Breaking Bad (season 3)

Last updated
Breaking Bad
Season 3
Breaking Bad season 3 DVD.png
Season 3 DVD cover
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Original network AMC
Original releaseMarch 21 (2010-03-21) 
June 13, 2010 (2010-06-13)
Season chronology
Season 2
Season 4
List of episodes

The third season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on March 21, 2010, and concluded on June 13, 2010. It consisted of 13 episodes, each running about 47 minutes. AMC broadcast the third season on Sundays at 10:00 pm in the United States. The complete third season was released on Region 1 DVD and Region A Blu-ray on June 7, 2011. [1]


Season 3 saw actors Bob Odenkirk, Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks, who play Saul, Gus and Mike respectively, upgraded to main cast status after guest starring the previous season, although they are not credited for every episode until season 4.





No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
211"No Más" Bryan Cranston Vince Gilligan March 21, 2010 (2010-03-21)1.95 [2]
All of Albuquerque is in shock in the aftermath of the mid-air plane collision. Walt is living in his home alone after Skyler has moved out with Walt Jr. and their newborn daughter Holly to give Walt time to pack his things. Skyler speaks to a divorce lawyer about making the split permanent, but wavers when the attorney says she should try to uncover any money Walt may have hidden. Later, Skyler confronts Walt about the divorce and accuses him of being a weed dealer; Walt admits that he cooks meth, causing Skyler to leave, deeply shaken. Jesse is in rehab trying to overcome his drug addiction and come to terms with Jane's death. Walt tells Gus that he is leaving the business, though he briefly considers Gus' very lucrative offer. Meanwhile, two dangerous looking cousins cross into the US from Mexico in search of Heisenberg.
222"Caballo sin Nombre" Adam Bernstein Peter Gould March 28, 2010 (2010-03-28)1.55 [2]
Walt is having difficulty adjusting to his new life. He has an encounter with a police officer but manages to avoid charges, thanks to Hank's intervention. Skyler continues to not let Walt return home, dismaying Walt Jr., who does not understand his mother's behavior. Saul wants Walt to start producing meth again and takes steps to encourage him in that direction. Unbeknownst to Walt, the cousins (revealed to be Tuco's), discover where he lives. Jesse, meanwhile, stops by his old house and discovers that his parents have had it renovated and have put it up for sale. Relations are still strained between them, and Jesse approaches Saul to buy the house from his parents. The cousins arrive at Walt's home to kill him, but are called off at the last minute by Gus.
233"I.F.T." Michelle MacLaren George Mastras April 4, 2010 (2010-04-04)1.33 [2]
Walt moves back into the house and tells Skyler he has no intention of leaving. Walt Jr. is thrilled that his dad is back, but Skyler calls the police in an attempt to have Walt thrown out. The police don't intervene, however, and she stops short of revealing Walt's illegal activities. Jesse is still having trouble coming to terms with Jane's death, but has moved back into his house. Unbeknownst to Walt, Gus arranges a meeting with his Mexican cartel counterparts (including Tuco's cousins and uncle), and makes it clear that he wants Walt left alone. Hank, after finding out he is going to be transferred back to El Paso, lashes out in a bar. Walt explains to Skyler that he committed all of his illegal activities for the sake of the family, and begs her to accept the drug money. Later, Skyler seduces Ted, and that night, she coolly informs Walt of her infidelity.
244"Green Light" Scott Winant Sam Catlin April 11, 2010 (2010-04-11)1.46 [2]
Jesse gives meth to a cashier in exchange for gasoline. Walt makes a scene at Skyler’s workplace while confronting Ted, but Mike removes Walt before police can arrive. Saul tries to convince Walt to continue producing meth, but Walt refuses the offer and loses Saul’s help laundering money. Walt loses his job and is met by Jesse, who has produced a new batch of meth, following Walt's recipe. Walt rejects Jesse's product as substandard, and Jesse resolves to sell the product to Gus himself. Gus reluctantly agrees to the purchase, anticipating that Walt’s pride and financial need will convince him to accept his business proposition. Jesse makes the sale but receives only half the payment, while the second half is delivered to Walt. Hank forgoes his transfer to El Paso in order to pursue a new lead in the Heisenberg case, having found footage of Jesse's RV at the gas station.
