes of form a sentence which reveals an event that takes place in the season finale (737 Down Over ABQ). These episodes all include a mysterious opening teaser in black and white, featuring a scorched pink teddy bear floating in Walt's pool.
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|8||1||"Seven Thirty-Seven"||Bryan Cranston||J. Roberts||March 8, 2009||1.66|
|Having completed their deal with Tuco in the junkyard, Walt and Jesse realize how unhinged and violent he can become. Both Walt and Jesse are shaken by an ominous, black SUV. Jesse's solution is to shoot Tuco before he kills them, but Walt has a more clandestine plan using ricin. Panic sets in when they think Tuco is killing his own associates. Hank reviews the security surveillance footage of the warehouse break-in without realizing it's Walt and Jesse. Skyler tells Hank about Marie's shoplifting, and learns she is getting therapy for kleptomania. Tuco kidnaps Jesse and Walt.|
|9||2||"Grilled"||Charles Haid||George Mastras||March 15, 2009||1.60|
|Having been kidnapped by a crazed Tuco, Walt and Jesse are held prisoner by him in a desert shack where he often hides out and takes care of his sick uncle, who was once a drug kingpin but now is incapacitated because of a stroke, but can communicate with a bell. Walt's brother-in-law Hank and the DEA have rolled Tuco's entire organization, and Tuco thinks that one of his associates ratted him out. Walt unsuccessfully tries to feed Tuco the poison he prepared. Hank, meanwhile, takes a bit of time off to look for Walt. Skyler is sick with worry and has been distributing handbills with Walt's photo. Hank remembers that Jesse Pinkman was Walt's source of marijuana and tries to track him down. Using his bell to communicate, Tuco's mute wheelchair-bound uncle alerts him to the fact that his prisoners are up to something. Tuco takes them outside and plans to kill them. Walt and Jesse manage to wound Tuco and escape. Hank shows up looking for Jesse, and is confronted by a wounded Tuco. A brief firefight ensues and Hank shoots Tuco dead.|
|10||3||"Bit by a Dead Bee"||Terry McDonough||Peter Gould||March 22, 2009||1.13|
|Having gotten away from Tuco, Walt and Jesse now have to get home and explain where they have been. Walt has a plan and they split up. He goes to a supermarket and takes off all of his clothes while walking around the aisles. He is hospitalized and claims to have no memory of where he has been for the last few days. Jesse returns to his house to clean out the basement and get rid of the RV. When the DEA track him down, he claims that he has been shacked up with a prostitute for the weekend. The police don't believe him and think they know how to nail him: they bring in Tuco's uncle to identify him, but he refuses to cooperate with the authorities.|
|11||4||"Down"||John Dahl||Sam Catlin||March 29, 2009||1.29|
|Walt and Jesse appear to be in the clear, but Jesse has no money and Walt can't leave the house to cook meth without Skyler's wondering where he is. Jesse's parents are still fed up with him and his drug use, so they order him out of the house—it turns out they own it, not Jesse. He finds himself without a place to stay or any friends who will put him up for the night. He ends up tracking down his RV and spends the night in it. Walt's overly correct behavior sets Skyler off on a binge of not telling him anything about what she is up to or whom she is seeing. She is fed up with Walt's behavior and wants to know what is really going on.|
|12||5||"Breakage"||Johan Renck||Moira Walley-Beckett||April 5, 2009||1.21|
|Walt continues his treatment and is starting to feel better but is concerned at the growing medical bills. Jesse begins to re-establish himself, paying off his debts and getting a new place to live. He develops an interest in his new next-door neighbor and landlord Jane Margolis. Walt and Jesse soon rev up the RV and are cooking again. Jesse's not keen on selling the stuff on the street and suggests he and Walt take over Tuco's role as a distributor. Hank and the DEA have come across the name Heisenberg and aren't sure if he is real or just an urban legend. Hank is promoted and soon appointed to a tri-state drug task force, however he may have health issues of his own. Skinny Pete (one of Jesse's dealers) has been ripped off by a drug-addicted couple, and Walt has made it known to Jesse that unless he does something about it, word will get around pretty quickly that Jesse and his crew are an easy mark.|
|13||6||"Peekaboo"||Peter Medak||J. Roberts & Vince Gilligan||April 12, 2009||1.41|
|Jesse decides to confront the couple who ripped off Skinny Pete. He soon realizes that he isn't a very effective enforcer, and finds himself in over his head. Walt goes back to work, but not all is going smoothly. Walt's story starts to unravel when Skyler gets a call from Gretchen Schwartz and Skyler thanks her for paying for Walt's treatment. Gretchen doesn't reveal the truth, but Walt's bitterness at their past relationship—personal and business—comes out. Jesse has been overpowered and held hostage by the drug-addicted couple, but the female addict kills her partner, Spooge, by unbalancing a stolen ATM he is working on, crushing his head in retaliation for his repeatedly calling her a "skank". Jesse recovers the meth and cash from the ATM, calls the police and flees the scene.|
|14||7||"Negro y Azul"||Felix Alcala||John Shiban||April 19, 2009||N/A|
|Walt has trouble getting in touch with Jesse, who's been avoiding him since his encounter with Spooge. Jesse is also not providing product to his dealers, so Walt arranges to deliver it. He learns that the word on the street is that Jesse killed Spooge and, due to his new reputation as a cold-blooded killer, they're having no problem at all collecting payment. Walt decides the time has come to expand their territory and put Jesse's new reputation to good use. Skyler decides to get a job and goes back to her old employer. Hank starts his new job on the task force. He has told his wife Marie it's just a desk job, but he is on the front lines and very soon learns just how dangerous it can be.|
