Breaking Bad’s Best Episodes #18: “Crazy Handful of Nothin’”

Over the course of the next three weeks, leading up to the series finale of Breaking Bad, I will be posting capsule reviews of my 20 favourite episodes from the series, all listed in chronological order.

Click here to see the entire list, posted thus far.The complete list will be published on September 30th.


Season 1, Episode 6: “Crazy Handful of Nothin’”

Directed by Bronwen Hughes
Written by George Mastras 

In what has become a Breaking Bad tradition, episode six of season one opens with a great juxtaposition: The pre-credit sequence is a fast forward to the final scene of the episode, and audiences are left scrambling for 57 minutes to piece it together. “Crazy Handful of Nothin’” introduces Tuco, a big-time drug dealer who doesn’t quite do business in any professional manner. Walt is left to sort out the trouble Tuco brings, and thus we see Walt’s physical transformation for the very first time as he gives birth to his alias Heisenberg (as in the Uncertainty Principle). Bald, desperate and determined, Walt puts his chemistry skills to work. By throwing a compound called fulminated mercury into the air, Walt blows the roof off Tuco’s crib, and walks away with 50 thousand dollars shoved away in a duffle bag.

“Crazy Handful of Nothin’” really sets the stage for season two: Not only does Walt transform from small time crook to rising drug lord (in one of the show’s biggest WTF moments, no less), but the episode gives us the first scene in which we the audience sympathizes for Jesse (who takes a major beating). Jesse is the heart of the show, and his odd chemistry with Walt is what keeps the show lively. Without Jesse, I’m not convinced Breaking Bad would be a success since I’m not sure how much an audience can endure of such an unlikeable protagonist such as Walter White.

In only six episodes, Vince Gilligan and co., establish Breaking Bad has one of the major hitters on cable television. Season one was just the start of what is now considered, one of the greatest series ever made.

Ricky D

Watch some highlights below.

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