Meet Walter White (Bryan Cranston), your average high school chemistry teacher with a wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn), and son, Walter Jr (RJ Mitte), who lives in a suburb of sunny Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Except Walt isn’t so average — he’s an overqualified expert chemist who works an additional job at the local car wash to support his family, which is expecting an unplanned baby, and he must care for Walt Jr’s cerebral palsy.
A day after turning the big 5-0, Walt learns that he has advanced terminal lung cancer.
Enter unlikely business partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), an underperforming former chemistry student of Walt’s. On a stroke of luck, the two are reunited when Walt, accompanying his DEA agent brother-in-law Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), recognises the straight-F student fleeing from a meth lab bust.
With mounting medical bills, Walt persuades Jesse to enter into the illicit drugs business together by cooking and distributing high-grade meth. With Walt’s expert knowledge of chemistry and Jesse’s street background of the industry, the two become a successful, albeit unlikely, pair of entrepreneurs.
But things go awry from the very start, including the logistics of where, when and how to cook. Once they begin to turn out Albuquerque’s finest meth, they move their ventures to drug distributor Krazy-8, who believes Walt to be a cop and tries to kill the business partners. The two are able to defend themselves and end up killing Krazy-8 and his accomplice in the process.
Sickened by his violent acts of crime, Walt tries to break ties with Jesse and is offered financial assistance from old friends and family. Unable to bear the thought of not providing for himself and his family, Walt dives back into the world of meth production and continues his second job. Concerned with the popularity of his product and the rapid expansion of his and Jesse’s venture, he takes on the pseudonym Heisenberg to conceal his identity.