Breaking Bad, sadly, is over in terms of new-television, but we keep its spirit alive with this thrilling bracket. It is time to find out what the Most Badass Breaking Bad Moment really is. Below is the bracket and how it looks for the first round matchups. You can vote for the matchups by scrolling to the bottom, but below you will find commentary on each matchup from Troy Weller, Dan Smith and Matt Trabold.
TROY WELLER: This one is barely a contest. It’s not like Walt did something to kill Jane, he just let her do it to herself. Walt blowing up Tuco’s building easily moves on.
DAN SMITH: Walt letting Jane die was a major moment in Breaking Bad, a significant step in Walt’s descent. But badass isn’t even close to the right word. It was just horrifying more than anything.
MATT TRABOLD: Walt watching over Jane as she graphically chokes on her own vomit is one of the more chilling TV scenes I’ve had the chance to see. But, it doesn’t come close to when Walt is walking away from Tuco’s place in terms of badassery.
MATT: Walt maniacally laughing over and over again in that crawl space gave me goosebumps. It was like all of his feelings over everything going on in his life at the time exploding out of him in scary fashion. He was a different person in the show after that. It was simply pure emotion on a television screen. Walt in the crawl space gets my vote.
DAN: The Nazis killing off Declan’s crew was an impressive power play by Lydia, but it wasn’t as badass as it seemed on the surface because she wasn’t improving her situation very much. It was as violent as anything in the show, but lacked significant impact on it moving forward. I’m sticking with the crawl space.
TROY: The reaction by Walt after finding no money in the crawl space was certainly a great moment in the series. Set off by the fact that it was also given to Skyler’s former lover, he’s shown maniacally laughing. It was a great moment, but I wouldn’t call it badass. Lydia ordering the hit on Declan’s crew was her flexing a little muscle, and the Nazis did it pretty effortlessly.
TROY: Wow, this one is tough. Todd killing Andrea should probably be seeded higher. It was a huge power-play by a guy who seemed to have a compassionate side throughout. Jesse’s reaction in the car was an unbelievable moment as well. But, it ran into a juggernaut here. Gus slitting the throat of one of his guys just to prove a point is too much to overcome.
MATT: This was just another huge example of how deceiving Todd’s look was (especially if you watched Friday Night Lights). He may look like a choirboy, but he’s as psychotic as they come. Right when you thought Todd had a shred of sanity, he went and did that with Jesse right there. Plus, he just leaves the door open with a sleeping child inside. All of that being said, I was COMPLETELY surprised when Gus used the box cutter. The latter wins my vote.
DAN: Nothing Todd did to me ever seemed badass. Ruthless and insane? Of course, but not badass. The best moments for characters like Walt were when you were on his side, when he had justification for what bad things he was doing. Todd never had that. It takes away from the impressive impact of anything he did because he was just evil. Gus wins.
MATT: The “I did it for me” scene was one of the best parts of the wild series finale. The reveal of Walt behind the post in Skyler’s house was magical. I wasn’t really expecting Walt to say that then at all. That scene was done beautifully, but Walt having all of those prisoners killed is the epitome of the adjective badass. It really showed how much Walt had made it and how powerful he had become. The 2-seed here wins it for me.
DAN: “I did it for me” was a big character moment for Walt, finally admitting to himself (and Skyler) something he never admitted to anyone. It was badass in a quiet sense, in that Walt had to confront the one enemy he never felt comfortable confronting in himself. But it’s still quiet, and not going to advance here.
TROY: The “I did it for me” moment finally sheds light on the fact that Walt continued to cook because he enjoyed everything about it, not because he felt like he had to. But having a bunch of guys in prison get whacked in the span of 60 seconds? Awesome.
MATT: The scene where Walt and Skyler fight for the knife is huge because of what happens towards the end of the scene with Walt Jr. That’s the first time Walt Jr. really gets to another level of anger with his father – enough to tackle him during this whole mess. That scene can’t beat this region’s 1-seed though for me because I wanted to see Jack and his men suffer so much after all they did up to that point.
