End Times (Breaking Bad)
"End Times" is the twelfth and penultimate episode of the fourth season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 45th overall episode of the series. It originally aired on AMC in the United States on October 2, 2011. GQ, and Salon.com named "End Times" as one of the best episodes in all of television in 2011.
|Breaking Bad episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Directed by||Vince Gilligan|
|Written by||Moira Walley-Beckett|
|Produced by||Bryan Cranston, Diane Mercer, Moira Walley-Beckett|
|Featured music||Dave Porter|
|Cinematography by||Michael Slovis|
|Editing by||Kelley Dixon|
|Original air date||October 2, 2011|
|Running time||46 minutes|
After receiving an anonymous warning from Saul (Bob Odenkirk) about Hank (Dean Norris) having been targeted by a drug cartel, the DEA dispatches a squad of agents to guard Hank and Marie (Betsy Brandt)'s house. The White family is also brought to the Schrader household for protection, but Walter (Bryan Cranston) convinces Skyler (Anna Gunn) to let him stay behind at their own house, ready to face the consequences of his actions. Walt sits nervously in the backyard, spinning a gun on the table that keeps pointing at him, but takes note when it points at a potted plant. Hank deduces that his investigation of Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) is the reason for the threat on his life, so he asks Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) to search the industrial laundromat for him.
Gomez and an officer with a drug-sniffing dog later check out the laundromat but don't find anything, although Jesse (Aaron Paul) and Tyrus (Ray Campbell) were below them in the hidden meth lab. Gus, in a phone call to Jesse, implies the police attention is Walter's fault, and Walter must be killed to protect themselves, but Jesse again refuses to cook if Walter is killed. Saul later hands Jesse's entire share of the meth profits to Jesse, since Saul is planning to temporarily flee Albuquerque until the feud between Walter and Gus is over. Saul reveals that Gus took Walter to the desert and threatened his family, a revelation by which Jesse is taken aback. Jesse later receives a call from Andrea (Emily Rios) that her son, Brock, has become seriously ill and is in the hospital. Jesse discovers the ricin cigarette, that he kept handy to poison Gus, is missing and concludes that Brock somehow ingested the ricin.
Jesse confronts a paranoid Walter at the Whites' house. Jesse grabs Walter's gun and points it at him, accusing him of poisoning Brock out of spite. Walter claims that Gus must have planned Brock's poisoning and framed Walter for it in order to manipulate Jesse into killing him; the cameras around the lab probably spotted the cigarette, and Tyrus must have taken it out of Jesse's locker, tracked down Brock, and poisoned him. Walter and Jesse know Gus is not above killing children, after the death of Andrea's younger brother, Tomas, and Jesse ultimately decides that Walter is innocent. The two team up to kill Gus.
Jesse visits the hospital daily, but Andrea will not let him see Brock after he divulges knowledge about the ricin poisoning. Jesse refuses to leave the hospital, which ruins the latest meth cook, and says he will only leave if Gus orders him to in person. When Gus arrives at the hospital, Walter plants a homemade car bomb under Gus' car and watches from a nearby rooftop for the right moment to detonate it. As Gus and his bodyguards return to the car, Gus senses something is amiss and leaves the area, leaving Walter distraught about missing his chance.
On the Breaking Bad Insider Podcast, director Vince Gilligan reveals that the crew faced time constraints during this episode's production. Consequently, Gilligan decided during filming to cut a scripted scene wherein Walt and Jesse formulate a plan to kill Gus. In addition, the episode was filmed concurrently with the following episode, "Face Off", in order to save time.
"End Times" is the only episode in the series that Gilligan directed without having written.
The episode received critical acclaim and it is regarded as one of Season 4's best episodes. Critics praised Aaron Paul's performance, the intense ending with Walt and Gus and the revelation in the episode that Brock is poisoned. Seth Amitin of IGN gave the episode a 9 out of 10.
Aaron Paul won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards for his performance in this episode.
- "Bloody Good: The Best TV Episodes of 2011". GQ. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- "2011's best TV episodes". Salon.com. Retrieved January 23, 2012.
- Dixon, Kelley. "Breaking Bad Insider Podcast" (Podcast). Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- Riley, Jenelle (August 16, 2012). "Episodes Submitted by Drama Emmy Nominees Revealed". Backstage. Retrieved April 9, 2013.