The 12 Most Underrated Episodes Of Breaking Bad

"Breaking Bad" is a nearly perfect television series. There aren't a lot of shows that can run for as long as "Breaking Bad" did without at least a few bad episodes. However, Vince Gilligan tightly orchestrated his vision. "Breaking Bad" rarely produced storylines that the fans were not invested in. Walter White's (Bryan Cranston) relationship with his family was just as compelling as his criminal activities.

The "Breaking Bad" universe has continued to expand in recent years. In 2015, the spinoff series "Better Call Saul" began. The prequel show explores the life of the shady lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) before he took on the name "Saul Goodman." Although "Breaking Bad" had a very satisfying finale, Gilligan explored Jesse Pinkman's (Aaron Paul) life after the end of the series in the spinoff film "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie."

"Breaking Bad" has no shortage of memorable moments. Nobody will ever forget when Walter lets Jane (Krysten Ritter) die in "Phoenix," when Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) meets his grizzly fate in "Face Off," when Hank (Dean Norris) is killed in "Ozymandias," or when Walter gets his revenge on the Aryan Brotherhood in "Felina." However, there are some episodes of "Breaking Bad" that don't feature as many show-stopping moments. The series' most stunning twists would not have been nearly as shocking if it wasn't for the key transitional episodes that did the hard work of developing the characters. Here are the 12 most underrated episodes of "Breaking Bad."

Cat's in the Bag... (Season 1, Episode 2)

Season 1 of "Breaking Bad" definitely starts pretty slow. Before Walter could turn into the villainous "Heisenberg," the audience needed to have sympathy for him. The brilliance of "Breaking Bad" is that Walter starts completely helpless and then becomes totally reprehensible.

To get the audience on Walter's side, the first season spent an extensive amount of time dealing with his cancer diagnosis. While this may not have been as exciting as his fierce confrontations with Gus, it was an important storyline to emphasize. The second episode of the series, "Cat's in the Bag...," takes a look at how Walter is adjusting to his new reality.

After the thrilling "Pilot," "Cat's in the Bag..." does not disappoint. There is tension throughout the episode after Walter and Jesse discover that the thug Krazy-8 (Maximino Arciniega) is still alive. Walter and Jesse have a crisis before them. They need to keep Krazy-8 from escaping, but neither man is prepared to kill someone. This showed that in the beginning, both Walter and Jesse are averse to doing anything evil.

Although the episode deals with some serious moral issues, there are also some surprisingly humorous moments. "Breaking Bad" does not get enough credit for how hilarious it is. In order to hide the fact that he is cooking meth with Jesse, Walter tells his wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), that his former student is selling him marijuana.

A Rough-Stuff-Type Deal (Season 1, Episode 7)

Season 1 of "Breaking Bad" is the show's shortest, but that doesn't mean that it's lesser in any way. Frankly, it's impressive how much story Vince Gilligan and his writers were able to cover in only seven episodes. The highlight of the season is easily the sixth episode, "Crazy Handful of Nothin,'" in which Walter threatens drug dealer Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz). Walter emerges from the exchange with newfound confidence.

Walter takes advantage of the rush of adrenaline that he feels after "Crazy Handful of Nothin'" in the next episode, "A Rough-Stuff-Type Deal." Walter and Skyler have intimate relations in a parking lot during a PTA meeting. While this moment is slightly comical, it shows how the encounter with Tuco changes Walter. He revels in his success and begins to lose sight of the man that he once was.

"A Rough-Stuff-Type Deal" shows how Walter begins to earn his reputation. After one of the drug dealers insults Walter, Tuco beats his thug senselessly. Walter is also forced to ponder how his newfound expertise at cooking meth will affect his familial relationships. He wonders if Skyler will ever turn him in for a crime after the couple discovers that Skyler's sister, Marie (Betsy Brandt), has been stealing.

