Breaking Bad: One Minute   Rewatch 
November 2, 2014 6:10 PM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Hank's increasing volatility forces a confrontation with Jesse and trouble at work. Skyler pressures Walt to make a deal. Gus' actions have severe consequences.

I need you to listen very carefully.
Two men are coming to kill you.
They're approaching your car.
You have one minute.
They're coming.
AMC content:
Inside Breaking Bad: The Cousin's Wardrobe. [video]
Talked About Scene: Ambushed. [video]
Q&A: Dean Norris: "I did a lot of action films in the ā€™80s and ā€™90s, so Iā€™m used to dealing with squibs."

Reviews:
Myles McNutt: "Such a wonderfully constructed action sequence, the sort which big-budget action films should probably pay attention to."
Alan Sepinwall: "Damn, damn, damn that was good."
Complex, in 2103 (prior to the final 8 episodes), naming One Minute Breaking Bad's best episode: "Dean Norris' finest hour as an actor."

Thomas Schnauz's "as-broadcast" episode script; EXCITING stage DIRECTIONS.

Michelle MacLaren was nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Emmy for this episode, losing to Steve Shill directing Dexter.
Ever since I met you everything I've ever cared about is gone.
Ruined, turned to shit, dead, ever since I hooked up with the great Heisenberg.
I have never been more alone. I have nothing! No one!
posted by We had a deal, Kyle (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Breaking Bad gave me one of the most tense, anxiety-laden one-minutes in a TV series. (Was it really one minute? It would be interesting to time it.) I was hitting the sofa and saying, "Do something! Why don't you do something!"

But then, that's the point, and why that scene works so well: Hank doesn't know if it's a prank call or not, really doesn't know what to make of it; he's not the 'man in charge' that we normally see. He doesn't have his gun, either. He's so vulnerable! And that vulnerability takes place in a car (!) -- the show's writers/director invert how we normally feel protected in a car cabin.

It's like they distilled their X-files superpower of being able to draw the maximum tension out of a scene and put everything they had in that moment. Great television.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:47 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


(P.S. - How can Dean Norris be so good, as an actor, in BB, and so bad in Under the Dome? Amazes me.)
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:48 PM on November 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Poor Gale. I'm never entirely clear here whether Walt is that bothered about saving Jesse at this point, or he is worried about being replaced by Gale. His behaviour is extremely unpleasent either way. In a way, Hank is quite lucky to have the attempt on his life, as it makes him a hero just after viciously beating someone with almost no (obvious) justification. Jesse, of course, has another opportunity to escape her, but is drawn in to help Walt yet again.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:24 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Huh. Wow. I was just thinking how unlucky Hank is for having Walt as a brother-in-law; in so many different ways Walt causes Hank's death (one in this episode: convincing Jesse to take the Superlab job so that he won't be cooking alone convinced that he has a get-out-of-jail free card in knowing who Heisenberg is and being willing to make a deal with the DEA with that knowledge. That Jesse decided to take the Superlab job and work with Walt is no doubt the cause of his dropping the case against the DEA, which is part of the reason Hank is still working for them in the final season).

I'd started to think of Hank as interesting before this episode, but his decision not to lie about what he did really sealed the deal for me.

And yes, that's one hell of a set piece at the end. I've seen this episode three times, and every time I've watched the parking lot scene again as soon as it was over.
posted by johnofjack at 4:02 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hank had one of the best character arcs ever. Well before you had to wise up and stop rooting for Walt, Hank was shaping up to be a righteous dude underneath that blowhard first impression. From this episode on out, I was firmly in the "Fuckin' A Hank!" camp.
posted by whuppy at 8:15 AM on November 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


How can Dean Norris be so good, as an actor, in BB, and so bad in Under the Dome? Amazes me.

Culture of excellence, maybe? I don't know how much of the "Vince Gilligan is a really nice guy" stuff is mythology, but every interview ever has said that it was a great show to work on. The actors know the show is good; they're given great writing to deliver; they're surrounded by talented peers and crew; maybe that's sufficient for everyone to up their game.

(Whereas surely everyone on Under The Dome knows that it's a dog of a show.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:06 AM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I hadn't really watched any Breaking Bad when it was originally airing; but I was flipping around the channels the night "One Minute" aired and happened to land on AMC the moment that Hank took the phone call. I was utterly riveted to my couch for the resulting sequence; it wasn't until it was over that I figured out that the show was Breaking Bad, and that yes, I should buy into the hype, catch up, and start watching.

The resulting binge got me, my wife, my parents, and my brother-in-law hooked. It's a hell of a drug.
posted by nubs at 4:35 PM on November 3, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm never entirely clear here whether Walt is that bothered about saving Jesse at this point, or he is worried about being replaced by Gale.

As with every other situation up to this point, Walt is primarily threatened by the presence of someone else who is both competent and aware of it. Jesse is a competent enough cook at this juncture, but Walt can still leverage Jesse's other weaknesses and insecurities to psychologically beat him down and remain dominant. The man is a snakepit.
posted by psoas at 5:27 PM on November 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm curious what Walt's childhood was like; I don't think his father/stepfather/mother's boyfriend/mother's girlfriend is mentioned at all in the series, but we gather from comments Skyler's made that his mother is really hard to get along with (so hard to get along with, apparently, that Walt doesn't even tell her he has cancer; Skyler tells her when she calls checking up on Walt's story).
posted by johnofjack at 6:41 PM on November 4, 2014


Walt's dad died when he was young from Huntington's I think. His only ememories of his father are of him towards the end in a hospital bed.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:05 AM on November 5, 2014


Some quibbles:
You can buy body armor over the counter readily and legally. The scary cousins didn't need to black market it.
Why isn't Hank wearing it? It should be as routine as clipping on his holster. I would think that the DEA would require it.
Why doesn't hank have a back up gun (and a drop gun)? He's a pretty high flying cop that has seen a lot of excitement in the last few months.
posted by Bee'sWing at 4:13 PM on October 14, 2017


"Dean Norris' finest hour as an actor."

Watching this again in the 10th-anniversary marathon and again, yes: Dean Norris is really good in this episode. The show's spent a long time building to his "I think I'm done as a cop" monologue and put a lot of trust in his ability to deliver it; it paid off.

Also very starkly illustrated in this episode: how inextricably Jesse is shackled to Walt in what is basically an abusive relationship. Jesse knows -- and says so -- that Walt's manipulating him with the partnership offer. But he ends up succumbing to Walt's flattery anyway.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:30 PM on January 11, 2018


Oh, also: I never noticed before, but in the cold open, Hector's "How much longer do you think he has down there? One minute?" taunting of Leonel is an echo of the episode title and of the "You have one minute" warning to Hank at the end.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:33 PM on January 11, 2018


You can buy body armor over the counter readily and legally. The scary cousins didn't need to black market it.

(a) they're trying to stay under the radar, and
(b) plotwise that scene sets up the Chekhov's bullet that pays off in the final act.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:37 PM on January 11, 2018


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