Not Perfect. Home. (Breaking Bad)

Published on 05/15/13 at 10:54:53 am using 619 words.

At one point during episode 3.10 (Fly) there is this shot.

Jesse (Aaron Paul) is smoking in his car, finishes his cigarette, puts it out and his eyes rest on that unexpected reminder of Jane (Krysten Ritter). It’s a clear-cut “Jesse misses Jane” moment. We did, after all, get enough of a sense why she’d be missed while she was around. I guess. Certainly nothing to warrant tears on our part. So we, quite comfortably, leave those to him. While, of course, feeling for his loss.

The following episode opens with the moment that led to that lipstick-marked cigarette butt. In a very Memento-like way, making us privy to what came before.

And I will now digress for a few lines.

A while back I wrote a few loving words about the opening scene in Twin Falls Idaho (1999), the impressive and haunting first feature by Mark and Michael Polish.

Two women sit in the back of a taxi cab, one reading out loud from a magazine questionnaire, the other looking out the window with faraway eyes. And the exchange goes, “You come upon a bed of white and red roses, and you pick twenty. How many white and how many red?” The reply, without a beat, “All red.”

My loving words in regard to that moment have to do with the fact that we are given that piece of information long before any significance is disclosed. It’s a seed planted unbeknownst to us so that whatever comes of it is sure to take us completely by surprise.

The same with the cigarette butt. On episode 3.10, just another cigarette butt, albeit a reminder of a dearly departed. And suddenly on episode 3.11 (Abiquiu), the knowledge of just how much of Jane there actually was to be missed. Her intelligence. Her insights. Her keenness. That moment.

Jesse: I don’t get it. Why would anyone paint a picture of a door over and over again like, dozens of times?

Jane: But it wasn’t the same.

Jesse: Yeah. It was.

Jane: It was the same subject but it was different every time, the light was different, her mood was different, she saw something new every time she painted it.

Jesse: And that’s not psycho to you?

Jane: Well, then why should we do anything more than once? Should I just smoke this one cigarette? Maybe we should only have sex once if it’s the same thing.

Jesse: Whoa. No.

Jane: Should we just watch one sunset? Or live just one day? Because it’s new every time. Each time is a different experience.

Jesse: Ok. Fine. I guess the uh, cow skull pictures were cool but a door? I’ll say it again… A door. (Feigns falling asleep)

Jane: Why not a door? Sometimes you get fixated on something and you might not even get why. You open yourself up and go with the flow, wherever the universe takes you.

Jesse: So, the universe took her to a door, and she got all obsessed with it and just had to paint it twenty times until it was perfect.

Jane: No, I wouldn’t say that. Nothing is perfect.

Jesse: Yeah? Well… I mean, some things… (Leans in and kisses her)

Jane: That was so sweet I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Jesse: (laughs) You can’t admit, just for once, that I’m right! Come on! That O’Keefe lady kept trying over and over until that stupid door was perfect.

Jane: That door was her home and she loved it. To me, that’s about making that feeling last.

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