Communicator (communicator) wrote,

Breaking Bad: Gus and Jesse

Giancarlo Esposito is originally from Denmark; his father was Italian and his mother was African-American. He's an urbane and fastidious actor, whom I have liked for a long time. He played the lead in a short-lived comedy series called Bakersfield PD, which I loved, and he's been in several Spike Lee films etc.

In Breaking Bad he plays Gus Fring, the drug boss of Albuquerque. In the last couple of seasons he has been implicitly dangerous, but buttoned up, like this. But in Sunday's episode - Box Cutter - he was Like This.

It was a fantastic episode, which he completely dominated. Here is his script:
Gus: Well, get back to work.

That's all he said in forty five minutes.

And the killing - see the link above - was so enigmatic and extreme. It took ages. And all the time Gus was staring at Walt, and then Jesse. On and on, staring into Jesse's eyes as the man bled to death.

Why did he do it? He did it to show that he was totally stone cold. And I think he did it to win over Jesse. It was a sort of evil seduction. Jesse has an instinct to submit to the most powerful person, and Gus showed he was that person. And Jesse did respond to it (unlike Walt who was repelled). But why would Gus even want Jesse? As far as I can tell Gus is 'immune to Jesse's boyish charms'. Gus thinks Jesse is an unreliable junkie, who won't obey. I think the clue is that he performs this killing a few moments after Walt has said 'If you kill Jesse you don't have me.' So what Gus does is to take Jesse from Walt, in order to punish him and control him. I think that is what is going to happen over the next few episodes. I think Gus and Walt will struggle for Jesse. For his soul really.

In Season 2 Jesse showed Jane his superhero drawings. One was 'Joey', a superhero who is very small and rides around in Kanga-Man's pouch: 'Together they Fight Crime'. How bloody odd is that? 'Joey' is obviously the alter-ego of Jesse. And Kanga Man? That's this total fusion of male and female dominance archetypes. It's like super father/mother. Jesse wants to be in partnership with a Kanga-Man who will protect him, and carry him into adventure.

His other cartoon was 'Doctor Chemistry' - the icon of this post - which is obviously Walt with a massive phallic gun. I think Walt and Kanga-Man are too closely linked in Jesse's messed up heart for him to fall completely under Gus's spell. I think this psychology is more complex and daring than we normally get in TV programs. And it does make sense, makes sense going back two years or more.

I am getting away from Giancarlo Esposito now. But all of this depends on three actors performing at their career-best level, and in Box Cutter - Breaking Bad 4.1 - you can see them hitting every note spot on.

  • Phew what a scorcher

    I see Gove has backed down on climate change and it's back in the curriculum again.

  • GCSE Computer Science

    My book is now for sale

  • LJ Settings

    At the moment I have set up this journal so that only friends can comment. I hate doing this, but I was just getting too much Russian spam.

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