Breaking Bad Wiki
Breaking Bad Wiki

The first season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad premiered on January 20, 2008 and concluded on March 9, 2008. It consisted of 7 episodes, each running approximately 47 minutes in length. AMC broadcast the first season on Sundays at 9:00 pm in the United States. There were 9 episodes planned for the first season but this was cut short by the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. The complete first season was released on Region 1 DVD on February 24, 2009 and Region A Blu-ray on March 16, 2010.


Walter White, an underpaid and unappreciated high school chemistry teacher, is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Desperate to secure the financial future of his family, wife Skyler and son Walt Jr., he quits his second job at a car wash and teams up with his former student Jesse Pinkman, now a drug dealer known as Cap’n Cook, to make and sell crystal meth for profit. "You know the business, and I know the chemistry," he tells his former student and soon-to-be partner, who later declares Walt "a damn artist", after sampling the first batch cooked in their mobile-drug-lab.

Jesse takes said sample to Krazy-8, his distributor and cousin of Jesse's recently busted drug-dealing partner Emilio Koyama. Emilio, out on bail and convinced by Krazy 8 that Jesse ratted him out, sets up a double-cross. When an encounter with all four in the desert turns goes wrong, Jesse is knocked unconscious and Walt is held at gunpoint and convinces Emilio and Krazy 8 that if they spare his life, he'll show them his cooking process. Unexpected by the two, Walt creates a chemical explosion, leaving Emilio dead and Krazy-8 in a bad condition. ("Pilot").

Krazy-8 successfully manages to escape, only to have Walt recapture him then lock him to a pole in Jesse's basement. Jesse and Walt then flip a coin to determine who'll dissolve Emilio's body in acid (Jesse's job) and who'll kill Krazy-8 (Walt's job). Skyler, meanwhile, traces a suspicious call from Jesse. Later, when Skyler asks whom the caller was, Walt tells her that Jesse is his pot dealer.

Skyler visits Jesse to tell him to stop selling her husband marijuana. After she leaves, Jesse gets to work on dis-incorporating Emilio's body. Because he ignores Walt's specific instructions to use a polyethylene plastic container, opting instead to pour hydrofluoric acid on Emilio in the bathtub, the acid completely eats through the tub, which collapses to the floor below leaving Walt and Jesse with a bloody mess to clean up ("Cat's in the Bag...").

At Walt's house, Skyler poses vague questions about marijuana to her sister Marie Schrader, who jumps to the conclusion that they're discussing Walter Jr., despite Skyler's denials. Shortly thereafter, Marie persuades her husband, Hank Schrader, a DEA agent, to scare the boy straight. Marie is breaking the law herself, however, having stolen a pair of shoes from a store where she felt the sales clerk was ignoring her.

Season 1 promo pic

In another part of town, Jesse bolts from his house after Walt berates him for divulging personal information to Krazy-8. Walt says they have more work to do, but Jesse begs to differ, stating that "Coin flip is sacred! Your job is waiting for you in the basement." A heart-to-heart with Walt leaves Krazy-8 self-assured that Walt will spare him, but when Walt realizes Krazy-8 intends to kill him, he strangles the dealer to death. After disposing of the body, Walt gets back home and finally reveals to Skyler that he has cancer ("...and the Bag's in the River").

At a family barbecue, Walt reveals his illness to Marie, Hank, and Walter Jr. Walt balks at spending $5,000 to see a renowned oncologist. Walter Jr., frustrated by his dad's lack of emotion, blurts out, "Then why don't you just fucking die already?" Walt relents, using drug profits to pay the bill.

Jesse, haunted by recent events, flees to his parents' house. There, the maid discovers a joint. Jesse denies it's his, but his parents kick him out. As he leaves, his younger brother, Jake Pinkman, thanks Jesse for not telling on him ("Cancer Man").

Season 1 promo pic 2

At a birthday party at his fancy home, Elliott Schwartz, Walt's Nobel-prize winning former colleague, offers Walt employment, saying his company provides excellent health insurance. Walt declines the offer, later accusing Skyler of putting Elliott up to it.

Jesse attempts to cook meth with his friend Badger but can't match Walt's quality. At a family pow-wow about Walt's cancer, Walt tells everyone, "All I have left is how I choose to approach (having cancer)"; he chooses not to have chemo. The next morning, though, he says he'll accept treatment and Elliott's help with it.

At a chemotherapy clinic, Walt tells Skyler he's taking Elliott's money but in fact, he's using the drug-dealing profits. With his chemo bills mounting, Walt reunites with Jesse and tells him that they need to sell meth in bulk ("Gray Matter").

Having discovered a gas mask (labeled property of Walt's high school) in the desert, Hank inventories the storage room of Walt's chemistry lab and concludes that "some meth monkey had a feeding frenzy" there.


