Genres: Drama, Crime, Thriller
Setting: Contemporary, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Themes: Breaking Bad, Family and Love, Identity and Transformation, Mortality and Illness, Power and Control
Conflict and Stakes: Walter's descent into the criminal underworld and the consequences it has on his family
Overall Mood: Dark, intense, and morally ambiguous
Mood/Tone at Key Scenes:
- Scene 1: Tense and chaotic
- Unique Hook: The transformation of a mild-mannered chemistry teacher into a ruthless drug lord.
- Major Twist: Walter's secret double life as a meth manufacturer is revealed to his family.
- Distinctive Setting: The gritty and desolate landscapes of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Innovative Ideas: Exploration of the moral gray areas and consequences of one's actions.
- Unique Characters: Complex and multi-dimensional characters with compelling arcs.
- Genre Blend: Combines elements of crime drama, thriller, and dark comedy.
Explanation: The screenplay is highly recommended due to its strong opening, effective use of visual and auditory elements, and well-paced narrative. The scenes successfully establish character dynamics and conflicts, but improvements can be made in terms of smoother transitions, clearer objectives, and more engaging dialogue. Missing elements include more information about specific circumstances, clearer conflicts, and deeper exploration of character motivations. Notable points include the use of video messages, effective establishment of contrasts, and the use of visual elements to enhance tension. Overall, the screenplay showcases a compelling narrative with room for refinement in certain areas.
USP: The Unique Selling Proposition in this screenplay is the transformation of the main character, Walter White, from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to a dangerous criminal mastermind. This script stands out from others in its genre by showcasing the unexpected vulnerability and love Walter expresses in his video message, as well as the contrast between his appearance and his desperate situation. The themes of desperation and the lengths one is willing to go to provide for their family add depth and complexity to the storytelling. This script would be of interest to its target audience because it offers a unique and compelling exploration of a character's transformation and the moral dilemmas they face.
Budget Estimate:$50-60 million
Target Audience Demographics: Adults aged 18-49, fans of crime dramas and character-driven stories
Marketability: Breaking Bad has a strong cult following and critical acclaim...
The unique blend of genres and exploration of complex characters...
The gripping storyline and intense performances...
Profit Potential: Very high, due to the show's popularity and potential for syndication and merchandise sales
Analysis Criteria Percentiles
Summary:The writer's voice is characterized by realistic and naturalistic dialogue, descriptive narrative, and concise scene direction. The dialogue is often focused on the characters' internal thoughts and emotions, while the narrative and direction provide vivid and detailed descriptions of the characters' actions and surroundings. The writer's voice contributes to the overall mood and themes of the screenplay by creating a sense of realism and authenticity. It also adds depth to the characters' interactions and explores complex emotions and motivations. The writer's voice showcases their ability to create relatable and engaging dialogue, as well as their skill in crafting descriptive and focused scene direction.
Best representation: Scene 2 - Walter's Struggle. This scene could serve as the encapsulation of the writer's unique voice in the screenplay because it showcases their ability to create realistic and relatable characters in everyday situations.
- Margaret: Walt, you are my hero. (Scene 2)
- Walt: Best-case scenario, with chemo, I'll live another two years. (Scene 5)
- Walter White: Buy the RV. We start tomorrow. (Scene 10)
- Dupree: You're a goddamned artist. This is art. (Scene 12)
- Walt: Red phosphorus, when heat is applied... oxidizes and yields carbonyl chloride. Phosgene gas. One good whiff of it... (Scene 14)
Walter White:High school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine manufacturer
Skyler White:Walter's wife and mother of their son
Walter Jr.:Walter and Skyler's teenage son
Hank:Walt's brother-in-law and DEA agent
Dupree:Walt's partner in the meth operation
The Percentile is against the screenplays in our library.
|At least one Character Changes in the scene||7.7||97|
|Story Moves Forward||8.3||83|
|Internal Goal Score||7.8||5|
|External Goal Score||6.9||15|
Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here
Note: This is the synthesis. See scene by scene analysis here
|Character Changes||7.7||96||Birdman: 7.4||Breaking bad: 7.7|
|Overall||8.6||90||Birdman: 8.5||Titanic: 8.6|
|Plot||8.4||81||Everything Everywhere All at Once: 8.3||Knives Out: 8.4|
|Story Forward||8.3||77||Breaking bad, episode 306: 8.2||Black panther: 8.3|
|Characters||8.4||73||Mo: 8.3||American hustle: 8.4|
|Emotional Impact||7.6||65||Queens Gambit: 7.5||Erin Brokovich: 7.6|
|Conflict Level||7.9||65||Hors de prix: 7.8||Pan's Labyrinth: 7.9|
|High Stakes||7.7||63||Requiem for a dream: 7.5||Breaking bad: 7.7|
|Dialogue||7.6||47||Shaun of the Dead: 7.5||get out: 7.6|
|Formatting||9.00||46||Mind Hunter: 8.95||Severance: 9.00|
|Concept||7.6||28||Birdman: 7.5||face/off: 7.6|
|Structure||8.07||19||Mr Robot: 8.06||Thor: 8.07|
|External Goal||6.86||14||Mind Hunter: 6.85||Breaking bad: 6.86|
|Pacing||7.93||4||The sweet hereafter: 7.81||Breaking bad: 7.93|
|Internal Goal||7.83||4||Catch me if you can: 7.81||Breaking bad: 7.83|
|Engagement||7.57||1||-||Breaking bad: 7.57|
|Originality||4.71||1||-||Breaking bad: 4.71|
|Story Content||Character Development||Scene Elements||Audience Engagement||Technical Aspects|
|Scene Number||Full Analysis||Tone||Overall Grade||Concept||Plot||Originality Score||Characters||Character Changes||Internal Goal||External Goal||Conflict||Opposition||High stakes||Story forward||Twist||Emotional Impact||Dialogue||Engagement||Pacing||Formatting||Structure|
|1||The Escape||Tense, Suspenseful, Dark||9||8||9||2||9||8||0||8||9||9||9||9||6||8||8||7||9||9||8|
|2||Morning Routine||Tense, Serious, Melancholic||8||7||7||4||8||5||8||7||5||6||4||6||5||6||7||7||7||9||8|
|3||Walter's Struggle||Tense, Dissatisfied, Serious||8||8||7||5||8||7||8||7||7||7||6||7||6||6||7||7||8||9||8|
|4||Walt's Dissatisfaction||Dissatisfaction, Tension, Intimacy||8||7||7||3||8||6||8||5||5||3||4||6||4||6||6||6||8||9||7|
|5||Walt's Diagnosis||Anxious, Disconcerting, Matter-of-fact||8||7||8||4||7||7||8||7||6||7||8||8||6||8||7||7||8||9||9|
|6||The Awakening||Tense, Dramatic, Suspenseful||9||8||9||3||9||9||0||8||9||7||9||9||6||8||8||7||7||9||8|
|7||The Unexpected Encounter||Dissatisfaction, Shock, Disbelief, Curiosity||8||7||8||6||7||7||7||6||8||7||8||9||7||7||7||8||8||9||8|
|8||Walter's Diagnosis||Dissatisfaction, Shock, Disbelief, Quiet, Competitive||8||7||8||6||7||7||8||7||6||7||7||8||6||8||6||7||8||9||8|
|9||Entering the Dangerous World||Intense, Serious, Tense||9||8||9||4||9||8||7||6||9||8||9||9||5||8||9||8||7||9||8|
|10||Entering the Dangerous World||Intense, Serious, Tense||9||8||9||4||9||9||8||7||9||7||9||9||6||8||8||7||7||9||8|
|11||Walt Takes a Stand||Distant, Livid, Powerful, Serious||9||8||9||6||9||9||8||7||9||8||8||9||7||8||8||9||8||9||8|
|12||The Meth Partnership||Intense, Serious, Tense||9||8||9||7||9||9||8||7||9||8||8||9||7||8||9||8||8||9||9|
|13||The Meth Lab Showdown||Intense, Suspenseful, Dangerous||9||8||9||6||9||8||8||7||10||8||10||9||7||9||8||9||9||9||8|
|14||Surviving the First Week||Despair, Tense, Relief, Excitement||9||8||9||6||9||9||8||7||9||8||9||9||7||8||8||9||9||9||8|
Sony Pictures Television
EXT. COW PASTURE - DAY
Deep blue sky overhead. Fat, scuddy clouds. Below them,
black and white cows graze the rolling hills. This could be
one of those California "It's The Cheese" commercials.
Except those commercials don't normally focus on cow shit.
We do. TILT DOWN to a fat, round PATTY drying olive drab in
the sun. Flies buzz. Peaceful and quiet. until •••
ZOOOM! WHEELS plow right through the shit with a SPLAT.
NEW ANGLE - AN RV
Is speeding smack-dab through the pasture, no road in sight.
A bit out of place, to say the least. It's an old 70's era
Winnebago with chalky white paint and Bondo spots. A bumper
sticker for the Good Sam Club is stuck to the back.
The Winnebago galumphs across the landscape, scattering cows.
It catches a wheel and sprays a rooster tail of red dirt.
INT. WINNEBAGO - DAY
Inside, the DRIVER's knuckles cling white to the wheel. He's
got the pedal flat. Scared, breathing fast. His eyes bug
wide behind the faceplate of his gas mask.
Oh, by the way, he's wearing a GAS MASK. That, and white
jockey UNDERPANTS. Nothing else.
Buckled in the seat beside him lolls a clothed PASSENGER,
also wearing a gas mask. Blood streaks down from his ear,
blotting his T-shirt. He's passed out cold.
Behind them, the interior is a wreck. Beakers and buckets
and flasks -- some kind of ad-hoc CHEMICAL LAB -- spill their
noxious contents with every bump we hit. Yellow-brown liquid
washes up and down the floor. It foams in a scum around •••
••. Two DEAD BODIES. Two freshly deceased Mexican guys
tumble like rag dolls, bumping into each other.
Completing this picture is the blizzard of MONEY. A Von's
bag lies leaking twenties. Fifteen, twenty grand in cash
wafts around in the air or floats in the nasty brown soup.
CLOSE on the driver's eyes. He's panting like a steam
engine. His mask FOGS UP until finally he can't see.
EXT. COW PASTURE - CONTINUOUS
The Winnebago comes roaring over a berm and down into a deep
gully. Too deep. BAM! The front bumper bottoms out,
burying itself. WAAAAAAHI The rear wheels spin air.
The engine cuts off. Silence again. The Winnie's door kicks
open and out stumbles underpants man. He yanks off his gas
mask, lets it drop.
He's forty years old. Receding hairline. A bit pasty.
He's not a guy who makes a living working with his hands.
He's not a guy we'd pay attention to if we passed him on the
street. But right now, at this moment, in this pasture?
Right now, we'd step the fuck out of his way.
Underpants man looks at the RV. End of the line for that.
He listens hard. Out of the silence, we hear .•• SIRENS.
They're faint, a few miles off -- but growing louder. Our
guy knows he's boned with a capital B. He HOLDS HIS BREATH
and leaps back inside the RV.
INT. WINNEBAGO - CONTINUOUS
A chrome 9mm is clutched in the hand of one of the dead
Mexicans. Underpants grabs it, tucks it in his waistband.
His unconscious passenger, still strapped in his seat, lets
out a groan. Underpants leans past him, yanks open the glove
box. He comes up with a WALLET and a tiny Sony CAMCORDER.
EXT. COW PASTURE - CONTINUOUS
Ducking outside, he starts breathing again. A short sleeve
DRESS SHIRT on a hanger dangles from the Winnebago's awning.
Underpants pulls it on. He finds a clip-on tie in the
pocket, snaps it to his collar. No trousers, unfortunately.
He licks his fingers, slicks his hair down with his hands.
He's looking almost pulled together now -- at least from the
waist-up. All the while, the sirens are getting LOUDER.
Underpants figures out how to turn on the camcorder. He
twists the little screen around so he can see himself in it.
Framing himself waist-up, he takes a moment to gather his
thoughts .•• then presses RECORD.
My name is Walter Hartwell White.
I live at 308 Belmont Avenue,
Ontario, California 91764. I am of
sound mind. To all law enforcement
entities, this is not an admission
of guilt. I'm speaking now to my
Skyler .•• you are ••• the love of my
life. I hope you know that.
Walter Junior. You're my big man.
I should have told you things, both
of you. I should have said things.
But I love you both so much. And
our unborn child. And I just want
you to know that these .•• things
you're going to learn about me in
the coming days. These things.
