Breaking Bad: Season 3, Episode 12

Half Measures (6 Jun. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 8,295 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 12 critic

Against Walt's advice, Jesse lashes out. Fearing for Jesse's safety, Walt takes drastic action to intervene. Meanwhile a tragic event leads to a shocking confrontation.

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Title: Half Measures (06 Jun 2010)

Half Measures (06 Jun 2010) on IMDb 8.7/10

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Storyline

Jess is ready for revenge when he realizes that the drug dealers who killed his friend are not only peddling their blue meth but are using an 11 year-old to do the work. He's prepared to kill them and wants Walt to help him out. Walt refuses but realizing the danger Jess has put himself in takes steps to protect him. Jess's demands that they stop using children leads to unintended and tragic consequences. At home, Walt tries to lay down the law as it pertains to his role in the family but Skyler holds her ground and refuses to give him everything he wants. Hank meanwhile is still reluctant to leave the hospital and go home, even though his doctors have told him he's free to leave at any time. Marie finds an interesting way to get him to agree. Written by garykmcd

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

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6 June 2010 (USA)  »

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Goofs

In the street shot immediately after the "intervention" when Walt is driving Jesse back to his car, Walt's Aztek is depicted the wrong way (and direction) as the car's perpetually missing left rear rim is shown as being on the right side. See more »

Quotes

Jesse Pinkman: [about drug dealers using kids to sell methamphetamine] Hearts and minds, right? Get them young and they'll be yours forever.
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Features Jeopardy! (1984) See more »

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Softly Baby
(uncredited)
Performed by Red Garland
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Getting you ready for the phenomenal season finale
28 November 2013 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

In my opinion, Breaking Bad was boring throughout most parts of season three and the first half of "Half Measures" doesn't significantly deviate from that. However, after a certain point, as the mood goes down and the intensity goes up, the season's penultimate episode started to really impress me, just to then throw me for a loop with one of the best cliffhangers in all of the series' episodes.

First things first, "Half Measures" commences with a montage of the dull routine that Breaking Bad's most prominently featured crack addict, Wendy, faces every day. As it wasn't just done for kicks, but to establish Jesse's situation in this episode, these amusing one and a half minutes are well done in every way and once again show Vince Gilligan's weird but great way of telling stories. Jesse then illustrates what fatal plan he has in mind for the two drug dealers that killed Combo one season earlier both to Walt and the audience, which makes for some very good conversation time between the series' two protagonists. While the Jesse scenes are generally way more entertaining than the Walt scenes in this episode, there are also some nice debates to be experienced as the camera turns to the White household. Nevertheless, Jesse is the man this time around and Aaron Paul advances to hitherto unforeseen acting magnitude in this and the succeeding episode.

The previously mentioned turning point somewhere in the middle of "Half Measures" comes when Jesse is abducted by the unamused Mike and Victor and ends up encountering his boss, Gus Frings, for the very first time. With Breaking Bad's most talented cast members in one room, Mr. Paul is again the one standing out as the goosebumps have already kicked in. They wouldn't have stopped until the episode's final shot, had the writers not had the awkward idea to put a prolonged scene of Marie "getting Hank's groundhog to see his shadow" right in the middle of it. After these misplaced but decent minutes and some Jeopardy! on the White's TV, time is also ripe for real life jeopardy and, I can only repeat it, an incredibly awesome cliffhanger that prompts you to continue watching. Not only is it the most unexpected and thrilling, it also serves as the perfect premise for an outstanding season finale that is sure to follow.

All in all, "Half Measures" does a precise job at boosting the stakes for "Full Measures" in its final moments and entertains in the rest of the 47 minutes. It may not be flawless, but definitely the best season three got up to that point.


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