There is a fly loose in the lab. Walt and Jesse must do whatever they can to kill it before it contaminates the meth.There is a fly loose in the lab. Walt and Jesse must do whatever they can to kill it before it contaminates the meth.There is a fly loose in the lab. Walt and Jesse must do whatever they can to kill it before it contaminates the meth.
Walt engages in his most erratic display of behavior yet, refusing to cook until he and Jesse find a single fly that could "contaminate" their batch. And that's basically what the episode is: forty five minutes of chasing a fly.
Of course, it's much more than that on a deeper level. Cranston and Paul's performances here are the best acting you'll see on television this year; I guarantee it. Old wounds are reopened, bitterness and regret resurface. Somehow in the course of an hour, "Breaking Bad" weaves intensity, hilarity, oddity, and tragedy into a tapestry of subtlety and deep emotion. I can hardly remember two characters I've cared about more than Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. This show teaches us to see past their flaws, to look into their souls and bear in mind the simplest of truths: they are both human beings. And for that, they deserve our love and respect.
"Fly" requires a great deal of attention to detail, both in terms of visual rhythms and emotional undercurrents of conversations, but the end result is one of the finest episodes of the best show currently on TV. Which brings me to my ending cliché: it feels like an insult to call this television.
As usual, I'll be tuning in next week.
- May 24, 2010