Full Measure (Breaking Bad)

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"Full Measure"
Breaking Bad episode
Episode no.Season 3
Episode 13
Directed byVince Gilligan
Written byVince Gilligan
Original air dateJune 13, 2010 (2010-06-13)
Running time47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Half Measures"
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"Box Cutter"
Breaking Bad (season 3)
List of Breaking Bad episodes

"Full Measure" is the thirteenth episode and season finale of the third season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 33rd overall episode of the series. It was written and directed by the show's creator and executive producer Vince Gilligan.

It originally aired on AMC in the United States on June 13, 2010.


After Walter kills the gang members and Jesse goes on the run, Walt meets with Gus and Mike to negotiate for his and Jesse's safety, and for the continuation of his employment. Walter suggests Gus has two options: (A) Kill Walter right there on the spot and eventually track down and kill Jesse, or (B) Consider the incident a "lone hiccup in an otherwise long and fruitful business arrangement," let him return to cooking, and both agree to forget about Jesse. Gus leaves, appearing to have chosen option B, but informs Walt that he will be choosing Jesse's replacement.

Walter arrives at the superlab to discover Gale Boetticher's car in the parking lot. Gale has been reinstated as Walter's lab partner, and Victor now shadows them everywhere, ensuring the two are never left alone. Gus informs Gale later that night of Walt's cancer. Gus says he intends to keep Walter on as long as possible, but must prepare for the "worst-case scenario." Walter, whose prior suspicions about Gale are soon reignited, correctly concludes that Gus is grooming Gale to replace him, and that he will be killed once Gale masters Walt's procedure.

Acting on Gus's request, Mike visits Saul to find out Jesse's whereabouts. Saul refuses, claiming attorney–client privilege, but relents after Mike physically threatens him. Saul then allows Mike to look at a notebook containing a fake address for a trailer park in Virginia.

Walter and Saul meet Jesse at a laser tag arcade; Victor is parked nearby and watches Walter and Saul enter. Walter informs Jesse of his situation, and explains that when Gale is confident enough to take over, they will be disposed of. Walt decides they must kill Gale. Jesse begs Walter to go to the police or the DEA, but Walt refuses. He reasons that Gus can't stop production, and with Gale out of the picture, Gus would have no choice but to keep Walt. Jesse says he is not a murderer and can't kill Gale. Walt says he will do the job, and Jesse only needs to find Gale's address, as Walt is being heavily watched and can't manage it. Later that evening, Jesse calls Walt at home with Gale's address.

As Walt is leaving his home to kill Gale, Victor arrives and informs him of a chemical leak at the lab. Suspecting a setup, Walter nevertheless goes with Victor. Upon arriving at the laundromat, Walter sees Mike, confirming his suspicions. Pleading for his life, Walt offers to cook for free and take them to Jesse. Mike, upon hearing this, demands Jesse's location, but Walter says he needs to call him and set up a meeting. Walt calls Jesse, who is sitting in the darkened laser tag building about to smoke meth. Jesse asks "Did you do it?" Walter says no, he can't now, and tells Jesse he is about to be killed. He urges Jesse to reach Gale and kill him first. Victor and Mike wrestle the phone away and when Walt quotes Gale's address to them, they realize what he has asked Jesse to do. Victor hurriedly leaves; Mike stays with Walt and attempts to warn Gale, but Gale fails to notice his phone ringing.

Jesse arrives at Gale's house and pulls a gun on him. Gale pleads with Jesse, telling him that he doesn't have to do it. A tearful and shaking Jesse pulls the trigger as the screen cuts to black.


Upon first initial airing, the episode was watched by 1.56 million American viewers, and attained an 18–49 rating/share of 0.7/2.[1]

Bryan Cranston won his third consecutive Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode.[2][3]

Critical reaction to the episode was overwhelmingly positive, with many reviewers calling it one of the best in the series. Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle praised the season's character development, describing the finale as "an exclamation mark on the tortured journey of Jesse".[4] Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune believed the episode "mixed action with character beats well."[5] Donna Bowman of The A.V. Club stated the episode "should cement this season of Breaking Bad as one of television's finest dramatic accomplishments".[6] Seth Amitin of IGN gave the episode a 9, saying that "[it] wasn't the best episode this season, but it was still a good one and we got to know more about the rest of the players."[7]

In 2019 The Ringer ranked "Full Measure" as the second best out of the 62 total Breaking Bad episodes.[8]


  1. ^ Gorman, Bill (June 15, 2010). "Sunday Cable Ratings: True Blood, Breaking Bad, Army Wives, Drop Dead Diva & Much More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 6, 2015.
  2. ^ "Emmy episode entries revealed: Lea Michele, Hugh Laurie, Jim Parsons plus more". Los Angeles Times. July 15, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Winners! Complete List From the 2010 Emmy Awards". E!. eonline.com. August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  4. ^ Goodman, Tim (June 14, 2010). ""Breaking Bad" Spoiled Bastard. Ep. 13, season finale: "Full Measure."". San Francisco Chronicle. sfgate.com. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  5. ^ Ryan, Maureen (June 14, 2010). "'Full Measure': Thoughts on the 'Breaking Bad' finale". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  6. ^ Bowman, Donna (June 13, 2010). "Full Measure". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  7. ^ Amitin, Seth (June 14, 2010). "Breaking Bad: "Full Measure" Review". IGN. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  8. ^ https://www.theringer.com/tv/2019/9/30/20885880/breaking-bad-episodes-ranking

External links[edit]