I just want you to know that •.•
no matter what it may look like •.•
I had all three of you in my heart.
The sirens are WAILING now, on top of us. WALTER WHITE, the
underpants man, turns off the camcorder. He carefully sets
it on a bare patch of ground by his feet. Next to it he sets
his wallet, lying open where it can be seen.
CLOSE ON the wallet -- a photo ID card is visible. Walt's
smiling face is on it. It identifies him as a teacher at
J.P. wynne High School, Ontario Unified School District.
Walt pulls the chrome pistol from the back of his waistband,
aiming it across the tall weeds. It glints hard in the sun.
Flashing red LIGHT BARS speed into view, skimming the tops of
the weeds. Heading straight for us.
Walt stands tall in his underpants, not flinching. Off him,
ready to shoot the first cop he sees •••
EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
No president ever slept here. No millionaire ever visited.
This is a three-bedroom RANCHER in a modest neighborhood.
Weekend trips to Home Depot keep it looking tidy, but it'll
never make the cover of "Architectural Digest."
We're in Ontario, California -- the Inland Empire. LEGEND:
"ONE MONTH EARLIER."
INT. WHITE HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
Dark and silent. SKYLER WHITE, late 30s, sleeps peacefully.
Beside her, her husband Walter is wide awake.
Walt reaches over and presses a button on his Sharper Image
alarm clock. It projects the time in glowing blue numbers on
the cottage cheese ceiling: 5:02 AM.
Walt lies motionless. Brain churning. He presses the button
again, staring straight up. 5:02 turns to 5:03.
Close enough. Walt rises without waking his wife. He exits.
INT. WHITE HOUSE - SPARE BEDROOM - NIGHT
We hear an o.s. SQUEAK-SQUEAK as we drift through this room.
We pass an empty crib, Pampers, a baby monitor still in its
box. There's going to be a new addition to the family.
We come upon the source of the SQUEAKING. It's Walt balanced
on a Lillian Vernon stair-stepper, just three easy payments
of $29.95. Walt plods up and down in the darkness like he's
marching to Bataan.
INT. WHITE HOUSE - BATHROOM - NIGHT
Walt sits down on the 7dge of the tub. We're watching his
face in the bathroom Mlrror. He masturbates. Judging by his
expression, he might as well be waiting in line at the DMV.
Walt double-takes, catching sight of himself. Distracted, he
examines the sallow bagginess under his eyes. He draws at
the loose skin under his chin.
Staring at himself long and hard, Walt loses his erection.
He gives up trying, pulls up his sweat pants.
Walt is dressed for work -- Dockers and a short-sleeve dress
shirt courtesy of Target. An American flag pin on his tie.
He and Skyler eat their breakfast in silence.
Skyler glances up, sees Walt puzzling over his bacon.
Sizzle-Lean. We need to think
about our cholesterol.
Skyler's cute in a way most guys wouldn't have noticed back
in high school. But not soft-cute. Not in the eyes.
She's dressed for staying home -- she's five months pregnant
and just beginning to show.
When'll you be home?
I don't want him dicking you around
tonight. You get paid till six,
you work till six. Not seven.
Seventeen year-old WALTER, JR. enters the kitchen, dressed
for school, hair still damp from the shower. The CLICK •••
CLICK of his forearm crutches precedes him into the room.
Walt and Skyler's son is a sweet-faced teenager who appears
to have cerebral palsy. He moves slowly and awkwardly, and
grinds his teeth as he labors to talk. But he's a smart kid.
Just seating himself at the table is a trial for Walter, Jr.
His parents don't give him the slightest help. They treat
him as if he were able-bodied, which is how he wants it.
He shrugs. She gets up, serves him breakfast. Walter, Jr.
squints at the plate she plops down before him.
Sizzle-lean. We're watching our
Not--me! I want--bacon!
Walter, Jr. picks at his breakfast, annoyed.
What's this--even--made of?!
He looks to his dad for backup. Walt shrugs, ambivalent.
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL - MORNING
J.P. Wynne High School. Home of the Fightin' Skyhawks. Two
thousand-plus students, many of them in overflow trailers.
Into the faculty lot motors a 1991 Nissan wagon. It was a
piece of shit when it rolled off the assembly line, and has
not improved with age. It parks in a handicapped space.
A handicapped placard hangs from the rear-view.
Walt climbs out from behind the wheel, checks his watch.
He's late. Walter, Jr. struggles to get out of the passenger
side. He fumbles with his crutches and his backpack.
(off his son's nod)
Alright, see you at home.
Walt grabs his briefcase and hurries toward the building,
leaving his son to work it out for himself -- which is,
again, exactly how Walter, Jr. wants it.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL - CLASSROOM - DAY
Hours later. This is a chemistry classroom -- black-topped
lab tables with gas spigots. Walt is lecturing to seniors.
Chemistry is the study of what?
Snickers from the smart kids. Walt smiles.
Chemicals. No. Change. Chemistry
is the study of change.
Think about it. Electrons change
their orbits, molecules change
their bonds. Elements combine and
change into compounds. That's all
of life, right? The constant •••
The cycle. Solution, dissolution,
over and over.
Walt seems to be talking mostly to himself. A pep talk.
Growth, decay. Transformation.
It's fascinating, really.
Handsome, blonde CHAD sits slouched in the back with his hand
jammed in the lap of his cheerleader GIRLFRIEND. He whispers
to her and she giggles. Walt snaps out of it.
Chad, keep your hands to yourself
please. Is there something wrong
with your own table?
Chad sighs heavily and drags his stool back to an adjoining
table. Doing so, he makes as much NOISE as he can.
Alright, ionic bonds. Chapter six.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL - FACULTY WORKROOM - DAY /
Last period. Wide on Walt in the background, who sits alone
in this deserted room. Head down, he grades tests while he
eats a sandwich from home. It's a lonesome tableau.
A physics teacher, MARGARET, enters. She's 30s, redhead,
attractive without being pretty. Sexy, more like.
Margaret feeds the soda machine a dollar. Walt stares at her
back a little too long. We feel his interest.
Margaret gets her Diet Coke and turns his way. Walt lowers
his eyes. Margaret joins him at the table, checks her watch.
How'd you know?
Walt shrugs. Smiles. Margaret does, too.
She fumbles in her purse, comes up with a cigarette and
lighter. She notices Walt's surprised glance.
Be a champ, wouldja? Don't narc.
(amused by the word)
My lips are sealed.
Margaret lights up and sucks deep. Ohhh yeah. She blows
smoke toward the ceiling, gives it a wave with Walt's papers.
Walt, you are my hero.
Walt glances up at her once more. She catches him doing it,
smiles back and holds his look. He drops his eyes first.
Those things '11 kill you, you know.
Margaret shrugs, exhales.
Something always does.
EXT. VELVET-TOUCH CAR WASH - AFTERNOON
This is one of those 60s Googie-style structures -- faded
space-age futuristic. young Mexicans dry the cars by hand.
INT. VELVET-TOUCH - OFFICE - AFTERNOON
Walt's afternoon part-time job. He works the cash register.
-- Eight, nine, ten, and ten makes
twenty. Thank you. Come again.
The CUSTOMER wanders off, re-counting his change. Walt
closes his drawer and busies himself with record keeping.
AMIR, the middle-aged Persian owner, argues on the phone.
No. Not that is not what I
said. What I said to you --
Amir switches to FARSI. The conversation grows more heated.
Finally, he barks something and hangs up. He turns to Walt.
My sister's worthless son -- piece
of shit! Shit! Fired for good
I'll run the register.
Amir, no. We talked about this.
Inside only. And only till six.
I'm short-handed, walter. What am
I to do? What am I to do?
Pissed, Walt unclips his tie, shoves it in his breast pocket.
The sun's sinking low. walt -- master's degree, Inland
Empire Science Educator of the Year for '92, '95, and '01
is towel-drying cars alongside the teenage vatos. His slacks
and shoes are spotted with soapy water. He's grim.
Walt is at work on an anthracite BMW 3-Series. As he hunkers
down to Armor-All the tires, we hear:
Hey, you missed a spot.
Walt looks up to see handsome CHAD smirking down at him.
young master Chad is tickled pink. This is his Beemer, by
the way. Chad's girlfriend stands in b.g., giggling into her
cell phone. Whispering just loud enough to be heard.
Ohmigod. Oh -- my -- God. You are
not going to believe •••
She cups a hand over her mouth, turns away. Walt says
nothing. He needs this job. Off him, scrubbing harder •••
INT. NISSAN SENTRA - DRIVING - EVENING
The speedometer vibrates at 86. Walt is alone in the car,
speeding home. Tired and dirty. He's swallowed a lot of
anger today. It's way down deep, but it glows inside him.
The needle creeps up to 91. Things rattle and shake. Walt's
eyes fix on something ahead.
Walt's POV -- through the windshield, it's a straight shot
down the freeway. A mile ahead of us is a TRIPLE OVERPASS.
It's a graceful, swooping thing made of ribbons of white
concrete. It rises up out of the flatlands as we approach,
dwarfing everything for miles around.
Walt studies it. He lets off the gas a little.
Cars crawl the overpass, over and under each other. Endless
strings of white headlights, red taillights. This giant
structure routes them in every direction a person can travel.
Something about it distracts Walt. Occupies him.
Walt coasts underneath it all, staring up at it through his
sunroof. Once he's past it, he speeds up again. He eyes it
in his rearview mirror, then leaves it behind.
EXT. WHITE HOUSE - EVENING
Walt's Sentra chugs into the driveway, parking behind a shiny
new VOLVO SUV. Staring at the Volvo, Walt is not happy.
The front door of walt's house opens. Out steps a big,
barrel-chested man with a bourbon in one hand. This is HANK,
Walt's brother-in-law. Hank raises his glass hello. He taps
his watch and shakes his head -- you're late.
EXT. APPLEBEE'S - NIGHT
Deep suburbia. The shiny Volvo SUV is parked in foreground.
INT. APPLEBEE'S - NIGHT
Family night in this chain restaurant. Walt, Skyler and
Walter, Jr. sit in a corner booth with Hank and his wife
MARIE. Marie is Skyler's sister. We see the resemblance.
Amir, this guy's name is? Jesus.
Call Homeland Security.
I'm serious. Call the FBI, see if
he's legal. Might not be. Ship
his ass back to Camel-Land.
Hank shoots a winning grin at his nephew. Walter, Jr. snorts
with delight as he chews a mouthful of hamburger.
I don't know, Hank. Do they
actually have camels in Iran?
No. Horses. Arabian stallions.
Arabian what? Jesus. Camels,
horses -:-;-towel-head is a
towel-head. You're missing my •••
••• And they're not Arabian anyway,
they're Persian. But you're
missing my point here. This guy is
treating your husband like uh, you
know. Door mat. Here Walt is, got
a brain the size of Wisconsin and
he's shampooing dried cum outta
some teenager's back seat?
WALT & SKYLER
(to Walter, Jr.)
Sorry. You didn't hear that.
You say the word, I'll go talk to
this guy. I'll set him straight.
Walt gives a pained little smile, shakes his head.
You sure? Happy to do it.
No. Thank you. Let's, please,
let's change the subject.
Hank shrugs and drains his beer. He winks at Walter, Jr.,
who grins. The teenager worships his fire-pisser uncle.
Walt can't help but notice. Hank is everything Walt isn't:
bold, brash, confident.
Skyler sips her white wine. Marie stares at her.
You're ~ it's okay to drink.
After the first trimester, yes.
It was even in "Newsweek."
Well, I didn't see that.
Marie disapproves. prickly. Hank's eyes are on the bar TV.
Oh, hey! Turn it up!
Hank WHISTLES. The college-age BARTENDER glances at him,
confused. Hank hustles over and keys up the volume on the
nearest TV SET. They're all wired together. Everybody in
the restaurant, like it or not, has to listen to •••
The local news. HANK, the man himself, is being
interviewed on television. He's polished and official.
HANK (ON TV)
-- At which point we apprehended
three individuals and placed them
in custody. I'm proud to say that
the outstanding professionalism
shown by my fellow agents of the
San Bernardino District Office
resulted in a substantial quantity
of methamphetamine being taken off
An on-screen graphic identifies him as "AGENT HENRY WELD,
D.E.A." The real-live Hank gives a smile and a nod, not just
to his family, but to everyone in the place. Such is the
force of his will that strangers APPLAUD him.
Walter, Jr. holds up a hand, which Hank high-fives.
