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Breaking Bad (season 5)

Breaking Bad Template:Str sub
Region 1 DVD covers for The Fifth Season and The Final Season.
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 16
Original channel AMC
Original release July 15, 2012 (2012-07-15) – September 29, 2013 (2013-09-29)
Season chronology
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Season 4
List of Breaking Bad episodes

The fifth and final season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on July 15, 2012, and concluded on September 29, 2013 on AMC in the United States and Canada. The 16-episode season is split into two parts, each containing eight episodes. The first part of the season was broadcast from July 15 to September 2, 2012, and aired on Sundays at 10:00 pm ET. The second part was broadcast from August 11 to September 29, 2013, aired on Sundays at 9:00 pm.[1] It debuted in the UK and Ireland on Netflix, showing one day after the episodes aired in the U.S. and Canada.[2] Part 1 was released on region 1 DVD and region A Blu-ray on June 4, 2013,[3] and part 2 was released on November 26, 2013.[4]

After receiving three nominations, for seasons two, three, and four, both halves of season 5 won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in 2013 and 2014. The second half of the season also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama and the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series in 2014. Also, Guinness World Records called it the highest-rated TV series of all time, citing its season 5 Metacritic score.[5]


Part 1

After erasing all evidence linking him to the murder of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), Walter White (Bryan Cranston) starts his own operation and resumes cooking meth. Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) joins Walt and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) as a distributor, although he distrusts their methylamine supplier Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser), a shipping executive with Madrigal Electromotive GmbH, the parent company of Los Pollos Hermanos.[6][7][8] Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) arranges for Walt and Jesse to go into business with burglars who work for a pest control company called Vamonos Pest. The exterminators use the pest control business as a front for burglary, and will keep quiet in exchange for payouts. Walt and Jesse use the business' fumigation tent on random houses as a mobile laboratory.[9] Skyler (Anna Gunn) removes the children from the house after she realizes Walt has returned to the meth business.[7]

Walt, Jesse, and Mike rob a train carrying methylamine, assisted by Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons), an employee of Vamonos Pest. A child spots them and Todd kills the boy on the spot. Jesse, horrified by the shooting, and Mike, who is being tailed by the DEA, decide to exit the business. They sell their shares of the methylamine for $5 million each to Declan (Louis Ferreira), a Phoenix-based meth producer and distributor. Walt refuses to sell his share of the methylamine and cuts a distribution deal with Declan. He negotiates a $5 million severance for Mike. Walt then hires Todd as his assistant cook. When Mike refuses to give Walt the names of Gus' former employees who receive hush money, Walt impulsively shoots and kills him.

Walt gets the names from Lydia and has Todd's uncle Jack (Michael Bowen), an ex-con with ties to the Aryan Brotherhood, arrange their deaths. Lydia distributes Walt's meth to the Czech Republic, earning Walt an extraordinary amount of money. Skyler is overwhelmed by the profit and convinces Walt to retire. During a family cookout, Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) flips through Leaves of Grass in Walt's bathroom and discovers that it is dedicated to "W.W." by "G.B." As Hank recalls a conversation with Walt regarding the initials from his earlier investigation, surmising that "G.B." is Gale Boetticher (David Costabile), he realizes that Walt is Heisenberg.[10]

Part 2

Hank begins to secretly investigate Walt. After Walt realizes his copy of Leaves of Grass is missing, he searches his vehicle and discovers a tracking device underneath, and realizes Hank knows he is Heisenberg. During a confrontation with Hank, which turns physical, Walt reveals that his cancer is back, and he will likely be dead in six months. Hank meets with Skyler and asks her to go on record with a confession, but she refuses. Marie (Betsy Brandt) learns the depth of Skyler's involvement with Walt's operation. Walt buries his money in the desert. Jesse, overwhelmed with remorse over the deaths that earned him $5 million, attempts to dispose of his money by throwing it in people's front lawns. Police bring him in for questioning, but Jesse refuses to roll over on Walt.

Declan supplies methamphetamine for Lydia's Czech connections, but she is dissatisfied with the product's quality. Walt rebuffs her attempts to lure him out of retirement. She arranges to have Declan and his associates killed in an ambush and reinstates Todd as cook. She remains dissatisfied with Todd's product, but he promises to improve. Meanwhile, Walt records a "confession" in which he names Hank as the mastermind of the meth operation in order to ensure his brother-in-law's silence.

Walt meets Jesse and Saul in the desert and offers Jesse money to leave town and assume a new identity. Jesse agrees, but just before he enters the vehicle with Saul's contact, he discovers that Walt poisoned Brock. An enraged Jesse rushes back to Walt's unattended home and douses the main room with gasoline. But before he can set the room ablaze, Hank arrives and convinces him to assist in catching Walt. Walt appears on the scene seconds after Hank and Jesse depart. After searching for Jesse in every room, Walt contracts with Jack to order a hit on Jesse. The "price" is one more cook, to teach Todd how to improve his product.

