Your 2012 Emmy Crash Course

Breaking Bad: “Crawl Space” 

Fresh off ineligibility and in a dead heat for Outstanding Drama, Breaking Bad is the only thing that might keep Mad Men from making history Sunday. Unlike its closest competitor, Breaking Bad didn’t submit in solidarity, so it’s a bit more difficult to select just one episode. But if we had to choose, it would be “Crawl Space,” which earned Cranston his nomination for Lead Actor in a Drama. This was, in case you need a refresher, the hand-wringing 11th episode of Season 4, which devolved into one of the most indelible shots of the series: Walt, in a crawl space, completely losing it after he realizes his money (and chance at salvation from the scariest man to ever hold a box cutter) is gone.

If you have some time, and are interested in a little intra-series showdown, we recommend watching “End Times” and “Hermanos,” Aaron Paul and Giancarlo Esposito’s respective submissions in the Supporting Actor category, as well. Or, check out “Cornered,” which earned Anna Gunn her first Emmy nomination (although most seem to agree her odds will be higher next year, especially after Season 5).