Damn. TV does--add ten pounds.
Ah hah-hah. Sit and spin.
Hank rubs the corner of his mouth with his middle finger,
flipping off Walter, Jr. They're like two teenagers.
Walt eats french fries and tries his best to tune everyone
out. Something on TV catches his eye.
It's the spoils of this drug bust. Laid out on a table are
bags and bags of crystal meth and several guns. But also .••
eight big SHOEBOXES full of CASH.
Walt chews his food, watches. Despite himself .•.
Hank? How much money is that?
Almost seven hundred thousand.
Pretty good haul.
The TV lingers on fat rolls of $20s rubber-banded together.
It's more currency than Walt has ever seen outside of a heist
movie. He's surprised.
That's got to be unusual, right?
That kind of cash?
Mmm. Not the most we ever took.
(to the room)
There's no deficit of total morons
in the drug trade. And they can
make a ton of money, too. At least
until we catch 'em. But we
catch 'em eventually.
Hank flashes his great smile around the room. He notes
Walt's continued interest in the news report. Likes it.
Walt, just say the word and I'll
take you on a ride-along. You can
watch us knock down a meth lab.
'Less that's too much excitement
Walt forces a pained grin and shrugs -- maybe someday.
EXT. WHITE HOUSE - NIGHT
The lights are off. It's late.
Walt, dressed for bed in sweats and a t-shirt, checks himself
out in the bathroom mirror. He's not loving what he sees.
He pulls at the skin under his eyes. He COUGHS a little.
In the bedroom, Sky1er's in her nightgown, sitting at the
computer. She's following the final moments of an auction on
eBay. Walt pads into the room, sits down beside her.
Which one's this?
(eyes on the screen)
That faux-La1ique vase I picked up
at the flea market.
How's it doing?
I met my reserve and there's still
Walt nods, sits watching. without taking her eyes off the
screen, Skyler reaches over and slips a hand into Walt's
sweatpants. Walt smirks, surprised.
You tell me.
Skyler plays with him, out of sight below frame. A beat.
What are you doing tomorrow?
Actually, I was thinking about, urn.
Maybe drive to Cal tech.
You're not gonna mow?
Yeah, I'll mow. JPL's got an
exhibit of Mars rover photographs.
Supposed to be, the detail ••• just
really amazing. Really beautiful.
I just need you to mow at some
point. I'd do it myself, except it
always throws rocks at me. I think
it needs a new bag.
I will mow. First thing.
Skyler glances at walt's crotch. Good-naturedly:
What's going on down there?
Is he asleep?
I'm just ••. we gotta be careful of
Don't worry about the baby. This
is for you. We're only doing you
Obscured by the computer, Skyler gives Walt a vigorous
handjob with one hand and works the mouse with the other.
Just relax. Just ••• close your
eyes and let it •••
Skyler glances again at her husband. Apparently, there's no
mighty oak sprung from whence the lowly acorn lies.
Just close your eyes.
walt does so, concentrating. Trying hard. Tugging away,
Skyler's attention drifts back to the computer. Completely.
That's it. That's ••• it.
There you go. Keep going. Keep
going. Keep it going. Keep •••
(reacting to the screen)
Walt's eyes open. The thrill is gone.
EXT. CALTECH CAMPUS - DAY
Old Pasadena. Wide greenbelts and dark magnolias. The sign
says "Jet Propulsion Laboratory." Einstein was a visiting
professor at Caltech, once upon a time. This place looks it.
INT. JPL - DAY
MARS fills frame, stark red rocks and red sand. We PAN OFF
this blow-up of Martian terrain -- we're in a hallway mounted
with two dozen such photos, big and striking.
Small in the distance stands Walt. He's not looking at any
of these photos. He's down an adjacent hallway, staring at
something else, instead.
CLOSER ANGLE - WALT
He's studying names engraved on an old plaque. It's a list
of grad students awarded a particular research grant.
Closer. "ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, 1988 -- Walter H. White."
Walt stares at his own name on the plaque. We can't read his
thoughts, but we can guess at them.
EXT. CALTECH CAMPUS - COFFEE STAND - DAY
An outdoor snack bar. Walt sits alone. Around him, young
STUDENTS pore over textbooks or quietly type on laptops.
Walt sips his coffee and stares into space.
At the nearest table, a CHINESE GUY sits with two CHINESE
GIRLS. They're laughing and talking in CANTONESE. They keep
their voices low so their gossip might not be overheard --
but it's not like we have any idea what they're saying.
Walt takes another sip of coffee, carefully sets down the
cup. He looks at his hand for a long moment.
He notices his fingers are TREMBLING slightly. He makes a
fist, squeezes it tight. Opens it.
The Asian students are talking a mile-a-minute, the two girls
giggling. walt glances at them, looks back to his hand. He
presses it flat against the tabletop.
UP-ANGLE -- as seen through this GLASS TOP TABLE, Walt's
fingers stick to the surface. They pull loose with a slow,
CLOSER on Walt. He rubs his mouth, sneaks his fingertips to
his carotid artery just under his ear. He's feeling his
pulse. The furtive whispering in CHINESE fills his head.
He's starting to breathe faster.
His cellphone RINGS. He glances at the readout screen.
"HOME," it says. Walt silences it, tucks the phone back in
Rapid-fire CHINESE is all we hear. Now it gets drowned out
by a sudden WHOOSH that makes Walt blink. It's the whoosh of
the nearby cappuccino machine. It's unnaturally loud, like a
jet engine. Walt's had enough. Time to go.
HIGH ANGLE - DOWN THROUGH THE TREES
Magnolia leaves sway in f.g. We're looking down at Walt,
tiny in the distance, as he rises to his feet. He makes it
three steps before he COLLAPSES, flipping an empty table.
Students look up, hesitate. The Chinese guy and a couple of
others rise to help. Off Walt, lying on his face •.•
END ACT ONE
Walt is conscious, seems okay. He sits in a blue paper gown,
legs dangling off an exam table. He's alone, waiting.
Absently tapping the table. He's been here for hours.
Muffled RINGING. Walt reaches for his pants, fishes out his
cellphone. "HOME" is yet again displayed on the readout.
Walt considers, answers it.
Yeah, sorry. I had it turned off.
I was, uh •••
Yeah, probably about an hour or so.
Amid the bustle out in the hall, two ER DOCTORS stand
conferring. They're looking at blood chemistry results
first one man studies them, then the other. When one of them
glances back our way, we realize they're talking about Walt.
Walt sees this. He can't hear what they're saying, but it
looks weighty. Walt is anxious. However, he doesn't let it
come through in his voice.
I'm at Caltech. I ran into an old
professor, we got to talking. I
should be home in about an hour.
Walt clicks off. He looks again to the doctors in the hall.
One man nods to the other, walks off. The remaining doctor
puts on his bedside smile and enters Walt's room.
Sorry for the wait. You can put
your clothes back on.
Walt climbs off the table, steps into his pants.
I've had it before. Low blood
sugar. Stood up too fast.
He's fishing. The doctor doesn't saying anything, just fills
out a form. Walt pulls on his shirt, buttons it.
Guess I should've had breakfast
There's a specialist I'd like you
to see. His name is Dr. Belknap.
I should have his •.• card here
The doctor finds a business card, hands it to Walt. Walt
stands in his socks, staring at the card for a long beat.
It's probably absolutely nothing.
INT. DR. BELKNAP'S OFFICE/EXAM AREA - DAY
Days later. A MONTAGE OF CLOSE-UPS: a blood pressure cuff
gets pumped with a WHOOSH-WHOOSH-WHOOSH; a stethoscope slides
here and there over bare skin; glands get palpated; blood is
drawn; eyes, ears, nose and throat are checked; more blood is
drawn; colorful MRIs pop up on a monitor; still more BLOOD is
drawn. END MONTAGE.
CUT TO -- Walt in his street clothes, sitting in a red
leather chair. He's staring almost directly into camera.
SILENCE. Up from it rises a faint sort of buzzy, shimmering
TINNITUS sound. It's the RINGING in Walt's ears. It gets
louder as we slowly CREEP IN on Walt's face. He's staring at
us blankly. He's staring at:
Walt's POV -- DOCTOR BELKNAP. Dr. Belknap is a balding man
in his late fifties. On a good day, he's maybe avuncular.
He's sitting behind his desk, looking right at us, talking in
slight SLOW-MOTION. We don't hear a single word he's saying.
We only hear the buzzy RINGING.
CLOSER POV -- we tilt down from Belknap's face, his moving
lips, to his doctor's coat. On the pristine white of his
lapel, there's a spot of yellow MUSTARD. We fixate on it.
-- Mr. White? Are you listening?
We've snapped out of it. The SOUND in the room is normal.
No more SLOW-MOTION. Walt looks up from the man's lapel.
Did you •• ? You understood what
I've said to you?
Yeah. Multiple myeloma. Stage 3.
Best-case scenario, with chemo,
I'll live another two years.
(off the man's gaze)
It's just, you've got mustard on
your ••• you've got mustard there.
Walt points. Belknap glances down at the spot on his lapel,
then back up at Walt. He has no idea what to say to that.
Off Walt, looking very matter-of-fact ••• disconcertingly so:
INT. VELVET-TOUCH CAR WASH - OFFICE - EVENING
Same clothes, same day -- Walt came to work straight from
getting his terrible news. He's on autopilot, standing
behind the cash register. The BUZZ is back in his head.
Amir is in the b.g., arguing on the phone in Farsi. The
sound is muted. We can barely hear him. We don't know what
he's yelling about anyway -- it's pointless, doesn't matter.
We're on Walt, who simply stares into space.
No customers. Walt suddenly jerks, like a tiny zap of
electricity goes through him. He steps out from behind the
counter and exits. Amir doesn't notice him leave.
As seen through the windows, Walt pads along like a zombie
and nearly gets run over by a car. The vatos all watch,
confused, as Walt climbs in his Nissan and drives away.
INT. NISSAN SENTRA - DRIVING - EVENING
Walt drives. Not speeding. No expression on his face.
His POV: it's a straight shot up the 10 Freeway. The
familiar TRIPLE OVERPASS looms ahead in the distance.
Walt stares at it like it's the monolith in "2001."
EXT. OVERPASS - CONTINUOUS
An AERIAL VIEW, looking straight down at this vast and
complex concrete knot. Walt's tiny Nissan is an ant
trundling toward it. The car disappears from view
underneath, as if being swallowed.
INT. WHITE HOUSE - KITCHEN - EVENING
A glass of white wine. Sky1er stands talking on the phone.
Absolutely. I sent it to you on
the third. It's number ••• wait a
minute, let me get my checkbook.
She cups a hand over the phone, does nothing. After a beat:
Here it is. It's check number
1148. So mY records show I paid
that, and I certainly don't feel
like we owe any late •••
Alright. I guess then I'll check
with my bank and, I don't know, if
the post office lost it or
something .•• alright then. Let me
look into that. Thank you.
Walt enters, hearing the tail-end. Skyler hangs up.
You're home early.
Walt nods, finds a beer in the fridge. His fingers tremble a
little as he pries off the cap. Skyler doesn't notice --
she's sifting through a stack of bills.
Walt sits at the table. He drinks deep, rubs his mouth.
How was your day?
You know. Same.
Don't tell me Amir's sending you
home at five now.
No, just. Today.
(studying a bill)
Did you use the MasterCard last
month? $15.88 at Staples?
Uh. We needed printer paper.
Walt, the MasterCard's the one we
Walt nods, overwhelmed and hiding it. Skyler doesn't know
about his doctor's appointment. Even if Walt wants to tell
her, something stops him. He sips his beer, stares.
Loud MACHINE GUN FIRE startles them both. Skyler yells into
the living room.
DAMMIT, WALTER 1 TURN THAT DOWN 1
Go talk to him.
Walt rises, sets his bottle in the sink.
The end of "Scarface" plays on the TV. TONY MONTANA, with
his mountain of cocaine and his M-16, takes on all comers.
Walter, Jr. is sprawled on the couch, watching. His crutches
are leaned against the armrest.
(watches TV, remembers)
Your Mom wants you to turn it down.
Shit, come--on. This is--the best--
Wait, wait •••
TONY MONTANA (ON TV)
COME AN' MEET MY LEETLE FRIEND!
Oh--damnl Hell, yeahl
Walter, Jr. awkwardly pumps his fist. Walt keeps watching.
Uncle Hank--gave--it to me.
