Walter White Had Flies; John Murphy Has Crickets: How a Character’s Guilt Manifests Itself Onscreen

“The Murphy household’s cricket is John Murphy’s version of Walter White’s fly. Aside from his deep sleeping habit (which he likely developed in prison given the noisy living quarters) as well as his character-informing choices in literature (Mandela, Lenin, The Road to Terror), John Murphy’s first introduction to us is at the breakfast table where he interrupts the family’s bacon talk to obsess over finding said noisy cricket. You can tell John has been aggravated by this for quite a while.

“Like Walter, this irrational obsession is how John’s guilt manifests itself since we later learned of the atrocious acts he commits in order to ‘protect’ Miracle from ‘frauds and charlatans.’ Like Jesse Pinkman, the rest of the Murphy family wasn’t phased by the cricket as much as John; they were even annoyed by his obsession. Again, when you’re leading a double life like John or Walt, you’re going to get hung up on anything that keeps you from thinking about your own guilt, whether it’s cooking meth or forcing people from their homes only to burn them down.” Brian Davids on The Living Reminders Blog

5x15: Granite State

Observations: “Jesse reaching for the grate (symbolically, reaching for the starlit sky) resembles the scene where he climbs the ladder to kill the mighty fly once and for all in 3x10, both visually and even to an extent thematically if you consider the notion of choices and their consequences which was heavily present in the aforementioned episode and subliminally implied in this one.”
Aria Mohtadi’s Breaking Bad Observations

3x10: Fly

Observations: “'A fly in the ointment’ is a saying which captures a running motif in Walt’s life. When he is overwhelmed by his situation he focuses on a small imperfection that he can obsess on instead. When he received his cancer diagnosis (1x01) he responded to the doctor’s dire warning by pointing out a mustard stain on his shirt. Recently we have seen him spend time cutting sandwiches (3x06), skimming pools (3x02) or fixing tables (3x07). Now apparently he wishes he was dead and not having to fret over being under threat from Gus so he fixates on the fly.
Robin Pierson’s review of 3x10