Melissa Maerz on each cycle's best episode -- and where to find its buried treasure
What Happens? Chemistry teacher Walt (Bryan Cranston) gets a cancer diagnosis and starts cooking meth with ex-student Jesse (Aaron Paul) to provide for his family after he's gone. He encounters dangerous characters like drug dealer Krazy 8 (Maximino Arciniega) and Mexican kingpin Tuco (Raymond Cruz) while laying the groundwork for a million-dollar empire. It's the American dream except for the corpse in the bathtub.
Best Episode: ''...And the Bag's in the River'' (103) Breaking Bad is a master class in Chekhov's gun principle: If you see a gun (or a pair of box cutters) in the first act, someone will be dead by the third. Here, as Walt and Jesse dispose of two drug dealers, even a simple sandwich plate becomes a chilling tool of suspense.
Buried Treasure: The name of the store where Walt first shows us his violent side roughing up a jock who's making fun of Walt Jr.'s disability mirrors his excuse for all questionable actions to follow: Family 1st Clothing.
Image Credit: AMC