Half Measures

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"Half Measures"
Breaking Bad episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 12
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Written by
Featured music
Cinematography by Michael Slovis
Editing by Kelley Dixon
Original air date June 6, 2010 (2010-06-06)
Running time 47 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Full Measure"
Breaking Bad (season 3)
List of Breaking Bad episodes

"Half Measures" is the twelfth and penultimate episode of the third season of the American television drama series Breaking Bad, and the 32nd overall episode of the series. It originally aired on AMC in the United States on June 6, 2010.


Skyler pushes Walt to accept her plan of laundering his drug money through the car wash. They continue to disagree, but are able to negotiate a plan that allows Walt to have some family dinners at home as a ploy to make the Whites appear reconciled. Meanwhile, Jesse begins to plot against those who killed Combo. He buys blue meth from the gang responsible, indicating that the people who killed Combo work for Gus. Jesse tells Walt about his findings and asks him to make ricin so he can exact revenge. Although Walt appears troubled by the gang's use of children, he dismisses the plan and tells Jesse to do the same. Jesse says, "I’m doing it. With or without you."

Convinced Jesse is likely to do something rash that would endanger multiple people, including himself, Walt visits Saul and they hatch a plan to have Jesse sent to jail for a month to cool down. Meanwhile, Marie wheels Hank out of the hospital after winning a bet where she arouses him during a sponge bath. Mike makes an unannounced visit to Walt at home, telling him that he is not going to follow Saul's plan. He explains that Gus does not know of Jesse's intentions, but that if he follows through on them, he will find out and "take it as a problem." He then recounts an incident from his time as a cop, when he showed mercy by allowing a habitually abusive husband to live, only to have the man beat his wife to death shortly after. He tells Walt that he chose a "half measure" instead of killing the husband, and warns before leaving: "No more half measures."

Jesse plants a poison of his own making in burgers a local prostitute will bring to the gang members. However, Mike and Victor get to Jesse first, thwarting his plan and forcing him to go for a ride. They bring him to a meeting with Gus, Walt, and the dealers he was targeting. Jesse is furious to realize Walt has revealed his plan to Gus, but Gus tells him that Walt is his only friend in the room. After several tense verbal exchanges, the dealers agree to stop using children, and Jesse agrees to "keep the peace." It is implied that Jesse intends to drop his plans for revenge, although his relationship with Walt is damaged. He refuses to speak to Walt in the car after the meeting, and later won't return his phone calls.

That night, Jesse hears about the death of Tomás, and rushes to the scene with his girlfriend Andrea. He realizes the dealers have killed Tomás because he is no longer of value to them, as they've agreed to stop using children. Jesse waits in his car near their territory, watching them and snorting meth for the first time since leaving rehab. He grabs a gun from under his seat, leaves the vehicle and starts walking towards the dealers. As Jesse draws his gun, the dealers begin to do likewise. Suddenly, Walt plows over both dealers with his car. He exits the vehicle with one still underneath, and another injured but reaching for his gun. Walt picks up the gun, shoots the dealer in the head, and tells Jesse to run.


Aaron Paul won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in this episode.[1][2]

This episode received widely positive reviews from critics and is considered to be one of the best in the series. In IGN's review, the episode is called "fun, creative, well-directed, well-acted and set us up for what's going to be an awesome finale", and was given a 9.7 rating.[3]


  1. ^ "Emmy episode entries revealed: Lea Michele, Hugh Laurie, Jim Parsons plus more". Los Angeles Times. July 15, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  2. ^ "Winners! Complete List From the 2010 Emmy Awards". E!. eonline.com. August 29, 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  3. ^ Amitin, Seth (June 7, 2010). "Breaking Bad: "Half Measures" Review". IGN. Retrieved July 20, 2014.

External links

  • "Half Measures" at the official Breaking Bad site
  • "Half Measures" on IMDb
  • "Half Measures" at TV.com
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