Much like Jesse’s superheroes it’s Jane herself in all of her sketches: the goth-inspired angelic yet slightly naughty (!) side to her is kept in the artwork she does in 2.07 as well as the famous mural in this episode, which we’ll be discussing in a bit. And then there’s the double-edged apology girl discussed in 2.12, perhaps symbolizing the way she casts her spell over Jesse, nearly taking him away from under Walt’s dark wings. Apology girl comes to Donald’s attention too in this episode, first as a reminder of its introduction and also perhaps symbolically representing her regret in letting down her father more than once, as well as Donald’s in not truly getting to appreciate Jane for her art, and just what she meant to him.
Back to the wall painting: it’s angelic Jane, in bliss it seems, covered in rainbow colors alongside the moon, the planet, an alarm clock and the innocent pink bear…hmm, interesting. Does it indicate that Jane’s fate, or her existence is tangled with heavenly signs? Okay, we’re stepping into the domain of the far-fetched, but bear with us: when put alongside the Ouroboros, does it mean that she will never truly have died in vain? That in her unjust death, the hands of fate (the alarm clock?) caused the stars and planets to align, giving birth and death to the innocently resurrected teddy bear which would land in Walt’s pool , of all places, through a tragic incident in the skies, so that his crime that he seems to shrug off as mere inaction rather than murder, doesn’t go unpunished? Maybe so, but maybe it’s just a sad little teddy bear. This is pretty much left open to interpretation. But then the bear kind of unrealistically keeps popping up in other places too, breaking immersion (for good, nugget-worthy reasons) and constantly reminding us of its symbolic weight…so it’s safe to hold on to more than one theory for now.
From another point of view, the clock might stand for reality-check: that even in your most vivid daydreams of heavens above, something has to kicks you right back into reality, work, attachments, or perhaps in Jane’s case, the darkly inevitable addiction. Also, the clocks seems to read 3:00, mirroring 9:00…wonder if that’s around the same time or coordinates in which the planes collide…oh wait…what’s that? “Wayfarer 515. Traffic 3 o’clock, King air, turn left… / Juliet-Mike-21, do you have that traffic at your 9 o’clock?”
Anyhow, we’ve previously discussed certain bits of dialogue and imagery possibly foreshadowing Jane’s death (see 2.10). One of the most visually prominent of which would have to be the yellow deathbed which perfectly chronicles the course of Jane and Jesse’s relationship: from the innocent, sober times to the guilt-ridden using phase and that final tragic night, sealing off dreams of starting a new life in New Zealand… truly a bed to die in and not ever get out of…
On the thematic side, we’ve got the mandal-esque parallels between Jane and Holly, as one’s birth coincides with the death of the other (see 2.12). And of course the possibility – and reality – of them throwing up while asleep is reinforced in both cases. To top it off there’s a cool transition in this episode which shows Holly in long-sleeve baby-dress (or whatever it’s called) right after Donald picks a proper dress for Jane’s funeral.
Aside from the associations that may come or not with the teddy bear, the deathbed and the Holly parallels, one thing more or less holds true throughout the episode: the gloomy atmosphere of Jane’s death nearly overshadows all storylines…much like Gale’s book which haunted Heisenberg from beyond the grave (see 5.08). Seems Walt’s bit by a dead bee once more.
Breaking Bad 2.13 “ABQ” Observations To Be Continued in Part 2…