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For the symbolic object, see Fly (symbol).
Fly

Fly

SeasonEpisode

310

Air dateMay 23, 2010

Running time47 minutes [?]

Written bySam Catlin and Moira Walley-Beckett

Directed byRian Johnson

PreviousNext
"Kafkaesque""Abiquiú"

Images (7)


Episode subtitles

"Fly" is the tenth episode of the third season of Breaking Bad and the thirtieth episode altogether.

Teaser

Over disjointed, extreme closeups of a common house fly, we hear Skyler White softly singing a lullaby to baby Holly White ("Phoenix").

Summary

It's two in the morning at Walter White's condo. Walt lies in bed, staring up at his smoke detector's flashing indicator light.

Later, at Gustavo Fring's industrial laundry, workers punch a time clock. "I'm surprised he doesn't make us do that," Jesse Pinkman comments to Walt. Downstairs in the superlab, the partners scrub lab equipment as Jesse describes how hyenas acknowledge the pack leader's superiority by literally licking his "junk."

The maintenance complete, Walt pores over calculations. Their meth yields are consistently short, he concludes. Jesse suggests spillage, evaporation and condensation might account for the discrepancy. Walt rejects these hypotheses, though he admits that "the vestiges" left from their cooking process could possibly account for a portion of the missing meth.

After Jesse leaves for the day, a buzzing fly that's loose in the lab distracts Walt. Walt tries to kill the fly and his efforts become increasingly desperate and dangerous. Balancing on the outer rail of the lab's catwalk, he lunges with a broom and falls to the concrete floor.

Walt's car is still at the industrial laundry when Jesse arrives the next morning. Before exiting his own car, Jesse notices lipstick on an old cigarette butt in the ashtray left by Jane Margolis months ago.

Jesse has to force his way into the lab; Walt has dramatically increased the air pressure to address the perceived threat. "There's been a contamination," Walt tells Jesse as he stalks the bug with a makeshift fly swatter. Jesse says incredulously to Walt, "So you're chasing a fly, and in your world, I'm the idiot." 

"We make poison for people who don't care," argues Jesse, who works furtively to keep their current batch of meth that is halfway through the cook process on track. Walt orders Jesse to cease all cooking activities until the fly is caught, and smacks him with the swatter when Jesse continues anyway.

After a scuffle, the fly lands on Walt's head. "Jesse, get it," Walt whispers. Jesse swats hard. Reeling, Walt crawls on the floor looking for the fly's corpse, but finds only a stray raisin. The fly contamination must be eradicated, an exasperated Walt claims. "There is no more room for error. Not with these people."

Jesse convinces Walt that they should step outside and get some air. After Jesse passes through the doorway, Walt snatches Jesse's keys and locks himself in the lab. "If you're not gonna help me, stay out of my way!" Walt snarls. Jesse counters by shutting off the main circuit breaker to the lab.

Later on, the power restored, Jesse shows Walt the assortment of pest control supplies he has purchased. Walt deems the nontoxic glue strips acceptable. The partners hang them throughout the lab.

Jesse prepares coffee and slips some sleeping pills into Walt's cup in an effort to force him to get some much-needed sleep. "Let the traps do the work," he says.

"Have you ever had like a wild animal trapped in your house?" Jesse asks while they sip. An opossum took up residence beneath his aunt's house, he continues, but even after it had been removed she insisted it was still there. Her obsession over it, Jesse explains, was a sign the cancer had spread to her brain.

"I'm still in remission," Walt replies. "I missed it," he adds. "There was some perfect moment that passed me right by."

"Perfect moment for what?" asks Jesse. "Are you saying you want to die?"

"I'm saying I've lived too long," Walt responds, struggling through his own guilt and anger, expressing frustration that he cannot make Skyler comprehend his motivation for cooking. "There must exist certain words in a certain specific order that would explain all of this," he says. "But with her I just... I just can't ever seem to find them."

Walt ruminates further on when the perfect moment occurred. "It was the night Jane died," Walt concludes. After delivering Jesse's money, Walt reveals, he stopped at a bar, where he met Jane's father, Donald Margolis. "What did you talk about?" asks a floored Jesse. "Family," says Walt.

"The universe is random," Walt continues. But how can it be random that on the night Jane died he was having a drink with her father?

Walt, becoming groggy, says that earlier the same evening he had been watching TV. On the baby monitor he could hear Skyler singing Holly a lullaby. "If I had just lived right up to that moment, and not one second more," he says, "that would have been perfect."

The fly begins buzzing again. "I'm gonna get that bitch," says Jesse. He wheels over two steel carts, precariously stacks a ladder atop them and starts climbing.

"You're gonna break your neck," Walt warns wearily. Half-asleep, Walt clutches the ladder while Jesse swats. "I'm sorry about Jane," he says. "It's not your fault," Jesse replies.

"Jesse, come down," Walt says. "We need to cook." "What about the contamination?" asks Jesse. "It's all contaminated," Walt mumbles.

Descending the ladder, Jesse spots the fly and swats. The fly falls to the floor dead. Walt, asleep, misses Jesse's victory.

Later, outside the industrial laundry, Walt warns Jesse that if he's skimming meth and Gus finds out, "I won't be able to protect you."

"Who's asking you to?" responds Jesse.

Back at his condo, Walt wakes to the sound of buzzing. Staring up at the smoke detector, he watches a fly land on the blinking light.

Credits

​Main Cast

Trivia

  • According to creator Vince Gilligan, this was a "bottle episode." Because the season was already "hopelessly over budget," it became necessary to create an episode with minimal production costs. By filming in one location and using the fewest number of actors in the series to date, "Fly" cost substantially less than the average episode. 
  • The filming of the scene where Walt falls from the railing utilized a unique process. A stunt double initally fell and members of the crew took pictures of his landing. Cranston then assumed the same exact position and close-ups were taken of his face.
  • This is the only episode in the entire series not to feature Anna Gunn as Skyler White (though stock footage of her voice can be heard during the teaser). 
  • Much of the fly hunting scenes with Jesse and Walt mirror Moby Dick.  With Walter playing the role of Captain Ahab and Jesse playing the role of Starbuck.

Featured Music

  • "Hush, Little Baby" Traditional, performed by Anna Gunn as Skyler (during the teaser)
  • "Simplemente Amame" by Cumbre Norteña (in the laundry when Walt has locked Jesse out of the lab)
Breaking Bad -- Season 3
#01 "No Más"#06 "Sunset"#11 "Abiquiú"
#02 "Caballo Sin Nombre"#07 "One Minute"#12 "Half Measures"
#03 "I.F.T."#08 "I See You"#13 "Full Measure"
#04 "Green Light"#09 "Kafkaesque"
#05 "Más"#10 "Fly"<< Season 2 | Season 4 >>

Start a Discussion Discussions about Fly

  • "Fly" ending.

    4 messages
    • I think what you do. This is interesting because he also examines a fly in Gliding Over All. I was wondering that... I didn't know if it ...
    • I just love how Captain Ahab-like Walt was in the episode.  His spear being a makeshift fly swatter and Jesse playing Starbuck.
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