Oh shit. One of my all-time favorite episodes of this show EVER. I noticed that, last season, I was just saying that about too many episodes, which is natural when a show is this good, so I purposely held off this season and plan to only say it about two Season Three episodes (possibly three, the last half of Season Three may be my favorite part of the entire series). And “Fly” is one of them.
I know it’s a real fan divider. People love it or hate it. And I LOVE it. You know why? Because this is the only episode, ever, in the whole show that I almost turned off because I just couldn’t keep watching. So many episodes have been so intense that I would have to soothe myself by naming the elements during the credits or something–a sign of a really great series, no doubt. But this is the only episode that I thought I couldn’t watch. It was that good.
I still remember the first time I saw this one. It was late at night, I was binging on this amazing new show, watching it on Netflix, laying in bed with my iPad and Walt and Jesse and the fly in the superlab. And I was thinking this is the dumbest episode ever, did the writers accidentally start using Walt’s product or what? A fly, seriously? This is totally on crack. And then it turned.
Contains some spoilers (relating to the end of Seasons 2 and 4).
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Walter White’s actions at the end of Season 2 and the end of Season 4. In both cases, he causes harm to someone close to Jesse, and I’ve been thinking about how these two acts of Walt’s alone tell us so much about the dark turns his character has taken. Even though what happens to Jane is worse (she dies) than what happens to Brock (he’s fine, as far as we know), the progression of Walt’s moral demise is still evident because what Walt does to Brock is in some ways worse, for Walt’s part anyway.
At the end of Season 2, Walt watches as Jesse’s girlfriend Jane chokes to death on her own vomit. When Walt goes over to Jesse’s apartment and finds Jesse and Jane passed out in a heroin stupor, he shakes Jesse which causes Jane to roll from her side onto her back and start choking. Walt mumbles, “No, no, no” to himself and you think he’s going to go over and save her but then he stops himself and lets her die.
At the end of Season 4, Walt poisons Brock, the son of Jesse’s girlfriend Andrea, a boy whom Jesse has become very close to. Walt does this as an elaborate plan to manipulate Jesse into thinking that Gus Fring has done it (Gus has used kids in the drug trade before, as well as allowing his guys to kill Andrea’s little brother, both points that Walt uses to convince Jesse that Gus would poison Brock) and win Jesse back on his side so they can work together to kill Gus.
More analysis of Walt’s moral disintegration