"The thing is, if you just do stuff, and nothing happens, what's it all mean?"

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Unraveling 5x11 "Confessions" (i.e. "...It got a little Messy"

Yes, Johnny-Cum-Lately again for this episode, but I have realized that in order to have full immersal in my Breaking Bad experience, I must only watch when the time is right, and when my karmic check book is properly balanced; so yeah...ZEN

Initial Splatter...more to come

Primary Tao (i.e. Improved Operation Cold-Open Deconstruction [i.e. "A Million Shades of Tarantino"):

  • So yeah, even the "previous on Breaking Bad" clips are artfully juxtaposed. At the end of it, the name "Jesse Pinkman" is said (by Gomie in episode 5x10). The Cold Open begins with a cigarrette being lit, I immediately thought of the Ricin cigarrette, and of Jesse (the show had previously used a close-up shot of him lighting up in 4x10 "Fly," and I think it is actually a recurring visual motif [denoting desperation and avoidance].
    • But it's Todd instead, Jesse's doppleganger (though, that probably isn't the appropriate term, since Walt Jr. is in the mix, as well; but something like metaphoric-triplet seems pretentious). Further solidi-factions of the bizarro form: 
      • He calls Walter, referring to him as "Mr. White" (like Jesse). 
      • He's standing in front of a bizarro version of the "Dog House" cafe that Jesse used to frequent. There's a conveniently demarcated sign that says "ROUTE 66," to really see the whole satanic undertones of the Neo-Nazi versions of the "Will to Walter White Power." 
      • The scene cuts inside of the cafe, where Todd is regaling his uncle about that lovely yarn in which Todd gained one jarred tarantula and the world lost one precociously innocent child. Jesse used to have brazen and bravado-infused profusions of his daring-doings in a cafe (that "Darth Vader" scene he shares with Skinny Pete and Badger in the third season)
      • However, the Cafe-composition and mise-en-scene parallels the Denny's diner scene with Walt and Jesse at the end of 4x01 "Box-Cutter."
      • Todd's Uncle (Michael Bowen) has already been codified as one of Walt's many alter-egos, probably the most heinous actualization of Walter White's propensity for evil, and its made even more clear with this sequence.
Still really don't think that every artistic choice on the show is, at this point in the series, there for a specific and meticulously magical reason? The song that plays (presumably from the truck of the Neo-Nazi dukes-of-Hazardous-material brigade) says "Romp, stomp, romp and stomp tonight." Guess what I think of, a "Romper Stomper." 

...and they're entering New Mexico... 

Fiery Finale (so real this time...)

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. 
-Robert Frost, "Fire and Ice"

So yeah, Walt predictably gets the frozen thirty eight snub from the Coca-Cola machine ("Do you really want to live in a world without Coca-Cola"), hereby further connecting the thematic ties between corporate capitalism, drug manufacturing, satanic impulses, bad faith, and violence.

The Wild West showdown continue to commenceth, with Pinkman barnstorming the shit out of Casa de Blanco. The camera work echoes the end of 4x13, when Jesse and Walt burnt down the superlab. Uh-oh, echoes-ios-ios!

Surely Pinkman wouldn't actually burn down Mr. Chip's...I mean Mr. Scar...I mean Mr. White's house? They're buddies...right?...

Hey, about that flash-forward....

So yeah, the main reason this episode is so textually and intertextually rich is being the show's god-father, THE GRAND KING OF CINEMATOGRAPHY: MICHAEL SLOVIS (i.e. Stanley Kubrick Reincarnate), directed it. 

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