Just when you thought it was over, “Breaking Bad” comes back for more. Having wrapped up five seasons of his Emmy-winning AMC series years ago, creator Vince Gilligan continues his story with the TV movie “El Camino,” now streaming on Netflix. It’s rather fitting for a show that found its fanbase thanks to the streaming service, which allowed new viewers to binge-watch it from the beginning. But how many of its 62 episodes rank among its best? Well, the real answer is all of them, but just for fun and to welcome this new telefilm, let’s cut them in half and count down the 31 greatest of the original series, ranked worst to best.
A sort of Mr. Chips turns evil, “Breaking Bad” tells the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemistry teacher who starts cooking meth when he’s diagnosed with terminal cancer. With the help of former student Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Walt creates the perfect batch of crystal meth, selling the illegal drug to provide for his wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), and kids after his death. But things are never that simple, especially when your brother-in-law, Hank (Dean Norris), works for the DEA. Along the way, he hires “criminal” lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), gets into business with cartel leader Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and partners up with hitman Mike Erhmantraut (Jonathan Banks), among other adventures.
Throughout its run, the show amassed 58 Emmy nominations and 16 wins, including two consecutive Best Drama Series victories for its split final season (2013 and 2014). Cranston won four prizes in Best Drama Actor (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014), while Paul took home three for Best Drama Supporting Actor (2010, 2012 and 2014) and Gunn reaped two in Best Drama Supporting Actress (2013 and 2014). Among the other actors both Esposito and Banks earned supporting nominations, while Mark Margolis earned a guest acting bid as rival gang leader Hector Salamanca.
Even after its final episode aired, the show’s legacy continued with spinoffs and sequels. Odenkirk, Banks and Esposito returned for the ongoing prequel series, “Better Call Saul,” while Paul reprised his role for the follow-up film “El Camino.”
Tour our photo gallery above of “Breaking Bad”‘s 31 greatest episodes, and see if your favorite topped the list.
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