DAN: The Walt and Skyler fight was a badass moment for Walter Jr., but it was mostly uncomfortable. I don’t even want to think about it anymore. Let’s just move on. Car chain gun wins.
TROY: So you’re telling me Walt killed a bunch of guys from some gizmo he built in the trunk of his car? Next.
TROY: The Desert Shootout was awesome. Gilligan stretched it out over two episodes, but you figured you knew what the outcome was going to be especially with those flash forward scenes of Walt in the beginning of season 5. But The Confession Tape gets the win here. It brought you back to so many events over the course of the series that brought validity to Walt’s blatant lie.
MATT: I think the point of spacing out the Desert Shootout between two episodes was supposed to increase suspense, but I agree with you Troy in saying it made the outcome more predictable. I’m also going with the Confession Tape because the scene was so well done that I felt like I was in Hank and Marie’s shoes with how flabbergasted I was at that move by Walt.
DAN: Make it a clean sweep for the confession tape. The problem with the desert shootout is that it was orchestrated by someone who never intended for it to go down that way. Without Walt, there is no shootout. Yet what happened was totally unplanned and totally out of his control. Instead of being a badass shootout, it was a major defeat.
MATT: To this day, I’m still shocked and impressed Breaking Bad made it completely believable that a hitman as old as Mike could be that effective. What’s more badass than a hitman sensing someone hiding behind a wall ready to attack, then shooting through the wall to kill the guy? You’re a legend, Mike Ehrmantraut. I’m actually going with the upset in this match-up though because I loved Huell before he was Huell when he was competing in Last Comic Standing as Lavell Crawford. Huell makes every scene better. The badass part of the scene at Ted’s house is how shocking it was to see Ted slip and crash all of a sudden.
TROY: Kuby and Huell at Ted’s house was one of those funny moments of Breaking Bad. Ted gets so freaked out that he slips and hits his head, but this scene is far from badass. Mike, on the other hand, shooting a guy from behind a wall? Now we’re talking.
DAN: I liked the Huell and Kuby combo. And I’m really happy that Huell was reasonably happy. But they were more comedy, and Ted being intimidated by them had more to do with Ted being a square than anything. Mike wins running away.
TROY: Walt poisoning Lydia was a sneaky move that was pretty obvious by the camera angle when she was putting the sugar into her tea. But Walt knocking out the rival dealers and taking care of something Jesse should have — in public nonetheless — wins here.
MATT: I’m with you brother man. It was pretty obvious during the series finale that Walt used the ricin on Lydia at the coffee shop. I was hoping Walt would use the ricin for a better reason than fairly annoying Lydia. This 2-seed scene left me utterly speechless though with its badassery. It was a truly perfect Heisenberg moment.
DAN: I still have no idea how you actually open and re-shut a Stevia packet, but that’s why Walt is the science genius. It was a nice move, albeit kind of a side note more than anything. But Walt running over the dealers was a defining badass moment and easily gets the nod.
CAR WASH REGION
MATT: Hector intentionally soiling his pair of Depends is an 8-seed for a reason. It has no chance here. I did like that Jesse was saved in that instance by that move by Hector though. While that was a scene I wouldn’t be too proud of if I were Hector, the 1-seed in this match-up is one that was more than an honorable one in my opinion. Gus getting blown up basically was another example of how Breaking Bad perfectly used some gore. I remember my jaw dropping when I saw Gus walk out of that hospital room like it was yesterday.
TROY: Maybe not exactly what we’re looking for, but that’s a badass move by Hector – catch my drift? He told Hank and Steve exactly how he felt. But we’ll retire this one and move on with Walt bombing the nursing home.
DAN: Hector’s power play at the DEA office is an underrated move. There’s not much more you can do as a crippled dude. But Hector’s defecation is going up against Hector’s defining moment and isn’t taking down the Face-Off tour de force.