Walt's eyes stay on the screen. The garish little kingpin
mows down acres of Columbians, then dies in a blaze of glory.
Off Walt, whose thoughts are unknown to us •••
INT. WHITE HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
Glowing blue numbers project on the cottage cheese ceiling:
4:26 AM. Walt lies awake beside his sleeping wife.
INT. WHITE HOUSE - SPARE BEDROOM - NIGHT
SQUEAK-SQUEAK, SQUEAK-SQUEAK. Walt thumps up and down on his
cheapie stair-stepper. He speeds up -- faster than the last
time. Thump, thump, thump. As seen through the bars of the
empty crib, he's really working it hard.
Sweat beads on his face. Bam, bam, bam. Faster, faster.
Harder. Violent. Sweat drips off his nose. until--
-- CRACK. He BREAKS the stair-stepper. One footpad snaps
free, hangs limp. Walt steps off and examines it.
He stares down at it for the longest time. We CREEP IN on
his face. The thousand-yard stare he's had since Doctor
Belknap's office gives way to something else now.
He says it barely audibly. It's like the clouds have parted.
The situation has finally, truly registered in Walt's brain.
EXT. WHITE HOUSE - DAWN
Early morning. A faint glow in the sky. Silence except for
the THWACK ••• THWACK of the NEWSPAPER GUY driving past.
INT. WHITE HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAWN
walt sits alone at the kitchen table, staring into space.
Deep in thought. Considering something carefully. He rises,
picks up the phone and dials. Keeps his voice low.
Hank? Hey, it's Walt. I didn't
wake you, did I?
Good. Listen, I've been thinking.
Could I take you up on your offer?
EXT. BLUE-COLLAR NEIGHBORHOOD - MORNING
A different morning -- these things take time to set up.
We're in a neighborhood not unlike Walt's. A non-descript
Ford is parked at the curb, blended in with the other cars.
It's down there on the cul-de-sac.
White? Kinda redwood-looking trim?
INT. FORD - MORNING - CONTINUOUS
Hank sits behind the wheel. A subordinate agent, GOMEZ, is
beside him. Hank is pointing out the TARGET HOUSE to Walt,
who sits in the back seat in an ill-fitting bulletproof vest.
Tiny house, a block down the street. Not at all noteworthy.
That's a meth lab.
So says our snitch. Says some dude
who goes by "Cap' n Cook" lives up
to his name in there. Got himself
a three pound flask and keeps it
bubbling day and night. Says he
always adds a dash of chili powder.
Ah, you exuberant Mexicans.
Uh-uh. "Cap'n Cook?" that's a
white boy's name. Dopey as hell.
Yeah? I got twenty bucks says he's
A yellow SCHOOL BUS chugs into frame, driving past.
Ah, here we go. Finally.
(into his radio)
School bus is clear. You got the
An affirmation comes back. Hank starts his engine.
(smiling, to Walt)
watch this. This makes 'em shit.
Out of the distance, we hear a BIG ENGINE REVVING, speeding
our way. A TRUCK roars past, heading for the cul-de-sac.
Hank slowly follows it in his Ford -- just so Walt can see.
Hank hums Ride Of The Valkyries, channeling "Apocalypse Now."
Walt's POV: as seen through the windshield, the lead truck
goes speeding into the target house's driveway. An ENTRY
TEAM of six agents jumps out, looking like they just came
from the set of a sci-fi movie -- they're covered head-to-toe
in CHEMICAL SUITS and RESPIRATOR GEAR. They carry carbines
and shotguns. One man lugs a battering ram.
Meth labs are nasty on a good day --
but when you mix that stuff wrong,
you wind up with mustard gas.
Phosgene gas, I think.
Yeah, exactly. One whiff'll kill
you. That's why the moon suits.
Walt nods, watches the entry team take position at the door.
INT. TARGET HOUSE - KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS
To call this a shithole would be an insult to shitholes
everywhere. There's filthy clothes, overflowing garbage,
rotting pizza boxes dating to the Clinton administration •••
along with stacked cannisters of plumber's lye and Coleman
stove fuel. A rambling, Rube Goldberg lab of hoses and
buckets stands out against the knotty pine panelling.
A Mexican man, EMILIO, sits at the kitchen table, listening
to headphones -- oblivious to the o.s. BANGING at the door.
He's got an enormous mound of RED POWDER in front of him, and
an even bigger pile of MATCHBOOKS on the floor.
He scrapes off the striker strips and collects the powder.
This is a source of red phosphorus for meth production.
BOOOM! The front door busts open. Feds pour in, pointing
guns and breathing through their masks like Darth Vader.
Emilio nearly pisses himself. He starts to run for it, but
doesn't get far. The agents hold him down, cuff him.
Hank, Gomez and Walt wait in the Ford. The RADIO crackles.
AGENT (RADIO V.O.)
House is clear. We've got one
suspect in custody.
Copy that. The suspect ••• might he
be of the Latin persuasion?
AGENT (RADIO V.O.)
Hank triumphantly puts a hand out. Gomez grumbles and pays
him his twenty.
Cheer up. You people still got
(grins at Walt)
How you doing back there, buddy?
This sure as hell beats spending
your day clapping erasers, huh?
Walt smiles, acts agreeable. Hank turns to Gomez.
I made the mistake of watching
"Jeopardy" with this dude one time.
He is a stud, Gomez. He's a
brainiac. BEEP! "What is E equals
MC squared, Alex?" BEEP! "What
is, like, freaking .•• Shakespeare?
Hamlet?" I'm telling you Walt, you
shoulda gone on that show. You'da
Right on, man.
Shit, you don't know the half of
it. Two big companies wanted him
while he was still in college.
He coulda written his own ticket.
Hank looks to Walt for confirmation. Walt stares out the
window, barely shrugs -- and changes the subject.
Hank? Do you think I might get to
go inside? See the lab?
Yeah, tell you what -- we're gonna
go peek our heads in, check it out.
Stay here a minute.
Hank and Gomez exit the car, leaving Walt behind.
Walt's pleasant demeanor fades. Spending time with Hank is
hard for him. While feds in moon suits come and go across
the lawn, Walt's attention drifts to the HOUSE NEXT DOOR.
He double-takes, noticing a high WINDOW get raised. It's out
of sight of the D.E.A. agents. Only Walt can see as •••
••• A DUDE dressed only in underpants backs out the window.
He dangles for a moment, then drops eight feet to the grass.
This guy is white, gawky, early 20s -- picture a hip Shaggy
from "Scooby Doo." His sneakers come tumbling from the
window, nearly hitting him in the head. Above him, a naked
HOUSEWIFE leans out, boobs dangling, frantically tossing him
his jeans, his socks, his Cypress Hill T-shirt.
The kid dresses at mach speed, peeks around the corner of the
house. He's desperate not to be seen by the feds.
Walt watches, jaw slackening. He can't believe his eyes.
He recognizes this kid. He knows him.
God. Dupree .. ?
It's like a psychic connection -- at this moment, the kid,
MARION ALAN DUPREE, feels eyes on him. He turns and looks,
even more shocked to see Walt than Walt is to see him.
Staring at walt, Dupree swallows hard, puts a finger to his
lips -- shhh. Keeping one eye on the D.E.A., he hurries to
an old Daytona parked on the curb.
As it creeps away, Walt notes the license plate: "THE CAPN."
Nobody sees any of this but Walt. He climbs out of the back
of the Ford, watching Dupree go. He still can't believe it.
Hank surprises him, having walked up behind him carrying a
shoebox in a big evidence bag. It's stuffed full of CASH.
Hey, check it out, walt -- these
assholes like their shoeboxes
better'n Bank Of America.
Walt stares at all that beautiful green, turns and glances
back down the street. The Daytona is gone.
Whatcha looking at?
Wanna come meet a bad guy?
Walt nods, follows him to the house. He's not going to tell
Hank what he knows.
EXT. BUNGALOW STREET - NIGHT
We're in an old neighborhood of Sears-Roebuck cottages up in
the foothills. One particular bungalow is shabbier than the
rest. Its paint peels off like sunburned skin.
EXT. BUNGALOW - BACK YARD - NIGHT
"THE CAPN" license plate gets covered -- Dupree is out here
in the darkness, hurriedly draping his Daytona with a tarp.
He's antsy as hell. Hearing FOOTSTEPS, he grabs a tire iron,
crouches behind the car. The FOOTSTEPS slow, stop.
WALT (0. S. )
It's me. I'm alone.
Walt appears out of the blackness. Dupree slowly rises.
After a wary beat:
How'd you find me?
You're still in our filing system.
Your aunt owns this place, right?
I own it.
Walt nods. Whatever. He glances at the tarp.
Nobody's looking for you.
what do you want?
I was curious.
(a beat; shrug)
Honestly, I never expected you to
amount to much. Methamphetamine,
though. I didn't picture that.
(off the silence)
Lotta money in it, huh?
Dupree peers into the darkness beyond Walt, wonders who else
is out there. His hand tightens around the tire iron.
I don't know what you're talking
No freakin' clue.
Huh. Cap'n Cook? That's not you?
(off his head shake)
Like I said, no one's looking for
you. I didn't tell anyone.
Dupree grows more agitated. His voice stays low.
I don't know what you think you're
doing here, Mr. White. If you're
planning on giving me some bullshit
about getting right with Jesus or
something, turning myself in --
No. Not really.
You ain't "Welcome Back, Kotter,"
so step off. No speeches.
Dupree points the tire iron for emphasis. Walt should leave,
but he doesn't. Instead •••
Short speech. You lost your
partner today. What's-his-name,
Emilio? Emilio's going to prison.
The D.E.A. took your money, your
lab. You got nothing. Square one.
But you know the business, and I
know the chemistry. I'm thinking.
Maybe you and I ••• partner up.
Long, pregnant silence. Dupree can't believe his ears.
You -- wanna cook crystal meth.
(off Walt's nod)
You. You and me.
Walt means it. Dupree breaks into a crooked, spreading grin.
Before he can laugh out loud
Either that, or I turn you in.
Dupree's smile fades. Off Walt, serious as a heart attack •••
END ACT TWO
Brown shipping tape gets pulled off its roll with a SKRRECK!
skyler seals a cardboard box, readies it for the post office.
The kitchen table is stacked with bubble wrap and boxes.
Marie helps pack. She holds up an item.
What the hell is this?
Damned if I know. I described it
as a "mid-century objet d'art."
And somebody bought it?
Some guy in Minneapolis. Fourteen
dollars plus shipping and I got
it at a yard sale for eighty cents.
God, I love eBay.
Marie shakes her head, bubble-wraps the objet.
At this rate, in fifty or sixty
years you'll be rich.
That's the dynamic -- Marie is constantly yitzing her older
sister. Sometimes, she's not even aware she's doing it.
She's just naturally negative. And competitive.
What's up with Walt lately?
He's fine. What do you mean?
He just seems ••• I don't know.
Quieter than usual.
Skyler thinks about it, shrugs.
Turning forty was a big deal. I
know I'm not looking forward to it.
You -- are gonna be a basket-case.
SO, it's a mid-life crisis.
NQ. He's just. Quiet.
How's the sex?
Marie holds up her hands. Whatever. Irked, Skyler runs her
tape gun over the top of a box -- SKKKRRRECK. A beat or two.
Guess that answers that.
INT. HIGH SCHOOL - CLASSROOM - AFTERNOON
Walt's chern lab is empty -- school has ended for the day.
Hurrying around, Walt peers in cabinets high and low, pulls
out FLASKS, BEAKERS, TUBING, STANDS and BURNERS. He gathers
all this up, loads it in a cardboard box.
He pauses, hit by a brief fit of COUGHING. He recovers,
sniffs and feels his chest with his fingertips. Margaret the
physics teacher sticks her head in the door behind him.
Hey, you're still here.
I missed lunch -- I was thinking of
swinging by T.G.I. Fridays. I
could use a drink. How 'bout you?
Walt clearly would like to join her, and she knows it.
Shoot, I can't. My other job.
Okay. Some other time.
(notices the box)
Oh. Inventory. Not a week goes by
my kids don't break two or three
pieces of glassware.
Margaret considers. Does she believe him? We don't know.
But then she winks at him, leaves. Walt glances at his box
full of school property. Shit, that was close. He carries
it to the door, pauses to peek out. No witnesses.
Walt flicks off the classroom lights with his back, then
humps the heavy box down the hall and out of the building.
