Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gloomy Gus

This has nothing to do with Boston crime, but I couldn't resist posting it. As anyone who watches Breaking Bad knows, here is the last shot of the ruthless and inscrutable Gustavo Fring before he drops dead. Walter White, the chemist extraordinaire and sociopathic mensch who used to cook meth for Gus, has just blown him up with a wheelchair-bomb. Go "On Demand" via your local cable provider to see the episode for yourself. Breaking Bad is the ultimate crime-world fantasy for smart people, or at least for people who think they're smart. The New York Times thinks Breaking Bad has become so popular because it conjures the zeitgeist of a desperate economy and the moral turpitude that people will endure (or even revel in, e.g., Wall Street) to keep the bucks rolling in. All I can say is that I can readily identify.

In the scene shown above, Gus Fring has managed to step away from a bomb that has just killed his right-hand thug and an old nemesis from his Mexican drug cartel days who has been for years incapacitated by a stroke. Fring, who has been shrewd to the point of clairvoyance throughout the entire series, has never been out-foxed until now. He seems in denial as much about this as about his imminent death. He nattily adjusts his tie, either because he thinks (for a moment) that he can return to business as usual - or because he imagines (laughably) that he'll be able to leave behind a beautiful corpse if he just neatens up a bit.

I have no idea how long a person can survive with so much of his face blown away, but I hope I never have to find out. I would guess that your system would go into shock almost immediately and you wouldn't feel much pain. That is, until you looked in a mirror. My gun moll, a theater person who once designed gory prosthetics for a Marine exercise at Camp Lejeune, claims she watched the episode two more times after I went to bed - just to admire the "no-face" make-up on poor old Gus. I ain't the only one in the family with a screw loose, let me tell ya.

Breaking Bad - Gus Fring Dies (YouTube)

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