If you're a "Breaking Bad" devotee, news that the Sundance Channel will begin airing Seasons 1 through 4 of the show (beginning tonight at 11 PM) is a welcome chance to rewatch one of (if not the) greatest TV dramas of all time.
And for you "Bad" newbies … we envy you, because you have the chance to experience for the first time the unfolding of an incredibly written and acted story, led by two Emmy-winning actors (Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul) and an Emmy-worthy supporting cast.
With the last eight episodes of the series scheduled to premiere on AMC this summer, Sundance's off-network airings will run back to back every Monday night for the show's first 46 installments. Here, five moments every "BB" fan -- new and old -- should catch during the Sundance run (oh, MAJOR SPOILERS ahead):
(Warning: The following clips contain violence and adult language.)
1. Workin' at the car wash
Make that not working at the car wash. In the series premiere, meek, fed-up high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Cranston) -- who has to work a second job at a car wash just to make ends meet for his family -- does his best Johnny Paycheck when he tells his gruff, bushy-browed car wash boss to take his job and shove it, while referencing the eyebrows, slapping around some air fresheners, and throwing in a crotch grab for good measure. It's the first moment Walt really lets go of years of pent-up frustration, though it's certainly not the last.
2. The birth of Heisenberg
Season 1, "Crazy Handful of Nothin'"
As Walt's partner in crime, Jesse (Paul) would later proclaim, "Yay, science!" In this case, that science is fulminated mercury, which Walt uses to get the attention -- and the business -- of drug lord Tuco. Old Walt, meek Walt, would never have had the nerve to stand up to the menacing Tuco (Raymond Cruz), but Jesse has been beaten up and Walt's had to shave his head for chemotherapy. And in his new, emboldened state, his alter ego "Heisenberg" strides into Tuco's headquarters, blows the joint up (using the mercury), and demands that Tuco buy his special brand of crystal meth. With payment upfront.
3. What would you do?
Season 2, "Phoenix"
Walt had a choice in this episode, the penultimate installment of the season, when Jesse's new girlfriend, Jane (Krysten Ritter), was choking to death after a drug binge with fellow addict Jesse: Walt could save her life … or, he could save almost a half-million dollars in cash, and make sure Jane was no longer around to influence Jesse. It took the series' ability to shock -- and Walter White's conscience -- to a whole other level, and led to even more shocking fallout in the season finale.
4. "I am the one who knocks"
Season 4, "Cornered"
Skyler, realizing fully what danger Walt's enterprise has put her and the kids in, pleads with him to turn to the police to protect them. They're in danger, she argues. But Walter, fully believing his own Heisenberg hype by this point, just gets annoyed with her insistence that he's in danger, and that the bad guys are going to come knocking on their door. "I am not in danger, Skyler, I am the danger … a guy opens his door and gets shot, and you think that of me? No. I am the one who knocks!"
5. Blown away
Season 4, "Face Off"
Not even "The Wire" or "The Sopranos" put forth a more complicated, calculating, villain than Giancarlo Esposito's Gus Fring, who found out in a very just way in the Season 4 finale that he was smarter than almost everyone … except Walter White. It was part of a Season 4 ender that was so satisfying it could have served as the "Breaking Bad" series finale (though we're very happy it didn't).
"Breaking Bad" airs on Sundance Channel Mondays at 11 PM and midnight.
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