Dupree sits on his front porch, drinking a long-neck beer and
glowering. Walt's Nissan putters into view, reverses and
backs into Dupree's driveway. Walt climbs out, jazzed.
Look what I got.
Walt opens his hatchback. Dupree doesn't budge. Walt stares
at him -- a teacher staring at a recalcitrant student --
until Dupree slouches down the steps.
Quit my part-time job -- I've got
four hours to devote to this every
afternoon. And •••
Walt lifts a blanket, revealing his CARGO. Lots of goodies.
Dupree peers at the stolen lab gear, pulls something out.
Ah. Kjeldahl-style recovery flask,
2000 milliliters. Very nice. You
got your Griffin beakers, you got
your volumetric. But check this
out -- the piece de resistance.
Round bottom boiling flask, 5000
Big. Dupree wipes his nose with his sleeve, refusing to be
impressed. He points to something else instead.
I cook in one of those. A big one.
This? This is an Erlenmeyer flask.
You wouldn't cook in one of these.
Yeah. I do.
No, you don't. An Erlenmeyer flask
is for general mixing and
titration. You do not apply heat
to an Erlenmeyer flask. That's
what the boiling flask is for.
Did you not learn anything in my
No. You flunked me, remember?
Prick? And let me tell you
something else -- this shit ain't
chemistry. This shit is art.
Cooking is art. The shit I cook is
the bomb, so don't be telling ~!
The shit you cook is shit.
I saw your setup. Ridiculous.
You and I will not make garbage.
We will produce a chemically pure
and stable product that performs as
advertised. No adulterants.
No baby formula. No chili powder.
Chili P's my signature!
Walt shakes his head -- not anymore.
Yeah, well we'll see about that.
The hell's all this?
He pulls out heavy LAB APRONS, GLOVES, RESPIRATORS. These
are the respirators we saw Walt and Dupree wearing in the
Teaser (Dupree was Walt's unconscious PASSENGER, by the way).
Lab safety. We're also gonna have
an emergency eye wash station.
These chemicals and their fumes are
toxic or didn't you know that?
Dupree holds up an apron, snorts.
Hey, you can dress up like a faggot
if you want. Not me.
Walt glares at him, losing patience. Dupree roots through
the piles of RAW SUPPLIES walt has brought along.
Stove fuel ••• not enoug~ of it.
Lye. You got the gener1c crap.
Red Devil's better. Iodine,
matches ••• also not my brand.
Somehow, we'll manage.
Sinus tablets. That should be
enough pseudoephedrine to produce
the first pound. Then I'm thinking
we can switch to a proper phenyl-2-
Dupree's not listening. Instead, he's noticed something
about Walt's shopping bags. They're all the SAME.
Wait. Tell me you didn't buy all
this from one single goddamn store.
Jesus! They know what you're doing
with this! Any goddamn retard they
got workin' a register's gonna know
you're making crystal! You're
probably on some list now!
(as if to a child)
You buy -- your supplies
piecemeal. One store at a time,
one item at a time.
Walt looks worried now. Chastened.
It was way over in West Covina.
I paid cash. Nobody seemed to •••
Dupree considers Walt. Studies him like he's from Mars.
Acting like some skippy little
bitch. Like this is fun and games.
This shit is shit you take --
walt suppresses his anger, stares at him evenly.
Life and death.
EXT. BUNGALOW - GARAGE/BACK YARD - AFTERNOON
Chemicals, labware, supplies -- the last of the carload of
stuff Walt brought gets packed into a back corner of Dupree's
messy old garage. Dupree covers it with a tarp.
This doesn't stay more than a day.
What, aren't we gonna cook here?
No, we're not gonna cook here.
This is my house. I don't shit
where I eat.
Then where are we going to work?
You tell me. This is your deal,
man. You wanna smoke it up, smoke
it up at your house.
(off Walt's look)
Nah. I didn't think so. Oh, well.
Silence as Walt considers. Stubs at the dirt with his heel.
What if we rented a self-storage
place? One of those little orange
garages? Worked out of there?
Nah, they're onto that. They got
dogs that sniff around.
RV. That's what you want.
What, like a Winnebago?
I know a dude wants to sell his.
He just goes camping with it -- but
a mobile meth lab'd be the bomb.
You can drive way out in th-e---
boonies. Be all evasive.
(gauging Walt's interest)
Forty-five hundred'd get you in.
Off Walt, already calculating how to swing this:
The name on the wall says "Ontario Teachers Credit Union."
It's closing time. We find Walt standing at the counter,
doing business with a TELLER and a BRANCH MANAGER.
CLOSER -- crisp ONE HUNDRED DOLLAR BILLS get counted out.
Thirty-nine, forty. Four
thousand ••• ten, fifteen, sixteen
dollars and ••• sixty-four cents.
Walt stares down at the money, looking distant. Removed.
The manager doesn't feel good about this at all.
Mr. White, are you sure you want to
do this? I'm thinking you'd
qualify for a home equity loan.
I've got two already.
You do understand you are losing
nearly seven thousand dollars of
principal. And that this leaves
your pension account with a zero
Yes. I understand.
He's perfectly calm. The man stares at Walt, bewildered.
I'm concerned you'll want this
money when it comes time to retire.
Walt shrugs and smiles, doesn't answer.
EXT. PARKING LOT - AFTERNOON
CLOSE ON a fat handful of CASH. Dupree counts it, impressed.
We're in a shopping center lot, mostly empty. In b.g. is the
credit union. Dupree and Walt sit in Dupree's Daytona.
It's four grand. My guy wants
You're a drug dealer. Negotiate.
Dupree thinks about it, shoves the money in his pants.
You're not how I remember you from
class. I mean, like, not at all.
Walt checks his watch.
I gotta go.
wait. Hold up. Tell me why you're
doing this. Seriously.
Why do you do it?
There you have it.
Nah. Come on, man! Some straight
like you, giant stick up his ass •••
all a sudden at age, what, fifty
he's just gonna break bad?
It's weird, is all. It doesn't
compute. If you're like ••• crazy
or something ••• if you've gone
crazy, or depressed. I'm just
saying. That's something I need to
know about. That affects me.
Walt stares at Dupree a long time, considers how to answer.
I am .•• awake.
(a confused beat)
Walt pulls the handle, opens his passenger door.
Buy the RV. We start tomorrow.
Walt gets in his old Nissan, parked beside the Daytona.
Off Dupree, worriedly watching him go:
INT. DRESSING ROOM - NIGHT
It's tight in here. Familiar CRUTCHES lean against the wall.
Walter, Jr. sits on a bench, struggling to pull a stiff new
pair of off-brand jeans over his bare legs.
How you coming in there?
Anything but. Young Walter works at it valiantly, but the
design of this room is giving him trouble. He won't ask for
help and his folks know it. After a while:
You want me or your Dad?
(gives up; annoyed)
The door opens and walt enters. Not a word is said as walt
leans down and his son wraps his arms around his neck. While
Walter, Jr. holds on, his dad lifts him a little and works
the jeans up onto his thighs and waist.
It's intimate in a way that's tough on a teenager, but
Walter, Jr. keeps his dignity. Walt handles it well, too.
How do these fit? You like these?
Walter, Jr. shrugs, nods. Walt zips up his son, buttons him.
We're in a Target or somesuch. The men's department.
walter, Jr. stands before a mirror, balancing on his crutches
as he appraises his new jeans. Skyler and Walt stand behind
him. Walt's thoughts are distant as he watches his son.
Don't get 'em if they're too tight.
They always say that, then they
As Walter, Jr. considers, we hear a faint o.s. COMMOTION.
JOCK (0. S. )
Big boy pants. I got new big boy
pants. Mommmeeee •.•
Walt snaps out of it, turns and looks. Twenty feet away,
partially hidden by clothing racks, are three GUYS, probably
just out of high school. They're laughing hard, making a
token effort to keep their voices low.
The biggest among them, a tall JOCK, is gimping around,
playing "retard" and cracking up the other two. They glance
our way -- it's clear they're making fun of WALTER, JR.
Mommmeee, zip up my big boy pants.
Choked LAUGHTER and WHISPERS. Walter, Jr. hears. He sets
his jaw and ignores it, his face burning.
Skyler is livid. She's about to go give these guys bloody
hell, but Walt touches a hand to her arm, stops her.
Before she can ask why not, Walt walks off in the opposite
direction. He disappears down an aisle. Is he looking for
the manager? A security guard? What's he doing?
Skyler is dismayed he's not standing up for their son.
Frustrated. until she notices:
NEW ANGLE -- the jock is still flogging the joke as WALT
enters frame behind him. Unbeknownst to everyone, Walt has
quickly looped around, stalking up behind these guys.
Oh no. Oh no. I pinched a loaf in
my big boy pa--
Wham! Walt kicks the back of the jock's KNEE, dropping the
big guy painfully to the floor. Before the startled jock can
get up, Walt stands full-weight on his ANKLE. Leverage.
AAHH! Whu -- what are you DOING?!
What's the matter, Chief? You
having trouble walking there?
Stand up. Don't be a retard.
Stand up and walk.
AAAHH! GET OFF ME!
Walt raises his foot. The jock scrambles to his feet,
towering over Walt.
I'll mess you up, man!
The kid's nearly a head taller, 240. Doesn't mean jack-shit
to Walt, who gets in his face. Walt looks slightly crazy.
Well, don't keep me waiting.
The jock is already backing off. His two friends are
spooked, as well -- tugging at him to leave.
Screw you. Freakin' psycho.
B.M.O.C. limps off with his tail between his legs. Skyler
and Walter, Jr. stand staring, amazed. They've never seen
anything like it. Certainly not from their husband and dad.
Walt •• ?
Standing here, Walt feels a kind of power -- one brought on
by an absence of fear.
Off him, realizing more and more that he likes it:
END ACT THREE
EXT. COW PASTURE - AFTERNOON
Black and white cows graze in f.g. We drift off them and
focus on a stand of WOODS in the distance.
EXT. WOODS - AFTERNOON
Familiar to us from the Teaser, the old WINNEBAGO is parked
off a dirt road. Dupree's Daytona is here, too. We're in
the middle of nowhere. There's nobody around for miles.
The Winnie's screen door opens. Walt steps out, looks
around. Breathes deep. He's got a plastic COAT HANGER he
impatiently taps against his leg. Waiting.
with a faint CRUNCH of leaves, Dupree appears. He's clomping
toward us, carrying binoculars.
Nothing but cows. Got some big
cow-house way over that way, like
two miles. But I don't see nobody.
Where they live. The cows.
Whatever, man. Shit yeah, let's
Dupree walks off, attends to something in his car. Walt
hangs his coat hanger on the RV's awning. He unclips his
tie, slides it in his breast pocket. He unbuttons his short
sleeve dress shirt, hangs it on the hanger.
Dupree wanders back in time to see Walt climb out of his
TROUSERS and hang them up. Dupree stops dead in his tracks.
What. Are you doing?
These are my good clothes. I can't
go home smelling like a meth lab.
Dupree shakes his head, weirded-out. Walt, stripped down to
his UNDERPANTS, climbs into the Winnebago.
c'mon, I've only got till six.
He disappears inside. Dupree considers, then reaches in his
jacket pocket for ••• a MINI-CAMCORDER (the one we remember
from the Teaser). Grinning, he follows Walt into the RV.
with a DING, up comes a live VIDEO IMAGE of Walt, his back to
us. He wears a lab apron, rubber gloves and safety glasses.
His respirator is propped on his forehead. We are:
INT. WINNEBAGO - AFTERNOON
And we're watching Dupree's CAMCORDER POV of Walt at work.
Walt is crushing scads of sinus pills in a mortar and pestle.
This place is packed tight with lab equipment and supplies.
We hear Dupree SNICKERING o.s. He ZOOMS IN on Walt's
underpants, which show through the back of his apron.
This is a good look for you.
You're maybe only the world's
Shut up and give me a hand here.
Walt glances back at us, notices the camcorder. Shit! He
reaches straight into lens, tussling for it. It goes BLACK.
WALT (0. S. )
Gimme that goddamned --
The screen goes to STATIC. BAM! -- as we bring up MUSIC:
INT. WINNEBAGO - AFTERNOON - MONTAGE
Edited to the BEAT of some very hip, driving SONG, we see
various ANGLES and JUMP-CUTS of Walt cooking meth, assisted
by Dupree. Hours are compressed into seconds here.
For those of us who grew up watching "The A-Team," this is
that scene they'd always do where the A-Team builds a tank or
a jet plane out of spare parts. Same feeling, same energy
except here, our guys are making highly illegal drugs.
