By Ken Tucker
Updated June 13, 2010 at 01:16 PM EDT

Breaking Bad

  • TV Show
  • AMC

Well, it’s the one we’ve been both waiting for and dreading: The third-season finale of Breaking Bad. After the gasping conclusion of last week’s hour — Bryan Cranston’s Walter White ramming into two drug dealers with his car and then shooting the one still breathing — the series’ stakes have been raised.

Compared to the dramatic scope and cast-size of Lost, Breaking Bad is almost minimalist TV, a Samuel Beckett play for television drama: It can’t go on, it will go on.

The season was studded with memorable moments and lines. Among the ones I think of most fondly:

• In the season premiere, Walt’s wife Skyler spitting out the accusation, “You’re a drug dealer!” To which Walt replied, as though the nicety of language made a difference in their lives at that point, “I’m a manufacturer, not a dealer.”

• The moment when Walt angrily throws the pizza on top of the roof of his garage. (Cranston told my colleague Dalton Ross and me, “That was a nice accident, done in one take. We thought it would just kind of splatter against the house, but I held the pizza in my hand, testing its heft, and just gave it my best effort. Turned out nice, didn’t it?”)

• Bob Odenkirk’s magnificently oily attorney Saul looking from a disheveled-looking Jesse to Walter and saying to Walt, “You are now officially the cute one in the group. Paul, meet Ringo; Ringo, meet Paul.”

• Hank’s confrontation with the deadly cousins in the suburban parking lot in episode seven, “One Minute,” as amazing an action scene as any show has presented all year.

• In the uniquely-shot episode “Fly,” Jesse’s hilariously exasperated comment as Walt grows ever-more obsessed with cleaning their meth-making equipment: “We make poison for people who don’t care. We probably have the most un-picky customers in the world!”

I’ll be back here early tomorrow for a complete wrap-up, but in the meantime, I ask you:

What do you hope happens in the season finale, and how much are you going to miss this show?

And: what were some of your favorite moments of the past season?

Follow: @kentucker

Episode Recaps

Breaking Bad

Walter White descends into the criminal underworld.

  • TV Show
  • 5
  • Off Air
  • AMC
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