Plot

Though his cancer is now in remission, Walter White (Cranston) is no longer the teacher or family man he once was. Kicked out by Skyler (Gunn), he re-teams with Jesse (Paul) and accepts a lucrative offer from Albuquerque kingpin Gus Fring (Esposito) to cook crystal meth in a state of the art laboratory. Meanwhile, a couple of cartel hitmen come looking for Walt…

Review

Delving deeper into the shadowy crime thriller side of things than ever before, season three of Breaking Bad is arguably the darkest and best yet. As always, it’s a slow-burn affair that often includes quieter, introspective episodes (such as Rian Johnson’s bottle episode, set entirely inside the super lab), but the payoffs and game-changing moments that result are always worth it. For example, the finale boasts a brilliantly-orchestrated sequence where Jonathan Banks’ fixer (happily getting an expanded role) skillfully dispatches of four Mexican gunmen, while the season’s high point comes in episode seven when Dean Norris’ Hank takes on mute twin assassins in a stunning car park shootout. It almost goes without saying that Bryan Cranston is magnificent throughout, somehow remaining sympathetic – for now – despite Walt breaking bad even further, while Arron Paul’s Jesse runs him a very close second. Elsewhere, Giancarlo Esposito’s unflappable drug kingpin is also given a welcome upgrade to key player status, while Bob Odenkirk’s sleazy lawyer continues to elevate the entertainment quotient no end (“My very own PI is threatening to break my legs! That’s like Thomas Magnum threatening that little prissy guy with the moustache”).

Verdict

Delving deeper into the shadowy crime thriller side of things than ever before, season three of Breaking Bad is arguably the darkest and best yet.