Without turning this into a how-to video, we watch as:
-- Powdered sinus tablets get soaked in a solvent, separated
out as a paste and a liquid, then reduced down over heat.
-- Veterinary iodine is transformed into hydriodic acid.
-- The striker strips of dozens of matchbooks get scraped off
with a razor blade, forming a pile of red phosphorus.
-- Red phosphorus is combined with hydriodic acid and mixed
with the pseudoephedrine culled from the sinus pills.
The whole mess gets cooked into freebase meth oil.
Salt, muriatic acid, and bits of aluminum foil are mixed
in a gas can. It gets connected to a length of garden hose.
hydrogen chloride gas bubbles through the hose and down
into a big bucket full of freebase. White methamphetamine
hydrochloride crystals float to the top and get skimmed off.
Throughout all this, Walt is working with the utmost gravity
and attention to detail -- as if he were a scientist on the
Manhattan Project. As the cook progresses, we get little
hints that Dupree is taking it more seriously, too.
Seeing the way Walt works, seeing that he really knows his
stuff, Dupree acts more respectful. He even starts wearing
his safety gear. Clearly, he's learning from walt.
EXT. WINNEBAGO - AFTERNOON
The little RV sits hidden in the woods. Toxic-looking YELLOW
SMOKE wafts through a vent in the roof. It curls up into the
trees, filtering through shafts of red afternoon sunset.
End MUSIC. End MONTAGE.
It's getting dark outside. The cook is done. Walt sits in
his apron, tired. He rubs at the red line around his face
left by his respirator, trying to make it go away.
They've made about a pound of fat, snowy white crystals.
Dupree carefully dips into their product with a razor blade,
lifting out a tiny sample. He taps it onto a sheet of yellow
paper, swirling it around. His eyes are wide.
He's a whole new Dupree now. Subdued. Awed. It's as if
he's seen the Holy Grail.
This is ••• this is glass grade.
You got ••• Jesus, you got crystals
in here a quarter-inch long.
Longer. This is pure glass.
(turns to him)
You're ••• you're Michelangelo.
You're a goddamned artist. This is
art. Mr. White •.•
He's run out of superlatives. He's actually tearing Ye.
walt is surprised by his emotion.
It's just basic chemistry.
(off his awe)
But thank you, Marion. I'm glad
Acceptable? Every jibbhead from
here to Timbuktu's gonna want a
taste! It's gonna be like, "Sir,
would you care to replace your
Schwinn bicycle with this brand-new
(dips some more)
Dude, I gotta try some of this.
Uncomfortable with that idea, Walt intercedes.
No. We sell it, we don't smoke it.
(Walt puts it away)
Man, you been watching too much
(checks his watch)
So, how do we proceed?
You cook more tomorrow. Meantime,
I know just the guy to talk to.
INT. KRAZY-8'S HOUSE - MORNING
Brand-new giant screen TV. Otherwise, this place looks like
a cross between a frat house and a crack house. KRAZY-8,
a young, hard-looking Mexican, sits on a sofa dotted with
cigarette burns. He's playing NBA basketball on his PS2.
The front door stands open -- but the screen door, all heavy
reinforced steel, is shut. Visible through it, Dupree
wanders up onto the porch, cups his eyes and peers in.
Yo, Kraze I How you doin', my man?
Krazy-8 glances over flatly, returns his attention to his
video game. Dupree twists the doorknob. Locked.
Can I come in?
A beat or two as Krazy-8 keeps playing. Finally, he reaches
over, grabs a garage door clicker. He BUZZES Dupree in.
Dupree bops into the living room, all smiles. He's acting
like he and this guy are tight -- which they are not. Dupree
takes a seat, watches the video game.
I got this game. The Laker Girls
all have titties like pine cones.
Yo, I'll show you a trick move.
You hit the x-button simultaneous
-- Shut your mouth and show me your
I ain't buying, ese. I'm selling.
Dupree tosses a tiny BAGGIE on the coffee table. It's a
"tina" one-sixteenth of an ounce of meth. One hit.
Tell me that ain't the finest
scante you ever laid eyes on.
Krazy-8 glances at the baggie, keeps playing. Glances at it
again. Pauses his game and picks it up. Studies it closely.
Huh? See? Crystal so big, look
like somebody broke a window.
Look like you'd cut your nose off.
Krazy takes a whiff of the open baggie, considers. He scoops
a taste into his pinkie nail and snorts it up his nostril.
BOO-YAH! See? What I say?
Krazy squints his eyes, rubs his nose. Jesus -- rocket fuel.
So, what? You back in business?
Hell, yeah I'm back! with a
vengeance I Nigga gotta make a
living! And with your cousin gone
away and all •••
And listen homes, about that. It
really broke me up about Emilio.
Dude is like my brother.
He okay? You talk to him?
Yeah, I talked to him. He says
when the feds came, you were out
stickin' it in some neighbor lady.
Hey, you know. I got lucky twice.
Yeah? I dunno, man. Emilio •• ?
He thinks maybe you dimed on him.
Dupree's expression clouds over, surprised and offended.
That is bullshit. That is
bullshit, Krazy-B! I should kick
his punk ass for even thinking
that. Next time you talk to
Emilio, you tell him for me.
A TOILET FLUSHES o.s. Krazy-8 nods toward the sound.
Made bail this morning.
You can tell him yourself.
The bathroom door opens. Into the room walks EMILIO, the guy
we saw get busted. He looks bigger now, somehow. And angry.
Go ahead, pendejo. Kick my ass.
Dupree is suddenly none too comfortable. Emilio advances on
him, but Krazy-8 shakes his head to his cousin -- hold up.
Krazy-8 turns to Dupree, dangles the baggie. Shakes it.
Where'd you get this? 'Cause I
know damn well you didn't cook it.
Off Dupree, not so cocky now:
It's a second day of cooking for Walt. He's out here alone
with the Winnebago, having just arrived. He puts his coat
hanger on the awning and strips down, hanging up his good
clothes. As he ties on his lab apron •••
.•• An Oldsmobile Cutlass arrives. stops thirty feet away.
Walt stands his ground watching it, wary. Squints at it.
Three men in the car. A little hard to see. Walt relaxes
slightly when he realizes Dupree is one of them.
Driver's door opens. Krazy-8 climbs out, stands his ground.
Nature Boyl You must be the cook!
(off Walt's silence)
That is some stone-fine cheebah,
ese! You wanna come work for me?
I'd be happy to sell to you.
If the price is right.
"Price Is Right." Yeah, man •••
COME ON DOWN!
He holds up a plastic Von's bag. This is the CASH we saw
blowing around in the Teaser. Krazy glances around, casual.
So. You're out here all by
Walt doesn't like the question. Doesn't answer. He's
watching the Cutlass now -- wondering why Dupree, sitting in
the back seat with the third man, hasn't moved.
The third man, EMILIO, climbs out now. He's got a look on
his face that tells us he's just realized who Walt is.
Shit. You're that guy.
The D.E.A ••• he was there with the
OFF Walt -- uh-oh. Confusion all around. Rising anxiety.
Emilio turns on Dupree, still seated in the car.
Goddamned rata snitch!
Emilio's reaching for his gun. That's enough for Dupree
he throws open the far door, takes off into the woods.
RUN, MR. WHITE! RUN !
As he yells this over his shoulder -- BAM! Dupree plows
headlong into a TREE. He collapses, knocked cold.
Walt doesn't go anywhere. Krazy-8 pulls his gun immediately,
points it at him. pistols drawn, the two cousins look back
and forth between unconscious Dupree and Walt, who's got his
hands up. Motionless silence. The cousins expect feds to
come swarming out of the trees at any second.
None do. The cousins relax a touch. Dupree softly MOANS.
Cap 'em both. That's what I say.
Krazy-8 lights a cigarette, thinks about it. Walt stands
nervous, but stoic. He's already come to grips with dying,
and he's not going to plead for his life.
Krazy blows smoke, studies Walt closely.
Yo. You really cook that batch?
Walt nods, his hands still raised.
You an artist. It's a damn shame.
He raises his pistol, about to fire -- Emilio, too.
W-What if I showed you my secret?
Every cook's got his recipe -- what
if I taught you mine?
(off their silence)
Let us both live, I'll teach you.
Emilio looks to Krazy-8, who's weighing it. It's attractive.
Off Krazy, blowing smoke:
EXT. WINNEBAGO - MINUTES LATER
CLOSE ON Dupree, face-down and blotto. Emilio finishes
hog-tying his wrists, then gives him a KICK in the head for
good measure. Emilio walks to the RV in b.g.
INT. WINNEBAGO - CONTINUOUS
Walt prepares his tools and materials. Krazy-8 stands behind
him, arms crossed, gun in hand, watching his every move.
Emilio climbs aboard, joins his cousin.
Put out the cigarette.
Krazy-8 considers, then pokes his cig through the louvered
slats of a window and flicks it outside.
EXT. WINNEBAGO - CONTINUOUS
CLOSE -- it lands behind the RV, a few red sparks flying.
We CREEP IN on the butt as it lies smoldering in the WEEDS.
INT. WINNEBAGO - CONTINUOUS
CLOSE -- POOF! A hot plate flames to life as Walt ignites
the gas. Walt runs a finger across his neatly arranged jars
of ingredients. He stops on one -- RED PHOSPHORUS.
walt glances at ••• his RESPIRATOR. It's lying way at the
other end of the RV. Walt gingerly sizes up the cousins.
Emilio reaches over, wig-wags Walt's earlobe with the muzzle
of his shiny 9mm. Cold and menacing as hell.
Step to it, snitch.
Walt makes up his mind -- it's now or never. He unscrews the
top off the red phosphorus bottle. He takes a long, deep,
quiet breath ••• and HOLDS it.
He dumps the bottle onto the hot plate. It hits the flame
with a sizzling WHOOF and smokes up. Walt ducks and RUNS.
EXT. WINNEBAGO - CONTINUOUS
Walt makes it outside just ahead of the cousins. He slams
the door in their faces, leans his back against it hard.
BOOM! BOOM! They're kicking the shit out of it from the
inside, trying desperately to get out. We hear them COUGHING
now. GASPING. The flimsy RV door won't hold up long.
Suddenly -- BLAM!-BLAM!-BLAM! BULLET HOLES puncture the
door, zinging just above Walt's head. Still Walt stands
fast, flinching and ducking lower. BLAM!-BLAM!-BLAM!-BLAM!
The firing stops. The CHOKING SOUNDS get louder, more
tortured. Horrifying. Tiny thin curls of RED SMOKE waft out
through the bullet holes.
We hear a heavy THUMP. Then ANOTHER. Two bodies hitting the
floor. Silence now. Walt shuts his eyes, breathing hard.
Walt recovers, stumbles over and checks on Dupree, who's
still breathing. Walt unties him. Thank God, they're both
alive. Just as walt gets Dupree loose •.•
••• He smells SMOKE. He turns, sees it rising thick and dark
from behind the Winnebago. He runs to see.
NEW ANGLE - BEHIND THE RV
Krazy-B's CIGARETTE has started a BRUSH FIRE. It's ten feet
across. Walt tries to stomp it out, but that ain't working.
He yanks off his heavy lab apron, desperately tries to beat
out the flames with that. No dice. In a panic, Walt stares
up into the sky -- watches the SMOKE trail high overhead.
Everyone within five miles can see it.
LOW ANGLE - DUPREE
Lies drifting in and out of consciousness. Walt -- in his
underpants, black shoes and socks -- runs to him. Walt yanks
a RESPIRATOR onto Dupree's face, then drags him out of frame.
ANGLE - THE RV
The flames of the brush fire are licking the back bumper.
The engine ROARS alive, the exhaust pipe belching blue smoke.
The fire is blocking the dirt road now. The Winnebago
lurches forward and takes off overland. Walt's clothes swing
from the awning -- a tree branch knocks loose his TROUSERS.
EXT. COW PASTURE - DAY (REPEATED FOOTAGE)
Pastoral. Quiet. COW SHIT bakes in the sun, then gets
RUN OVER with a SPLAT. We're full-circle back to the Teaser.
The Winnebago galumphs across the landscape, scattering cows.
INT. WINNEBAGO - DAY (REPEATED FOOTAGE)
Walt drives in his underpants and his gas mask, his knuckles
white on the wheel. Unconscious Dupree slumps beside him.
