Review of Pilot

Breaking Bad: Pilot (2008)
Season 1, Episode 1
A great introductory episode
28 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As this pilot episode begins we are immediately thrown into the action as we see an RV hurtling along a desert track; it is driven by a man wearing only a pair of Y-fronts and a gasmask; in the back there appear to be two bodies. The RV crashes and the man gets out; he hears approaching sirens and raises a gun... Things then jump back a few days and we see the driver again; he is Walter White; a high school chemistry teacher whose pupils don't respect him and is so short of money that he has a second job at a car wash. Then two things happen that will change his life forever... his brother in law, who is in the DEA, invites him to ride along as they go to bust a meth lab and secondly he is diagnosed with terminal cancer.

As the raid goes ahead Walt sees a man jumping from the window of the house next door and recognises him as his former pupil Jesse Pinkman... Walt is fed up of doing the right thing and being poor; he sees an opportunity and he is going to take it! Drug dealer Jesse needs a new chemist and Walt is a professional; he isn't just going to make methamphetamine he is going to make the best methamphetamine and Jesse is going to help him sell it. Once the decision is made Walt gains a new confidence; we see him confront a group of bullies who are mocking his son who has cerebral palsy, quit his job at the carwash and finally deal with the two drug dealers who are threatening to kill him and Jesse.

When I first sat down to watch this I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it or not but I was hooked by the opening scene... after that I wanted to know who this man was and why he was driving through the desert in such strange attire. The cast did a fine job; especially Bryan Cranston who plays Walter in a way that makes the viewer believe in the mild chemistry teacher who suddenly wants to make drugs. He is ably supported by Aaron Paul who plays his new partner Jesse. This episode contained a decent amount of humour to balance out the more serious elements; Jesse's first appearance was hilarious as were most scenes featuring Walt's brother in law Hank; Dean Norris is great in the role. This was definitely a great opening episode which left me keen to see what happens next.
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