Oh shit. One of my all-time favorite episodes of this show EVER. I noticed that, last season, I was just saying that about too many episodes, which is natural when a show is this good, so I purposely held off this season and plan to only say it about two Season Three episodes (possibly three, the last half of Season Three may be my favorite part of the entire series). And “Fly” is one of them.
I know it’s a real fan divider. People love it or hate it. And I LOVE it. You know why? Because this is the only episode, ever, in the whole show that I almost turned off because I just couldn’t keep watching. So many episodes have been so intense that I would have to soothe myself by naming the elements during the credits or something–a sign of a really great series, no doubt. But this is the only episode that I thought I couldn’t watch. It was that good.
I still remember the first time I saw this one. It was late at night, I was binging on this amazing new show, watching it on Netflix, laying in bed with my iPad and Walt and Jesse and the fly in the superlab. And I was thinking this is the dumbest episode ever, did the writers accidentally start using Walt’s product or what? A fly, seriously? This is totally on crack. And then it turned.
Finally our captain set his sights on somewhere we might land. We had been cruising the universe for over a year now and were running out of fuel and supplies quickly.
“I don’t want anyone to get their hopes up yet,” Captain Delar announced to the ship. “The planet we are coming across is surrounded by a strong forcefield of gasses that we cannot yet identify at this altitude. We also cannot yet determine the resources of this world. There seems to be water and plant-life, but something appears to be smothering it. We have located one clear, warm spot to land our small ship. Descent will begin in five minutes and will take almost an hour. We are proceeding slowly due to the fact that we are not familiar with this new territory.”
An hour! To think of it, after endlessly speeding through space for 15 months, just blew my mind! It was almost too good to believe. My hopes were soaring despite my captain’s words.
Or, why I haven’t been writing like a motherfucker. This will make sense later on in this post, I promise.
I don’t know who originally said the perfect is the enemy of the good, but you know who quotes and paraphrases this all the time? Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, a show that I think is virtually perfect. There’s a lesson in that.
I never meant to abandon my blog for so long. Life just gets in the way sometimes. I had a pretty heavy courseload last term–advanced organic chemistry, behavioral endocrinology, evolution, two labs–as well as my job (in which I got a promotion of sorts) and then there is this little tiny test called the MCAT which has been sucking away all the leftover time.I always think I’m going to be better at time management than I actually am. Balancing my passions for science and writing is something that will probably battle on inside me for a long, long time.
But I haven’t forgotten about this blog at all. Sometimes, in fact, I get overwhelmed by all the things I want to post about. I have so many in mind–book reviews, discussions on writing-related topics, posts about all the Breaking Bad episodes I haven’t posted about yet, discussions on topics related to other TV shows, blindness and albinism-related posts, and the list goes on–but today I want to talk about writing. Or, more accurately, not writing.
Walter and Jesse may be working together again, but they’re still at odds with each other. They’ve been on separate trajectories this season, and at this point, I think they still are, at least on the surface. They’re having such different reactions to the job in the superlab. It’s like a regular job, with regular hours and a quota and you can even pack a brown bag lunch if you want. From the teaser, you get a sense of the superlab as part of one big assembly line. You also get a global sense of how Gus’s operation works, how organized and orchestrated it is, in just a few minutes.
Jesse misses being a criminal, feeling like a criminal. He’s also figured out–and it’s pretty funny when he says how he calculated it so many times–that though they’re getting paid extremely well for what they do, in Walt’s words, percentage-wise, not so much. They’re getting a lot of money but not a big piece of the pie. Oh I am dying to connect this to Season Five, but out of not wanting to spoil anything for those who may not have seen it yet, I won’t. Just, how funny is it to see this scene, after watching 506? Everything on this show comes back in different ways.
To start this book from the beginning, click here.
The day to leave Earth had finally arrived! I awoke earlier than I had set the alarm for. I was bursting with excitement and energy. I could barely contain myself, but I knew I had to be quiet so that I didn’t wake my mother or Allan.
I had written them both notes. The one for my mother was short and to the point. I told her where I was going, with whom I was going, and when I thought I’d return. I told her not to worry about me. In Allan’s note I wrote about how I was going to far-off exotic lands on an adventure to meet some aliens. I apologized for not being able to take him along and promised to tell him all about my exciting venture as soon as I returned. His letter was longer.
