- Skinny Pete reassures Combo that the fatman is a replica: “It ain’t real!” – Similarly, the illusion of fear and intimidation is all that matters to Walt (after all, lying is his superpower.), no wonder he exemplifies the blow fish to teach Jesse how he can use a rumor to his own advantage. The Heisenberg alias happens to perfectly fulfill the blowfish strategy, as we see how he puts up a show for Badger and co. at the “International atomic museum”. Heisenberg’s extravagance and deadly ambition are symbolically personified through the presence of warhead replicas and pictures of mushroom clouds; Mike put it perfectly in 5.02: “You are a time bomb…”. Even the name Werner Heisenberg is neatly mentioned through the speakers when Jesse walks into the museum, further hinting at Walt’s duality and the damage he’s capable of inflicting unto others, not so symbolically different from that of an atomic bomb (Watch Infobytes’ great video on the duality of Walt and how it relates to Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle).
- Notice the sirens, and the explosion sound, fitting the subtle mention of Werner Heisenberg, as Walt walks away from the guys with a villain’s grin. We’ve seen this thematic/visual motif recur throughout the series, particularly in 1.04 when he gets back at the annoying Ken-Wins guy, in 4.07 when he sets the brand new car he’d bought for Junior on fire or in 4.13 when along with Jesse he torches Gus’ superlab (The explosion motif later comes to life for Hank in El Paso as we get a hint of what may come to pass in the future – see the following section, “Not a drill”).
- Furthermore there are visual signs hinting at Walt’s growing ambition, such as the rocket replica pointing to the sun and how later Walt’s Aztec lines up with this image in a shot. This brings us to the final scene of “Hazard Pay” when Walt theorized that Victor got his throat cut because he flew ‘too close to the sun’…or you could say similarly, the same fate fell upon No-doze and Mike when their respective bosses, Tuco and Walt, saw their own authority threatened in their presence. The rocket/sun shots also parallel Walt’s earlier comment on his student’s excuses: “ ‘Close’ didn’t put man on the moon!”.
- Tortuga seems to be a perfect example for the ambition theme (The Icarus metaphor) as he’s way too comfortable as a snitch who rats out his business associates. And since nobody can escape the fury of cartel, he gets his head chopped off by the cousins (“I.F.T”). “I take my time, but I always win.” – Walt happens to be this way too, as we see him biding his time and planning carefully throughout Season 4 to kill Gus, and finally winning. Similarly he waits till others are out, then bluffs and wins the premonitory poker game in 1.06.
- “You are a blow fish! Small in stature, not swift, not cunning, easy prey for predators, but, the blowfish has a secret weapon…the blowfish puffs himself up 4-5 times larger than normal…so that it makes him intimidating, so that the other scarier fish are scared off, and that’s you! You see? It’s just all an illusion.” – the metaphor fits Heisenberg perfectly as mentioned earlier, behind his intimidating looks, there’s a truly vulnerable man. Notice how after the conversation, Jesse wears a black/yellow outfit with a crowned skull on his shirt: the blow fish crown comes with a death sentence.
- Jesse, being the student, channels Walt at the museum, : “The game has changed, this is our city, all of it, the whole damn place!” – This conversation resembles the one in 2.05 when Jesse explained the distribution plan to his buddies, except for the color contrast in his outfit:
- With Walt being the true mastermind/theorist, Jesse gets to be the king whom everybody knows and the rest will be knights, dukes and foot soldiers. It goes without saying that foot soldiers and knights like Combo are immediately in the line of danger. “I’m gonna be king, and you guys are gonna be princes and dukes”. Heisenberg’s business ‘manifesto’ is recited by Jesse while his standing by the wall of communism:
- “It’s not our territory man! We go rolling into these neighborhoods other crews ain’t gonna take kindly!” – Jesse ‘s right as we later see that Combo gets killed in 2.11 as a direct result of Walt’s greedy turf expansion plan – “Jesse, the game has changed, the word is out! And you are a killer!” – This notion fits Jesse’s emotional state in early season 3 when he accepts being the “bad guy” while Walt still wants to believe that he “can’t be the bad guy”. In a way, Walt has always been the man behind the curtain, pushing Jesse forward to take the blame, as most of the parties know who Jesse is, but only few people have seen the real Heisenberg… Hank has brought Jesse in and crossed paths with him on a few occasions, Don Eladio’s crew worked with him and even you could say Declan’s got his eyes on him since Walt introduced him as the second cook.
Next: “Not A Drill (False Alarm Pt 2)..”