Dean Norris and Bryan Cranston in a scene from Sunday night's 'Breaking Bad' episode

'Breaking Bad' Episode 'To'hajiilee': Shootout in Navajo Country

September 10, 2013

Sunday's episode of the AMC drama Breaking Bad has been hailed by some fans as the best in the history of the series, which began in 2008 and is nearing the end of its fifth and final season. The L.A. Times cites a figure of 300,000 tweets about the show, which included a massive shootout scene. Called "To'hajiilee," the episode is partially set on To'hajiilee, a non-contiguous part of the Navajo Nation west of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Here's a behind-the-scenes clip from AMC's YouTube channel -- as you can see, the action was intense, to say the least:

In a preview piece for Vulture about the show's final four episodes, Margaret Lyons thought about the Navajo Nation as not just a setting, but also a tone-setter, drawing on a previous series that inspired OCD in its fans:

The real reason I have insanely high hopes for this episode is because of The X-Files, the Fox series that gave [Breaking Bad's creator Vince] Gilligan his start in television. From a mythology perspective, the three most significant episodes of The X-Files are the season two finale, "Anasazi," and the first two episodes of season three, "The Blessing Way" and "Paper Clip." The first two of those are set in Navajo reservations, and all three episodes include Navajo characters and reference Navajo traditions and use phrases of the Navajo language. (In "Anasazi," the show's opening-credits tagline "The truth is out there" is even translated into Navajo.) Those The X-Files episodes reveal how elaborate and pervasive government conspiracies could be.