Breaking Bad Season 2 (2009)

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) in the third episode of Breaking Bad's season 2

The second season of Breaking Bad premiered on March 8, 2009 and concluded on May 31, 2009. It consisted of 13 episodes, each running approximately 47 minutes in length. AMC broadcast the second season on Sundays at 10 pm in the United States. The complete second season was released on Region 1 DVD and Region A Blu-ray on March 16, 2010.

The second season received numerous awards and nominations, including five Primetime Emmy Award nominations with two wins. Bryan Cranston won his second consecutive award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Lynne Willingham won her second consecutive award for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series for “ABQ”. The series received its first nomination for Outstanding Drama Series, Aaron Paul received his first nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series and Michael Slovis was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series for “ABQ”.

Cranston won the Television Critics Association Award for Individual Achievement in Drama, with the series being nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. Cranston won his second consecutive Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, with the series winning the award for Best Drama Series. Aaron Paul won the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor on Television, with the series winning the award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series. The series received two Writers Guild of America Award nominations, for Best Drama Series, and John Shiban for Best Episodic Drama for “Phoenix”.

Plot (spoiler)

Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) are kidnapped by Tuco after the DEA raids Tuco’s Albuquerque operation. Tuco brings them to the dilapidated home of his uncle, Hector, with the intent of moving them to Mexico. After an unsuccessful attempt to poison Tuco, the two manage to incapacitate him and escape. Hank (Dean Norris), in search of the missing Walt, comes across a wounded Tuco and kills him in a shootout. Walt manages to return home, claiming to have been in a fugue state, but this excuse has numerous holes and creates distrust with Skyler (Anna Gunn). The DEA seizes Jesse’s “drug” money, straining his partnership with Walter after he demands half of Walt’s meth profit to sustain himself.

Considered a hero for killing Tuco, Hank is promoted and sent to El Paso. In private, he suffers panic attacks due to the unexpected shootout with Tuco. The El Paso job further unsettles Hank after he witnesses the death of a Federale and the wounding of fellow DEA officers by an IED attack. Hank is immediately sent back to Albuquerque by his superiors. Gretchen (Jessica Hecht), Walt’s former lover and Elliot’s wife (Adam Godley), discovers Walt has been lying to his family about receiving money from them. She is taken aback when a bitter Walt blames her and Elliott for profiting from his research, although she doesn’t disclose Walt’s secrets for his family’s sake. Skyler goes back to work for Ted Beneke (Christopher Cousins), a former boss who once drunkenly groped her and caused her to quit her bookkeeper job as a result. She increasingly relies on Ted for emotional support due to Walt’s frequent absences and unexplained behavior.

Jesse rents a new place and becomes romantically involved with his landlord’s daughter, Jane (Krysten Ritter), a recovering heroin addict. With Tuco dead, Walt and Jesse decide to move their business into new territory, but more problems arise as their enterprise expands with dealers working for them. One of them, Skinny Pete, is mugged, and Walt forces Jesse to confront the perpetrators, a man and his wife. The man is killed by his wife, but Jesse receives the credit, earning him fear and respect and further solidifying “Heisenberg’s” reputation in the area. Another dealer, Badger (Matt Jones), is arrested by the APD, forcing Walt to deal with Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), a crooked lawyer who offers a solution to keep Badger from snitching while also keeping him out of prison. Walt and Jesse attempt to intimidate Saul, but Saul makes a deal with Walt for a cut of the profit in return for being Walt and Jesse’s legal advisor in their drug operation.

Walt becomes worried when he sees a bright white patch within the generally dark hues on the latest PET/CT scan of his lungs. With only $16,000 remaining of the meth money after the numerous setbacks, he and Jesse spend several days in the desert cooking 38 pounds of meth to sell off before Walt dies. Later, at the doctor’s office, Walt discovers his cancer has not spread and his tumor has actually shrunk by 80%. Indeed, the bright area on his scan was only inflammation. Walt plans to end the meth operation after the 38 pounds are sold, but soon finds normality boring.

