Breaking Bad & Marty Robbins (Hear Me Out)

Last weekend, two days before he left to live in Hong Kong for an undetermined amount of time, my brother and I sat in his apartment and listened to the song El Paso by Marty Robbins. My brother talked about how the song plays in the last episode of Breaking Bad, when Walt finds it in the tape deck of a car he steals. Upon hearing the song he laughs, and soon afterwards decides to go back to New Mexico for what he knows will be his inevitable death. My brother made a remake about how Walt laughs because the songs’ cartoonish portrayal of a man on the run is such a contrast to the very real version of that situation which he is living. Well, I went home, and I downloaded the song, and I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. Coincidentally, I’ve also been re-watching Breaking Bad  recently, and today it occurred to me that that song might have a little more to do with the show than my brother thought. See, after listening closely to the lyrics, I think the song actually explains Walt’s reason for going back to New Mexico, summarizes his character’s arc completely, and gives away the ending of the show. (Which I’m about to do in a much more literal way, so, spoilers). You see, the song’s about a man who falls in love with a Mexican girl in a bar in El Paso. When he sees another man flirting with her, he shoots him dead, and then flees Texas as a fugitive. He then realizes he cannot live without the woman he loves, and goes back to see her despite knowing he’ll be killed. The song ends with him slowly dying in the girl’s arms, from a gunshot wound. Now compare that to Breaking Bad. In the last episode Walt admits to Skyler (and probably himself) that he didn’t do it all for his family, but because he genuinely enjoyed doing it. This of course changes the shows’ arc from the story of what a man is willing to do for his family when left without options, to the story of a pathetic man finding meaning and power in his life. You see, his blue meth is the only the only thing in his entire life that he’s truly proud of. It’s his baby. It’s his true love. At the end of season 5, he’s out, he’s clean, he’s safe, but he can’t live without his true love, and he goes back for it, knowing he’ll die but not caring. Just like the main character in El Paso. And just like the end of the song, the show ends with Walt slowly dying of a gunshot wound, surrounded by his true love, or chemistry equipment being used as a visual representation of his true love, because it would have been straight up weird to watch him spoon a bag of meth. And if you really still think I’m crazy? The title of the last episode of Breaking Bad is Felina. Which is the name of the girl in the song. BOOM! Eat it, internet.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s