Breaking Bad's Parallels With “El Paso” Go Deeper Than You Ever Imagined

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 10 2013 4:56 PM

The Story of Breaking Bad, as Sung by Marty Robbins

Breaking Bad obsessives have been speculating for a while about how the plot of the final episode, “Felina,” might echo the plot of the Marty Robbins song “El Paso”—which is about the hero’s deadly affair with a woman named Feleena. In fact, here on Brow Beat, that speculation started well before the episode even aired.

But this clever video, edited by Vimeo user Bonnie Rose (and shared earlier today on Boing Boing), shows that the parallels go even deeper than you might have expected. (Spoilers ahead.) Not only does the “El Paso” hero’s deadly affair with his girlfriend match up with Walt’s deadly affair with his beloved blue meth—just as Vince Gilligan suggested on the Colbert Report—but the similarities go as deep as where on their bodies each of the heroes are shot. Did Gilligan intend all of these parallels? It’s hard to say, but it’s definitely fun to think so.

Previously
EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Paul's Complete Script for the Breaking Bad Finale
10 Things Breaking Bad Has Actually Gotten Wrong

Forrest Wickman is a Slate staff writer. 

TODAY IN SLATE

The Slatest

Ben Bradlee Dead at 93

The legendary Washington Post editor presided over the paper’s Watergate coverage.

This Scene From All The President’s Men Captures Ben Bradlee’s Genius

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 9:42 PM The All The President’s Men Scene That Perfectly Captured Ben Bradlee’s Genius
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.