When one of Walt and Jesse’s dealers, Combo, is killed by rivals, Jesse is sent spiraling into a drug addiction which also drags Jane out of her sobriety. With their remaining dealers backing out, Walt and Jesse turn to Saul for help. Saul uses his connections to arrange a meeting at a fast food restaurant with Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), a discreet, cautious, yet successful drug distributor. Gus owns and manages a number of fast food restaurants and has purposely scheduled the meeting at one of them in order to observe Walt and Jesse. Gus reluctantly offers to buy Walt’s product for $1.2 million and offers him only one hour to deliver the drugs. Walt frantically attempts to contact Jesse to complete the exchange, but Jesse and Jane are incapacitated after injecting heroin. Walt breaks into Jesse’s house and collects the stash, choosing to complete the deal rather than be with Skyler as she goes into labor.

Walt loses trust in Jesse and promises to give him his share of the payout only if he agrees to get sober. Upon learning of the money and Jesse’s relationship with Walt, Jane blackmails Walt into giving Jesse his share of the money. Walt reluctantly complies and the two agree to go their separate ways, but Walt returns to Jesse, only to discover that he and Jane have taken heroin again. During an attempt to awaken Jesse, Walt accidentally moves Jane out of the recovery position and onto her back, and witnesses her choking on her own vomit. Walt lets Jane suffocate and leaves. When Jesse wakes up, he tries to revive Jane without success. Unaware of Walt’s visit, Jesse believes he is responsible for her death and spirals into a depression. Walt attempts to help Jesse by taking him to rehab. Meanwhile, Gus discovers that Hank is Walt’s brother-in-law and that Walt has cancer.

As Walt undergoes anesthesia for surgery, he accidentally confirms to Skyler the existence of his secret second cell phone. This prompts her to leave him several weeks later, after she systematically investigates and uncovers his lies. Walt offers to explain everything to Skyler, but she responds that she is too afraid to know the truth. After Skyler leaves, Walt sees an explosion in the skies above his home. Jane’s father Donald (John de Lancie), an air traffic controller, overcome with grief at the loss of his daughter, has accidentally directed two airplanes into each other in the sky above Albuquerque. In an image foreshadowed throughout the season, a charred pink teddy bear lands in the Whites’ pool and floats there until it is collected as evidence by NTSB agents.

Episodes (spoiler)

Episode 1: Seven Thirty-Seven
Having completed their deal with Tuco in the junkyard, Walt and Jesse realize just how crazy and violent he can be. Jesse is convinced that he has seen Tuco’s black SUV going up and down his street. Walt puts it down to paranoia—until he sees a black SUV parked just down the block from his house. Jesse’s solution is to shoot Tuco before he kills them, but Walt has a better idea using ricin. Panic sets in, however, when they think Tuco is killing his associates. Hank reviews the security surveillance footage of the warehouse break-in without realizing it’s Walt and Jesse. Skyler tells Hank about Marie’s shoplifting, and learns she is getting therapy for kleptomania. Tuco kidnaps Jesse and Walt.

Episode 2: Grilled
Having been kidnapped by a crazed Tuco, Walt and Jesse are held prisoner by him in a desert shack where he often hides out and takes care of his sick uncle. Walt’s brother-in-law Hank and the DEA have rolled Tuco’s entire organization, and Tuco thinks that one of his associates ratted him out. Walt unsuccessfully tries to feed Tuco the poison he prepared. Hank, meanwhile, takes a bit of time off to look for Walt. Skyler is sick with worry and has been distributing handbills with Walt’s photo. Hank remembers that Jesse Pinkman was Walt’s source of marijuana and tries to track him down. Tuco’s mute wheelchair-bound uncle alerts him to the fact that his prisoners are up to something, he takes them outside and plans to kill Jesse, Walt and Jesse manage to wound Tuco and escape. Hank shows up looking for Jesse, and is confronted by a wounded Tuco. A brief firefight ensues and Hank shoots Tuco dead.

Episode 3: Bit by a Dead Bee
Having gotten away from Tuco, Walt and Jesse now have to get home and explain where they have been. Walt has a plan and they split up. He goes to a supermarket and takes off all of his clothes while walking around the aisles. He is hospitalized and claims to have no memory of where he has been for the last few days. Jesse returns to his house to clean out the basement and get rid of the RV. When the DEA track him down, he claims that he has been shacked up with a prostitute for the weekend. The police don’t believe him and think they know how to nail him: they bring in Tuco’s uncle to identify him, but he refuses to cooperate with the authorities.