|15||8||"Better Call Saul"||Terry McDonough||Peter Gould||April 26, 2009||1.04|
|Walt and Jesse have yet another problem to deal with when one of their dealers, Jesse's friend Badger, is arrested by the Albuquerque police. They end up hiring a shady lawyer, Saul Goodman, who has a unique way of ensuring that Badger gets off with a light sentence without having to give away Jesse or Walt's identity. As Walt learns however, it may come at a very high price. Following the bombing in Juarez, Hank returns to his old job as a DEA Agent and is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. He puts on a brave face but is having trouble just getting out of bed in the morning. Walt decides to cheer him up and tells him to move on. Through a private investigator, Saul tracks down Walt at the school and offers his services for a cut of the profit.|
|16||9||"4 Days Out"||Michelle MacLaren||Sam Catlin||May 3, 2009||N/A|
|Walt is convinced that his medical condition is deteriorating. He continues to have coughing fits and is now coughing up blood. After his attorney/adviser Saul crunches the numbers, Walt realizes that there isn't much money left for his family. With an excuse of visiting his mother, he and Jesse set off for the desert for a marathon cooking session over an extended weekend. Jesse continues to cause trouble for them, this time by leaving the keys in the ignition and inadvertently draining the RV's battery. They find themselves stuck in the middle of the desert, cold and without food and water. Walt's knowledge of chemistry again saves the day.|
|17||10||"Over"||Phil Abraham||Moira Walley-Beckett||May 10, 2009||N/A|
|Despite the good news about his condition, Walt is feeling out of sorts and is generally unhappy, verging on anger. Skyler decides to throw a party to celebrate the news and thank all of their friends for their support, but Walt gets drunk and then into an argument with Hank that puts a damper on things. He is embarrassed about his behavior and tries to make amends all around, but it's proving to be a challenge. He tries to channel his energies but eventually realizes what the problem is. Walt also tells Jesse the good news and tells him that he is finished with their little enterprise. Jesse's relationship with Jane continues to grow, but he is taken aback when her father drops in to see her and she doesn't introduce him as her boyfriend. The ensuing confrontation clarifies their relationship.|
|18||11||"Mandala"||Adam Bernstein||George Mastras||May 17, 2009||N/A|
|After one of their dealers is murdered by a rival gang, Saul proposes new distribution method for Walt and Jesse's product. Under stress, Jesse tells Jane what he does. Saul puts Walt in touch with a meth distributor named Gus, who agrees to purchase Walt's product. However, Gus expresses concern about Jesse's drug problem, which has escalated into heroin use due to Jane's relapse. Skyler finds out that her boss at work, Ted, has been stealing from the firm, but due to their past relationship, she decides not to report it. Walt receives a large offer for the short-notice delivery of the remainder of their inventory, but at the same time receives a call from Skyler, notifying him of her imminent labor.|
|19||12||"Phoenix"||Colin Bucksey||John Shiban||May 24, 2009||N/A|
|Walt delivers the inventory in time, but misses his daughter's birth. Jesse confronts Walt about his share of the payment, but Walt refuses to disburse the funds until Jesse can prove his sobriety. Jesse and Jane's addiction is discovered by Jane's father, Donald, who agrees to give her one day to settle her affairs before going to rehab. In an effort to minimize the cost of Walt's upcoming surgery, Walt Jr. sets up a website to gather donations for his father's medical expenses. It is quickly used by Saul as a way to forward Walt's earnings without raising suspicion. After discovering Jesse's payday, Jane blackmails Walt into delivering Jesse's share. By chance, Walt goes to a bar and meets Jane's father. Later, Walt returns to Jesse's to attempt to make amends and to help him break his addiction. He finds Jesse and Jane passed out in bed after a drug binge, both lying on their sides. He tries to shake Jesse conscious and as he does so, Jane flops over onto her back. Jane vomits and begins to suffocate. Although the episode has established that Walt knows exactly what to do in such an emergency, he simply stands and watches his would-be blackmailer die.|
|20||13||"ABQ"||Adam Bernstein||Vince Gilligan||May 31, 2009||1.50|
|Jesse awakens, discovers Jane is dead, and contacts Walt. Walt contacts Saul, who sends his PI/cleaner Mike (Jonathan Banks) to mitigate Jesse's involvement with Jane's death. Thinking Jane's death was his fault, Jesse gets depressed and runs away. After finding him in a crack house, Walter takes Jesse to rehab. Walt's funds are funneled into his son's website, which attracts the attention of the media, causing Walt to be overcome with guilt. Walt's secretive behavior is made prominent once again when he accidentally references a second cell phone while under the initial effects of anesthesia moments before his surgery. This prompts Skyler to investigate deeper, thereby revealing many of Walt's lies, which spurs her to leave him. Jane's father, an air traffic controller, distraught from his daughter's death (which Walt deliberately refused to prevent), causes a mid-air collision, resulting in debris and human remains raining down onto the Whites' residence, as well as the rest of Albuquerque.|
The writers of Breaking Bad planned the storyline for the entire season in advance of filming and knew how the season would end right from the beginning. That differed from subsequent seasons, in which the writers did not have a complete plan and developed the storyline as the episodes progressed. Series creator Vince Gilligan said of season two, "That came about through many, many hours of beating our heads against the wall – very laborious work, which is probably why we haven't repeated that formula since."