The episode contains the right amount of "Breaking Bad's" twisted humor. When Walter and Jesse are cooking, they are interrupted by the surprise appearance of a nosy realtor.

Bit by a Dead Bee (Season 2, Episode 3)

Walter and Jesse are forced to disguise their secret criminal activities in Season 2. This adds a recurring element of tension to the story. Walter tries to resume his familial duties, but his family begins to suspect that something significant has changed in his life. This key episode from the beginning of Season 2 shows the extent that Walter was willing to go to evoke his family's sympathy.

After escaping Tuco, Walter has to find a way to explain why he has been missing for several days. He strips naked and wanders aimlessly around a supermarket, pretending to be in a state of confusion. This moment is both funny and tragic. It shows that Walter isn't afraid to humiliate himself to lie to his family. He blames his naked stroll on the effects of the chemotherapy and medication. However, he's unwilling to take the matter all that seriously, and that evokes Skyler's suspicions.

The episode also shows Jesse in a sympathetic light. After returning home to his basement, Jesse is apprehended by the DEA. It's only after Hector (Mark Margolis) refuses to identify him that Jesse is released. At his most desperate, Jesse attempts to contact his parents, but they refuse to offer him any assistance. This was the perfect setup for Walter's next proposition. He wants to resume their cooking operation. This shows how Jesse begins to fall under Walter's control.

Peekaboo (Season 2, Episode 6)

Jesse has one of the most tragic story arcs in "Breaking Bad." At the beginning of the series, Jesse is hardly a straitlaced, law-abiding citizen. However, his criminal activities are the actions of someone who is desperate, not someone capable of cruelty. Every time Jesse seemingly has something going his way, it's taken away from him. Walter has a family that he can return to. Jesse is left with no one.

The Season 2 episode "Peekaboo" shows that Jesse is capable of showing compassion to children. Jesse looks after a young boy when he breaks into a drug dealer's house. Jesse can tell that the boy has been neglected and bonds with him. This shows that, unlike Walter, Jesse is can be distracted from his mission. He had only entered the house to find the dealer who had ripped off Skinny Pete (Charles Baker), but that doesn't mean that Jesse is going to ignore an innocent child. Although we don't learn the child's fate, it is implied that Jesse notifies child services.

It's an episode that is more powerful for fans who have already seen the entire show. They already know that Jesse will be tempted by the possibility of having a serious relationship. The opportunities are stolen from him. Jane dies due to Walter's cruelty at the end of Season 2, and Andrea Cantillo (Emily Rios) is murdered by Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) in Season 5.

Over (Season 2, Episode 10)

"Over" shows Walter's early stages of villainy. Now that he has learned that he's in remission, Walter is in a strange position. Skyler and Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte) take the opportunity to celebrate. Bryan Cranston does a great job of hinting at Walter's frustration with the situation. He wants to be treated like a victim. Being celebrated just makes him feel uncomfortable.

"Over" includes an awkward moment during a family gathering that is just as intense as anything involving the cartel. As the family celebrates Walter's diagnosis, Walter encourages his son to start drinking tequila. Initially, it's a nice bonding moment between the two. However, Walter Jr. cannot handle the liquor. Walter continues pouring, forcing his son to keep drinking. Walter Jr. can't stomach any more tequila and vomits in the family pool. Although Walter ends up apologizing to Skyler, his actions foreshadow how controlling he will become later in the series.

The end of "Over" confirms that Walter misses cooking meth. He's driven into a rage when he notices a few young men buying materials to make drugs in a hardware store. Walter follows them to their car in the parking lot and demands that they stay out of his "territory." The use of the song "DLZ" by TV On The Radio makes this moment even more electrifying.

Green Light (Season 3, Episode 4)

Season 3 is when Walter truly becomes a villain. Allowing Jane to die at the end of Season 2 signified that he had embarked on a dark path and wasn't going to change anytime soon. "Green Light" paints Walter in a very unflattering light. He's not just cruel and manipulative. Walter seems to take pleasure in making other people miserable. "Green Light" shows that Walter's personal and professional lives are crumbling.

