Should You Skip “Fly” Episode in Breaking Bad?

Should You Skip “Fly” Episode in Breaking Bad

 “Fly” is an episode in Breaking Bad that has caused most mixed reviews, mainly by the viewers. It is the tenth episode in the third season. Many viewers simply skipped it mainly because of its slow pace and if you’re here you are probably wondering should you also skip it and save 47 minutes of your life? Or it just might be worth watching?

“Fly” is an Episode About Nothing But…

Just like popular sitcom Seinfeld, “Fly” episode was an episode about nothing. However, there s more than meets the eye. In short it’s an episode about fly that comes in to the lab (under laundromat) and most of the episode is about Walt and Jesse trying to kill the fly because Walt is afraid it might contaminate the product (meth).                         

There are many comical situations throughout the episode but that’s not the only reason why you should watch it. This is an episode in which Walt and Jesse share some feelings and create a new bond that creates deeper connection between them. Both main characters are struggling through their own anger, frustration and guilt over what they’ve become.

The fly in the episode represents both the guilt of Walt and his need to control everything which explains his obsession with a fly. Walt hasn’t been sleeping and has started obsessing over trivial things; first he was worried that their last batch was lighter than expected (and suspects Jesse) then after Jesse has gone home he sees a fly in the lab and his obsession (which nearly kills him) begins. When Jesse returned in the morning he started to get worried as Walt has clearly been there all night trying to kill an ordinary fly. Jesse wants to start cooking but Walt refuses because he feels they can’t do anything before the contaminant is dealt with. Jesse goes and gets various insect killing products along with some sleeping pills which he slips into Walter’s coffee. While they are trying to catch the fly they just talk; sometimes arguing about the need to kill the fly other times talking about much deeper things.

To be fair “Fly” gave us a good 47 minutes of a wider-scope look at the series and at two main characters so you definitely shouldn’t skip it.

Why Did They Make the Fly Episode?

Most viewers (who didn’t like the episode) wondered why they filmed that episode. An episode that was complete opposite to the other episodes of the series.

Well the truth is it was a bottle episode and that is the reason they filmed it… which doesn’t mean it was bad. On the contrary.

Should You Skip “Fly” Episode in Breaking Bad

So what does it mean a “bottle episode”? Bottle episode is an episode with limited cast and sets produced due to limited budget. For instance this is the only episode on the entire series where Walter’s wife Skyler doesn’t appear. Along with extras in the laundromat, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are the only two main actors who appear in the episode. Since much of the budget was spent on the building of the super lab they needed a low-cost episode. As series creator Vince Gilligan said: “We were hopelessly over budget… we needed to come up with what is called a bottle episode, set in one location.”

So the intention was saving some money so there would be more to spend on other episodes. The term was coined by Leslie Stevens, creator and executive producer of 1960s TV series “The Outer Limits”, for an episode made in very little time at very little cost, “as in pulling an episode right out of a bottle like a genie”.

Lowest Rated Breaking Bad Episode

“Fly” has the lowest user rating of all Breaking Bad’s episodes on IMDB and many other review sites. Mostly because it was low on action.

However, contrary to user reviews most critics loved the episode and many actually thought it was one of the best episodes of the whole series.

Here at the CinemaLodge we wouldn’t go so far to call it one of the best episodes, but we do think it is a great episode that is unfairly underrated.

“Fly” has been widely acclaimed by critics, especially for its cinematography and its method of developing deeper relationship between Walter and Jesse, and as we all know they’ve had their ups and downs.

The episode’s original broadcast was viewed by 1.20 million people, which was a decrease from the 1.62 million of the previous episode.

Best Rated Episode In Breaking Bad

Although feelings regarding “Fly” episode are divided most viewers consider “Ozymandias” as the best Breaking Bad episode. It’s fourteenth episode of the fifth season and has a whopping score o 9.9 on IMDB and features some of the most jaw-dropping moments.

To be fair there are few more episodes that have 9.9 score on IMDB (“Felina”, “Face Off”) but “Ozymandias” score is base on most votes – approximately 163 thousand votes.

Interestingly enough “Ozymandias” was written by Moira Walley-Beckett and directed by Rian Johnson who had previously worked together on the season 3 episode “Fly”.

So now that we know that one of the highest rated and most praised episode on Breaking Bad was created by Beckett-Johnson duo, you have got to ask yourself are you really willing to skip “Fly” episodes just because the plot seems slow or you’ve read somewhere it was boring? You just might be missing out on one of the best and definitely one of the funniest Breaking Bad episodes.