Breaking Bad (season 3)
|Breaking Bad (season 3)|
Season 3 DVD cover
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||March 21 – June 13, 2010|
The third season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on March 21, 2010 and concluded on June 13, 2010. It consisted of 13 episodes, each running approximately 47 minutes in length. AMC broadcast the third season on Sundays at 10:00 pm in the United States. The complete third season was released on Region 1 DVD and Region A Blu-ray on June 7, 2011.
Season 3 saw actors Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks, who play Saul, Gus and Mike respectively, upgraded to main cast status after guest starring the previous season, although they are not credited for every episode until season 4.
As the city of Albuquerque deals with the aftermath of the mid-air collision, Walter confesses his meth cooking to Skyler, adding further tension and complications to their tenuous marriage. The two agree to keep Walter's activities secret from their son, Walt Jr. Meanwhile, Jesse completes rehab and uses his previous drug money to purchase his aunt's house, and later starts cooking meth on his own using the RV.
Gus approaches Walter with an offer of $3 million to cook meth in a huge state-of-the-art underground lab, hidden beneath an industrial laundry facility owned by Gus. Walter is initially reluctant until he learns Jesse is cooking again, and agrees to the offer. Walter is introduced to Gale, a skilled chemist chosen by Gus to assist in the lab. Though Gale is intelligent, Walter finds that he lacks the know-how Jesse gained to make their product correctly. Meanwhile, Tuco Salamanca's two cousins journey from Mexico to Albuquerque to kill Walter and avenge Tuco's death, under their uncle Hector's orders. Gus is able to call them off by suggesting they instead go after Walter's brother-in-law Hank, as he is the one who actually killed Tuco.
Hank is assigned to the El Paso office by the DEA, but stays in Albuquerque to trace a weak and questionable lead in the "Heisenberg" case, eventually discovering evidence that ties the RV to meth production. When Hank tells Walter about this lead, Walter races to help Jesse throw Hank off the case long enough for them to destroy the RV and any evidence tying it to meth production. Furious, Hank goes to Jesse's house and violently assaults him. Hank is ordered off duty, and after he leaves his hearing, he is attacked by Tuco's cousins. Though shot and paralyzed from the waist down, Hank manages to kill one and fatally wound the other. The DEA begins to investigate the assassins; Gus uses this to seize control of distribution from the hands of the Mexican cartel. Walter discovers the assassins were meant for him and confronts Gus on the larger scope of his plans.
Skyler has an affair with Ted and begins looking for a way to legitimately launder the money with the help of Walter's lawyer, Saul Goodman. They ultimately come up with a plan to funnel the money through a donation website that Walt Jr. had set up for his father's medical recovery.
Walter convinces Gus to replace Gale with Jesse, knowing they can make better product together. Jesse secretly skims some of the meth to sell on the side, leading Gus to warn Walter about their product yield and putting Walter on edge. Jesse starts dating Andrea, whose younger brother Tomas was responsible for the death of Jesse's friend Combo; he discovers that Tomas works with two drug dealers, unaware they are in Gus' employ, and asks Walter to make up ricin poison to kill them. Walter alerts Gus, and Jesse is brought to a meeting by Gus' cleaner Mike, where Gus promises to stop using children in the drug trade. Later, Jesse learns that the two dealers have killed Tomas since he is no longer useful, and prepares to kill them himself, but Walter instead arrives and runs over them with his car, and tells Jesse to go into hiding.
Gus reinstates Gale as Walter's assistant and keeps the lab under constant supervision. Walter realizes Gale is being groomed to replace him, and instructs Jesse to locate Gale's home address. Later, Walter is forced to the lab by Mike under the guise of a chemical leak. Concluding he is about to be killed, Walter pleads with Jesse over the phone to kill Gale. Jesse goes to Gale's house, and the two of them begin to cry as Jesse holds up the gun, reluctantly pulling the trigger.
- 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.
- Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman
- Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo "Gus" Fring
- Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut
- Jeremiah Bitsui as Victor
- Daniel Moncada as Leonel Salamanca
- Steven Michael Quezada as Steven Gomez
- Charles Baker as Skinny Pete
- Christopher Cousins as Ted Beneke
- Luis Moncada as Marco Salamanca
- David Costabile as Gale Boetticher
- Michael Shamus Wiles as ASAC George Merkert
- Jere Burns as Group Leader
- Matt L. Jones as Badger
- Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca aka "Tio"
- Javier Grajeda as Juan Bolsa
- Emily Rios as Andrea Cantillo
- Carmen Serano as Principal Carmen Molina
- John de Lancie as Donald Margolis
- Larry Hankin as Old Joe
- Tess Harper as Mrs. Pinkman
- Tom Kiesche as Clovis
- Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis
- Rodney Rush as Combo
- Marius Stan as Bogdan
- Danny Trejo as Tortuga
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|21||1||"No Mas"||Bryan Cranston||Vince Gilligan||March 21, 2010||1.95|
|All of Albuquerque is in shock in the aftermath of the mid-air plane collision. Walter White is living in his home alone, at least for a while longer. His wife Skyler has moved out with their son and newborn daughter to give Walt a chance to pack his things. She speaks to a divorce lawyer about making the split permanent but seems unsure when the attorney says she will uncover any money Walt may have hidden. When she confronts Walt about the divorce, she also learns for the first time just how he made his money. Walt's former business partner, Jesse Pinkman, is in rehab trying to overcome his drug addiction and come to terms with Jane's death. He feels remorse over the events that led to the mid-air collision and learns not to shy away from them. When all is said and done, Walt decides to get out of manufacturing and tells his principal contact, Gus, that he's getting out of the business. Gus has a very attractive offer, however, which Walt briefly considers. Meanwhile, two dangerous looking cousins cross over into the US from Mexico in search of Heisenberg.|
|22||2||"Caballo Sin Nombre"||Adam Bernstein||Peter Gould||March 28, 2010||1.55|
|Walt is having difficulty adjusting to his new life. He doesn't want to be the bad guy and refuses to get into drug manufacturing again. He has an encounter with a police officer but manages to avoid charges, courtesy of brother-in-law Hank's intervention. Skyler still won't let him set foot in the house, and Walt, Jr. in particular is having trouble understanding how his mother can treat his father this way. Walt's sleazy lawyer-partner Saul Goodman wants him to start producing meth again and takes steps to encourage him in that direction. Unbeknownst to Walt, the Mexican cousins now know where he lives. Jesse, meanwhile, stops by his old house and discover that his parents have had it renovated and have put it up for sale. Relations are still cool between them, but Jesse approaches Saul with a plan to buy the house from his parents.|
|23||3||"I.F.T."||Michelle MacLaren||George Mastras||April 4, 2010||1.33|
|Walt moves back into the house and tells Skyler he has no intention of leaving. She won't hear of it, but Walter, Jr. is thrilled that his dad is back. It doesn't stop her from calling the police, however, in an attempt to have Walt thrown out. She also decides to pursue her own interests. Jesse is still having trouble coming to terms with his girlfriend's death but has moved back into his house, and seems ready to get down to work. Unbeknownst to Walter, Gus has arranged a meeting with his Mexican cartel counterparts and makes it clear that he wants Walt left alone, at least for now. Hank is still stressed and lashes out in a bar. Walt explains to Skyler that he committed all of his illegal activities for the sake of the family, and asks Skyler to accept the drug money. Later, Skyler seduces her boss Ted. That night, when Walt asks Skyler if she has decided to accept the money, she informs him of her infidelity.|
|24||4||"Green Light"||Scott Winant||Sam Catlin||April 11, 2010||1.46|