I tiptoed out of my room and softly made my way to their rooms, leaving the appropriate note at the door to each. I then returned to my room to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. I had packed more clothes than I could possibly need, but never thought to discard anything. I had always overpacked when I’d gone to see my Aunt Hilda or to visit colleges, the only trips I’d ever taken. I threw my journal in the bag too, so I could record my adventures, and keep it from prying eyes at the same time. I had also brought along all the essentials-a hairbrush, deodorant, perfume, toothbrush and toothpaste, soap and a set of towels. I wanted to be able to look nice in case I met any sexy aliens, or if Arden ever changed his mind. The latter was the preferable possibility, but also more unlikely.
This is a quieter episode than last week. It has to be. There’s a natural fallout period after what happened to Hank last week. The characters all have to take the time to react and deal.
But I must say, my favorite ever Jesse “bitch” line is in this episode. Outside the hospital, Jesse is told he can’t smoke this close to the building and he says, “So, roll me further, bitch” in this perfect matter-of-fact tone. He’s not hurling the word as he sometimes does, and I think it’s actually funnier this way. LOVE IT!
Skyler continues her turn back towards Walt that’s been slowly developing all season. She has no patience when he’s all, “Do you know who that was?” re: the phone call–she knows enough to know that whatever he’s about to tell her is bullshit. But when Marie starts to blame Walt, she defends him. And later she’s sleeping on him. Such a nice turn, to see the ice between them start to thaw.
Stephanie Carlson loved to read. She read whenever she got a chance to. She thought she never had enough time to, though. She thought she never had enough time to enjoy the lives of the characters, feel the suspense of a mystery or the romance of a love story. The truth was, as she discovered later, that she spent way too much time with her nose in books.
In second grade Stephanie discovered Nancy Drew books. She loved them.
In January Stephanie and her family went to visit their grandmother. Stephanie hoped she wouldn’t have to share a room with either of her sisters. Julie always wanted Stephanie to read to her. Then she would ask a million questions. Her other sister, Melanie, who was a year older than Julie, didn’t like it when Stephanie read.
For once Stephanie got her wish to be alone. Now she could read in peace because there weren’t any little sisters around to disturb her.
Well, this sure is one drama-filled hour of television.
Walter, Jesse and Hank all face some big decisions in this episode. A lot of it is about loyalty, and trying to do the right thing and deciding what they value most.
First of all, though, poor Gale. Gale is just so earnest, so hopeful, so ass-kissy but well-meaning. Gale dressing more like Walt is the perfect detail. It shows so much about his character, and about the power dynamic. Walt is in charge, Gale is the supplicant. But it annoys Walt. And I totally get that. Gale just has to top it off with “This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.” Oh it’s just too much for Walt, who needs to find a way to appease Jesse, as a way to appease Skyler. I don’t think Gale actually messed up the batch. He’s too meticulous, too ready to attune the lab setup, and himself, to Walt’s every whim, that I just don’t believe he screwed up the temperature. Walt just wants to make him feel bad so that he can have an excuse to fire him. I think it’s one step more than that though. I think Gale is a little too smart for Walt. Making Gale feel like crap, like he turned a badge into ruined sludge, makes Walt feel better, the superior alpha chemist.
I am albino, which means my skin and hair are paler than pale, and though I have partial vision, I’m legally blind. I grew up in a town where it seemed everyone worshiped at the same handful of churches and was white and voted Republican and wore the same clothes. I was white, but I was too white. I was an agnostic atheist, a bleeding heart, and I dressed like the grunge-rock musicians I admired. I didn’t even fit in with the delinquent kids, because my parents were too strict and my grades too good. I felt like the town freak.
Nothing emphasized my feelings of alienation like a school dance, where I’d sit at the back of the cafeteria and eat chips to numb myself. One time I tried to mingle, but a girl I’d ridden to the dance with told me to stop following her around like a puppy. I went back to the food table and tried to disappear.
“This is my own private domicile and I will not be harassed…bitch!”
What an episode. Such good, classic, edge-of-your-seat drama. Walt and Jesse are about to be caught. There’s no escape. Crouching around the RV. It’s kind of nice to see Walt and Jesse thrown into a situation where they have to be on the same side. They might not be thrilled with each other but this is a situation where they’re forced to work together. Of course, Walter White comes up with a solution. As Badger would say, it’s kinda dickish of him. He feels bad, but what else can he do? Another little piece of his soul.