DVD REVIEW: Breaking Bad: The Complete Second Season – Now Darker and More Twisted!

Season one of Breaking Bad had Walt White [Bryan Cranston], meek chemistry teacher, learning he had terminal cancer and deciding that he had to go into the crystal meth business to provide for his family after his death. It was all about a decent man making all the wrong decisions.


The second season finds Walt and his accomplice, Jesse [Aaron Paul], surviving an encounter with a crazy drug lord and deciding that they have to be more business-like. Walt also sets a goal for the minimum amount of money required to let his family prosper after his death.

Thematically, the season is all about consequences – foreshadowed by an elegantly shot teaser for the season opener, shot in black & white, that leads to a one-eyed, burnt pink teddy bear floating in the Whites’ pool. Some of the cooler season arcs include Walt’s therapy; his wife Skylar’s [Anna Gunn] return to work after the birth of their baby; Jesse’s finding a cool landlord/girlfriend in Jane [Krysten Ritter]; Walt Jr.’s [R.J. Mitte] search for his own identity; Hank’s post-traumatic stress syndrome, and Walt and Jesse’s acquisition of a lawyer, Saul [Bob Oedenkirk].

With a lot of TV series, including great shows like Lost, the second season doesn’t quite live up to the promise of season one. With Breaking Bad, nothing could be further from the truth. The writing is sharper, deadlier and funnier than season one – partly because the characters have been so well developed and partly because series creator had the overall season arc sketched out from the get-go.

Visually, Breaking Bad continues to shake things up with things like a series of black & white sequences that foreshadow a tragedy in the season finale; another teaser that is, essentially, a single, eight-minute shot; an homage to Flight of the Phoenix, and a generally amazing use of color and texture.

Walt turns an important corner here, too. By the end of the season finale, ABQ [air traffic controller-speak for Albuquerque], he is no longer the decent man making bad decisions – his is the King of Liars and a criminal mastermind [small m…].

Features include: Audio Commentaries for: Seven Thirty-Seven [Series Creator Vince Gilligan, Bryan Cranston (Walt), Aaron Paul (Jesse), Anna Gunn (Skylar), R.J. Mitte (Walt Jr.) and Betsy Brandt (Marie)], Better Call Saul [Gilligan, Cranston, Paul, Peter Gould (Writer) and Michael Slovis [Director of Photography)], 4 Days Out [Gilligan, Cranston, Paul, Slovis, Michelle McLaren (Director)] and ABQ [Gilligan, Cranston, Paul, Mitte, Gunn, Brandt, John DeLancie (Donald)]; Season 1 Recap; Inside Breaking Bad – two-to-four-minute featurettes on all thirteen episodes; Behind the Scenes: The Cast on Season 22; Season 2: What’s in a Name; Making of the Negro y Azul Music Video; The Tortoise Scene; The Special Effects; The Props; The Sets; Locked in the Trunk; Inside the RV with Aaron Paul; The Crow, and A Look ahead; Thirteen Deleted Scenes; Negro y Azul Music Video; Better Call Saul Commercial; Cop Talk with Dean Norris; Five Webisodes; Walt’s Warning; Season 3 Sneak Peek and Vince Gilligan’s Photo Gallery.

Grade: Breaking Bad: The complete Season Two – A+

Grade: Features – A+

Final Grade: A+