Episode 4: Down
Walt and Jesse appear to be in the clear, but Jesse has no money and Walt can’t leave the room without Skyler’s wondering where he is. Jesse’s parents are still fed up with him and his drug use, so they order him out of the house—it turns out they own it, not Jesse. He finds himself without a place to stay or any friends who will put him up for the night. He ends up tracking down his RV and spends the night in it. Walt’s overly correct behavior sets Skyler off on a binge of not telling him anything about what she is up to or whom she is seeing. She is fed up with Walt’s behavior and wants to know what is really going on.

Episode 5: Breakage
Walt continues his treatment and is starting to feel better but is concerned at the growing medical bills. Jesse begins to re-establish himself, paying off his debts and getting a new place to live. He develops an interest in his new next-door neighbor and landlord Jane Margolis. Walt and Jesse soon rev up the RV and are cooking again. Jesse’s not keen on selling the stuff on the street and suggests he and Walt take over Tuco’s role as a distributor. Hank and the DEA have come across the name Heisenberg and aren’t sure if he is real or just an urban legend. Hank is promoted and soon appointed to a tri-state drug task force, however he may have health issues of his own. Skinny Pete (one of Jesse’s dealers) has been ripped off by a drug-addicted couple, and Walt has made it plain to Jesse that unless he does something about it, word will get around pretty quickly that Jesse and his crew are an easy mark.

Episode 6: Peekaboo
Jesse decides to confront the couple who ripped off Skinny Pete, but he soon realizes that he isn’t a very effective enforcer, and soon finds himself in over his head. Walt goes back to work, but not all is going smoothly. Walt’s story starts to unravel when Skyler gets a call from Gretchen Schwartz and Skyler thanks her for paying for Walt’s treatment. Gretchen doesn’t reveal the truth, but Walt’s bitterness at their past relationship—personal and business—comes out. Jesse has been overpowered and held hostage by the drug-addicted couple, but the female addict kills her partner, Spooge, by unbalancing a stolen ATM onto his head in retaliation for his repeatedly calling her a “skank” and in order to take the meth in his pocket. Jesse calls the police and flees the scene.

Episode 7: Negro y Azul
Walt has trouble getting in touch with Jesse, who’s been avoiding him since his encounter with Spooge. Jesse is also not providing product to his dealers, so Walt arranges to deliver it. He learns that the word on the street is that Jesse killed Spooge and, due to his new reputation as a cold-blooded killer, they’re having no problem at all collecting payment. Walt decides the time has come to expand their territory and put Jesse’s new reputation to good use. Skyler decides to get a job and goes back to her old employer. Hank starts his new job on the task force. He has told his wife Marie it’s just a desk job, but he is on the front lines and very soon learns just how dangerous it can be.

Episode 8: Better Call Saul
Walt and Jesse have yet another problem to deal with when one of their dealers, Jesse’s friend Badger, is arrested by the Albuquerque police. They end up hiring a shady lawyer, Saul Goodman, who has a unique way of ensuring that Badger gets off with a light sentence without having to give away Jesse or Walt’s identity. As Walt learns however, it may come at a very high price. Following the bombing in Juarez, Hank returns to his old job as a DEA Agent and is suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. He puts on a brave face but is having trouble just getting out of bed in the morning. Walt decides to cheer him up and tells him to move on. One day Saul meets Walt at the school and offers his services as an adviser for a cut of the profit.

Episode 9: 4 Days Out
Walt is convinced that his medical condition is deteriorating. He continues to have coughing fits and is now coughing up blood. After his attorney/adviser Saul crunches the numbers, Walt realizes that there isn’t much money left for his family. With an excuse of meeting his mother, he and Jesse set off for the desert for a marathon cooking session over an extended weekend. Jesse continues to cause trouble for them, this time by leaving the keys in the ignition and inadvertently draining the RV’s battery. They find themselves stuck in the middle of the desert, cold and without food and water. Walt’s knowledge of chemistry again saves the day.

Episode 10: Over
Despite the good news about his condition, Walt is feeling out of sorts and is generally unhappy, verging on anger. Skyler decides to throw a party to celebrate the news and thank all of their friends for their support, but Walt gets drunk and then into an argument with Hank that puts a damper on things. He is embarrassed about his behavior and tries to make amends all around, but it’s proving to be a challenge. He tries to channel his energies but eventually realizes what the problem is. Walt also tells Jesse the good news and tells him that he is finished with their little enterprise. Jesse’s relationship with Jane continues to grow, but he is taken aback when her father drops in to see her and she doesn’t introduce him as her boyfriend. The ensuing confrontation clarifies their relationship.

