ABQ (Breaking Bad)

"ABQ" is the thirteenth and final episode of the second season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad.

Breaking Bad episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 13
Directed byAdam Bernstein
Written byVince Gilligan
Featured music
Cinematography byMichael Slovis
Editing byLynne Willingham
Original air dateMay 31, 2009 (2009-05-31)
Running time47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
Next →
"No Más"
Breaking Bad (season 2)
List of Breaking Bad episodes

This episode marks the first appearance of cleaner Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks).

Plot summaryEdit

Numerous investigators from the NTSB collect and catalog debris, including a half-burnt pink teddy bear, that had fallen around the Whites' neighborhood. In the distance, two columns of smoke can be seen.

Jesse Pinkman wakes from his heroin-induced sleep to find Jane Margolis dead, having choked on her own vomit. After a frenzied attempt at CPR, Jesse contacts Walter White for help. Feigning ignorance of Jane's death, Walt calls Saul Goodman. Saul sends Mike Ehrmantraut, a cleaner, to remove all evidence of drugs from Jesse's apartment and to coach him on how to interact with authorities. Jane's father Donald arrives at the apartment to find that his daughter has died, with Jesse being interviewed by the medical examiner. Jesse is unable to look Donald in the eyes, becoming more depressed. Believing he is responsible for Jane's death, he runs off to a crack house to lose himself. Walt, worried for Jesse's well-being, locates him and takes him to rehab.

Meanwhile, Walt is preparing to undergo surgery to remove his cancer. The website that Walt Jr. made to bring in anonymous donations — in reality being used by Saul to launder Walt's drug money — has gained media notoriety due to its apparent success; Walt is uncomfortable in the spotlight. On the day of Walt's operation, as he is put under anesthetics, he accidentally reveals the existence of a second cell phone he uses, making Skyler White suspicious of his activities.

Six weeks later, after Walt is released from the hospital, Skyler reveals to him that she has investigated his behavior of the past several months and found out he has lied to her many times. Walt offers to tell her everything if she stays, but she is too afraid to know and decides to leave him. By this time, Donald has returned to work as an air traffic controller. While on the job, his mind wanders back to Jane's death; in his emotional state, he inadvertently allows the flight paths of two commercial airliners to cross over Albuquerque.

Walt, while sitting by his pool thinking about what has transpired, is startled by an explosion overhead. He looks up to see a fireball in the sky above his home, the result of an apparent midair collison. Moments later, a charred pink teddy bear lands in the pool.


The episode was written by Vince Gilligan, and directed by Adam Bernstein. It aired on AMC in the United States and Canada on May 31, 2009. The plane crash at the end of the episode was inspired by the 1986 Cerritos mid-air collision. Coincidentally, Walter White, Breaking Bad's protagonist, shares a name with an air traffic controller involved in the Cerritos collision.

Critical receptionEdit

The episode received critical acclaim. Donna Bowman, writing for The A.V. Club, commented that the episode "was horrific perfection".[1]

In 2019 The Ringer ranked "ABQ" as the 28th best out of the 62 total Breaking Bad episodes.[2]


  1. ^ Bowman, Donna (May 31, 2009). "Breaking Bad: "ABQ"". A.V. Club. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  2. ^ https://www.theringer.com/tv/2019/9/30/20885880/breaking-bad-episodes-ranking

External linksEdit