Open House

This episode didn’t have as many distinctly western elements as the previous week’s episode, but Breaking Bad continues to offer fascinating character studies. Marie goes into three different open houses and tells intricate fictional stories of her life. She escapes the personal hell that she has at home with Hank just for a fleeting moment. Marie also steals items from the homes in a bid to actually take a piece of that reality home. The camera focuses in on a small figure that she takes in the opening scenes of the episode. A similar shot was used on the box cutter in the premiere.

Jesse also continues to sink deeper into despair. He asks Walt to go race go-carts with him, but Walt refuses due to a meeting with Saul. When Jesse gets home, his home resembles a circle of Dante’s hell. I feel Jesse’s narrative is building. There is no way for him to end the open house.

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One Response to “Open House”

  1. westlitblogger Says:

    This really was a very indoors episode. Even the lab has become a kind of “open house,” with the addition of the camera. Even a car wash is a kind of open house (and part of the episode involves Skylar’s efforts to buy a car wash).

    I hadn’t thought about it before, but it does seem that Jessie’s and Marie’s stories parallel one another, as they both attempt to flee their situation through “open” houses. And as Marie tries to leave the hell of her house behind, Jessie, as you note, does the opposite–turning his own house into a hell. And, since there’s a new film based on Paradise Lost coming out, maybe the reference should be not hell but Pandæmonium. By the end of the episode, it certainly seems the place where “all the demons” have gathered. It certainly fits the popular definition of Pandemonium (wild uproar or unrestrained disorder; tumult or chaos). And I can certainly see Jessie as a kind of Satan figure gathering other demons around him to entertain and distract him.

    At Pandæmonium, the high Capital
    Of Satan and his Peers: thir summons call’d
    From every Band and squared Regiment
    By place or choice the worthiest; they anon
    With hunderds and with thousands trooping came [ 760 ]
    Attended: all access was throng’d, the Gates
    And Porches wide, but chief the spacious Hall
    . . . .
    Thick swarm’d, both on the ground and in the air,
    Brusht with the hiss of russling wings. As Bees
    In spring time, when the Sun with Taurus rides,
    Pour forth thir populous youth about the Hive [ 770 ]
    In clusters . . .
    . . . in narrow room
    Throng numberless, like that Pigmean Race [ 780 ]
    . . . . they on thir mirth and dance
    Intent, with jocond Music charm his ear;
    At once with joy and fear his heart rebounds.


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