MATT: Badger is a close second to Huell for my favorite comic relief Breaking Bad character. Even when he strayed from his harmless and goofy demeanor that one time when he beat up Jesse in the RV, he did it in a hilarious and lovable way by spinning Jesse around while screaming, “Helicopter!” I screamed out loud in excitement during the series finale when Badger and Skinny Pete were brought back to have that small role as the laser pointer assassins. It was grin-inducing when it was revealed those two were the supposed assassins, but it wasn’t as badass by nature as the 4-seed here. The 6353 Juan Tabo scene gave viewers a prime example of Jesse having no other option than to do something he certainly did not want to go through with. At that point in the show, more and more of those desperate decisions had to be made by Walt and Jesse. Rest in peace, Gale.
TROY: When the final episode rolled around, I was wondering if we would see Badger and Skinny Pete again. Boom! The two best assassins west of the Mississippi. Like Matt said, the moment where we realized it was them, was great comedic relief. It was certainly a shocker, but it doesn’t compare to Jesse killing Gale as ordered by Walt while he himself is being held at gunpoint.
DAN: The assassins move wasn’t badass on the part of Badger and Pete, who were a little freaked out by the whole thing. It was much more about Walt’s calm, brutal takedown of the Schwartz’s in their house. Walt was in total control throughout the entire scene, and his “You’re gonna need a bigger knife” moment was pure Mike in the most badass way imaginable. Still, Walt making the reciting of an address that badass can’t be denied. Yeah.
TROY: Todd shooting Drew Sharp, the kid on his bike in the desert, was one of those moments that almost made you lose faith in the show. Killing a kid? It was unfathomable and it was extremely hard to like Todd as a character from that point on. It was a bold – and possibly necessary – move by Todd, but it’s nothing like Hank shutting his garage door and punching Walt. That was the moment where you really knew it was all about to get real, so that’s why it’s moving on.
MATT: I’m drinking your Kool-Aid Mr. Weller with what you said about the reaction to the scene where Todd shoots the boy. Breaking Bad was a show that did a lot of its heavy lifting with shock factor. That was no different when an episode depicted something that simply being a human would make you despise: murder of a child. Todd did it like it was nothing. I wanted to jump in the screen and slap a Jean-Claude Van Damme or Steven Seagal neck snap on Todd when he did this. How could the usually timid Landry Clarke from Friday Night Lights do this?! That scene was jaw-dropping, but there was so much more significance to the scene where Hank confronts Walt after figuring out he was Heisenberg. That was the scene Breaking Bad fans since the very beginning (I’m willing to say that does not include me – I watched most of the series this past summer) were waiting for. Winner winner, Los Pollos Hermanos chicken dinner!
DAN: Like I said before, Todd never came off as a badass to me, just psychopathic. There’s a difference. Like Andrea, Drew Sharp did nothing wrong. Meanwhile, Hank confronting Walt felt like a long-time coming, but was actually a ballsy move for how early it came after Hank figured it out. Walt made a strong play by daring Hank to reveal that he knew, and Hank didn’t back down. When the chips were down, Hank was always up to the challenge.
TROY: I think Jesse calling the Cartel Chef an asshole is underseeded here. That was a great moment, where a little punk from Albuquerque goes toe-to-toe with members of an enormous criminal operation. Here’s Pinkman, dressed in street clothes, talking smack to a guy in a lab coat about how he knows the process better. But walking into the line of fire, and then trolling the guy who’s shooting at you by begging him to pull the trigger? That’s the definition of badass.
MATT: I also was thoroughly amused by the scene where scruffy Jesse Pinkman had the coconut-sized balls to insult the head meth cook of the mighty Mexican cartel right in his face. I thought Jesse was going to get roughed up for that, but he had enough respect from the cartel bosses at that point for them to trust him more in that instance than their long-time actual scientist of a cook. Like Weller said, walking forward further into the range of a sniper that’s already shot down some of your men right around you makes me want to run through a wall right now just thinking about it. Gus, let’s come up with a secret handshake together.
