Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

"Phoenix" is the twelfth episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the nineteenth episode altogether.



Having successfully delivered his thirty-eight pounds of meth to Gus, Walt races into the parking lot of an abandoned motel. There, he calls the hospital and learns that Skyler has given birth. Walt stashes a duffel bag inside his Aztek and races to Skyler's hospital room, where he tenderly holds his newborn daughter. Also in the room is Ted, who had driven Skyler to the hospital. Walt returns home to retrieve Skyler's overnight bag and unload his duffel bag, which is packed with over $1 million in cash.

Act I[]

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The next morning, Jane is roused by a phone call from her father, Donald. When she tells Jesse that someone broke into his apartment through the back door, Jesse races into the kitchen and panics upon finding the meth missing. After Jane and Donald attend a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, the two talk at a coffee shop. Donald asks if Jane is dating Jesse, and is unconvinced when she says she isn't.

Meanwhile, at the White residence, Walt Jr. answers a silent phone call. When it rings again, Walt lunges for it, pretending it's about the new baby. When he's out of earshot, Walt berates Jesse for calling at his home number while Jesse tells him that the meth is missing. Walt remains silent as Jesse begs Walt to say something, even yell at him. Walt then hangs up the phone. A few moments later, Jesse notices that there are four messages on his answering machine.

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That evening, Hank and Marie are at the White residence for a family dinner, consisting of chicken from Los Pollos Hermanos. While they eat, Skyler tells the family that she plans to return to Beneke Fabricators; with Walt's upcoming surgery she will need to supplement her income. During night, Walt walks his new daughter, Holly, around the house. He shows her the cash he's hidden behind the wall insulation in the garage. "Daddy did that for you," he says.

Act II[]

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The next day, Jesse enters Walt's classroom and angrily confronts him for taking the meth stash, having listened to the messages and realizing it was Walt who broke in. In response, Walt angrily blames Jesse for being strung out during "the biggest deal of our lives" and forcing him to miss Holly's birth as a result. Jesse asks for his half of the deal, which amounts to $480,000 after Saul's 20% cut. Walt refuses to give him the money, stating that Jesse will kill himself within a week as he would spend his share on drugs. However, Walt informs Jesse that if he stops the drug usage, he will give him his share. Jesse insists that he is currently clean, but balks when Walt hands him a glass beaker and challenges him to take a urine test. Walt then refers to Jane as being his "junkie girlfriend," prompting Jesse to throw the beaker against the chalkboard, shattering it, before he storms out.

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Back home, Junior proudly unveils his new website:, where visitors can donate funds for Walt's surgery. Walt is mortified by the appeal for charity, but Skyler says that it would crush their son if Walt made him take it down, questioning why he is so offended to accept charity.

Walt then goes to Saul's office, where he expresses his frustration at having money that he can't tell his family about. Walt mentions the website that his son created, and Saul proposes using the website to funnel their money. He states that he knows of a hacker in Belarus who will launder Walt's drug money through his son's website, to make it seem like they're coming from multiple different computers around the world and in small increments. However, Walt resents the idea, as he does not want his family thinking the money is coming from anonymous benefactors and not from his hard earned efforts. Meanwhile, just as Jesse fades into a heroin high, he complains to Jane that Walt owes him 480. She says "Yeah, I'd be pissed if someone owed me $500 too." Before passing out completely, he continues to mumble "... thousand." and she is astonished by the amount.

Act III[]

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The following day, Donald attends a NA meeting without Jane. Returning to the duplex, he catches her exiting Jesse's apartment. Barging past her, Donald enters the apartment and spots an unconscious Jesse and the heroin implements on the bedside table. Enraged, he attacks Jesse, who brandishes a baseball bat in defense. Exasperated, Donald calls the police to report the drug use on his property, but relents when Jane promises to enter rehab the following day. However, after he leaves, Jane suggests that they can do whatever they want once they receive Jesse's share. Having been informed about Walt's identity as Heisenberg and his personal details from Jesse, she calls Walt at home and threatens to expose him publicly if he doesn't deliver the money that night.

Act IV[]

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As Jesse and Jane contemplate whether Walt will cave to their demands, Skyler sends Walt to the store for diapers. Walt grabs a duffel containing Jesse's share of the cash and heads to the duplex. When Jane greets him at the door, Walt insists on only handing over the money to Jesse. Upon handing the money to Jesse, Walt asks how he can be assured that Jane won't still expose him, to which Jane indicates that he couldn't ever be sure. When Walt tries to reason with Jesse, Jane then slams the door in Walt's face. With bundles of cash in both hands, Jane giddily says that the money will allow them to go anywhere and become anybody they want. Caught up in the moment, the couple dream about using their money to start a new life in New Zealand. Jane proposes that they become clean and dispose of their current heroin stash; however, upon returning to the bedroom, both of them glance longingly at the drugs on the nightstand.