Walter pesters Skyler while she is at work and purposefully embarrasses her. Walter has learned that his wife is secretly having an affair with his former colleague, Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins). Walter attempts to corner them, but Ted throws him out of the workplace. No one comes out of the situation with their dignity intact. Walter's childlike behavior continues when he starts making sexual advances on his boss, Vice Principal Carmen Molina (Carmen Serano). Carmen is alarmed and humiliated by Walter's attempts to kiss her and puts him on temporary leave. However, Walter isn't done burning bridges. He makes callous remarks about Jesse and insults his meth-cooking skills. This inspires Jesse to consider selling meth to Gus without Walter's involvement.

"Green Light" may not feature any shootouts, but it's a remarkable episode in the progression of Walter's character arc. If you were recommending "Breaking Bad" to someone who has never seen it, you might initially describe Walter as a "sympathetic family man." With "Green Light," that description no longer applies.

I See You (Season 3, Episode 8)

"I See You" takes place during Hank Schrader's (Dean Norris) recovery in the hospital. Hank is critically wounded during his battle with Leonel (Daniel Moncada) and Marco Salamanca (Luis Moncada), also known as "The Cousins." As is typical for "Breaking Bad," "I See You" opens with a twisted joke. Jesse had previously been attacked by Hank. Jesse leaves the hospital as Hank is admitted. Jesse laughs to himself at the irony of the situation. Is Hank getting what he deserved?

Hank's critical state puts Walter in a tough position. He needs to stay at the hospital to make sure that his family won't get suspicious, but he also needs to continue fulfilling his commitment to Gus. Walter attempts to buy some time by telling Gus that his new partner, Gale Boetticher (David Costabile), is slowing him down. Although Gus seems to agree to Walter's terms, he surprises everyone by showing up at the hospital to bring free food from his restaurant chain, Los Pollos Hermanos. Gus claims that it is all part of an effort to show his support for the DEA.

This seemingly kind action signifies that Gus knows that Hank is in the DEA and knows that he's been lied to. Giancarlo Esposito is such a brilliant actor that he can turn a gift of free fried chicken into a menacing threat.

Fly (Season 3, Episode 10)

Rian Johnson is one of the best filmmakers working today. Johnson is incredibly creative in the way that he approaches genre. His knowledge of cinematic history is evident from the films that he has written and directed. "Brick" reimagined classic noir archetypes, "The Brothers Bloom" revamped the caper, "Looper" found a new way to approach the time travel genre, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" cut to the thematic core of the "Star Wars" saga, and "Knives Out" paid tribute to the brilliance of Agatha Christie. Amid his cinematic success, Johnson also directed several standout episodes of "Breaking Bad."

Johnson is responsible for the single greatest episode of "Breaking Bad," "Ozymandias." However, he first dipped his toes into Gilligan's story in the Season 3 episode "Fly." "Fly" is among the more divisive episodes of the series. While some critics praised Johnson's bold approach to the narrative structure, others found it to be self-indulgent and irritating. "Breaking Bad" had never done a "bottle episode" before.

"Fly" focuses on one of Walter and Jesse's long cooking sessions. Walter is in a sensitive state. He has been unable to sleep, driven mad by the sound of an annoying fly. He becomes convinced that the fly will disrupt the cooking process and spends the entire episode trying to track it down. Johnson's tight direction shows how Walter's obsessive focus has steadily begun to drive him to the point of insanity.

Bug (Season 4, Episode 9)

The Season 4 episode "Bug" shows the breaking point in Walter and Jesse's relationship. Walter will sink to any low to get what he wants, and Jesse has begun to see that his former teacher and friend is past the point of reason. Jesse is struggling with Walter's demand that he kill Gus. Jesse is frightened of Gus and knows that any attempt to kill him will not be easy. Jesse learns from Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) that the cartel needs to keep Gus alive. Jesse has the opportunity to poison Gus, but he doesn't go through with it.

