Critics Corner

Talking About The Most Debated TV Episode of All Time - 'Fly' from Breaking Bad

The show, as we know, is arguably the greatest TV show of all time and one of the few ones to have an upward graph when it comes to getting better. This, however, seemingly took a minor hit when the episode Fly aired back on 23rd May 2010. The episode is described as 'Obsessed about a contaminant, Walt refuses to cook; Jesse tries to get him back on track.' Almost a decade later, I would analyze the divided opinions that the episode drew.

2020-02-09T18:08:00Z

Seldom have we come across shows that are termed to be almost entirely perfect throughout their runtime and let's be realistic, that cannot be as - art is subjective and as humans, we are always bound to make debatable decisions. However, the closest to being inch-perfect happened in the form of Breaking Bad several years ago.

The show, as we know, is arguably the greatest TV show of all time and one of the few ones to have an upward graph when it comes to getting better. This, however, seemingly took a minor hit when the episode Fly aired back on 23rd May 2010.

The episode is described as 'Obsessed about a contaminant, Walt refuses to cook; Jesse tries to get him back on track.' Almost a decade later, I would analyze the divided opinions that the episode drew.

Genius?

Okay, the most ardent fans of the show and some other people believe that the episode was actually a stroke of absolute genius filmmaking where over 45 minutes were dedicated to just two characters - Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, one room and one fly. There is no secret that this was totally intentional from creator Vince Gilligan as we witness Walt and Jesse going through all extremes to kill a fly in order to stop it from contaminating their meth solutions. Powered by great cinematography, some slow-motion frames and of course, impeccable performances from Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, the episode, even though bland managed to keep the viewers hooked and even had a major moment at the end of it.

Bizarre? Worst?

One thing that cannot be denied about the episode is that it is the lowest-rated episode of Breaking Bad on IMDb and while there are 'divided' opinions otherwise, the rating does speak for itself. Some viewers and fans continue to mention how the episode was a moment of madness from creator Gilligan and was his worst decision in the otherwise perfect show. Some even try to reassure themselves by saying how this episode was just a filler in the season and was only intended that way. It still was totally bizarre and probably the worst (to many).

A Little Bit of Both

Just like any presentation - different shows, films, and other things age differently and while some only get worse, some age like a fine wine. Even though Fly hasn't aged like a fine wine, it hasn't become worse too. In fact, in more ways than others, owing to the discussion of the episode, it has only become more prevalent and has managed to turn some viewers from hating it to liking it.

The episode, being intentional, was actually designed specifically to enrage the viewers along with also take a moment of breath before things go crazy (that happened in further episodes). The episode was essential to portray the now-rocky relationship between Walt and Jesse as they pretty much can't stand each other but know they need each other. Giving them the most screentime there can be, it allowed them to be intimate about various topics that was accentuated at the end of the episode with Walt's confession of letting Jane die and how he was responsible in one way or another. We also see Jesse leaving his state of vulnerability while Walt entering it.

So, while the overall treatment of the episode could have gone either way, it continues to be a path-breaking episode all these years later.

What do you think? Leave in your comments below.

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