The science of Breaking Bad: Full Measure

Breaking Bad : Season 3 : Episode 13 : “Full Measure”

Walt and Mike take a long walk.

Walt and Mike take a long walk.

Season three of Breaking Bad wraps up with a cliffhanger that we’ll have to wait until 2011 to see resolved. The past thirteen episodes have been finely crafted, with an large increase in tension and drama and a concomitant drop in the amount of actual science portrayed. Still, this does not decrease the enjoyment factor at all. Check back next season!

You can read more about this episode at AMC, IMDb and the A.V. Club.

Random thoughts

Mesotheleona Helmsley, a commenter on the A.V. Club, pointed out that shorting electrical wires with balloons would probably have killed Mike in a large explosion called an arc blast.

Gale asks Walt about “purging the catalyst bed”, by which he probably means cleaning and returning it to a pristine state. Catalysts (by definition) are not consumed in chemical reactions, but they will become poisoned (by side-reactions to non-catalytic products) or otherwise deactivated over time. The thorium dioxide (ThO2) catalyst that our cooks are using can easily be refreshed by heating in air or oxygen, which Gale should really already know.

Elements in the credits

Breaking Bromine
Bad Barium
Created Chromium
Bryan Cranston Bromine
AnNa Gunn Sodium
AAron Paul Argon
DeaN Norris Nitrogen
Betsy Brandt Beryllium
RJ MitTe Tellurium
BOb Odenkirk Oxygen
Giancarlo Esposito Einsteinium
JonAthan Banks Astatine
David Costabile Cobalt
Skip MAcDonald Actinium
KelleY Dixon Yttrium
Mark FreeboRn Radon
MiChael Slovis Carbon
Dave Porter Polonium
Sharon Bialy Sulfur
SherrY Thomas Yttrium
Diane MerCer Cerium
Moira Walley-Beckett Molybdenum
Thomas SchnAuz Gold
George Mastras Germanium
PeTer Gould Tellurium
Sam Catlin Calcium
John ShiBan Barium
Melissa Bernstein Beryllium
MicHelle MacLaren Helium
Mark JOhnson Oxygen
StewArt A. Lyons Argon
Vince Gilligan Vanadium

One Response to The science of Breaking Bad: Full Measure

  1. I always had this theory (think I’m alone in it though) that Gale caught on to what Gus was up to (Gus was awfully pushy about Gale taking over after one more cook, which didn’t quite make sense w/Walt’s supposed medical situation) and was trying to warn Walt discreetly.

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