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Every Breaking Bad Season Ranked Worst To Best

AMC's "Breaking Bad' is widely considered one of the best shows of all time. The series, which first premiered in 2008, follows high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. In an effort to leave his family in a financially comfortable place after he dies, he starts cooking and selling methamphetamine with one of his former students, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). The series and its stars have won several awards, including a few Golden Globes and Primetime Emmys. 

"Breaking Bad" ran for a total of five seasons and gave fans a pretty satisfying ending for Walter after viewers watched his evolution throughout the series. Walt tries to just cook meth and make money, but it's not that easy when gangs, cartels, and the DEA are all hunting down Heisenberg, the man responsible for the blue meth — and Walt's alter-ego.

Every "Breaking Bad" season is different as we watch the characters progress, both positively and negatively. As such, we've decided to rank each season of "Breaking Bad" from worst to best to figure out the rhythm of the massive story unfolding throughout the show.  

Season 2

"Breaking Bad" as a whole is a masterpiece of a show, but many fans feel Season 2 is its weakest link. Some viewers, such as u/brobradman on Reddit, point out that Krysten Ritter's portrayal of Jane Margolis was a solid addition to the story and helped in Jesse Pinkman's character development, which is true. Jane is such a memorable character that it's hard to believe she was only featured on the show for one season. But other than her story, Season 2 wasn't distinctly unique. 

Season 2's storyline doesn't include gripping twists and turns like in later seasons. As u/NegativePiglet8 pointed out, the marriage problems between Skyler (Anna Gunn) and Walt were dragged out before the couple "put all cards on the table" during Season 3. "Seasons 1 and 2 are a little tiring for me because of all those scenes where Walt is lying to Skylar and their marriage falls apart," u/mederesaur wrote. It's true — Walt's secretive dynamic with Skyler would've only gone on for so long. It would have felt more authentic for her to find out the truth much earlier in the show. 

Season 5 Part 1

Season 5 was "Breaking Bad's" finale, but the first half of the season's episodes was unusually slow-paced for the show. It was important to set up the beginning of the end — "Breaking Bad' was non-stop action for four seasons straight. Slowing things down and allowing viewers to be unsettled was an important part of the show's pace. At the start of Season 5, showrunners definitely wanted to give off "calm before the storm vibes," as u/brlandry_2 suspects. 

Some fans like u/nmzb6 on Reddit lost interest in the show in general after Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) was killed in Season 4 and the drug business was taken over by Jack Welker's (Michael Bowen) gang of neo-Nazis. But, in general, Season 5, Part 1 had an important role in the show. It wasn't full of action, but the 5th season wouldn't be the same without the early episodes there to prep viewers for the end. 

Season 1

Season 1 started it all, so "Breaking Bad" was still finding its footing. Later seasons rank higher because Walt's character had been established and fans got to watch the consequences of the events he triggered at the beginning with his major decision to get into the drug world. Similar to what happened in Season 2, it was tough to watch Walt's home life fall apart as he lied to his wife about his whereabouts and his family in general about his cancer diagnosis. 

According to Redditor u/NegativePiglet8, Season 1 may have been too slow-paced for many fans, but its episodes still made for a "fun watch" because of how it explored Walt's origin story and established his knowledge of chemistry. Furthermore, his cancer diagnosis and the nature of his job also allowed him to cross paths with Jesse and set up the rest of their story. It may not be the most exciting season, but it set the important groundwork for the series to become the success it was. 

Season 3

Season 3 is one that is divisive for "Breaking Bad" fans. Some fans loved it, like u/jhu88 on Reddit, who wrote that it's the season where the show "went from good to great." Particularly, some fans believe the Salamanca cousins were a great addition as they went after Walt while he narrowly tried to escape. Walt's life also starts to "break down around him" as his expanding role in the drug business forces him to face the consequences.

Other fans of the season commend its "breakneck pace" and remind fans that it was the set of episodes that we first met the infamous Gus Fring. However, others believe "Breaking Bad" lost its way in the 3rd season. Fan u/InternationalAmount particularly noted that the plane crash that was inadvertently caused by distraught air traffic controller Donald Margolis (John De Lancie) following his daughter Jane's death – which actually takes place in the Season 2 finale "ABQ" – led to a weak plotline that wasn't necessary for the overall story. 

Season 5 Part 2

The final few episodes of "Breaking Bad" are high on the list because they gave fans a worthwhile ending to a show that never got boring. As noted above, the first half of Season 5 actually slowed things down, but that quickly changed with the intensity of the final episodes. In this half, viewers saw Jesse quit the business, DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) discover his brother-in-law Walt's secret, and more — and as u/InternationalAmount posited, it went against the "status quo" and succeeded. It was the cherry on top of a show that fans hated to see the end of. 

It's hard for shows with such die-hard fanbases to wrap up their stories in a way that's satisfying to the fans. But most seem to believe that "Breaking Bad" was able to do it without a hitch. Redditor u/molly-ringworm wrote that Season 5 Part 2  was "difficult and painful to see" but they couldn't get themselves to stop watching. 

Season 4

While many "Breaking Bad" fans probably have good arguments as to which season is their favorite, Season 4 is undeniably a knockout. As fans like U/NegativePiglet8 on Reddit have said, the rivalry between Walt and Gus Fring is truly unforgettable. Walt may be the face of the show, but Gus will forever be the representation of pure evil in the "Breaking Bad" universe.

Outside of just Gus completely taking on the role of the show's villain, there were several other plotlines in Season 4 that kept us unable to stop watching. As u/DatKaz put it, the story is "sheer chaos" throughout the season with additions like Ted Beneke's (Christopher Cousins) financial problems and the cartel's role in messing with Walt's operation. Additionally, u/mederesaur shared that the season as a whole is "parallel to the development of Walter's character" and it's true — Walter White as we know him would never be the same without this pivotal season.