As always, this article contains spoilers from the most recent episode of Breaking Bad, "Say My Name." If you haven't seen the episode, which aired Sunday, yet, don't read this article.
Breaking Bad might be nearing its final stretch of episodes, but it's showing no signs of slowing down. "Say My Name," Sunday's episode of the series, was one of the most tense and emotionally affecting yet, ending with the death of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) at the hands of Walt (Bryan Cranston). It was one of the show's biggest, most important moments yet, and, thankfully, the show's ratings reflected that.
"Say My Name" nabbed Breaking Bad its best ratings ever. 2.98 million viewers tuned into the episode on Sunday night, up six percent from the 2.81 million the previous episode, "Buyout," received. It's also slightly up from the previous record holder: season 5's premiere episode, "Live Free or Die," nabbed 2.93 million.
The joke here is that "Say My Name" was the first episode that wasn't provided to critics in advance, so the jump in ratings is due to reviewers like myself actually having to tune in live.
Season 5, as a whole, has been the show's best-rated yet. Only "Box Cutter," the season 4 premiere, topped the lowest-rated episode of season 5.
Breaking Bad's fifth season will continue with the midseason finale, "Gliding Over All," Sunday, September 2, on AMC. The series will return for its final eight episodes in summer 2013.