As Breaking Bad
's first year concluded, chemistry teacher Walt (two-time Emmy-winner Bryan Cranston) and his meth-making partner, Jesse (Emmy-nominee Aaron Paul), hooked up with drug kingpin Tuco (Raymond Cruz), and the money started to roll in. They expected some degree of danger--but not a homicidal maniac. When DEA agent Hank (Dean Norris) starts to close in on Tuco, he kidnaps the duo, who eventually escape, but the experience creates a host of new complications, leaving Jesse temporarily homeless and driving a wedge between Walt and his pregnant wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), and their 15-year-old son, Walt Jr. (R. J. Mitte). In his commentary, creator Vince Gilligan explains that the "chickens come home to roost" in season 2 as Walt's criminal activity catches up with him. In effect, he lives out the psychological version of The Fly
, with his double life merging into one, such that he starts to become as ruthless as Tuco. Hank, meanwhile, gets a promotion that expands his jurisdiction to El Paso, while Skyler takes an accounting job that could cause her to "break bad" in season 3.
If this AMC hit lacked a sense of humor, it just might be too hard to take. Aside from Walt's incurable illness and Hank's post-traumatic stress disorder, there's a head crushing, a shooting, an explosion, and an overdose. Though Walt and Skyler get few humorous moments, Jesse, Hank, and ambulance-chasing attorney Saul (Mr. Show's Bob Odenkirk, an inspired addition) make the most of theirs. Jesse even gets a girlfriend (Krysten Ritter), who comes with a wary father (John de Lancie)--but there's still more shadow than light (not counting those panoramic desert shots). Strong stuff, but it's impossible to look away. Extensive extras include commentaries, deleted scenes, and featurettes on every episode. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Stills from Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season (Click for larger image)
Walt (two-time Emmy® award winner* Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) are in way over their heads in Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season. As their partnership reaches new heights, Walt and Jesse begin to see the extremes of the drug trafficking business. Their trademark blue meth is making them rich, but it's getting more difficult than ever for Walt to conceal the truth from his wife Skyler (Anna Gunn), his son Walter Jr. (RJ Mitte), and his DEA agent brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris). Walt struggles to maintain control of his life as he contends with vicious drug dealers, an increasingly distant wife and son, the impending birth of his daughter, and a strung-out business partner – all while battling terminal lung cancer. Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season includes cinematography from Michael Slovis as well as Emmy® award-winning** editing from Lynne Willingham, A.C.E. Executive Produced by Vince Gilligan and Mark Johnson.