Breaking Bad (2008–2013)
8.4/10
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14 user 21 critic

Gray Matter 

Clip
2:02 | Clip
Walt rejects everyone who tries to help him with the cancer. Jesse tries his best to create Walt's meth, with the help of an old friend.

Director:

Tricia Brock

Writers:

Vince Gilligan (created by), Patty Lin
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bryan Cranston ... Walter White
Anna Gunn ... Skyler White
Aaron Paul ... Jesse Pinkman
Dean Norris ... Hank Schrader
Betsy Brandt ... Marie Schrader
RJ Mitte ... Walter White, Jr.
Adam Godley ... Elliott Schwartz
Jessica Hecht ... Gretchen Schwartz
Matt Jones ... Badger
William Sterchi ... Manager
Marc Mouchet Marc Mouchet ... Farley
Kiira Arai Kiira Arai ... Server (as Kiira Arai Sniegowski)
Bill Allen ... Scientist (as William Allen)
Loren Haynes ... Music Producer
Kyle Swimmer Kyle Swimmer ... Louis
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Storyline

Jesse tries to get a regular job and put his drug dealing behind him but he finds that there are few opportunities for someone with his education and experience. Jesse tries to cook a new batch of meth but can't come anywhere near Walt's standard. After attending a birthday party at a now very rich friend's house, Walt reconnects with his one-time business partner Elliott who offers him a job. It turns out Skyler told Elliott about his condition and Walt is not very pleased. Walt Jr. tries to get someone to buy him a six-pack but is busted in the process. He calls his uncle Hank to pick him up and Hank learns from Skyler that it's Walt senior who admitted smoking marijuana. Finding his behavior bizarre, the family sets up a intervention where they all get to tell Walt what they think about the situation. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 February 2008 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In this episode, Bryan Cranston is in bed and he snuggles up to his wife's pillow. He grabs her face cream off of her nightstand and smells it. Bryan Cranston does the same type of thing when he played "Hal" on Malcolm in the Middle (2000), but it was his wife Lois' Vicks VapoRub he was smelling. See more »

Goofs

During the "talking pillow" scene, the afghan on the couch behind Walt Jr and Marie changes position several times while Marie is talking. See more »

Quotes

Walter H. White: What the hell did you say to Elliot?
Skyler White: What?
Walter H. White: You told him about the cancer didn't you? Didn't you? I can't believe it.
Skyler White: OK, we we're talking. He asked how you were doing and I am sorry but I don't have the best poker face these days where that's concerned. He knew something was wrong with you and he pressed me.
Walter H. White: He pressed you, come on.
Skyler White: Walt, when it came right down to it, I didn't know what else to do but tell him the truth.
Walter H. White: The truth? Well how about you just said 'He's fine' huh? You think maybe ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Uh
Performed by Fujiya & Miyagi
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User Reviews

 
It's intervention time
28 May 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

'Breaking Bad' is one of the most popular rated shows on IMDb, is one of those rarities where every season has either been very positively received or near-universally acclaimed critically and where all of my friends have said nothing but great things about.

Very few shows in recent memory had me so hooked from the very start that before the week was over the whole show had been watched, especially when for a lot of shows now airing watching one episode all the way through can be an endeavour. 'Breaking Bad' had that effect on me, and its reputation as one of the best, consistently brilliant and most addictive shows in many years (maybe even ever) is more than deserved in my eyes. Its weakest season is perhaps the first season, understandable as any show's first season is the one where things are still settling.

Actually everything is established remarkably from the very start, but once the writing and characterisation becomes even meatier the show reaches even higher levels.

"Gray Matter" is not quite as good as in particular the exceptional pilot episode, one of the best television show pilots ever, and "And the Bag's in the River". It doesn't quite have as much of the tension and tautness of those episodes. It is still a wonderful and hugely compelling episode, even though very dialogue-heavy and action-light. Badger for my tastes is a bit too much of an idiot which detracts and jars from the episode's seriousness.

Visually, "Gray Matter" is both stylish and beautiful, with photography and editing that are cinematic quality and put a lot of films today to shame, where there are a lot of visually beautiful ones but also some painfully amateurish looking ones. The music always has the appropriate mood, never too intrusive, never too muted.

The writing for "Gray Matter" is a fine example of how to have a lot of style but also to have a lot of substance. The dialogue throughout is thought-provoking and tense, while also have a darkly wicked sense of humour and heart-tugging pathos. The story is texturally rich, intimate, tense and layered, with the pace of it consistently deliberate but taut enough. The direction couldn't be better.

Can't say anything bad about the acting. Bryan Cranston is phenomenal as one of the most fascinating anti-heroes, or even of any kind of character, in either film or television. Aaron Paul has never been better and Anna Gunn is affecting. The characters are compelling in their realism.

Overall, wonderful. 9/10 Bethany Cox


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