Breaking Bad Seasons Ranked
By Sal LoCicero | April 19, 2022
Breaking Bad is one of the greatest shows in the history of television. Earning a total of 16 Wins and 58 nominations, the show broke traditional standards for prime time TV. Creator Vince Gilligan gave viewers a darkly comedic, gripping depiction inside the world of meth dealing, that included a tour de force performance from Bryan Cranston, as well as from co-star Aaron Paul.
The series inspired multiple television dramas to go further beyond expectations in order to gain the amount of success that Breaking Bad received. However, none have come close to it. Literally, the only show on television to have the same - maybe even greater - amount of success, is the prequel spin-off series Better Call Saul.
Speaking of Better Call Saul, the final season aired on Monday, April 18th, and the show runners are teasing this season to be groundbreaking. As fans prepare for the start of the conclusion, AMC has re-aired all the episodes to Breaking Bad, every Saturday.
To celebrate the beginning of the end, we have ranked all the seasons of Breaking Bad, from least to greatest
5. Season 1
Season 1 gave us an introduction to Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a high school chemist who gets diagnosed with lung cancer. At home, he lives with his pregnant wife Skylar (Anna Gunn), and his son Walter White Jr. (RJ Mitte) who suffers from cerebral palsy. Once Walter White encounters one of his former chemistry students, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Walter notices that Jesse is in the meth dealing business. Walter decides that he wants to partner up with Jesse in meth dealing, and this decision causes both of their lives to become much worse.
The first season told the beginning of Walter White’s story pretty well. Every scene from the first episode to the last gives the viewer a sense of the unpredictable chaos that has yet to unfold in the other seasons. The performances from the entire cast, including Bryan Cranston is what continues to keep you hooked on this season. The story is very unique, and it has all the potential to be investing, but both the writing and directing is completely uneven. During the sequence of events that start to occur, the writers can’t seem to balance both the intense drug dealing storyline and the family dysfunction aspect.
The cinematography is stunning, even for television standards. The show’s dark humor works when the moment is most suitable - given the situation. The last few episodes head in a better direction (for the show itself), and by the time the last episode cuts to black, it leaves you very interested to see what will happen next.
4. Season 2
Once Season 1’s finale ended, Breaking Bad started to get much more interesting. In season 2, Walt and Jesse get themselves in an even bigger mess. With Jesse’s girlfriend, Jane, Tuco Salamanca's chaotic/violent personality, Hector Salamanca’s infamous bell noise, and the continuation of the drug business, things start taking an even bigger turn for the worse.
Since this season continues where the first one left off, the first few episodes start off slow. Walt and Jesse are still trying to digest the incident they both encountered with Tuco Salmanca and his craze for the blue meth that Walter cooks. Knowing that they have to produce more of the blue meth for Tuco, Walt and Jesse start to fear what will happen if anything goes wrong. Eventually, their business with Tuco does go wrong, which leads the two on a new drug making path.
During the fifth episode, the story becomes more interesting. From focusing on Walt’s family dysfunction, to the introduction of newer and menacing characters (who are even more relevant in the show later on), it remains truly unpredictable. Jesse’s relationship with Jane adds to the unknown for every possible outcome that can occur. There is more intensity in this season and it does Breaking Bad a huge favor.
Once Season two ends, you’ll immediately want to watch the next season.
3. season 5
When Breaking Bad was around for its final season, it had become the most popular drama on television. Everybody was getting familiar with the name “Heisenberg”. Season four finale opened a good amount of scenarios as to where and how the show runners could end the story.
Season five debuted with a slow pace that contained barely anything to grip viewers. But for those who watched Season four, some of you may have been more patient - and understanding - with the slow storytelling than others. As Walter White’s persona exited his body, Heisenberg took over. Within the episodes, each move that Heisenberg makes permanently affects others who are either with or against him. He has now taken over the drug business, the money, and his “co-workers” who participate in producing meth. When Heisenberg begins working with Todd (Jesse Plemons), he teams up with Todd’s uncle, who is a leader of a neo-nazi group.
The last season is probably the most graphic, gruesome, and disturbing entry in the entire series. It’s dark, dull-looking, sad, bloody, anxious, and excruciating. This is an entirely different season than the last three. Heisenberg is the new kingpin, who is off to make his own empire. When the story focuses more on Walter White’s family, Hank Schraider, and Heisenberg, the show hooks you from scene to scene. Todd and his uncle’s neo-nazi group is what takes away from the greatness that has evolved through the previous season all the way to this. Luckily by the end, the true focus is on Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, and the end of the road.
2. Season 3
After Season two’s major cliffhanger, it was obvious that we needed to see what had happened. With new villains on the horizon, Walt tries to get Jesse back on his feet so they can continue their business. Walter admits to his wife Skylar that he has been manufacturing meth after she left Walter for keeping secrets. Jesse is still recovering from the loss of his girlfriend Jane, after her fatal drug overdose. Once Jesse takes time to move on, he and Walt move into Gus Fring’s super lab, which is located underneath a laundry business. The two begin their business with Gus to produce meth.
Season three was the continuation to the chaos that was set up in the previous season. Things start to take a really ugly turn, and it’s only made the show even more riveting to watch. Walter’s brother in law, Hank gets deeper into the Heisenberg case, the Salamanca Brothers come to get revenge for the death of Tuco Salamanca, Skylar begins an affair with her former boss, Walt kills a few people who work for Gus Fring due to the problems they’ve cause for Jesse, and the rivalry between Walt and Gus starts opening up. The third season really hit the nail on the head. The ending had one of the biggest cliffhangers in the show, which led to major anticipation for what was to come next.
The ending had one of the biggest cliffhangers in the show, which led to major anticipation for what was to come next.
1. Season 4
If there was a ranking for the best television seasons of all time, Breaking Bad: Season Four would be in the top 3 list. This was the season that offered every bit of potential it had to give. Riveting, groundbreaking, immaculate, anxiety-inducing, and pure genius this fourth season was. From the first episode to the last, hell unleashes further than ever before. Walter White and Gus Fring’s battle gets complex and downright ugly, to the point where Heisenberg fully awakens to finish Gus Fring once and for all.
This is what made Breaking Bad be declared as one of, if not the best, shows of all time. Vince Gilligan shows off both his writing and directing talents to the fullest. The performances are raw and gritty. Bryan Cranston embodies Walter White. Giancarlo Esposito makes Gus Fring the most powerful and evil force in the series.
Everything unleashes and none of it holds back. Apparently, Vince Gilligan had originally planned to make Season 4 the final season of Breaking Bad, and given how Gilligan completed the season, this would’ve been a great finale.
Better Call Saul’s final season is now on TV, and it is expected for the show to end on a groundbreaking note. Airs Every Monday on AMC.
What are your thoughts?