Breaking Bad: Season 1, Episode 5

Gray Matter (24 Feb. 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Thriller
8.4
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Ratings: 8.4/10 from 4,651 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 13 critic

Walt rejects everyone who tries to help him with the cancer. Jesse tries his best to create Walt's meth, with the help of an old friend.

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Title: Gray Matter (24 Feb 2008)

Gray Matter (24 Feb 2008) on IMDb 8.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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William Sterchi ...
Manager
Marc Mouchet ...
Kiira Arai ...
Server (as Kiira Arai Sniegowski)
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Scientist (as William Allen)
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Kyle Swimmer ...
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Storyline

Jesse tries to get a regular job and put his drug dealing behind him but he finds that there are few opportunities for someone with his education and experience. Jesse tries to cook a new batch of meth but can't come anywhere near Walt's standard. After attending a birthday party at a now very rich friend's house, Walt reconnects with his one-time business partner Elliott who offers him a job. It turns out Skyler told Elliott about his condition and Walt is not very pleased. Walt Jr. tries to get someone to buy him a six-pack but is busted in the process. He calls his uncle Hank to pick him up and Hank learns from Skyler that it's Walt senior who admitted smoking marijuana. Finding his behavior bizarre, the family sets up a intervention where they all get to tell Walt what they think about the situation. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

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24 February 2008 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Walter White is said to be the "white" in "Gray Matter", the name of former partner Elliott Schwartz's company. Schwartz is German for "black", and white combined with black makes gray; hence the name of the company. See more »

Goofs

When Jesse and Badger are getting high in the alley in the beginning of the episode, the position of Badger's visor keeps changing on his wing between shots. See more »

Quotes

Walter H. White: [during a family meeting about Walt's cancer treatment, during a tense fight amongst the family] Alright, I've got the talking pillow now... Okay?
[sits down with tears in his eyes]
Walter H. White: Look, we all in this room, we love each other. We want what's best for each other and I know that, I am very thankful for that. What I want... what I want, what I need... is a choice
Skyler White: What does that mean?
Walter H. White: [with tears in his eyes, very emotional] ... sometimes I feel like I never actually make, any of my own... choices. ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Koop Island Blues
Performed by Koop featuring Ane Brun
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User Reviews

 
Talking, talking, and even more talking - yet it's actually quite a great episode!
7 October 2013 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

While being without a doubt the most dialog-focused episode of the season, "Gray Matter" was the one that got me hooked again as I first watched this fantastic series. The premise is the same as it was in "Cancer Man" with Walt and Jesse still going separate ways. The one now gets confronted by his family due to his aversion to cancer treatment plus his continuing strange behavior; the other once again tries to succeed in life on his own after both his parents and Walt have left him alone.

The pre-credits scene brings a huge novelty for Breaking Bad as we see Jesse suiting up for a job interview that – didn't we expect it? – doesn't work the way he wanted it too. I always love to listen to this dude talking and so I quite enjoyed this introduction, however, it also brought us Matt Jones' Badger, a junkie similarly as unsuccessful with life as Jesse. I really don't like his character and I'm not at all able to take him seriously since he's just too moronic. Now that wouldn't be too bad if "Gray Matter" were the only episode he's starring in, but unfortunately, he returns for eleven additional episodes in the future. Through that, you can reason that I didn't enjoy the scenes with him on screen that much, although Aaron Paul partially compensated for that with great acting. The real assets of this episode were all the conversation scenes between Walt and Skyler plus sometimes Walt Jr., Hank, and Marie. In one outstanding scene of almost 15 minutes, the latter of this list stage an intervention for Walt. Each and every one of them gets the talking pillow (applause to whoever came up with that idea!) and with the number of minutes increasing, you'll find yourself more and more admiring the screen writing and acting work the cast of Breaking Bad has done with this scene.

"Gray Matter" had other touching, amusing, or simply entertaining moments too, which made it a generally really good episode for me. It's just that because of the emphasis laying on the conversations, it's not that thrilling anymore if you re-watch it and, as I've already said, Badger ruins it a bit for my taste.


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