Jesse calls Walt to tell him he will get him "where [Walt] really lives". Walt receives a picture on his phone, staged by Jesse and Hank, showing an opened barrel of money, identical to the ones Walt buried in To'hajilee. Jesse calls Walt and offers him an ultimatum: meet Jesse at the site of the buried money, or Jesse will burn every barrel. Walt frantically drives to the reservation. Realizing he has been set up, Walt hides, calls Jack, and tells Jack to bring his men as soon as possible. When Hank and Gomez arrive with Jesse, however, Walt tells Jack not to come, and reluctantly surrenders to Hank. Despite Walt's instructions, Jack and his crew pull up to the site, take cover and draw their weapons on the outnumbered Hank and Gomez. Helpless, Walt watches as the gang kills Gomez and wound Hank. Walt pleads for Hank's life, but Hank refuses to beg, and Jacks shoots and kills him. Jack steals almost all of Walt's $80 million, leaving Walt with one barrel. He prepares to execute Jesse (on Walt's command), but Todd convinces Jack they may need Jesse alive in order to find out what Jesse told the DEA. As Jesse is being led away, Walt spitefully tells him that he watched Jane Margolis (Krysten Ritter) die.

Marie confronts Skyler and tells her Walt is in custody. She offers her and Hank's support, provided Skyler turns over all of Walt's false confession tapes and tells Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte) the truth about his father. Skyler agrees and tells Walt Jr. everything about his father. They return home to find Walt hastily packing their bags. Skyler realizes Hank has been killed and pulls a kitchen knife on Walt. They fight over the weapon, with Walt Jr. defending his mother and eventually calling the police on his father. Walt escapes with Holly. After taking full responsibility for the meth business during a call to Skyler that is monitored by the police, he leaves Holly at a fire station and assumes a new identity through Saul's contact, Ed (Robert Forster), and moves to a cabin in New Hampshire, where he lives in total isolation for months.

Todd and his gang threaten to kill Skyler and her children if she tells the DEA about Lydia. Jesse cooks for Todd under duress, and tries to escape. Todd catches him, however, and kills Andrea in front of him as punishment. Walt decides to call Walter Jr., who hangs up on him after accusing him of killing Hank. A distraught Walt calls the Albuquerque DEA office in order to surrender, but moments later sees Elliott (Adam Godley) and Gretchen Schwartz (Jessica Hecht) on a Charlie Rose interview, in which they disavow Walt's contributions to Gray Matter. Enraged, Walt leaves, steals a car and returns to New Mexico.

He coerces Elliott and Gretchen to use his drug money to create an irrevocable trust for Walter Jr. that he will receive on his 18th birthday. He proceeds to purchase an M60 machine gun and recover the vial of ricin from his now-abandoned house. He constructs a remote-activated machine that allows the M60 to fire unmanned. Walt then visits Skyler and Holly one final time. Walt tells Skyler the location where Hank and Gomez are buried. After Walt watches Holly sleep for the last time, he bids them farewell, catching a final glimpse of Walter Jr. coming home just before he leaves. Walt meets Lydia and Todd at a coffee shop under the pretense of discussing a business proposition. He previously laced the only packet of stevia sweetener in the container on her table with the ricin. Lydia dismisses Walt as she unwittingly adds the ricin to her tea.

Walt confronts Jack and his gang at the compound, and goads Jack into bringing a shackled and enslaved Jesse into the room. Walt, feigning anger, tackles Jesse to the floor as he triggers the M60 mounted in the trunk of his car. The hail of gunfire rips through the wall, killing all of the gang members except Todd and Jack, and mortally wounding Walt. When the gunfire stops, Jesse strangles Todd with the chain of his handcuffs, and Walt shoots Jack dead. Walt asks Jesse to kill him, but Jesse refuses, telling him to do it himself. Moments later, Lydia calls Todd's cell phone, which Walt answers. Walt informs Lydia that he has poisoned her with ricin, and hangs up. Jesse drives away from the compound, crying and laughing with relief. Walt walks to the lab, and smiles nostalgically as he takes a final look around. He then collapses onto the floor, dead. A large squadron of police enter the lab moments after he collapses.


