close reads

Let’s Dissect the First New Breaking Bad Photo

Photo: AMC

This appears to be the first image from the new episode of Breaking Bad, and like all things BB, it’s not particularly revealing.

Unless you know how to examine things! Indeed, all of Breaking Bad is pretty much contained in this image.

  • Jesse has not suddenly become tidier or more fashionable. This represents the concept of an enduring self: We see Walter White change so much over the course of the show — but it raises the question, was this darkness always part of him? Had he not gotten cancer, say, would he still have this capacity for evil? If he can change, can anyone?
  • There are three vessels for liquid: two beer bottles and a fast-food cup with no straw. Aren’t we all just vessels in a way? Breaking Bad’s characters often find themselves empty — empty of compassion, empty of love, empty of hope. Jesse and Walt both need to be refilled! Or recycled. Or just … thrown away.
  • That black duffel bag looks like the black bag we saw Walt with in the opening moments of “Live Free or Die,” the season-five premiere. We all have baggage. And some of us have filled our baggage with guns and cash!

Only 115 days to go.

Let’s Dissect the First New Breaking Bad Photo