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Walt goes to a bar and gets a call from Skyler, falsely telling her that he can't find the newborn size diapers at any store he's checked. He's overheard by Donald, also sitting at the bar, who congratulates him on his lie. Unaware that he is Jane's father, the two men talk about daughters and family, with Walt asking for advice. Referring to Jesse as an unnamed "nephew" who's in trouble, Walt describes the frustration of knowing what's best for adult "kids" who refuse to listen. Donald asks Walt if he considers his nephew to be family, and when Walt admits that he does, Donald responds that he shouldn't give up on family. Taking the conversation to heart, Walt decides to return to Jesse's apartment in the hopes of talking sense to him.

After getting no answer at the front door, Walt enters through the back door as he had before. Jesse and Jane are passed out in bed. Walt is saddened upon seeing the used syringes on the bedside table. When he attempts to wake up Jesse, Jane inadvertently flops onto her back. Moments later, Jane starts to vomit, and as she is on her back, she begins to choke on it. Walt initially moves to her side to help her — but after some contemplation, he pauses and decides to not save her.

With Jesse still passed out beside her, Walt watches as Jane asphyxiates on her own vomit and dies. He silently cries from his resolution to let her die, as he saw her as a negative influence on Jesse while also eliminating the chance of her exposing them.

Official Photos[]


  • The episode begins on a birth, Walter's daughter, Holly, and ends in a death, Donald's daughter, Jane. During the episode, Walt and Donald meet in the bar and briefly discuss their respective daughter. This discussion with Donald causes Walt to worry about Jesse and go home to find out if he is alright, which results in Jane's death, without Walt knowing at this time that she is Donald's daughter.
    • In the next episode, it is revealed that Phoenix is Jane Margolis's place of birth. The episode title is presumably based on the fact that Walt & Jesse's drug deals were operating again after aligning themselves with Gus due to the fact the Phoenix revives from its ashes after death, as well as the birth of Holly and the death of Jane.
      • Phoenix is also the name of the Mars lander which found water. Walt and Jane's father talked about the discovery in the bar after seeing a television report.
    • In the original script, Walt was supposed to enter Jesse's apartment and inject more heroin into Jane to purposefully kill her.
    • When Walt first walks into Jesse's room, Jane can be seen blinking even though she should be asleep.
    • Bryan Cranston said the scene with Jane affected him as a father as he imagined his own daughter in Jane's position, and that although it was very difficult for him to film, it is one of his favorite scenes.
  • The scene where Walt watches a documentary about elephants and listens to Skyler sing "Hush Little Baby" over the baby monitor will be referenced heavily in "Fly".
  • In the fourth opening "still" of the motel, a pink fluffy heap can be seen, closely resembling the pink teddy bear.
  • The website that Walt Jr. creates to collect donations for his father's cancer treatment was put up as a real website in 2010, with the donation button linking to the National Cancer Coalition website, an organization that no longer exists. From April 2012, the donation button linked to the NCC's donation page, until August 2013 when the donation button was removed. However, it was put back up in September 2013, but the button now links to the AMC website.




  • Tomas Potts as Tattooed Biker
  • Cydne Schulte as Tattooed Woman
  • Tony Whitecrow as Addict
  • Wendy Scott as Nurse
  • Erik J. Bockemeier as NA Sponsor

  • Filming Locations[]

    • Meth Drop Point - The very beginning of the episode shows Walt dropping of the bag full of meth at the De Anza Motor Lodge. The building is located at the corner of Washington and Route 66, Albuquerque NM.
      • As of 2020, Google satellite photos and street view show the hotel has been mostly demolished and a new structure is being built in its place. Google Maps
    • AA Group Meeting - Later in the episode Jane and her father go to a AA meeting, the outside of the building shown is located at 800 Barelas Rd SW, Albuquerque NM.

    Featured Music[]

    • "Baby's Coming" by Dave Porter (as Walt delivers the meth and rushes to the hospital)
    • "Desperate Times, Desperate Measures" by Susie Boehm (in the background during dinner with Hank & Marie)
    • "Hush Little Baby" performed by Anna Gunn as Skyler (sung to Holly while Walt watches TV)
    • "Green Grass & High Tides" by The Outlaws (playing in the bar when Walter talks to Donald)
    • "Jane's Demise" by Dave Porter (when Walt goes back to Jesse's apartment)

    Memorable Quotes[]

    "This is blackmail. Do right by Jesse. Tonight. Or I will burn you to the ground."
    ―Jane talking to Walter.