Main cast

Recurring cast


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Part 1

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Part 2

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Development and production

In July 2011, series creator Vince Gilligan indicated that he intended to conclude Breaking Bad with the fifth season.[11] In early August 2011, negotiations began over a deal regarding the fifth and possibly final season between AMC and Sony Pictures Television, the production company of the series. AMC proposed a shortened fifth season (six to eight episodes, instead of thirteen) to cut costs, but the producers declined. Sony then approached other cable networks about possibly picking up the show if a deal could not be made.[12] On August 14, 2011, a deal was made in which AMC renewed the series for a final 16-episode season.[13] Filming began for the season on March 26, 2012.[14] Filming for the second half of the season began on December 7, 2012, during which AMC sent the cast and crew cupcakes decorated with characters and props used throughout the show's run.[15][16]

Vince Gilligan explained that the season was split at his request in order to have more time to write the final episodes. Thomas Schnauz revealed that the writers initially tried to conceive a 16-episode arc in advance of completing the first eight episodes, but that most of these plans were scrapped as new plot points emerged "that threw everything into a little bit of chaos."[17]

Dean Norris had asked Gilligan to kill off Hank during the first half of the season after being cast in a comedy pilot. However, Gilligan declined his request, citing the importance of Hank in the final eight episodes.[18]

Talking Bad

Main article: Talking Bad

After the success of the live talk show Talking Dead, which airs immediately following new episodes of The Walking Dead, AMC decided to create a similar series, titled Talking Bad, for the remaining episodes of Breaking Bad. Chris Hardwick, host of Talking Dead, also hosted this series; Talking Bad also had a similar logo and theme music to Talking Dead. Talking Bad featured crew members, actors, producers, and television enthusiasts, recapping the most recent episode, and taking questions and comments from viewers.[19]


Critical response

Both halves of the fifth season received universal acclaim from television critics; the season, as one whole, is often considered one of the greatest of all time. It achieved an average rating of 9.8 based on 45 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes,[20] and holds a 99 out of 100 based on 22 reviews on the aggregate review website Metacritic, making it the highest rated season of any show on the site.[21] In his review of the second half of the season, Seth Amitin of IGN stated, "Whether you call it a 'half-season' or consider these final eight episodes its own season, this final batch of Breaking Bad is one of the best runs of episodes TV has ever offered."[22] "Ozymandias" in particular was widely praised and has since been called one of the greatest television episodes ever broadcast.[23]


The fifth season had six separate episodes become the most watched episode in the series up to date, in order: "Live Free or Die" (2.93 million),[24] "Say My Name" (2.98),[25] "Blood Money" (5.92),[26] "Ozymandias" (6.37),[27] "Granite State" (6.58),[28] and "Felina" (10.28).[29]


For the 65th Writers Guild of America Awards, the series received four nominations for Best Episodic Drama, for "Buyout" (written by Gennifer Hutchison), "Dead Freight" (George Mastras), "Fifty-One" (Sam Catlin) and "Say My Name" (Thomas Schnauz), and won for Best Dramatic Series.[30][31] For the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series received 13 nominations, with three wins. It won for Outstanding Drama Series, Anna Gunn won for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, and it won for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series. Nominations included Bryan Cranston for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Jonathan Banks and Aaron Paul for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, George Mastras and Thomas Schnauz for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series ("Dead Freight" and "Say My Name"), and Michelle MacLaren for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series ("Gliding Over All").[32] For the 29th TCA Awards, Breaking Bad was named Program of the Year, and also was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, and Individual Achievement in Drama for Bryan Cranston.[33]

For the 66th Writers Guild of America Awards, the series won for Best Dramatic Series and Gennifer Hutchison won for Best Episodic Drama for "Confessions".[34] The series received two other Best Episodic Drama nominations, Thomas Schnauz for "Buried" and Peter Gould for "Granite State".[35] For the 20th Screen Actors Guild Awards, the cast won for Best Drama Ensemble, Bryan Cranston won for Best Drama Actor, Anna Gunn was nominated for Best Drama Actress, and the series was nominated for Best Stunt Team.[36] For the 71st Golden Globe Awards, the series won awards for Best Drama Series and Best Drama Actor (Cranston), while Aaron Paul was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.[37] For the 30th TCA Awards, the series won for Program of the Year and received a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Drama, and Bryan Cranston was nominated for Individual Achievement in Drama.[38] For the 4th Critics' Choice Television Awards, the series won for Best Drama Series and Aaron Paul won for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. Bryan Cranston received a nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series and Anna Gunn received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.[39] For the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, the series won Outstanding Drama Series, Bryan Cranston won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Aaron Paul won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, Anna Gunn won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama, Moira Walley-Beckett won Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for "Ozymandias", and Vince Gilligan was nominated for both Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "Felina".[40]


