Summer Task – Breaking Bad “The Fly” – Task 2

Having been working my way through Breaking Bad, I have managed to get to the end of season 3 and I am completely hooked. In fact,  Netflix owe my subscription fee to this one series. I had heard friends mention how good this series was but I never seemed to get round to it, always something else to watch. But when I had an email from Netflix offering a free trial, I signed up and immediately delved into watching Breaking Bad.

The show is based around the character Walter White, a terminally ill High School chemistry teacher who decides to manufacture , or cook, Crystal Meth in order to subsidise his mounting medical bills and family expenditure. The show illustrates that dark side of the drugs underworld, with the involvement of Mexican Drug Cartels, Bosses, Junkies and Shifty Lawyers.

Amid this backdrop , episode 10 of season 3 , is as complete change of pace. Walter is alone in his lab, his personal life in tatters, his sanity slowly be eroded away by the world he now inhabits. The entire episode focuses on Walter trying to eradicate the Fly that has strayed into the lab. The pace is gentle, I am not sitting on the edge of my seat throughout, after all, Walt is alone , in a lab, chasing a fly.

There are moments of comedy, for example, with the fly taunting him Walt throws his shoe at it, only to loose said shoe to the lamp shade upon which the fly was resting. When trying to retrieve the shoe, he falls. The writers called upon slapstick influences in this episode.  Despite the obvious comedy value the first part of this episode brings to the viewer it also shines light on the complex relationship between Walt and his partner , Jesse. I was genuinely touched by moments in which they shared dialogue.  The chemistry between the two actors is great, I really felt for them both in this episode. Walt wants to get rid of the fly , or contaminant, which to me seems to be a metaphor for the guilt he has over allowing Jesse’s girlfriend to die, something Jesse does not know about.  You really get a sense that both characters have fallen deeper into this world than either intended.

I really enjoyed this episode and felt that it did a great job in bringing the viewer closer to the main characters, their vulnerabilities and the effect that this life is having on them. The writing and camera use were understated yet powerful and for me, this is one of my favourite episodes to date.



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