‘Breaking Bad’ Has 62 Episodes Because the Number Is Symbolic for Walter White

Analysis of Breaking Bad and what it meant to pop culture will likely go on longer than the show has been off the air. It still has the feel of being current, mostly thanks to El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story bringing the characters back in 2019. 

Over the last seven years, more extensive Walter White analysis occurred, sometimes pinning him as a serial killer. On top of this is examining the detailed symbolism Breaking Bad exhibited throughout its run.

The series ran only 62 episodes, which is seemingly short for a series in today’s terms. There was a rhyme and reason behind this episode count. Those who learn why will understand how much thought went into the show.

Details are important to fans of ‘Breaking Bad’

Bryan Cranston as Walter White in Breaking Bad
Bryan Cranston as Walter White | Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC

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It seems the most popular franchises in TV and movies usually pack in a million details to let fans obsess over. Every fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe knows the extreme attention to detail there led many to continue watching the movies and scope out things they never before noticed.

Breaking Bad was another that managed to create such an intriguing arc, numerous details are probably still yet to be uncovered. The show’s symbolism is already noted, including little nods to past characters along the way.

No doubt fans continue to note how Walt assimilates little traits of his prior victims as the series progressed. As terrifying as that symbolism was, other symbols were just merely numerical.

The show having 62 episodes turned out to have real design behind it, including being somewhat chilling when looking a little deeper.

The number 62 and its connection to chemistry

All Breaking Bad fans know about the chemistry connections in the show and Walt being a chemistry teacher. Not everyone initially knew  the show’s episode count would hover in on the number 62 for a reason directly related to a notable chemistry element.

Those who know the chemistry periodic table will know that the 62nd element is Samarium. This particular element is known for treating cancers, most notably lung cancer.

Because Walt was dying of the same disease, the symbolism was obviously not lost on anyone. However, this symbolic gesture was never really scoped out until the end of the series.

The chemistry symbolism may not end there either. So much thought was put into the show, it might take years to find every symbolic or chemistry reference.

The title may have gone just as deep with a chemistry reference

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Other media analysts note other symbolism in the show over the years. A few have made up their own chemistry elements as deeper dives into the characters, proving the show made chemistry more popular.

In the title, though, there may be even further scientific symbolism. As Screen Rant noted, Breaking Bad contained the first two letters of important elements: Bromine and Barium. These are abbreviated as “Br” and “Ba”, respectively.

Is it possible the title also had chemistry references added in to enhance all the symbolic gestures? Previously, it was thought “Breaking Bad” merely meant turning to a life of crime.

Finding things like this again proves the show was packed to the gills with references going beyond its 62 episodes. In the end, Breaking Bad may be the best thought out show ever created.

Is it worth offering this much symbolism in a show?

Vince Gilligan clearly knew the value of symbolism in movies and how much-repeated viewings it would likely bring. Not even its AMC counterpart (Mad Men) had nearly as many symbolic aspects for fans to perpetually search for years ahead.

If one can contend Breaking Bad has gone beyond 62 episodes thanks to Better Call Saul and the reunion movie, the outline for the show must have been tremendous. It gives a guidepost to future TV creators who want to create something watchable far into the future.