255"Más" Johan Renck Moira Walley-Beckett April 18, 2010 (2010-04-18)1.61 [2]
Walt correctly deduces that Gus tried to lure him back into the business by giving him half of Jesse's sale, but still refuses to accept. Gus tries to convince him for a last time with a high-tech superlab. Meanwhile, Hank continues investigating the RV and has an argument with Marie, who is concerned for his well-being and worries that he might be hiding something from her. Marie confides in Skyler, which in turn makes her doubt her new relationship with Ted. Moreover, she reconsiders Walt's drug money and starts realizing that she might want to patch things up. In the end, though, Skyler comes home to find the divorce contract signed by Walt, and all his belongings gone, including the money. At Saul's office, Walt gives the money to Jesse but reveals that he has decided to cook again, angering Jesse but exciting Saul. Hank finds a link between the RV and Jesse when he discovers it had belonged to Combo's mother.
266"Sunset" John Shiban John ShibanApril 25, 2010 (2010-04-25)1.64 [2]
Walt settles into a new apartment and takes a liking to his new, well-qualified lab assistant, Gale. In the wake of the divorce, Walt Jr. wants answers about his parents' relationship. Walt realizes that Hank has discovered Jesse's link to the RV and orders it destroyed. When Jesse angrily arrives, Hank follows him and corners them inside the RV, but is unaware of Walt's presence. They avoid capture by drawing Hank away with Saul's assistance, who has his secretary call Hank and claim that Marie was in an accident. Hank realizes the ruse only when he goes to the hospital, and Walt and Jesse nostalgically watch as the RV is destroyed. Gus, seeing that Tuco's two cousins definitely intend to kill Walt and cannot be held at bay for long, successfully turns their attention instead to Hank.
277"One Minute"Michelle MacLaren Thomas Schnauz May 2, 2010 (2010-05-02)1.52 [2]
Hank brutally attacks Jesse in retaliation for the incident at the impound lot; in the hospital, Jesse tells Saul and Walt that he will make Hank's life miserable and continue cooking, threatening to hand Walt to the DEA if he or Saul intervene. Skyler pressures Walt to convince Jesse to drop the charges against Hank. Walt engineers a fallout with Gale, and over Gus' objections, offers Jesse a chance to renew their partnership. At first, Jesse angrily refuses, but later agrees. Hank tearfully reflects with Marie on how his professionalism has deteriorated since he killed Tuco, before being suspended without pay. Later, Hank receives an anonymous call warning him he has one minute before he is attacked. Tuco's cousins arrive and shoot him several times, but he manages to mortally wound one of them and kill the other.
288"I See You" Colin Bucksey Gennifer Hutchison May 9, 2010 (2010-05-09)1.78 [2]
Jesse is discharged from the hospital following Hank's attack on him, and sees Hank being admitted in critical condition. Marie lashes out at Hank's boss when she hears they had taken his gun away, as well as at Walt, whom she blames for putting Jesse on Hank's radar in the first place. Walt lets Gale go, and while Walt is at the hospital, Jesse is left on his own in the lab and, unable to cook, becomes worried about meeting their quota. At the hospital, Walt sees one of Hank's assailants recovering and realizes they were probably after him as well; Gus decides to pay a visit to the hospital, and Walt learns that Gus has known for a while that Hank is his brother-in-law. Minutes after Gus leaves, the other assailant dies, and Mike is seen nearby (though only by the audience) dropping an empty syringe into a sharps container then leaving. During a phone conversation with Gus, drug lord Juan Bolsa is shot in his home.
299"Kafkaesque" Michael Slovis Peter Gould & George MastrasMay 16, 2010 (2010-05-16)1.61 [2]
Walt and Jesse are in full production in the new lab and easily producing their target 200 pounds of meth per week, while Jesse skims some of the excess to sell on his own with Badger and Skinny Pete. Hank is still recovering in the hospital, and Marie is at a loss about what to do when she learns that their insurance will not provide the quality of physical therapy Hank requires to walk again. Skyler, certain that Walt is at least indirectly responsible for the attack on Hank, proposes that she and Walt pay the bills, spinning a tale about Walt's "gambling". Hank's work partner Gomez shows Hank a map that indicates blue meth has been sold in seven states, and tells Hank he was right about Heisenberg still being active. When Hank reveals that he received a warning phone call, Walt realizes that the attackers were after him, and that Gus deflected their attention onto Hank.