|Jesse gives meth to a cashier in exchange for gasoline. Meanwhile, Walt makes a scene at Skyler’s workplace while confronting Ted, but Mike removes Walt before police can arrive. Saul tries to convince Walt to continue producing meth, but Walt refuses the offer and loses Saul’s help laundering money. Walt loses his job and is met by Jesse, who has produced a new batch of meth on his own. Walt rejects Jesse's product as "substandard", and Jesse resolves to sell the product to Gus himself. Gus reluctantly agrees to the purchase, anticipating that Walt’s pride and financial need may convince him to accept his business proposition. Jesse only receives half the payment, while the second half is delivered to Walt. Meanwhile, Skyler continues her affair with Ted, and Hank forgoes his transfer to El Paso in order to pursue a new lead at a gas station.|
|25||5||"Mas"||Johan Renck||Moira Walley-Beckett||April 18, 2010||1.61|
|Gus tries to lure Walt back into the business with a high-tech superlab. Skyler doubts her new relationship with Ted. Marie is concerned for Hank's well-being. Meanwhile, Skyler finds a signed divorce contract by Walter. Walter leaves the house with the bag of money. He also decides to cook meth again. Hank finds a link between the R.V. and Jesse.|
|26||6||"Sunset"||John Shiban||John Shiban||April 25, 2010||1.64|
|Walt settles into his new surroundings and takes a liking to his new lab assistant Gale. Walt, Jr. wants answers about his parents' relationship. Walt realizes that Hank has discovered where Jesse has kept the R.V. and therefore meets up with Jesse; however, Hank finds the R.V. with both Walt and Jesse locked inside. The two "cooks", with the assistance of Saul Goodman, trick Hank to keep him from entering and finding Walt inside. Gus, realizing that Tuco's two cousins want to kill Walt, successfully turns their attention instead to Hank, as Hank had been the one who actually pulled the trigger on Tuco.|
|27||7||"One Minute"||Michelle MacLaren||Thomas Schnauz||May 2, 2010||1.52|
|When Hank realizes he's been bamboozled, he confronts Jesse and knocks him out cold. Skyler pressures Walt to make a deal. The D.E.A. confiscates Hank's gun, due to his attack on Jesse, and the unarmed Hank receives an anonymous call telling him he has one minute before someone comes to attack him. Tuco's two cousins arrive and shoot Hank multiple times. An injured Hank manages to wound one of the cousins and kills the other.|
|28||8||"I See You"||Colin Bucksey||Gennifer Hutchison||May 9, 2010||1.78|
|As Jesse is leaving the hospital, after Hank's attack on him, he sees Hank being admitted in critical condition with four gunshot wounds. Hank's wife Marie is not taking it well and lashes out at Hank's boss and partner, when she hears they had taken his gun away, leaving him defenseless. She's also less than happy with Walt, whom she blames for getting Hank on Jesse Pinkman's case in the first place. Back at his new underground lab, Walt has to tell Gale that he's no longer required. With Walt spending his free time at the hospital, Jesse is left on his own in the lab, whose equipment he is unfamiliar with, and he's growing increasingly worried about meeting their quota. At the hospital, Walt sees one of the Mexican cousins recovering from his wounds and realizes they were probably after him as well. Gus decides to pay a visit to the hospital.|
|29||9||"Kafkaesque"||Michael Slovis||Peter Gould & George Mastras||May 16, 2010||1.61|
|Walt and Jesse are now in full production in the new lab and are easily producing the 200 lbs per week of meth, as agreed. In fact, they're producing a few pounds more than required, and Jesse can't quite understand why they're just "giving it away". He decides to take advantage of the situation. Walt's brother-in-law Hank is still recovering in the hospital, and Marie is at a loss about what to do when she learns that their health plan will not provide the quantity and the quality of physical therapy Hank requires to fully recover the use of his legs. Skyler proposes that she and Walt pay the bills and relates an interesting explanation for how they can afford it. Walt realizes that his life was in danger, and it was only Gus' intervention that saved him.|
|30||10||"Fly"||Rian Johnson||Sam Catlin & Moira Walley-Beckett||May 23, 2010||1.20|
