The Episode That Made Breaking Bad a Masterpiece

The Episode That Made Breaking Bad a Masterpiece

The Crescendo of a Masterful Narrative Breaking Bad is a perfect example of a story that consistently improves as it...

The Crescendo of a Masterful Narrative Breaking Bad is a perfect example of a story that consistently improves as it...

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The Crescendo of a Masterful Narrative

Breaking Bad is a perfect example of a story that consistently improves as it unfolds, demonstrating clear and intentional planning from the beginning. It knows precisely where to place emphasis, and how its elements should evolve over time, creating a dramatic crescendo of a narrative that only gets better with each passing moment. Even though the first season may be considered the weakest, the show is exceptional right from the start, building upon itself in a truly impressive manner.

A Turn Towards the Extraordinary

The episode that turned impressions from “This could be something special” to “This is already something special” was episode nine of season two, titled “Four Days Out”. The narrative here follows Walter as he takes a lung scan to track his cancer’s progress and, misinterpreting the results, he believes his time is running short. This leads him to accelerate his meth-making operations, setting himself and Jesse up for four days of intensive cooking in the New Mexico desert.

A Journey Into The Heart of Breaking Bad

This episode delves into the relationship dynamics between Jesse and Walter at this particular time, providing a snapshot of their partnership. During this period, the bond between Jesse and Walter is arguably at its most vibrant and healthy. They have reached a stage of mutual respect and camaraderie, and this episode masterfully illustrates the bond these two share, before the arrival of the many trials and tribulations that would later strain their relationship.

The Inevitable Descent Into Darkness

As the desert cooking operation unfolds, the tension escalates. Due to Jesse’s mistakes, they lose their generator, their water supply, and eventually, their hope. As the situation worsens, Walter finds himself giving up and accepting the possibility of dying in the desert. But Jesse, refusing to give up, leads one final effort that successfully starts their car, allowing them to escape. The episode climaxes with a sincere moment where they reiterate their trust for one another, reinforcing their powerful connection.

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The Moment of Truth and The Anguish of Walter

However, the real highlight of the episode that helped Breaking Bad cross a critical threshold is the closing scene. The moment of truth arrives as Walter’s test results reveal that he is in remission and his tumor has shrunk by 80%. The initial joy of this revelation eventually gives way to a strange bewilderment and anger, leading to a raw and complex outburst.

The Profound Question: What Was It All For?

Walter’s outburst reflects his struggle with his newfound reality. He had embraced his death sentence, using it as a motivation to provide for his family and assert control over his life. Now, with his death sentence revoked, he questions the purpose and significance of his actions. This raises a fundamental question: What was it all for? The prospect of continuing to live disrupts everything he had planned and challenges his sense of control.

Confronting His Sins and Shame

Walter’s unexpected remission forces him to confront the consequences of his actions, a reality he finds terrifying. He lashes out, because the reasons he used to justify his actions have vanished, leaving him alone with his sins and shame. Furthermore, the prospect of living longer makes him face the uncomfortable truth that his motives might be shifting. The growing realization that he might enjoy breaking bad is hard for him to come to terms with. This profound realization sets the tone for the dramatic episodes to follow, establishing “Four Days Out” as the episode that truly made Breaking Bad a masterpiece.

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