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

Politics

The Irritating Confidante

John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.

My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee

Medical Examiner

Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?

Or an altruist like Bruce Wayne?

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

The World’s Human Rights Violators Are Signatories on the World’s Human Rights Treaties

How Punctual Are Germans?

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 11:40 AM The U.S. Has Spent $7 Billion Fighting the War on Drugs in Afghanistan. It Hasn’t Worked. 
  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 1:12 PM George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Right of Free Speech
  Slate Plus
Working
Oct. 22 2014 6:00 AM Why It’s OK to Ask People What They Do David Plotz talks to two junior staffers about the lessons of Working.
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 21 2014 12:05 PM Same-Sex Couples at Home With Themselves in 1980s America
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 4:14 PM Planet Money Uncovers One Surprising Reason the Internet Is Sexist
  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.