3010"Fly" Rian Johnson Sam Catlin & Moira Walley-BeckettMay 23, 2010 (2010-05-23)1.20 [2]
Walt is suffering from insomnia, worried about the direction his life has taken. Unaware that Jesse has been skimming, he is also concerned that their yield is a half-pound short of his calculations. His paranoia comes to a head when he spots a small housefly in the lab, and, worried about contamination, goes to extreme lengths to kill it. Jesse, at first dismissive, begins to help as well, and when he finds out Walt has not slept in two days, slips sleeping pills into Walt's coffee. Walt tries to pinpoint the exact moment when things got out of control. It becomes clear that the paranoia over contamination is not about the fly at all. Near delirium, Walt repeatedly refers to Jane and the night she died, but stops short of telling Jesse what really happened. While Walt sleeps, Jesse cooks the batch on his own. In the parking lot the following morning, Walt refers to the missing half-pound of meth and warns Jesse that there may be hidden cameras in the lab, and that he won't be able to protect Jesse if Gus finds out about the reason for the shortage.
3111"Abiquiu"Michelle MacLarenJohn Shiban & Thomas SchnauzMay 30, 2010 (2010-05-30)1.32 [2]
Skyler gets the first of Hank's hospital bills and, concerned that the money they use to pay them could be traced back to Walt's illegal activities, decides to get more involved in Walt's business affairs. Walt introduces her to Saul, but she is unimpressed by the investment Saul has lined up and has a better idea. Jesse tries to peddle the meth he has been skimming at the lab and, fed up with Badger and Skinny Pete's reluctance to sell to their rehab group, decides to sell to Andrea, a new member at their NA meeting. He ends up in a relationship with her and refuses to sell her meth when he finds out she has a six-year-old son. At the hospital, Marie is thrilled at the prospect of Hank's returning home, but he adamantly refuses to leave the hospital until he can walk. Gus invites Walt to dinner and dispenses sage advice. Jesse discovers that Andrea's little brother was the kid who shot Combo.
3212"Half Measures"Adam BernsteinSam Catlin & Peter GouldJune 6, 2010 (2010-06-06)1.19 [2]
Jesse is ready for revenge when he realizes that the drug dealers who killed his friend are not only peddling his and Walt's blue meth, but are using Andrea's 11-year-old brother Tomas as a hit man and drug dealer. Jesse is prepared to kill them and wants Walt to help him out. Walt refuses, but realizing the danger Jesse has put himself in, takes steps to protect him. Hank, meanwhile, is still reluctant to leave the hospital and go home, even though his doctors have told him he is free to leave at any time. Jesse learns that the drug dealers have chosen to end Tomas's involvement in their activities by killing the boy, and decides to kill the two dealers himself. Walt hears about the boy's death on TV and realizes Jesse is planning something. Jesse confronts the dealers, and as he and the dealers get their guns ready, Walt arrives in his car and runs the dealers over. A shocked Jesse stands watching, as Walt jumps out of his car, picks up a gun, and shoots one of the dealers in the head, telling Jesse to "run".
3313"Full Measure"Vince GilliganVince GilliganJune 13, 2010 (2010-06-13)1.56 [3]
After killing the drug dealers, Walt has a tense meeting with Gus, who makes it clear that his patience has reached its limit. Walt professes not to know the whereabouts of Jesse, who, he falsely claims, has fled the state. Gus chooses Walt's new assistant, who turns out to be Gale. In a meeting with Gale, Gus says that with his overhead he cannot afford to lose even a week's production. Walt realizes Gus intends to replace him with Gale, the only other trained chemist, and that he will be killed once Gale masters Walt's procedure. After he is abducted by Gus's men, Walt calls Jesse and orders him to murder Gale, knowing that Gus will have to keep him (and by extension Jesse) alive once he is the only trained chemist left. Victor races to Gale's apartment to stop this, but Jesse arrives first and, after some hesitation, pulls his gun on Gale and fires.