Walter and Jesses' frustrations with each other result in an intense brawl. Jesse doesn't want to admit that he met with Gus, but Walter knows that he is lying because he planted the GPS tracker in Jesse's car. Jesse is insulted that Walter is spying on him. Season 4 shows the decline in their relationship, and "Bug" pays off the tension that had been building. Jesse gives Walter the courtesy of asking him if he can stand but tells him to leave his house for good. This scene features one of Aaron Paul's most nuanced performances. Jesse isn't angry with Walter anymore. He's just disgusted.

End Times (Season 4, Episode 12)

Season 4 ends with Gus' explosive death in the episode "Face Off." Before the season reaches its shocking conclusion, the penultimate episode, "End Times," lays the groundwork for the final twist. Vince Gilligan moves his characters like chess pieces. It was important to show how Walter formulates his plan to deal with Gus. Giancarlo Esposito gives one of his most menacing turns, which makes his demise even more satisfying in the next episode.

Gus tells Jesse that Walter must be killed, but Jesse comes to his mentor's defense and refuses to cook if Walter is dead. However, he soon learns that he may have been too hasty. Jesse receives a frantic phone call from Andrea. Her son, Brock (Ian Posada), has been hospitalized. Jesse deduces that Brock must have been exposed to the poisoned cigarette that he had kept to kill Gus. Paul does a great job showing Jesse's contemplation of the unthinkable. Was Walter the one that poisoned Brock? Was he so enraged at Jesse that he took it out on an innocent child? Aaron Paul won an Emmy Award for best supporting actor in a drama series for his performance in this episode.

Madrigal (Season 5, Episode 2)

"Madrigal" opens with an unexpected change of location that took fans by surprise. The series heads over to Germany, where Madrigal Electromotive GmbH executive Peter Schuler (Norbert Weisser) receives a visit from the police. Schuler knows that they've come to question him about his relationship with Gus and dies by suicide. This was an interesting way to show the ramifications of the character's actions. "Breaking Bad" has never been an international show, but the events in Albuquerque have consequences across the globe.

While some "Breaking Bad" fans have expressed their hatred of Skyler, she comes off in a very sympathetic light in "Madrigal." Skyler is helplessly trapped in her marriage to Walter. She no longer recognizes the man that she once loved. Walter's attempts to resume their relationship are just as terrifying as any of his threats. Although Walter attempts to apologize for Ted's injuries, Skyler knows that there is no empathy in his heart. Anna Gunn's unflinching face as Walter attempts to seduce her is riveting.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Rabid Dog (Season 5, Episode 12)

Walter and Jesse begin making serious moves against each other in "Rabid Dog." The second half of Season 5 never loses its momentum, but "Rabid Dog" shows the strategies that both Walter and Jesse use to deceive each other. However, they both back out of killing each other at critical moments.

After discovering that Walter was responsible for poisoning Brock, Jesse forms an unlikely alliance with Hank and his partner, Steven Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada). While Jesse and Hank despise each other, Hank knows that getting Jesse to confess is his best shot at exposing Walter's crimes. Dean Norris shows Hank's ruthlessness. He doesn't care if Jesse is killed in the investigation.

Skyler tries to convince Walter to kill Jesse and says that they have "come this far. What's one more?" However, Jesse isn't just another "rabid dog" to Walter, and he still has some compassion for his former student. Jesse goes along with Hank's plan to wiretap Walter but stops at the last minute and decides to threaten him over the phone instead.

"Breaking Bad" fans who have already seen the entire series know that Walter's mercy only goes so far. At the end of "Rabid Dog," Walt reaches out to Todd and requests another job from his uncle, Jack (Michael Bowen). This sets up the storyline where the white supremacists capture and torture Jesse.