Review of tonight's 'Breaking Bad': I know it's 'Lost' Night, but watch or record this episode, please

I’m breaking (as it were) with precedent and offering a preview-review of tonight’s Breaking Bad, because it’s so good, I’d be shocked if both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul don’t use the episode for Emmy consideration. There’s more on TV tonight than Lost, folks.

The pre-credits begin with a super-close-up of a fly. The episode’s title? “Fly.” The hour is basically a three-character piece: Walt, Jesse, and a fly buzzing around the humans’ new meth lab. Walt, exhausted and nearing a breakdown in juggling his work-load and family problems, becomes obsessed with a stray fly as a “contaminant” — a literal fly in the ointment of their meth product.

The first 20 minutes or so play out like a live-action Roadrunner-Coyote cartoon, with Walt chasing the fly all over the lab. He swats it, he throws his shoe at it, he gets himself in precarious positions trying to reach it, he falls.

Jesse arrives on the scene, groks what’s taking place, and offers one of those infrequent moments of Jesse Clarity. Trying to dissuade Walt from chasing the fly further, he says, “We make poison for people who don’t care. We probably have the most un-picky customers in the world.” Yo.

As the hour progresses, however, Jesse joins in the hunt for the fly. The results are both extremely funny and extremely poignant, since they’re not merely chasing a fly — they’re chasing everything that’s eluding them in life: order, justice, and ultimately, happiness. Walt accidentally reveals one thing in the back of his mind as he keeps one eye on the fly when he says, “It will ruin our batch… There’s no room for error, not with these people” — and we’re immediately made aware of the drug world outside this hermetic lab that is exerting deadly pressure on these men.

While remaining almost entirely in one setting, this Breaking Bad opens up to become an opportunity for Walt and Jesse to explain more fully the sadnesses and regrets they have over everything from the lies Walt felt he had to tell to “leave enough [money] behind” should he die of cancer, while Jesse mourns the death of his girlfriend Jane in a newly raw, unguarded manner.

And behind it all, we know from last week’s episode that there’s yet another layer to this week’s hour: That Jesse is ripping off Walter, skimming a little bit of meth for his own purposes with each new batch. How that plays into the final scenes in “Fly” is something I’ll leave to you to discover.

As I said at the top: This is must-viewing. I’ll understand if you want to see Lost in real-time, but you’ve got to watch Breaking Bad this week, either in AMC’s replays, or by recording and watching later. You’ll be glad you did.

You’ll learn how heartbreaking it can be when someone says, “I’ve lived too long.”

Follow: @kentucker

Comments (84 total) Add your comment
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  • DW

    I’ll add that this episode is directed by Rian Johnson, the awesome man behind ‘Brick’ and ‘The Brothers Bloom.’ Could be one reason for its greatness.

    • Moe

      Not watching Breaking Bad is the only downside of spending ALL DAY on Lost!
      But it looks to be promising.

      But Lost is WHAT I’LL BE WATCHING YEAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

      • jab

        I’m wathching “Breaking Bad” tonight: After Season 1 of “Lost” I got confused. After the repeat episodes with the crib notes of the bottom would stop airing I got “lost” again. So why watch an ending I won’t like/understand? And they’re showing alt endings on JKL to boot! I’ll just watch that instead.

      • Joshua

        Watch ‘Legend of the Seeker’ finale this weekend, it is truly a unique show on tv right now. Creativity should be supported

      • Ben42

        @ Jab : only one real ending was shot by the cast & crew. Kimmel’s alternate endings are parodies. Joke endings, so to speak.

      • nicetaolddds

        The greatest, most criminally underwatched program, on TV today. Bar none.just want to find my true i uploaded my hot photos on Meetmillionaire `.` c om under the name of sammy561.It’s the best club for seeking young millionaires and their admirers .if you girls see this comment,i hope you will check my photos out there.maybe you are the one who i’m looking for!!!.

    • MCS

      Love Rian Johnson, but this episode sucked. Had some good emotional revelations, but it could have been done in half the time. No qualms with Johnson’s direction though. He did an excellent job, with an empty script.

  • Lee

    Sorry, Buck. It’s all Lost, all night long.

    • Ben42

      Agreed, though I will keep this episode for later viewing.

  • Chase

    I’m greatly disturbed by the fact that three times as many people will tune in for the Celebrity Apprentice than will watch this gem of a show. Breaking Bad just keeps raising the bar.

  • Will

    As apparently the third person to click on this post, allow me to be the first to say… what?