|Walt is suffering from insomnia, worried about the choices he has made and the direction his life has taken. Unaware that Jesse has been skimming a bit of their product, he is also worried that the numbers in his formulas don't add up; they recently seem to be somewhere between a quarter and half a pound short of what the batch should have produced. The meticulous Walt is also concerned - to the point of paranoia - when he discovers a housefly in the lab. Worried about contamination, he goes to extreme lengths to kill it. Jesse comes to his rescue in an interesting way. Near delirium from sleeplessness and the sleeping pills Jesse put in his coffee, Walt repeatedly refers to Jane and the night she died, but stops short of telling Jesse that he witnessed her death and took no actions to save her life.|
|31||11||"Abiquiu"||Michelle MacLaren||John Shiban & Thomas Schnauz||May 30, 2010||1.32|
|Skyler gets the first of Hank's hospital bills and decides the time has come to get more involved in Walt's business affairs. She's particularly concerned that the money be laundered correctly and that it absolutely cannot be traced back to Walt's illegal activities. Walt introduces her to Saul, his lawyer, but she thinks the investment Saul's lined up is ludicrous and has a better idea. Jesse, meanwhile, is still trying to peddle the meth he's been skimming at the lab and, fed up with Badger and Skinny Pete's low sales, decides to show them how it's done. At the hospital, Marie is thrilled at the prospect of Hank's returning home, but he doesn't seem anywhere near as pleased. Walt's employer, Gus, invites him to dinner and dispenses sage advice.|
|32||12||"Half Measures"||Adam Bernstein||Sam Catlin & Peter Gould||June 6, 2010||1.19|
|Jesse is ready for revenge when he realizes that the drug dealers who killed his friend are not only peddling his and Walt's blue meth, but are using Andrea's 11-year-old brother Tomas as a hit man and drug dealer. Jesse's prepared to kill them and wants Walt to help him out. Walt refuses, but realizing the danger Jesse has put himself in, takes steps to protect him. Jesse's demand that the gangsters stop using children leads to unintended and tragic consequences. At home, Walt tries to lay down the law as it pertains to his role in the family, but Skyler holds her ground and refuses to give him everything he wants. Hank, meanwhile, is still reluctant to leave the hospital and go home, even though his doctors have told him he's free to leave at any time. Marie gets him to agree. Jesse learns that the drug dealers have chosen to end Tomas's involvement in their activities by killing the boy, and Jesse decides to finish the two dealers off. Walt hears about the boy's death on TV and realizes Jesse is up to something. Jesse confronts the dealers, and as he and the dealers get their guns ready, Walt shows up in his car and runs the dealers over. A shocked Jesse stands watching, as Walt jumps out of his car, picks up a gun, and shoots one of the dealers in the head, telling Jesse to "run".|
|33||13||"Full Measure"||Vince Gilligan||Vince Gilligan||June 13, 2010||1.56|
|In the aftermath of killing the drug dealers, Walt has a tense meeting with Gus, who makes it clear that his patience has reached its limit. Walt professes not to know the whereabouts of Jesse, who, he claims, has fled the state. Gus chooses Walt's new assistant, who turns out to be Gale. Walt knows that as long as he's the only cook available, Gus will have to keep him alive.|
Unlike the second season, when the Breaking Bad writers planned the storyline for the entire season in advance of filming, the writing staff did not fully plan out the third season before production and instead developed the storyline as the episodes progressed. The third episode is dedicated to Shari Rhodes (the location casting director for Breaking Bad) who died due to breast cancer during the filming.
Gennifer Hutchison and Thomas Schnauz were added to the writing staff this season, both of whom had worked previously with Vince Gilligan on The X-Files. With the exception of John Shiban, who would leave at the end of the season to executive produce Hell on Wheels, the writing staff for season three would remain on the show until its conclusion in 2013.
