SWAMP TALK: VINCE GILLIGAN COMING TO UF AND TOP BREAKING BAD MOMENTS

By Phillip Heilman

Image Courtesy: theguardian.com
Image Courtesy: theguardian.com

Although I’m not usually that interested in the speakers brought to the University of Florida by ACCENT, they sure have cooked up a doozy tonight.

Vince Gilligan, the creator of the award-winning television series “Breaking Bad” is speaking tonight at 8 at the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

Tickets went on sale yesterday for students, and the general public can pick theirs up starting today at 5 p.m.

Breaking Bad ran for five seasons, becoming one of the most widely watched television series ever at its conclusion earlier this year. Gilligan was the one behind the show (other than the actors) and is widely known as a creative genius.

That said, in honor of his arrival in Gainesville, here are my top five favorite Breaking Bad moments.

(If you haven’t watched the show in its entirety, maybe you should just go read a weather report or something instead.)

5. The Pilot

Most shows — no matter how great they may be — take time to develop.

Breaking Bad wasn’t one of those shows.

The opening scene left an indelible image of Walter White frantically driving his RV with only his underwear on. Oh, yeah, he is also holding a gun and seemingly tapes a suicide message to his family.

Spectacular.

4. Walt’s “Fugue State”

In Season 2, Walt and Jesse Pinkman get mixed up with a crazy character named Tuco, who captures them and takes them across the border (seemingly ready to kill them).

The pair escape, but Walt realizes after being gone for so long, he has no alibi for his unknowing wife and family. So, what does he do? He strips his clothes off and walks into a grocery store, later explaining he has no recollection of how he got there or where he had been the previous few days, calling it a “fugue state.”

Watching the reactions to a nude Walt aimlessly walking through the grocery story was pretty great.

(Side note: The first two of my “best of” moments involve Walt running around fully naked or half naked. Maybe that says something about my interests? Weird.)

3. “I Am The One Who Knocks”

The most iconic speech of the show comes in Season 4 when Walt’s transformation from innocent high school chemistry teacher to raging meth dealer becomes known to his wife, Skyler.

Skyler confides to Walt that she is fearful he is in too deep and could be in danger. She begs him to go to the police to protect himself and their family.

Instead, Walt goes full Heisenberg on her, capped with his “I am the one who knocks” speech.

2. The Death of Gus Fring

Before there were the crazy Nazis in the latter half of Season 5, there was Gus Fring, who was the show’s ultimate antagonist.

From the outside, Gus looked pretty clean. He was the manager of a chicken restaurant, “Los Pollos Hermanos” (which led to plenty of hilarious interactions between Walt and Hank) and was squeaky clean.

However, Gus might have been the most ruthless killer on the show and the only one savvy enough to keep Walt from establishing his kingdom.

That is, until Walt blew up Gus — literally, blew half his freakin’ face off — during Season 4.

Walt planted a bomb underneath the wheelchair of a common — acquaintance, I guess you could say — of him and Gus. The next time Gus went to visit, well, boom.

One of the best moments in a great series.

1. Ozymandias

Breaking Bad hit its peak in Season 5, Episode 14, titled “Ozymandias.”

The neo Nazis kill Hank (after one of the most epic final sets of lines a character could say), leading Walt to fully break down, realizing he caused all of this.

After killing Hank, the neo Nazis capture Jesse and take him prisoner, which sets up the series finale, when Walt comes back to save his former friend and partner before being killed.

So, that is my list. In a series that is as truly amazing as Breaking Bad was for so long, there were countless more moments that could have made the list. Honorable mentions go to Walt’s Confession Tape, the Fly Episode, the Train Heist and Walt Watching Jane Die.

What are your favorite moments? Let us know in the comments.

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