OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER
“I knew this day was coming… my birthday. -Your re-birthday?”
We see Jane casually flipping her fateful recovery chip, gambling on her life, if you will, like Jesse did in 2.08. Ironically, fitting the cyclical mandala theme she “comes back” to her addiction and it ultimately (with the involvement of Walt of course) kills her, while her “18 months” of sobriety and her final promise to Donald, are symbolically transferred to Jesse after her death as Walt takes him to a rehab center. Jane no longer needs to worry over her houseplants as Jesse will water their otherworldly equivalents after she’s gone. “The last time I went my houseplants died because you didn’t water them.”
- Jane’s untimely death is hinted at throughout the latter half of the 2nd season. This time we see two occasions in particular foreshadowing her death, one when Walt and Marie put Holly on her side and another when Jane does the same with Jesse: “Put her on her side […] just in case she decides to do a little spit-up” / “Not on your back, in case you throw up” – – Jane relapses into addiction to empathize with Jesse (see 2.11) perhaps. Interestingly enough, the reason he doesn’t throw up the same way in the final scene could be that Jane was cuddling him on her side, until she herself rolled over upon Walt’s interference. Moreover to name a few subtle allusions: 2.08 focuses on the new mattress delivered to Jesse’s place which ultimately becomes Jane’s deathbed. Also in the same episode we open to find Jane’s chair knocked over. In 2.10 Jane reacts to Jesse’s “You weren’t supposed to wake up.” with “Ever…?”. The show also backtracks with the foreshadowing in the opening flashback of 3.11 where Jane playfully says: “That was so sweet, I think I threw up in my mouth a bit.”
- It seems Jane uses her Apology girl skills once again to keep Jesse on her side: “I don’t understand why you need him anyway. […] I’m your partner.” Keep in mind that she’s the same person who coldly replied to him in 2.10: “Who’s you and me?” (More on the subject in ‘Chirality-meter’) Perhaps a part of her was awakened when she saw potential for a ‘clean slate’ in Jesse’s half-a-million-dollar share. This brings us to the angelic imagery associated with her. Is she Jesse’s guardian angel who upon her death leaves him in utter desolation or is she planning to use Jesse for her own advantage as others (namely, Walt, Gus and later Hank in 5.12) have done throughout the course of the show in the name of 50/50 partnerships?
- On a far-fetched note, the death/rebirth theme also slightly comes to shine as Jane describes the complex tattoo she’s working on: “Him on his chopper with like, flames all around.” This (aside from Judas Priest‘s “Hell bent for leather“!!) brings her elaborate mural in 2.13 to mind in which she seems to be wrapped in soothing rainbow colors, plus phoenix as the mythological creature who rises from the ashes of its predecessor. Symbolically, it would make sense if the flames of the Wayfarer collision were consequently set ablaze in Jane’s death.
“You don’t want your half a million dollars? You wanna renounce your earthly possessions and become a monk?”
- Speaking of Jane’s angelic implications, let us take a detour off to the valley of implausibility and consider the subliminal religious imagery associated with Jesse throughout the show with the various symbols, the rehabilitation, his spiritual rebirth(s) following the deaths of Jane and Gale, his gradual moral fortification, the act of getting the blood money off his hands in early season 5B, and on top of it all, his perfect divine carpentry memory from “Felina”. Was Jesse, morality-wise, always destined to rise as the honorable knight of the story through hardships and the Devil’s (ie. Mr. White’s) well-intended cultivation/temptation schemes? Apart from his hopeful salvation at the end of 5.16, thanks to Walt, in 2.13 we see him reborn as a remorseful individual while his master turns into a more efficient criminal throughout the course of Season 3.
- Further touching on Walt and Jesse’s transformation following Jane’s death, perhaps these two shots best sum up all there is to say:
- By the end of the episode both Jane and Walt will have abandoned their loved ones; Jane physically, and Walt spiritually with leaving a large portion of his soul there in the death room.
Next: Observation Leftovers…