Behind, the dead cousins slide to and fro amidst the sloshing
ruins of the meth lab. Their CASH flutters in the breeze.
Walt hyperventilates. His mask FOGS UP. BAM! He crashes,
violently JERKING FORWARD into lens. The frame goes BLACK.
We start on BLACK, then PULL OUT of the barrel of Walt's gun.
We find ourselves where the Teaser left off -- Walt is aiming
past us, standing in his shirt and tie and underpants.
SIRENS are wailing. We see RED LIGHTS flashing just over top
of the weeds. They're racing our way.
Walt has second thoughts. What the hell is he doing? He's
not going to shoot anybody. The ferocity leaks out of him.
Despair settles in in its place.
Sirens -- BLARING. Fuck it. He sticks the muzzle in his
mouth, winces hard. He YANKS THE TRIGGER.
Nothing. The safety's on. Walt fumbles with it, trying to
figure it out. This takes him just long enough that •••
••• The sirens are revealed to be FIRE ENGINES. Not the
cops. Two big pumper trucks curve past us, following a dirt
road through the pasture we didn't see until now.
They roar on by, none of the firemen taking the slightest
notice of Walt. They're heading for Krazy-8's brush fire a
mile away. We can see the crooked column of SMOKE from here.
The SIRENS and the ROAR fade away. Gradually, the pasture
grows silent again. Walt stares stupidly, the pistol
dangling at his side. He lets it drop to the dirt.
He stands blinking, trying to figure out what the hell just
happened. Pure, dumb luck. Beginner's luck.
As he stands here, the door to the RV opens behind him.
Dupree stumbles out, pulls off his gas mask. Half his face
is swollen like a balloon, but he'll recover.
Dupree wanders over, stands next to Walt. Dazed silence.
What happened •• ?
(nods toward the RV)
W-What'd you do?
Walt is weirdly matter-of-fact.
Red phosphorus, when heat is
applied .•• oxidizes and yields
carbonyl chloride. Phosgene gas.
One good whiff of it .••
He shrugs, trails off. Folds at the waist and THROWS UP.
Dupree stands staring at nothing in particular. Walt rises,
wipes his mouth. He picks up his W~LET and CAMCORDER.
Gotta. Gotta clean this up.
Gotta ••• bury ••.
He slowly wanders back to the Winnebago. Dupree follows him.
Off our two new partners, who have only barely survived their
first week together •••
INT. WHITE HOUSE - KITCHEN - NIGHT
Late. Lights are off. Skyler and Walter, Jr. have gone to
bed. Walt stands at the kitchen sink, washing Krazy-8's cash
in Dawn dishwashing liquid. Washing off the toxic chemicals.
He gives an involuntary shudder. He squeezes shut his eyes,
which are tearing up. Tonight's a night he's never going to
forget -- whether he lives two years or two hundred.
INT. WHITE HOUSE - GARAGE - NIGHT
BLACK FRAME. A DING, then a door opens -- revealing we're
inside the clothes dryer, looking out. Dry twenty dollar
bills flutter around. Weary Walt reaches in and grabs them
by the fistful.
Walt quickly counts the money. Eight thousand and change.
Walt jams it in a shoebox, snaps a rubber band around it.
Remembering something, he reaches in his pocket •••
'" And pulls out the tiny camcorder TAPE. On it, we'll
remember, is the confession to his family. He doesn't
destroy the tape. He thinks about it, then drops it into the
shoebox full of cash.
walt stands tiptoes on a chair, tucks the box way up in the
garage rafters. Looking haunted, like hell warmed over, he
climbs down and exits, turns off the light. DARKNESS.
INT. WHITE HOUSE - MASTER BEDROOM - NIGHT
Skyler lies in bed, alone and awake. We're on her as we hear
the door open. Quiet footsteps. Clothes come off.
Walt gingerly climbs into bed, not wanting to wake his wife.
He lies motionless, staring up at the ceiling. A torrent of
thoughts rush through his head. Finally:
Where were you?
Walt doesn't answer. Skyler turns his way, stares at him.
Walt, I don't know what is going on
with you lately --
Nothing. I'm fine.
Whatever it is, I'll tell you
this. I do not like it when you
don't talk to me. The worst thing
you can do is shut me out.
I'm ••• I understand. I'm fine.
She stares at him in the darkness. He stares at her.
A strange feeling comes over him. It's relief to be alive,
mixed with dread that life won't last. It's fear of being
caught. It's the thrill -- for once -- of taking risks.
It's excitement, in many different forms. And since he can't
talk about it, there's only one way to let it out.
walt kisses his wife. Passionately.
He keeps kissing her. Gently rolls her so that her back is
to him. out of sight under the covers, he fumbles with her
panties, pulls them down.
Surprised as hell, Skyler nonetheless allows it. She feels
around behind her.
Oh my God. Is that you?
It sure is. The mighty oak. Walt enters her -- Skyler's
eyes pop wide, and we CUT TO BLACK. Over the sounds of HEAVY
BREATHING and the SQUEAK-SQUEAK-SQUEAKING of bed springs •••
••• FADE UP CREDITS.
|Walter White||Walter White starts off as a mild-mannered chemistry teacher who is dissatisfied with his life and longs for change. He becomes involved in the drug trade to provide for his family's financial future. As his cancer progresses and he becomes more entrenched in the criminal underworld, he starts to embrace his darker side and becomes increasingly ruthless and desperate. He alienates his family and friends in the process, culminating in him losing everything he once held dear. In the end, he realizes the error of his ways and sacrifices himself to protect his family from the consequences of his choices.||The character arc of Walter White is well-developed and explores the depths of human desperation and the lengths people will go to for their loved ones. However, at times it feels like his transformation into a ruthless drug lord is expedited and lacks sufficient justification. Additionally, some of the supporting characters are underdeveloped and could benefit from more nuanced storylines that would further add to the overarching narrative.||To improve Walter's character arc, more emphasis could be placed on his internal struggles and the morality of his actions. This would help explain and justify his descent into darkness, making it more believable for the audience. Additionally, the supporting characters could be given more depth and backstory to add more layers to the story and enhance the overall impact of the series.|
|Skyler White||Skyler's character arc over the course of the series is one of gradual transformation, as she goes from being an outsider to Walter's criminal activities to becoming an active participant in them. Initially, she is focused on protecting her family and ensuring their financial stability, but as she becomes more aware of Walter's actions, she becomes increasingly wary and suspicious, eventually confronting him about his involvement in the drug trade. Although she initially struggles with the moral implications of Walter's actions, she eventually accepts them and begins to actively assist him in his schemes, using her intelligence and resourcefulness to help him out of tight spots. However, as the stakes grow higher and the risks become greater, Skyler becomes increasingly weary and disillusioned with the criminal life, ultimately choosing to cut ties with Walter and his operations in order to protect herself and her family.||While Skyler's character arc is interesting and complex, it could benefit from a greater focus on her internal struggles and emotional journey. At times, it feels like she is simply reacting to Walter's actions rather than actively driving the plot forward. Additionally, her relationship with Walter could be more fully developed, as their interactions often feel one-sided and lacking in emotional depth.||To improve Skyler's character arc, it would be helpful to delve more deeply into her emotional reactions to Walter's actions and her own complicity in his schemes. This could involve exploring her grappling with guilt and questioning her moral compass, as well as showing more of her own motivations and desires beyond her concern for her family. Additionally, developing her relationship with Walter could give her more agency and depth, potentially leading to more complex and impactful scenes between them.|
|Walt||Throughout the movie, Walter undergoes a transformative character arc from a meek chemistry teacher into a ruthless drug lord. After his diagnosis, he becomes more aggressive in his pursuit of a more meaningful life. His involvement in the drug trade begins as a way to leave financial security for his family once he passes away. However, as he becomes engulfed in the world of drugs, he transforms into Heisenberg, a calculated and ruthless leader, willing to do whatever it takes to protect his interests and those he loves. Despite the chaos and destruction he causes, Heisenberg ultimately leads to a cathartic realization for Walter. In the end, he accepts responsibility for his choices and seeks redemption by sacrificing himself to spare his former partner, Jesse Pinkman.||The character arc for Walter White is well-executed, showing his transformation from a meek chemistry teacher to a ruthless drug lord. However, some elements of his character could be further developed, such as his past experiences that may have contributed to his dissatisfaction with his life. Additionally, his relationship with his family could be more complex and nuanced, providing a deeper emotional connection for the audience.||To improve the character arc for Walter White, more flashbacks or storytelling about his past experiences and struggles could be incorporated to help the audience better understand his feelings of dissatisfaction. Giving more context to his strained relationships with his family members and how they evolve over the course of the story could also help to create more emotional depth and connection for the audience.|
|Skyler||Throughout the movie, Skyler starts off focused on their financial situation and frustrated with Walter's secrecy. As she becomes aware of Walter's condition, she becomes more supportive and takes charge in certain situations. By the end of the movie, she is amazed and surprised by Walter's actions and begins to see him in a new light.||While Skyler's character arc is interesting, it feels a bit generalized and could benefit from more specific details. Additionally, her personality could be more fleshed out to make her a more dynamic character.||To improve Skyler's character arc, consider adding more specific details about how her interactions with other characters and the events of the movie shape her perspective. Additionally, adding more complex emotions and struggles to her character could make her feel more dynamic and relatable.|
|Marion Alan Dupree||Dupree's character arc involves a transformation from a skeptical partner to a loyal one. Initially, he is surprised by Walter's proposal and hesitant to take on the risks involved in cooking crystal meth. However, as he witnesses Walter's superior cooking skills and the potential for profit, he becomes an enthusiastic partner. His loyalty to Walter is eventually put to the test when he sacrifices himself to protect Walter from a group of rival drug dealers. This sacrifice shows the depth of his commitment to their partnership and his respect for Walter's leadership.||The character arc for Dupree is well-crafted and effectively shows his transformation from a skeptical partner to a loyal one. However, it could benefit from more complexity and depth. While Dupree's loyalty to Walter is admirable, it would be more interesting to see his character struggle with the moral implications and consequences of their partnership. Additionally, more exploration of Dupree's backstory and motivations would add depth to his character.||To improve Dupree's character arc, consider adding more complexity and depth to his character. Explore his backstory and motivations for being involved in the drug business, and show him struggling with the moral implications and consequences of his actions. This could add a layer of complexity to his relationship with Walter and make his sacrifice at the end of the film even more poignant. Additionally, consider giving Dupree more dialogue and screen time to fully develop his character.|
Story Structure Framework 1: Save the Cat
1. Opening Image: The scene begins with an RV speeding through a cow pasture, leaving a trail of destruction. This image sets the tone for the chaotic and dangerous world that Walter White is about to enter.
2. Theme Stated: Walter records a video message to his family, revealing his love for them and hinting at the dark secrets he has been keeping. This moment highlights the theme of family and the lengths Walter is willing to go to protect them.
3. Set-Up: The scene introduces the main characters, Walter and his passenger, as well as the RV, the makeshift chemical lab, the dead bodies, and the large amount of cash. It establishes the dangerous situation they are in and the stakes involved.
4. Catalyst: The approaching sirens serve as the catalyst, forcing Walter to make a decision on how to handle the situation and face the consequences.
5. Debate: Walter stands outside the RV, ready to face the approaching police. He debates whether to surrender or try to escape, weighing the risks and potential outcomes.
6. Break into Two: Walter makes the decision to surrender and face the police, marking the end of the first act and the beginning of the second act.
7. B Story: The B story in this scene is Walter's love for his family and his desire to protect them. This is highlighted in his video message and his willingness to face the consequences to keep them safe.
8. Fun and Games: The scene does not have a specific fun and games moment, as it is more focused on the intense and dramatic situation Walter finds himself in.
9. Midpoint: The midpoint of the scene is when Walter records the video message to his family, revealing his love for them and hinting at the dark secrets he has been keeping. This moment adds depth to his character and raises the stakes for the rest of the story.
10. Bad Guys Close In: The approaching sirens and the imminent arrival of the police represent the bad guys closing in on Walter and his passenger.
11. All Is Lost: The scene does not have a specific all is lost moment, as it is part of a larger story. However, the impending arrest and the potential consequences for Walter and his family can be seen as a moment of despair.
12. Dark Night of the Soul: The scene ends with Walter standing outside the RV, ready to face the approaching police. This moment represents the dark night of the soul, where Walter must confront the consequences of his actions.
13. Break into Three: The scene does not have a specific break into three moment, as it is part of a larger story. However, the decision to surrender and face the police marks a turning point in the story.