Episode 11: Mandala
After one of their dealers is murdered by a rival gang, Saul proposes new distribution method for Walt and Jesse’s product. Under stress, Jesse tells Jane what he does. Saul puts Walt in touch with a meth distributor named Gus, who agrees to purchase Walt’s product. However, Gus expresses concern about Jesse’s drug problem, which has escalated into heroin use due to Jane’s relapse. Skyler finds out that her boss at work, Ted, has been stealing from the firm, but due to their past relationship, she decides not to report it. Walt receives a large offer for the short-notice delivery of the remainder of their inventory, but at the same time receives a call from Skyler, notifying him of her imminent labor.

Episode 12: Phoenix
Walt delivers the inventory in time, but misses his daughter’s birth. Jesse confronts Walt about his share of the payment, but Walt refuses to disburse the funds until Jesse can prove his sobriety. Jesse and Jane’s addiction is discovered by Jane’s father, Donald, who agrees to give her one day to settle her affairs before going to rehab. In an effort to minimize the cost of Walt’s upcoming surgery, Walt Jr. sets up a website to gather donations for his father’s medical expenses. It is quickly used by Saul as a way to forward Walt’s earnings without raising suspicion. After discovering Jesse’s payday, Jane blackmails Walt into delivering Jesse’s share. By chance, Walt goes to a bar and meets Jane’s father. Later, Walt returns to Jesse’s to attempt to make amends and to help him break his addiction. He finds Jesse and Jane passed out in bed after a drug binge, both lying on their sides. He tries to shake Jesse conscious and as he does so, Jane flops over onto her back. Jane vomits and begins to suffocate. Walt does nothing to help and allows her to die.

Episode 13: ABQ
Jesse awakens, discovers Jane is dead, and contacts Walt. Walt contacts Saul, who sends his PI/cleaner Mike (Jonathan Banks) to mitigate Jesse’s involvement with Jane’s death. Thinking Jane’s death was his fault, Jesse gets depressed and runs away. After finding him in a crack house, Walter takes Jesse to rehab. Walt’s funds are funneled into his son’s website, which attracts the attention of the media, causing Walt to be overcome with guilt. Walt’s secretive behavior is made prominent once again when he accidentally references a second cell phone while under the initial effects of anesthesia moments before his surgery. This prompts Skyler to investigate deeper, thereby revealing many of Walt’s lies, which spurs her to leave him. Jane’s father, an air traffic controller, distraught from his daughter’s death, causes a mid-air collision, resulting in debris and human remains raining down onto the Whites’ residence, as well as the rest of Albuquerque.

Cast and characters

  • Bryan Cranston as Walter White (13 episodes)
  • Anna Gunn as Skyler White (13 episodes)
  • Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman (13 episodes)
  • Dean Norris as Hank Schrader (10 episodes)
  • Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader (11 episodes)
  • RJ Mitte as Walter White, Jr. (11 episodes)
  • Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis (8 episodes)
  • Steven Michael Quezada as Steven Gomez (7 episodes)
  • Charles Baker as Skinny Pete (4 episodes)
  • Christopher Cousins as Ted Beneke (4 episodes)
  • Matt Jones as Badger (4 episodes)
  • Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman (4 episodes)
  • John de Lancie as Donald Margolis (3 episodes)
  • Tom Kiesche as Clovis (3 episodes)
  • Rodney Rush as Combo (3 episodes)
  • Michael Shamus Wiles as George Merkert (3 episodes)
  • Raymond Cruz as Tuco Salamanca (2 episodes)
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo Fring (2 episodes)
  • Tess Harper as Mrs. Pinkman (2 episodes)
  • Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca aka “Tio” (2 episodes)
  • Sam McMurray as Dr. Victor Bravenec (2 episodes)
  • Carmen Serano as Principal Carmen Molina (2 episodes)
  • Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut (1 episode)
  • Nigel Gibbs as APD Detective Tim Roberts (1 episode)
  • Jessica Hecht as Gretchen Schwartz (1 episode)
  • Danny Trejo as Tortuga (1 episode)
  • Jeremiah Bitsui as Victor (1 episode)


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