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Half Measures

"Half Measures" is the twelfth episode of the third season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 32nd overall episode of the series. It originally aired on AMC in the United States on June 6, 2010.

"Half Measures"
Breaking Bad episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 12
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Written by Sam Catlin
Peter Gould
Original air date June 6, 2010 (2010-06-06)
Running time 47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Full Measure"
Breaking Bad (season 3)
List of Breaking Bad episodes



Skyler pushes Walt to accept her plan of laundering his drug money through the car wash where he previously worked. They continue to disagree about this, but they are able to negotiate a plan that allows Walt to have some family dinners at home as a ploy to make the Whites appear reconciled.

Jesse begins to plot against those who killed Combo. He buys meth from them; as he suspected, it is the same product he and Walt make, indicating that the people who killed his friend Combo work for his employer Gus. Jesse tells Walt about Tomás killing Combo, and shows him the blue meth he bought. Jesse asks Walt to make ricin poison so he can exact revenge. Although Walt appears troubled by the gang's use of children, he dismisses the plan and tells Jesse to do so also. But Jesse says "I’m doing it. With or without you."

Walt is troubled by his conversation with Jesse, and convinced Jesse is likely to do something rash that would endanger multiple people, including himself. He visits Saul and they hatch a plan to have Jesse arrested on a minor charge, and sent to jail for a month, allowing him time to cool down. Meanwhile, Marie wheels Hank out of the hospital after winning a bet where she arouses him during a sponge bath.

Mike makes an unannounced visit to Walt at home. Saul had contacted him about their plan to have Jesse arrested, but Mike tells Walt he is not going to do it. He tells Walt Gus does not know of Jesse's intentions, but that if he follows through on them, he would find out and "take it as a problem." He then recounts an incident from his time as a beat cop, when he showed mercy by allowing a habitually abusive husband to live, only to have the man beat his wife to death shortly after. He tells Walt the moral of his story is "I chose a half measure when I should’ve gone all the way. I’ll never make that mistake again." He then warns Walt before leaving: "No more half measures."

Jesse plants a poison of his own making in burgers a local prostitute will bring to the gang members. But Mike and Victor get to Jesse first, thwarting his plan and forcing him to go for a ride. They bring him to a meeting with Gus, Walt, and the dealers he was trying to poison. Jesse is furious to realize Walt has revealed his plan to Gus, but Gus informs him that Walt is his only friend in the room. After several tense verbal exchanges, the dealers agree to stop using children, and Jesse agrees to "keep the peace." It is implied that Jesse intends to drop his plans for murderous revenge, although his relationship with Walt is damaged because of the betrayal. He refuses to speak to Walt in the car after the meeting, and later won't return Walt's phone calls.

That night, Jesse hears about the death of Tomás, younger brother of his girlfriend Andrea, and rushes to the scene. He realizes the dealers have killed Tomás because he is no longer of value to them, as they've agreed to stop using children. Jesse then waits in his car near their territory, watching them and snorting meth for the first time since leaving rehab. Once the meth kicks in, he grabs a gun from under his seat, leaves the vehicle and starts walking towards the dealers. As Jesse draws his gun, the dealers begin to do likewise. Suddenly, Walt plows over both dealers with his car. He exits the vehicle with one still underneath, and another injured but reaching for his gun. Walt picks up the gun, shoots the dealer in the head, looks at Jesse and says: "Run."


Aaron Paul won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode.[1][2]

This episode received widely positive reviews from critics and is considered to be one of the best in the series. In IGN's review, the episode is called "fun, creative, well-directed, well-acted and set us up for what's going to be an awesome finale", and was given a 9.7 rating.[3]


  1. ^ "Emmy episode entries revealed: Lea Michele, Hugh Laurie, Jim Parsons plus more". Los Angeles Times. July 15, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  2. ^ "Winners! Complete List From the 2010 Emmy Awards". E!. August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ Amitin, Seth (June 7, 2010). "Breaking Bad: "Half Measures" Review". IGN. Retrieved July 20, 2014. 

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