DAN: It really is underrated, Jesse standing up to the guy. He earned that moment. But it’s just not going to be able to compete here. Tough seeding.
MATT: The bloody bathtub scene was wild, to say the least. In television shows and movies where it shows bodies getting basically disintegrated using hydrochloric acid, you usually don’t see the majority of the gruesome contents of that bloody “stew”. Breaking Bad always pushes the envelope and they did it again by not sparing anything showing viewers every bloody nook and cranny of what was in that tub when it busted through the ceiling. All of that being said, Gus poisoning the cartel was a shocking power play of epic proportions. That naughty water was extra naughty in that scene. The 1-seed has my vote this time around.
DAN: Intention means a lot. The bathtub was a shocking image, but it was an accident, which doesn’t make it particularly badass in the context of the show. Gus advances.
TROY:The bath tub falling through the ceiling was one of those unforgettable scenes from Breaking Bad because of how graphic it was. But it doesn’t measure up to Gus taking out a bunch of guys with tainted tequila.
TROY: This one is another tough match-up. Walt killing Krazy Eight is a huge moment in his development as a character, as it’s the first time he ruthlessly kills someone because of what he’s gotten in to. But Walt revealing his Heisenberg side to Skyler for the first time really puts into motion her character development as well. That moment wins this one.
MATT: Like you said Troy, Walt choking out Krazy Eight is a huge moment in the show for the progression of Cranston’s character. I think that’s the first moment where Walt realizes he can’t put much trust into the other people in this new line of work he’s got himself into. That moment was awesome, but “I am the one who knocks” will go down as one of the most infamous lines in TV history in my opinion. That’s ballgame.
DAN: Walt viewed killing Krazy Eight as a “no way out” situation because he was prepared to stab him with the broken plate. That takes away from it a bit too.
TROY: I’m taking the upset here. “Say My Name” was a moment where Walt certainly asserted himself as the alpha-male over Declan’s crew, but there’s something about breaking into a police compound to destroy evidence with a magnet truck that screams badass.
MATT: “Say my name” is certainly one of the most badass TV lines I’ve ever heard in my life (sorry Uncle Jessie from Full House) like “I am the one who knocks,” but I’m also going against chalk with this match-up. Plus, I dreamed of a Breaking Bad world where Mike and Walt could just get along, which this scene dashed any legitimate hopes of. Using a gigantic magnet on an entire room of stuff is something you’d think was in a Looney Tunes cartoon or a secret agent movie, but Breaking Bad did it and did it well.
DAN: The magnet was a cool move and one of Jesse’s first real triumphs, but let’s not forget that it caused a whole other set of problems when it revealed the Cayman Island bank account information and wiped out Mike’s funds. My vote is for Say My Name.
TROY: Walt’s last moment – laying on the floor of the Nazi’s meth lab – was a scene where all the greatness that was Breaking Bad all flooded back to the viewer at once. His bloody handprint on the steel drum is unforgettable, symbolizing his fate. But it wasn’t badass. Hank taking out both of the Cousins was one of the more gory scenes in the entire series, and the way he did it was incredible. This wins easily.
MATT: Once I figured out Walt was actually dead in that final moment of the show ever, I was able to bask in how perfectly constructed it was from the background music to the location. It made me want to give Gilligan a hearty bro embrace. But, the badass meter was higher when Hank took on the cousins. That gets my vote because those cousins were too smug and quiet for my liking.
DAN: This is easily Hank vs. the Cousins for me. Walt’s last moment didn’t strike me as badass, as Troy said. Not to say it’s not a fitting ending, it just shouldn’t be in this bracket. Damn small conference champions.
Now that you have heard from our bracketologists, head over to the voting page to help decide the first round matchups BY CLICKING BELOW. The results will be posted on Friday, along with the voting for the Sweet 16 round!