Unlike the second season, when the Breaking Bad writers planned the storyline for the entire season in advance of filming, the writing staff did not fully plan out the third season before production and instead developed the storyline as the episodes progressed. [4] The third episode is dedicated to Shari Rhodes (the location casting director for Breaking Bad) who died due to breast cancer during the filming. [5]

Gennifer Hutchison and Thomas Schnauz were added to the writing staff this season, both of whom had worked previously with Vince Gilligan on The X-Files . With the exception of John Shiban, who would leave at the end of the season to executive produce Hell on Wheels , [6] the writing staff for season three would remain on the show until its conclusion in 2013.

Home media releases

The third season was released on DVD in Region 1 and on Blu-ray in Region A on June 7, 2011, [1] in Region 4 on November 24, 2010 [7] and in Region 2 in Germany on May 19, 2011. [8]

Special features on the DVD and Blu-ray include nine audio commentaries:

Behind-the-scene featurettes include:

Also included is a gag reel, deleted scenes, and "Better Call Saul" commercials and testimonials. Exclusive to the Blu-ray release is Breaking Bad cast and crew photo collection. [1]



The third season of Breaking Bad scored 89 out of 100 on review aggregator site Metacritic indicating "universal acclaim". [9] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has an approval rating of 100% based on 35 reviews, with an average rating of 9.14/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Breaking Bad's well-toned storytelling flares up this season with dramatic story changes and calculated direction." [10] Time proclaimed "It's a drama that has chosen the slow burn over the flashy explosion, and it's all the hotter for that choice." [11] Newsday stated Breaking Bad was still TV's best series and it stayed true to itself. [12] Tim Goodman praised the writing, acting, and cinematography, pointing out the "visual adventurousness" of the series. Goodman went on to call the show's visuals as "a combination of staggering beauty – the directors make use of numerous wide-angle landscape portraits — and transfixing weirdness." [13] After the finale aired, The A.V. Club said that season three was "one of television's finest dramatic accomplishments. And what makes it so exciting — what makes the recognition of the current golden age so pressing — is that the season has not been, as [another reviewer] put it in another context, 'television good.' The heart-in-the-throat quality of this season comes as much from the writers' exhilarating disregard for television conventions as from the events portrayed." [14]

Awards and nominations

The third season received numerous awards and nominations, including seven Primetime Emmy Award nominations with two wins. Bryan Cranston won his third consecutive award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and Aaron Paul won for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series after being nominated the previous year. The series received its second consecutive nomination for Outstanding Drama Series; Michelle MacLaren was nominated for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for "One Minute". Michael Slovis was nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series for "No Más"; Skip Macdonald received his second nomination for Outstanding Single Camera Picture-Editing for a Drama Series for "No Más"; and it was also nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing for "One Minute". [15]

The series received four nominations for the Television Critics Association Awards, winning for Outstanding Achievement in Drama. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul were each nominated for Individual Achievement in Drama, with the series being nominated for Program of the Year. Cranston received his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Drama Series. [16] Cranston also received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series. [15] Cranston won his third consecutive Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series, with the series winning the award for Best Drama Series for a second year in a row. Paul was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. The series received four nominations for the Saturn Awards, winning the award for Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series for a second year in a row. Cranston was nominated for Best Actor on Television, Paul and Dean Norris were nominated for Best Supporting Actor on Television, and Giancarlo Esposito was nominated for Best Guest Starring Role on Television. The series received three Writers Guild of America Award nominations, for Best Drama Series, George Mastras for Best Episodic Drama for "I.F.T.", and Gennifer Hutchison for Best Episodic Drama for "I See You".

2010 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Breaking Bad Nominated [17]
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Bryan Cranston
Episode: "Full Measure"
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Aaron Paul
Episode: "Half Measures"
Outstanding Director for a Drama Series Michelle MacLaren
Episode: "One Minute"
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) Michael Slovis
Episode: "No Mas"
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing - Drama Series Skip Macdonald
Episode: "No Mas"
Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series Breaking Bad
Episode: "One Minute"

James Poniewozik of TIME named "One Minute" as the fourth-best television episode of 2010. [18] He also included "Fly", "Half Measures" and "Full Measure" on his list of honorable mentions. [19] The Futon Critic listed "Full Measure" as the sixth-best episode of 2010, saying that "No show has played with the expectations of we've come to expect from television more than Breaking Bad. [20] IGN named Breaking Bad the best television series of 2010. [21]

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