It’s always cool when a song fits perfectly into a movie or TV show. The song brings out the emotion and weight of the scene, and the drama on screen enhances the impact and even the meaning of the song. The experience can be overwhelming in a way that would be impossible without both elements. Aside from “Right Action” in Dumb and Dumber To, an example of this phenomenon that really hit me was in the series finale of Breaking Bad. The song was “Baby Blue” by Badfinger. Without giving any spoilers, the final scene of the show is very intense to begin with. But when that song comes on, it felt like the song was written for that moment. Everything just fit so perfectly, even though the “baby blue” referred to in the lyrics is obviously not the same object of affection that Badfinger had in mind. I wouldn’t be surprised if Vince Gilligan, the creator of the show, had that song in mind for the finale 6 years earlier when the show was just starting. I was slightly disappointed when I was reminded that this song also played a pivotal role in a completely different soundtrack, in the movie The Departed. The opening line “Guess I got what I deserved” probably makes it fit into a lot of crime stories. But in Breaking Bad it worked on a whole new level, and serves as a great example of the way music can elevate a scene from powerful to unforgettable.
Here is the actual scene from Breaking Bad (spoiler alert!)