    I’ll be down, though, if Jesse yells “Waaaaaaalt!!!” for a while.

  • Craig

    The greatest, most criminally underwatched program, on TV today. Bar none.

  • rock golf

    I love love love loveLOVElove LOST. But after watching this season of Breaking Bad, if BB won the Emmy for Best Drama, I’d have to think, yeah it went to the right show.

  • bruce

    will dvr this and watch immmediatly after lost. This show is hands down the most intense, best written show on tv right now and all of the actors are excellent!

  • Snsetblaze

    I already tivo it so I’ll be watching it after Lost.

  • Luis

    Thanks for adding “Yo” to the Jesse quote…

  • Robb

    You know how when you read a post by someone saying: “You have to watch this show”, and then you watch it and are kind of disappointed? I’m just an invisible person that no out there knows, but I must say: I do not think for an instant that it can happen with Breaking Bad. Please world, watch this show. It’s a very accessible WORK OF ART. If you want to be entranced, highly engaged, and sometimes scared #$$@less, this show is THE ONE.

    • Caryn

      All right!! I’m convinced – just set my DVR :)

    • Caryn

      Oh! Do I need to read or know something before watching so I understand what’s going on?

      • Robb

        Well, it’s always helpful to start at the beginning! If I were you, I’d buy the seasons and then start watching. It’s much better to be familiar with the characters. That’s how I got into it, buying season 1 on ITUNES!

    • Pat

      I cannnot possibly agree with you anymore than I do. BB has only gotten better from the first season, which says a lot for tv these days. The great thing about breaking bad is, at the end of every episode you think you have figured out what is going to happen next. But the next episode just blows your theory to shit. just because this episode wasn’t as actiony or intense as the previous episodes, it’s still amazing bacause it slows down the show and lets us understand how the drug trade has ultimately changed walt and jesse. The past 5 or so episodes, or the whole season, have had me saying “holy shit” after every episode. Again, which is saying a lot for tv these days.

  • Satanixx

    Breaking Bad is 10000000x better than Lost ever was. Anyone with half a brain will watch BB tonight.

    • Skinny Pete

      I agree that Breaking Bad is the best show on TV. However, last night’s episode was horrible, absolutely horrible. It was so bad that I doubt many fans would disagree. After last night’s episode we have 3 left, and they waste the entire 4th episode on trying to catch a fly? WTF!?!?! I was shocked when it was half way over and they covered nothing, then with ten minutes left I started yelling and throwing empty beer cans at the TV. Because of the lackluster episode I was in a horrible mood and woke up this morning thinking of the poor performance and immediately became irate. I also blame my horrific commute into work and bad attitude on last night’s show.

      • Sasha Grey

        @ Skinny Pete – What is wrong with you? You can’t be serious that watching a show ruined your evening and morning. I bet your an alcoholic and live in Texas or California (bad traffic). I thought the show was okay, but not “horrific.”

        @ Moe – your a dork and loser… screw your “Lost”, I wish you got lost in the woods!

      • Larry L

        I agree. This was a terrible show in a great series. The whole idea of a whole show about catching a fly was so boring. This show did not provide any depth to the story line. It was like they wanted tom save money by not paying any ofnthe other actors. What happened?

      • jane’s addicted

        I saw Ken’s preview column on Sunday, and as a loyal BB fan, opted not to read it fully because I didn’t want to be spoiled, but I was really excited to watch this “emmy reel-worthy” epi. Couldn’t have disagreed more. I like to think that I’m sharp enough to “get” all the character insight and symbolism, but COME ON!!! Zzzzzzzzz…no, that wasn’t the fly, but me snoring during one of my favorite shows! What a waste. I’ve been pretty crabby this morning, too — now I know why!

  • Karen

    As today is all Lost all the time….currently watching season season one. Tomorrow will be Breaking Bad. As for emmmy consideration…every last episode could be for an emmy consideration. One of the greatest shows ever created.


    The Good Wife and Breaking Bad are the two best dramas on tv. But Lost it #3, and I will watch Breaking Bad after the Lost finale tonight.

    • almost

      Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights are the two best dramas on TV. And both horribly overlooked by many folks. The Good Wife is good, but doesn’t have the emotional heft of FNL. If you haven’t seen it, get season 1 and watch from the beginning. It’s excellent.

  • ccaton

    I’ll be watching Breaking Bad. This season has been amazing!

  • Joshua Spencer

    I would never forget about Breaking Bad. Will watch right after Lost tonight.

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