I think I've given enough buffer time for people who havent seen EC to not be accidentally spoiled. I've had a few thoughts rolling around in my head for the better part of a week...
|Posted: 28 October 2019 at 8:25pm | IP Logged | 10
(In the much-loved bullet point form because I don't feel like making full paragraphs today)
*Jim White's "Static On The Radio" was a freaking pitch-perfect way to end the film. I've always been awed by Vince Gillian's musical choices for BB and EL CAMINO is no exception. There's a weird synchrony here because right from the pilot with Mick Harvey's cover of Mano Nega's "Out Of Time Man" just grabbed me and I find Vince either picks music that I already listen to or he ends up introducing me to artists that by all rights I should be listening to. Far too many hack producers pick songs for just one or two lyrics that fit a scene or lazily pick overused clichéd music and let that set the mood instead of directing. Gilligan's song selections more often than not suit the scene lyrically and compliment the stunning visuals that BB has become famous for.
*The real tragedy of the film is that Jesse is suffering from extreme PTSD (literally, 'static on the radio' of his brain) and there's no way for him to seek proper help without being arrested or killed. Ironically, of the three people we've seen take advantage of the vanishing service Jesse is the only one who actually wants to be where he ends up. Both Walter and Saul end up in their own private hells where they can't be their true selves (this is especially true of Saul/Jimmy) and they are effectively walking dead -- alive but not living. The opposite happens to Jesse -- he finds solace and his true self after he disappears.
*There's now some ambiguity to Lydia's death with the radio report of her "not expected to survive" versus what seemed like a definitive 'shes toast' scene in "Felina". Ricin's potency is diminished by stomach acid when administered orally. Those who do survive end up with significant comorbidities and dimished quality of life. Shades of Hector Salamanca?
*I'm saddend to hear that Robert Forster (Ed Galbraith, aka the Vanisher) passed away from cancer the day EL CAMINO was released. One hopes they had the foresight to shoot some Ed scenes for the next season of BCS. I found it somewhat amusing that Bob himself was a vacuum cleaner salesmen before becoming an actor -- and I wouldn't be at all surprised if Bob had suggested the front for the 'cleaner' service be a hiding-in-plain-sight vacuum cleaner shop to Vince.
*There's a subtler subtext to Ed denying Jesse service until paid (double) in full beyond the obvious bad precedent show of weakness by giving a criminal a break (meaning that someone else will want a similar deal once word gets out). Ed is like Charon of Greek mythology ferrying souls of the dead into the afterlife. The underworld doesn't make change -- you must pay with a full coin. Charon's vessel is sometimes described as a rust-coloured skiff and it's probably a coincidence that Ed drives a burgundy minivan (OR IS IT?). Charon is sometimes depicted as a haggard bearded old man with hollow eyes and a no-nonsense dispostion. Sure sounds like Ed.
*Just in case anyone was wondering if there was any hidden meaning in the name 'Edward Galbraith': Edward means "rich guardian" -- and he does closely guard the vanishing service while getting quite wealthy. Galbraith means "british stranger" or "foreign briton".
*Ed mentions that Walter and Saul "have made their own luck" which some have taken as a clue as to the fate of Cinnabon Gene (and the timing of his scenes relative to EL CAMINO). I tend to think he was speaking more in general terms. The vanishing service in and of itself is a risky proposition. Think about this: If Ed does his job correctly then no one you know hears from you ever again -- you are effectively dead (again, back to the Charon analogy). You have to trust this stranger with your life and he could easily just take your money and dispose of you -- and no one would be the wiser. In "Granite State" Walter is paranoid that when he dies Ed might just take his money instead of giving it to his family -- the irony is that Ed could have already done that! Walter can't even see the forest for the trees.
*[BCS theory time] I have a feeling that Jimmy/Saul first took advantage of the vanishing service to help Kim, and that Ed's remark about Saul "making his own luck" is in reference to him knowing that while he and Kim are safe they can't contact one another. There are hells and then there are private hells. [/BCS theory time]
*You have to wonder what drives a character like Ed to do what he does and why do the recipients of his 'service' end up both physically and metaphorically in places that are opposite to the 'heat' of New Mexico. I suspect Ed was either the recipient of a similar service or he originated the NM flavor of the service to pay forward his good fortune. Money doesn't seem to be prime the motivator -- it's like the cost is set abritrarily high to weed out those who aren't serious rather than as a way to make cash. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that Ed was originally from somewhere cold and perhaps gets a kick out of sending people who want to disappear to places he's already been.
Edited by Rob Ocelot on 29 October 2019 at 7:11pm