14. Finale: The scene sets up the finale of the story, where Walter will have to navigate the legal system and deal with the fallout from his actions.
Reference: "Save the Cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need" by Blake Snyder
Analysis/Critique: The scene from Breaking Bad can be improved using the Save the Cat structure by incorporating a clearer debate and midpoint moment. Currently, the scene focuses more on the chaotic situation and the impending arrest, without giving Walter a clear internal struggle or a moment of revelation.
To improve the structure, the scene could include a debate moment where Walter weighs the options of surrendering or escaping. This would add depth to his character and create a more engaging conflict. Additionally, the midpoint moment could be strengthened by having Walter make a decision or take a specific action that raises the stakes and propels the story forward.
By incorporating these elements, the scene would align more closely with the Save the Cat structure and provide a stronger foundation for the rest of the story.
|Dialogue and Emotional Impact||There is a strong positive correlation between the scores for Dialogue and Emotional Impact, indicating that the quality of the dialogue has a significant impact on the emotional impact of the scene.|
|Tone and Conflict||There is a moderate positive correlation between the scores for Tone and Conflict, suggesting that a tense or serious tone is often associated with high levels of conflict in the scene.|
|Character Changes and Overall Grade||There is a strong positive correlation between the scores for Character Changes and Overall Grade, indicating that scenes with significant character changes tend to be rated higher overall.|
|Concept and Plot||There is a moderate positive correlation between the scores for Concept and Plot, suggesting that a strong concept often leads to a well-developed plot.|
|High Stakes and Emotional Impact||There is a strong positive correlation between the scores for High Stakes and Emotional Impact, indicating that scenes with high stakes tend to have a greater emotional impact on the audience.|
|Breaking Bad||This scene is from Breaking Bad, a TV show about a high school chemistry teacher turned methamphetamine manufacturer. The scene shares similarities in tone, genre, and the main character's descent into a criminal world.|
|Scarface||The scene where Walt and his son watch the movie 'Scarface' on TV draws a parallel to the themes of power, violence, and the allure of the criminal lifestyle. 'Scarface' is a movie about a Cuban immigrant who becomes a powerful drug lord.|
|Weeds||Weeds is a TV show about a suburban widow who turns to selling marijuana to support her family. The scene where Walt and Skyler discuss their finances and Walt's potential involvement in the drug trade shares similarities in tone and the exploration of the moral gray area.|
|The Sopranos||The Sopranos is a TV show about a mob boss and his struggles to balance his criminal life with his family. The scene where Walt and Skyler have breakfast together and discuss their daily routines and health issues shares similarities in the exploration of family dynamics and the protagonist's hidden criminal activities.|
|The Wire||The Wire is a TV show that explores the drug trade and its impact on various institutions in Baltimore. The scene where Walt interacts with Hank, a DEA agent, and becomes intrigued by the large amount of cash shown on TV shares similarities in the exploration of the drug trade and the protagonist's fascination with it.|
|Ozark||Ozark is a TV show about a financial planner who is forced to relocate his family to the Ozarks and launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. The scene where Walt and Skyler discuss their finances and Walt's potential involvement in illegal activities shares similarities in tone and the exploration of the protagonist's descent into the criminal world.|
|The Godfather||The Godfather is a movie about a powerful mafia family and their struggles for control. The scene where Walt helps his son try on new jeans and confronts guys who are making fun of him shares similarities in the exploration of family loyalty and the protagonist's willingness to protect his loved ones.|
|The Departed||The Departed is a movie about an undercover cop and a mole in the police force who try to identify each other while infiltrating an Irish gang in Boston. The scene where Walt visits Dupree to discuss their plans for cooking meth shares similarities in the exploration of criminal activities and the protagonist's involvement in a dangerous world.|
|No Country for Old Men||No Country for Old Men is a movie about a hunter who stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and finds himself pursued by a relentless hitman. The scene where Walt receives the devastating news of his cancer diagnosis shares similarities in the exploration of mortality and the protagonist's realization of his own mortality.|
|The Big Short||The Big Short is a movie about the 2008 financial crisis and the individuals who predicted and profited from it. The scene where Walt withdraws money from a credit union and meets with Dupree to discuss their plans for cooking meth shares similarities in the exploration of financial desperation and the protagonist's involvement in illegal activities.|
|Trope||Trope Details||Trope Explanation|
|Theme||Theme Details||Themee Explanation|
|Breaking Bad||The theme of Breaking Bad is the transformation of Walter White from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to a ruthless drug lord. This theme is evident throughout the screenplay as we see Walter's descent into the criminal underworld and his willingness to do whatever it takes to provide for his family.||The theme of Breaking Bad is the central focus of the screenplay and drives the narrative. It explores the consequences of Walter's choices and the moral ambiguity of his actions.|
|Family and Love||The theme of family and love is present in multiple scenes, particularly in Walter's interactions with his wife, Skyler, and his son, Walter Jr. Despite his criminal activities, Walter's love for his family is a driving force behind his actions.||This theme explores the lengths that Walter is willing to go to protect and provide for his family. It also examines the complexities of familial relationships and the sacrifices that can be made in the name of love.|
|Identity and Transformation||The theme of identity and transformation is evident in Walter's journey from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to a criminal mastermind. Throughout the screenplay, we see Walter struggle with his new identity and the consequences of his transformation.||This theme explores the idea of how circumstances can shape a person's identity and the lengths they will go to protect that identity. It also raises questions about the nature of morality and the choices we make in defining ourselves.|
|Mortality and Illness||The theme of mortality and illness is introduced when Walter receives the devastating news that he has stage 3 multiple myeloma. This theme is explored throughout the screenplay as Walter grapples with his mortality and the impact it has on his decisions.||This theme delves into the fear of death and the desperation that can arise from a terminal illness. It also examines the choices one might make when faced with their own mortality and the desire to leave a legacy.|
|Power and Control||The theme of power and control is present in scenes where Walter asserts his dominance and takes control of situations. This theme is explored through Walter's transformation into a drug lord and his desire for power and control over his own life.||This theme delves into the allure of power and the lengths one will go to obtain and maintain control. It also raises questions about the consequences of seeking power and the impact it can have on relationships and morality.|
Screenwriting Resources on Themes
|Studio Binder||Movie Themes: Examples of Common Themes for Screenwriters|
|Coverfly||Improving your Screenplay's theme|
|John August||Writing from Theme|
|Story, Plot, Genre, Theme - Screenwriting Basics||Screenwriting basics - beginner video|
|What is theme||Discussion on ways to layer theme into a screenplay.|
|Thematic Mistakes You're Making in Your Script||Common Theme mistakes and Philosophical Conflicts|
|Summary:||The writer's voice is characterized by realistic and naturalistic dialogue, descriptive narrative, and concise scene direction. The dialogue is often focused on the characters' internal thoughts and emotions, while the narrative and direction provide vivid and detailed descriptions of the characters' actions and surroundings. The writer's voice contributes to the overall mood and themes of the screenplay by creating a sense of realism and authenticity. It also adds depth to the characters' interactions and explores complex emotions and motivations. The writer's voice showcases their ability to create relatable and engaging dialogue, as well as their skill in crafting descriptive and focused scene direction.|
|Voice Contribution||The writer's voice contributes to the script by creating a sense of realism and authenticity. The dialogue and narrative description add depth to the characters' interactions and explore complex emotions and motivations. The writer's voice also enhances the overall mood and themes of the screenplay by creating a sense of tension, urgency, and authenticity. It showcases their ability to create relatable and engaging dialogue, as well as their skill in crafting descriptive and focused scene direction.|
|Best Representation Scene||2 - Morning Routine|
|Best Scene Explanation||This scene could serve as the encapsulation of the writer's unique voice in the screenplay because it showcases their ability to create realistic and relatable characters in everyday situations.|
- Overall originality score: 4.5
- Overall originality explanation: The overall originality of the screenplay is moderate. While there are some unique situations and fresh approaches, many scenes depict familiar situations and characters without introducing any unique or fresh elements.
- Most unique situations: The most unique situations in the screenplay are Walt's encounter with Dupree and their discussion about cooking meth, Walt's confrontation with the guys in the department store, and Walt's realization about his situation while exercising on the stair-stepper.
- Overall unpredictability score: 6.5
- Overall unpredictability explanation: The overall unpredictability of the screenplay is relatively high. While some scenes follow familiar tropes and plotlines, there are several unexpected twists and turns that keep the audience engaged and guessing.
|Goals and Philosophical Conflict|
|internal Goals||The protagonist's internal goals evolved throughout the script, reflecting his deeper needs and fears.|
|External Goals||The protagonist's external goals evolved throughout the script, reflecting immediate circumstances and challenges.|
|Philosophical Conflict||The overarching philosophical conflict challenges the protagonist's beliefs and values.|
Character Development Contribution: The evolving goals and conflict contribute to the protagonist's growth and transformation.
Narrative Structure Contribution: The goals and conflict provide structure and drive the plot forward.
Thematic Depth Contribution: The goals and conflict explore themes of identity, morality, and the consequences of one's choices.
Screenwriting Resources on Goals and Philosophical Conflict
|Creative Screenwriting||How Important Is A Character’s Goal?|
|Studio Binder||What is Conflict in a Story? A Quick Reminder of the Purpose of Conflict|
|How I Build a Story's Philosophical Conflict||How do you build philosophical conflict into your story? Where do you start? And how do you develop it into your characters and their external actions. Today I’m going to break this all down and make it fully clear in this episode.|
|Endings: The Good, the Bad, and the Insanely Great||By Michael Arndt: I put this lecture together in 2006, when I started work at Pixar on Toy Story 3. It looks at how to write an "insanely great" ending, using Star Wars, The Graduate, and Little Miss Sunshine as examples. 90 minutes|
|Tips for Writing Effective Character Goals||By Jessica Brody (Save the Cat!): Writing character goals is one of the most important jobs of any novelist. But are your character's goals...mushy?|
The reasons might be more valuable than the rating.
The screenplay is highly recommended due to its strong opening, effective use of visual and auditory elements, and well-paced narrative. The scenes successfully establish character dynamics and conflicts, but improvements can be made in terms of smoother transitions, clearer objectives, and more engaging dialogue. Missing elements include more information about specific circumstances, clearer conflicts, and deeper exploration of character motivations. Notable points include the use of video messages, effective establishment of contrasts, and the use of visual elements to enhance tension. Overall, the screenplay showcases a compelling narrative with room for refinement in certain areas.
- Strong opening that grabs attention and sets up the tone of the show (Scene 1)
- Effective use of visual and auditory elements to enhance the scenes (Scene 1)
- Well-paced and engaging narrative (Scene 13)
- Intense and suspenseful atmosphere (Scene 13)
- Strong character dynamics and conflict (Scene 13)
- The transition from the teaser to Act One could be smoother (Scene 1)
- The scene lacks a clear objective or goal for the characters (Scene 2)
- The pacing of the scene could be improved to create more tension and engagement (Scene 2)
- The scene could benefit from more visual elements and actions to enhance the storytelling (Scene 2)
- The dialogue between Walt and Hank could be more dynamic and engaging (Scene 3)
- More information about the specific circumstances that led to the situation (Scene 1)
- A clear conflict or obstacle for the characters to overcome (Scene 2)
- A clearer sense of Walt's internal conflict and motivation (Scene 3)
- More visual descriptions and actions to enhance the scene's impact (Scene 3)
- A clearer connection between Walt's physical and emotional distress and his overall character arc or the central conflict of the screenplay (Scene 4)
- The use of Walter's video message to his family adds depth to his character and foreshadows future events (Scene 1)
- The scene effectively establishes the contrast between Walter's ordinary life and the dangerous path he is about to embark on (Scene 1)
- The interaction between Walter Jr. and his parents provides insight into their dynamic and Walter Jr.'s disability (Scene 2)
- The introduction of the cash from the drug bust foreshadows Walt's future involvement in the drug trade (Scene 3)
- The use of visual elements, such as Walt's trembling hand and the sticky fingers on the table, adds a layer of tension and unease to the scene (Scene 4)
|2||Margaret: Walt, you are my hero.|
|5||Walt: Best-case scenario, with chemo, I'll live another two years.|
|10||Walter White: Buy the RV. We start tomorrow.|
|12||Dupree: You're a goddamned artist. This is art.|
|14||Walt: Red phosphorus, when heat is applied... oxidizes and yields carbonyl chloride. Phosgene gas. One good whiff of it...|