Vince Gilligan on this scene: “No CG! That was definitely a practical effect — the two Cousins were sixty feet from the truck when it blew up (although it looks like they were even closer than that due to the long lens which was used on the camera). All that flaming stuff you see raining down around them — and even in FRONT of them, if you look closely enough — was truly there, and not added in afterwards. I’m so proud of Luis and Daniel Moncada for the way they pulled that off. Bryan Cranston, their director, told them we’d get only one take at it, so they’d better not flinch… and by God, they didn’t!“ – from Alan Sepinwall’s review of No Mas
3x01 - Observations: “On a pure plot level, this (opening) makes sense. We’re meeting the men who will be our primary antagonists this season, and we’re learning just who their target is. But I think the sequence works on another, deeper thematic level as well. Breaking Bad began as a story about a man who was crawling toward death, who was attempting to find a way out of the certain predicament he found himself in and found it in giving in to a dark bitterness that had always been inside him but he had never really indulged. Now, seemingly, Walter White has defeated death at least temporarily. He’s well again, and he’s got more money than he knows how to spend (as he puts it). The adoption of criminality has rather brought something back into his life that was long missing. And now, he has enough money and enough of his health to have options, to be able to contemplate leaving the life in an attempt to win back his wife, even as Gus dangles more money before him. And yet, he’s still crawling toward death. There are two men who will have no compunction about killing him coming his way, and the life he has chosen can only end poorly for him. Unlike Gus, he’s never going to be calm and collected enough to stay under the radar for long. He’s too impressed with himself, with what he’s done, and he’s been too ready to desire recognition of what he’s done to keep at a small enough level like Gus has. Indeed, his volatility threatens to bring a whole host of people - from those directly connected to his new life like Gus, Jesse and Saul to those who know nothing of it or want nothing to do with it like his family - down with him.” – Todd VanDerWerff
From Breaking Bad Locations: “All of the Mexico scenes were actually filmed in and around Albuquerque. The show distinguishes the Mexico scenes by using filters to create a different look than the familiar Albuquerque and New Mexico landscape. The opening ‘crawling’ scene was filmed in a 'ghost town’ named Cabezon located about 1 ½ hours northwest Albuquerque.”
Fun Factoids: The woman interviewed on television about the crash is Bryan Cranston’s wife, Robin Dearden, and the girl at the high school gymnasium who speaks into the microphone questioning the existence of God in light of Wayfarer 515 is played by his daughter, Taylor Cranston.
Observations: “The barbecue party in Walt’s backyard in ‘Cancer Man’ resembles the famous scene from 'No Mas’ in which Walt almost burns his money on the grill. Walt proceeds to extinguish the fire by throwing the grill (and himself) into the pool, while in 1x04, he simply cools his temperature with a cold soda can, as the flames are ablaze deep inside, of the former life he’s burning to ashes.” – Aria Mohtadi, Breaking Bad Observations
Observations: “During one session around a campfire, Jere Burns delivers an extended, emotionally wrenching monologue about being responsible for his daughter’s death. ‘I was so in love with that speech, and it was so well-written that it was really easy to internalize. I have some experience in that area, I know that world, and it came really easily,’ Burns said. ‘Sometimes you have a perfectly crafted piece of writing that if an actor connects to, you don’t really need to do much.’" – Jason Lynch
Walt: “I’m here because I owe you the courtesy and respect to tell you this personally. I’m done. It has nothing to do with you personally. I find you extraordinarily professional and I appreciate the way you do business. I’m just…I’m making a change in my life is what it is, and I’m at something of a crossroads and it’s brought me to a realization: I’m not a criminal. No offense to any people who are, but…this is not me.”
Locations in this episode: Desert (Cabezon, NM), Skyler’s Lawyer’s office, Beachcomber Apartments (Mountain Vista Apartments). Learn more about these and more locations on Breaking Bad Locations on Instagram.