Home media releases
Special features on the DVD and Blu-ray include nine audio commentaries:
- "No Más" by Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Skip MacDonald, Dave Porter, and Michael Slovis
- "Más" by Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, and Moira Walley-Beckett
- "Sunset" by Vince Gilligan, Dean Norris, John Shiban, Kelley Dixon, and Thomas Golubic
- "One Minute" by Dean Norris, Luis Moncada, Daniel Moncada, Michelle MacLaren, Thomas Schnauz, and Dave Porter
- "I See You" by Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, and Gennifer Hutchison
- "Kafkaesque" by Vince Gilligan, Betsy Brandt, George Mastras, and Michael Slovis
- "Fly" by Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Moira Walley-Beckett
- "Half Measures" by Bryan Cranston, Adam Bernstein, Bill Powloski, Peter Gould, Jonathan Banks, and Michael Slovis
- "Full Measure" by Vince Gilligan, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, and Jonathan Banks
Behind-the-scene featurettes include:
- 20 episodes of "Inside Breaking Bad"
- "Hit and Run"
- "The Music of Breaking Bad
- "White Heat: Cranston on Fire"
- "Pizza of Destiny: Cranston's Greatest Shot"
- "Silent But Deadly: The Brothers Moncada"
- "Team S.C.I.E.N.C.E."
- "AMC News Visits the Breaking Bad Writer's Room"
- Mini video podcasts for every episode
Also included is a gag reel, deleted scenes, and "Better Call Saul" commercials and testimonials. Exclusive to the Blu-ray release is Breaking Bad cast and crew photo collection.
The third season of Breaking Bad scored 89 out of 100 on review aggregator site Metacritic indicating universal praise. Time proclaimed "It's a drama that has chosen the slow burn over the flashy explosion, and it's all the hotter for that choice." Newsday stated Breaking Bad was still TV's best series and it stayed true to itself. Tim Goodman praised the writing, acting, and cinematography, pointing out the "visual adventurousness" of the series. Goodman went on to call the show's visuals as "a combination of staggering beauty - the directors make use of numerous wide-angle landscape portraits — and transfixing weirdness." After the finale aired, The A.V. Club said that season three was "one of television's finest dramatic accomplishments. And what makes it so exciting — what makes the recognition of the current golden age so pressing — is that the season has not been, as [another reviewer] put it in another context, 'television good.' The heart-in-the-throat quality of this season comes as much from the writers' exhilarating disregard for television conventions as from the events portrayed."
Awards and nominations
The third season received numerous awards and nominations, including seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations with two wins. Bryan Cranston won his third consecutive award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Aaron Paul won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series after being nominated the previous year. The series received its second consecutive nomination for Outstanding Drama Series; Michelle MacLaren was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "One Minute". Michael Slovis was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series for "No Más"; Skip MacDonald received his second nomination for Outstanding Single Camera Picture-Editing for a Drama Series for "No Más"; and it was also nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing for "One Minute".
The series received four nominations for the Television Critics Association Awards, winning for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul were each nominated for Individual Achievement in Drama, with the series being nominated for Program of the Year. Cranston received his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series. Cranston also received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. Cranston won his third consecutive Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, with the series winning the award for Best Drama Series for a second year in a row. Paul was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. The series received four nominations for the Saturn Awards, winning the award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series for a second year in a row. Cranston was nominated for Best Actor on Television, Paul and Dean Norris were nominated for Best Supporting Actor on Television, and Giancarlo Esposito was nominated for Best Guest Starring Role on Television. The series received three Writers Guild of America Award nominations, for Best Drama Series, George Mastras for Best Episodic Drama for "I.F.T.", and Gennifer Hutchison for Best Episodic Drama for "I See You".
James Poniewozik of TIME named "One Minute" as the fourth-best television episode of 2010. He also included "Fly", "Half Measures" and "Full Measure" on his list of honorable mentions. The Futon Critic listed "Full Measure" as the sixth-best episode of 2010, saying that "No show has played with the expectations of we've come to expect from television more than Breaking Bad. IGN named Breaking Bad the best television series of 2010.
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