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 2 are featured on the Breaking Bad Soundtrack available through iTunes and Amazon.com.
Home video releases
The second season of Breaking Bad received very positive reviews from critics, scoring 85 out of 100 on Metacritic. Entertainment Weekly critic Ken Tucker stated "Bad is a superlatively fresh metaphor for a middle-age crisis: It took cancer and lawbreaking to jolt Walt out of his suburban stupor, to experience life again—to take chances, risk danger, do things he didn't think himself capable of doing. None of this would work, of course, without Emmy winner Cranston's ferocious, funny selflessness as an actor. For all its bleakness and darkness, there's a glowing exhilaration about this series: It's a feel-good show about feeling really bad." San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman claimed "The first three episodes of Season 2 that AMC sent out continue that level of achievement with no evident missteps. In fact, it looks as if Gilligan's bold vision for Breaking Bad, now duly rewarded against all odds, has invigorated everyone involved in the project. You can sense its maturity and rising ambition in each episode." Horror novelist Stephen King lauded the series, comparing it to the likes of Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet.
Awards and nominations
The second season received numerous awards and nominations, including five Primetime Emmy Award nominations with two wins. Bryan Cranston won his second consecutive award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lynne Willingham won her second consecutive award for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series for "ABQ". The series received its first nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, Aaron Paul received his first nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and Michael Slovis was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series for "ABQ".
Cranston won the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama, with the series being nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. Cranston won his second consecutive Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, with the series winning the award for Best Drama Series. Aaron Paul won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television, with the series winning the award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series. The series received two Writers Guild of America Award nominations, for Best Drama Series, and John Shiban for Best Episodic Drama for "Phoenix".
- David Lambert (January 15, 2010). "Breaking Bad - Slight Delay for Season 2 DVD and Blu-ray (and also Season 1 Blu-ray)". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- "The Big Secret of 'Breaking Bad': Walter White Was Always a Bad Guy". The Atlantic. August 31, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
- Seidman, Robert (March 10, 2009). "iCarly, Burn Notice and WWE RAW top cable charts". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Crupi, Anthony (April 2, 2009). "AMC Renews Breaking Bad". Mediaweek. Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved July 12, 2015.
- Gorman, Bill (March 30, 2009). "Sunday Ratings: NCAA Tourney Lifts CBS To Victory, Fox Captures Youth Demo". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 20, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (April 1, 2009). "My Wednesday viewing dwindles with finales of Life on Mars, Damages and Life". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (April 7, 2009). "Damages season finale draws few, WWE RAW, NCIS lead cable viewing". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (April 14, 2009). "WWE RAW and Nora Roberts Tribute bookend cable top 20, Rescue Me premieres". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Seidman, Robert (April 28, 2009). "Updated: WWE RAW, NFL Draft and Yankees / Red Sox Lead Weekly Cable Viewing". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
- Levin, Gary (June 5, 2009). "Nielsens: 'Jon & Kate' plus big ratings". USA Today. Retrieved July 3, 2015.
- VanDerWerff, Todd (October 10, 2011). "Vince Gilligan walks us through season four of Breaking Bad (part 1 of 4)". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on October 10, 2011. Retrieved October 10, 2011.
- "Music From Breaking Bad Season 2". AMCTV.com. January 18, 2008. Retrieved May 8, 2012.
- "Breaking Bad - Season 2". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- "Breaking Bad - The Complete 2nd Season (4 Disc Set)". EzyDVD. Retrieved November 18, 2010.
- "Breaking Bad: Season 2". Metacritic. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
- Tucker, Ken (March 8, 2009). "Breaking Bad review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- Goodman, Tim (March 6, 2009). "TV review: 'Breaking Bad' proves anything but". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- King, Stephen (March 6, 2009). "Stephen King: I Love 'Breaking Bad'!". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- "Awards for "Breaking Bad"". IMDB. Retrieved November 17, 2010.