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  2. ^ Albanesius, Chloe (July 26, 2013). "Breaking Bad Coming to Netflix U.K. One Day After U.S. TV Debut". Retrieved August 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ Lambert, David (April 1, 2013). "Breaking Bad – Press Release: 'The 5th Season' DVDs, Blu-rays with Finalized Artwork". TV Shows On DVD. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  4. ^ Gord, Lacey (September 9, 2013). "Breaking Bad - Complete Series Press Release and Artwork". TV Shows On DVD. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  5. ^ Janela, Mike (September 4, 2013). "Breaking Bad Cooks Up Record-breaking Formula for Guinness World Records 2014 Edition". Guinness World Records. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
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  7. ^ a b "Fifty-One". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 2. July 22, 2012. AMC. 
  8. ^ "Dead Freight". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 5. August 12, 2012. AMC. 
  9. ^ "Hazard Pay". Breaking Bad. Season 5. Episode 3. July 29, 2012. AMC. 
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  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 14, 2011). "AMC & Sony TV Reach Deal For 16-Episode Final Order Of 'Breaking Bad'". Deadline. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  14. ^ Radish, Christina (March 23, 2012). "Bryan Cranston Talks BREAKING BAD Season 5, Directing an Episode of MODERN FAMILY, and More". Collider. Retrieved June 15, 2012. 
  15. ^ Cranston, Bryan (December 7, 2012). "First day if shooting the last season of BB was delicious.". Twitter. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  16. ^ Paul, Aaron (December 7, 2012). "Who wants a Breaking Bad cupcake? Thank you AMC for the treats.". Twitter. Retrieved January 4, 2013. 
  17. ^ Dixon, Kelley (July 17, 2012). "Breaking Bad Insider Podcast" (PODCAST). iTunes. Retrieved December 2, 2013. 
  18. ^ Dekel, Jonathan (February 1, 2013). "Breaking Bad’s Dean Norris asked series creator to kill his character off". Postmedia News. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  19. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 21, 2013). "AMC Announces Chris Hardwick as Host of 'Talking Bad'". AMC press release (Zap2It). Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
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  21. ^ "Breaking Bad: Season 5". Metacritic. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  22. ^ Amitin, Seth (October 3, 2013). "Breaking Bad: The Final Season Review". IGN. Retrieved October 4, 2013. 
  23. ^ Mendelsohn, Tom (September 17, 2013). "Is Breaking Bad's Ozymandias the greatest episode of TV ever written?". The Independent. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  24. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 16, 2012). "AMC's 'Breaking Bad' Season 5 Premiere is Most-Watched Episode Ever". TV by the Numbers. AMC press release. Retrieved July 16, 2012. 
  25. ^ Cite error: The named reference Most was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  26. ^ Cite error: The named reference august11ratings was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  27. ^ Cite error: The named reference sept15ratings was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  28. ^ Cite error: The named reference sept22ratings was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  29. ^ Cite error: The named reference sept29ratings was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  30. ^ Kenneally, Tim (December 6, 2012). "'Breaking Bad,' 'Homeland,' 'Girls' Among 2013 Writers Guild Awards Nominees". TheWrap TV. Retrieved December 6, 2012. 
  31. ^ Hayner, Chris E. (February 18, 2013). "Writers Guild Awards 2013: Full winners list". Zap2it. Retrieved February 19, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Breaking Bad". Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  33. ^ Ausiello, Michael (August 3, 2013). "Tatiana Maslany, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, The Americans, Bunheads, Parks and Rec, Big Bang Among Winners at 2013 TCA Awards". TVLine. Retrieved August 4, 2013. 
  34. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (February 1, 2014). "Writers Guild Awards: Breaking Bad, Veep, House of Cards and Days of Our Lives Among Winners". TVLine. Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  35. ^ Ausiello, Michael (December 5, 2013). "Breaking Bad, Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards Lead 2014 WGA Nominations". TVLine. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  36. ^ Ausiello, Michael (January 18, 2014). "2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Breaking Bad, Modern Family Score Multiple Wins". TVLine. Retrieved January 19, 2014. 
  37. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 12, 2013). "Golden Globes: House of Cards, The Good Wife, Candelabra and Breaking Bad Lead Noms; Parks & Rec, Brooklyn, Spader and Maslany Score Nods". TVLine. Retrieved December 12, 2013. 
  38. ^ Ausiello, Michael (July 19, 2014). "TCA Awards 2014: Good Wife, OITNB, True Detective, Veep, Breaking Bad, RuPaul Among Winners". TVLine. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 
  39. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (June 19, 2014). "Critics' Choice Awards: Fargo, OITNB, Breaking Bad, Normal Heart, Cosmos and Allison Janney Are Big Winners". TVLine. Retrieved June 20, 2014. 
  40. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 25, 2014). "Emmys 2014: Sherlock, Breaking Bad, Horror Story: Coven, True Detective and Many Repeat Winners Grab Gold". TVLine. Retrieved August 26, 2014. 

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