Walt spends the majority of “ABQ” in limbo before the final curtain falls in ironic tragedy and a great sign appears in the skies. The sealed pair of glasses (see 2.04), two dead bodies by the Aztec (see 2.10) and clues as such seemed to be suggesting all along that something nasty were to happen to the Whites, or to Walt and Jesse at least, and while that turns out to be not the case exactly, in the end we’re left with our chemical duo far from alive and well, in figurative terms, having both lost great things: Jesse has lost the love of his life and Walt can no longer fool his wife.
The Mandala theme explored in the past couple of episodes comes to a bitter end when Walt’s revival through surgery is paired with the death of many in the Wayfarer incident. Meanwhile, one man’s blessed with a newborn daughter, another man’s daughter is taken away from him. It is ironically in Jane’s death that Jesse is given a second chance to turn his life around (thanks to Walt!), the stepping stone that leads to his spiritual growth in season 4. On the other hand, Walt’s physical recovery culminates in the loss of a great portion of his dignity in the eyes of himself as well as Skyler. This theme is yet again perhaps subliminally highlighted in Jane’s evocative sketches. The Ouroboros one best sums it all up: the snake eating its own tail, symbolizing (chemical/spiritual) eternity, the cyclical nature of destiny, balance, no beginning no end, etc. The cyclicity of Walt’s fate comes to his attention first time for real in the episode “Fly”, as he traces back his steps in complete awe of the curious little coincidences that marked turning points in his journey.
Jane and Jesse’s tragic bond comes full circle in full mandala mode, as the 18-month sober Jane relapses into addiction in emphasizing with Jesse, and the drifting-in-and-out-of-addiction Jesse is put into rehab. The coin is flipped, as life stages keep coming back in entangled destinies. Kind of like the countless artistic incarnations of doors opening to limitless experiences.