Jesse finagles an interview with Tuco Salamanca, Krazy-8's "badass" replacement as a distributor. Tuco loves Walt's meth but refuses to pay for it up front, beating up Jesse and swiping the meth. Walt returns to face down Tuco, using the identity of "Heisenberg," deceiving him with what looks like meth, but which is actually fulminated mercury that Walt uses to demolish Tuco's office. "You got balls," Tuco allows, and they make a deal for more meth ("Crazy Handful of Nothin'").

Jesse becomes outraged upon learning that Walt is doing business with Tuco. Things turn tenser still when Walt can't deliver Tuco's meth order in time. Walt talks Tuco into a loan, albeit at high interest, so that he and Jesse can procure the proper supplies.

Walt tells Skyler he's going to a sweat lodge but instead heads to Jesse's house. He congratulates Jesse for scoring the supplies, though a key chemical is missing. Jesse knows thieves who can steal it, but they want ten grand. Walt suggests he and Jesse pinch it themselves.

Meanwhile, Skyler heads to a jewelry store to return a baby-sized diamond tiara Marie gave at her baby shower. When she approaches the owner with the gift she is apprehended and informed it was stolen. Faking labor pains, Skyler avoids arrest and confronts Marie, who is evasive.

Walt and Jesse pull off their heist and cook in Jesse's basement. At an auto junkyard, Walt delivers the new meth to Tuco, who is ecstatic about the results. When one of Tuco's henchmen presumes to speak for him, Tuco viciously beats up the guy. Walt and Jesse look on in shock. Finishing up, Tuco laughs and tells Walt he'll see him next week ("A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal").



Cast Portrays Ep. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Bryan Cranston Walter White 7
Anna Gunn Skyler White 7
Aaron Paul Jesse Pinkman 7
Dean Norris Hank Schrader 6
Betsy Brandt Marie Schrader 6
RJ Mitte Walter White Jr. 7

Notable Co-Starring


Awards and nominations[]

Ceremony Category Nominee(s) Result
60th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series Vince Gilligan ("Pilot") Nominated
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Bryan Cranston ("Pilot") Won
Outstanding Cinematography for a One Hour Series John Toll ("Pilot") Nominated
Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series Lynne Willingham ("Pilot") Won
13th Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Television Series – Drama Bryan Cranston Won
35th Saturn Awards Best Television Presentation Breaking Bad Nominated
Best Actor on Television Bryan Cranston Nominated
24th TCA Awards Outstanding New Program Breaking Bad Nominated
61st Writers Guild of America Awards Best New Series Breaking Bad Nominated
Best Episodic Drama Vince Gilligan ("Pilot") Won
Patty Lin ("Gray Matter") Nominated
58th American Cinema Editors Eddie Awards Best Edited One-Hour Series for Commercial Television Lynne Willingham ("Pilot") Won
PRISM Awards 2009 Best Drama Series Multi-Episode Storyline Breaking Bad Won
Best Performance in a Drama Multi-Episode Storyline Bryan Cranston Nominated
IGN Awards 2010 Best New Series Breaking Bad Nominated
Best Actor Bryan Cranston Won
American Film Institute Awards 2008 Best Television Program of the Year Breaking Bad Won
2010 Artios Awards Outstanding Achievement in Casting: Television Series – Drama Sharon Bialy and Sherry Thomas Nominated
2008 Peabody Awards Area of Excellence Breaking Bad Won
2009 PEN Center USA West Literary Awards Best Teleplay George Mastras ("Crazy Handful of Nothin'") Won
Producers Guild of America Awards 2009 Television Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Drama Breaking Bad Nominated


  • This season has the least episodes in the entire Breaking Bad Universe, even when including Breaking Bad's Season 5A and 5B. Despite this, it contains the longest episode in the show, "Pilot".
  • This is the only season in which Walter White Jr. appears in every episode
  • This is the only season of Breaking Bad in which Mike Ehrmantraut and Saul Goodman do not appear at all.

The DVD & Blu-ray[]

DVD Special Features Include
  • Digitally Remastered Audio and Video
  • Widescreen Presentations
  • Featurette: Making Breaking Bad
  • Featurettes: Inside Breaking Bad (14 Featurettes)
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Vince Gilligan's Photo Gallery
  • Commentary on Pilot and "Crazy Handful of Nothin" Episodes
  • Screen Tests
  • AMC Shootout: Interview with Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston
  • Episode Recaps
  • Audio: English (Stereo), Spanish, Portuguese
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish, Portuguese
  • Bonus Previews
  • Closed Captioned

See also[]

Breaking Bad Seasons
Season 1 MP Season 2 MP Season 3 MP Season 4 MP Season 5A MP Season 5B MP ElCamino MP
Season 1 Season 2 Season 3 Season 4 Season 5A Season 5B El Camino