Heading back inside, we see our murderess in yet another deliciously ridiculous outfit. She stands around in a leather jacket blanketed in studs, purposefully ignoring the brunette in a studless leather jacket to her left. The brunette, also played by Gaga, is Stefani Germanotta, staring at the fame monster she will soon become with a sort of respectful contempt. But the fame monster continues to give face. Even when the prison bitches break out into physical combat, all Gaga does is look at the camera fiercely combing back her hair. Her fame may have gotten the better of her in "Paparazzi," but even from jail she finds a way to fight back.
And here, finally, the song begins. Beyonce calls to bail Gaga out of jail, and after a studded lingerie rendition of the Cell Block Tango, she is set free. Now this would be a great video in it's own right, showing Gaga rise above it all as the determined fame monster she has become. But that's just the beginning. We've still got many many costume changes, dance breaks, and cultural commentaries ahead of us.
Gaga hops into Beyonce's Pussy Wagon to embark on a whole new adventure, using female empowerment to test the limits of her abilities. We soon learn, if we didn't already, that "limit" is not in Gaga's vocabulary. After a shared honey bun and some purposefully (I hope) bad acting, the pair drive off into the desert, taking Polaroids as they go. Portraying herself as a murderess capable of bringing even Queen B over to the dark side, Gaga seems to be commenting on the effects of technology. She stares directly at the camera when talking to B, and they both seem so drunk off the attention they're getting that there's no telling what they're off to do.
Or who they're off to kill. The girls go to a diner where Gaga's commentary on technology is met with a new commentary on American consumerism. The video takes on a pop art feel as B's conversation with her boo (played by Tyrese) transcribes completely through subtitles and word art moments. As B poisons Tyrese and waits around for his demise, we see Gaga in the back, the ringleader of this deadly plan. The pop art feel continues with "Let's make a Sandwich," as Gaga dances around with Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip. She seems to be trying to achieve a sort of Warhol-esque moment, using common consumer items to make art. We then see Gaga as the chef and host of Poison TV. Consumerism kills!!
Gaga emerges from the kitchen a latex-ed waitress poised to bring her and B's plan to completion. Gaga flashes her now signiature one-eyed stare, an interpreted homage to the All-Seeing Eye of illuminati mind control, and in a matter of wonderfully crafted, Tarantino-inspired seconds, everyone is dead.
Donning American Flag garb, the murderesses dance victoriously around the diner. They have been consumed by consumerism and even have the patriotic outfits to prove it. They embody, in an alternate universe sort of way, the negative and even deadly effects of our American culture.
With a WROOM the ladies are off. Gaga does some strange dance in a cat suit while a news reporter (Queer Eye for the Straight Guy's Jai Rodriguez) announces the murderesses escape. The video ends with a second victory dance, this time in front of the Pussy Wagon, and a final image of the two killers holding hands while driving "far far away from here." We zoom out to the credits with an image of the female sign. Consumerism kills and female empowerment lives on forever. Or something like that.
So in the past nine and a half minutes, Gaga has escaped from jail, completely upstaged Queen B, and killed a room full of dining civilians. When I first saw this video I was unsure of it, thinking she had bitten off more than she could chew. And many people I've talked to seem to think she's trying too hard or has simply lost her marbles. But after multiple views I am fully convinced of the groundbreaking genius of this video. I'm still not sure if it lives up to Bad Romance but Gaga certainly does continue to defy expectations, keeping her little monsters on their toes and glued to their screens. I guess technology really does brainwash us in the end.
-- ANDREW WAILES
Previously > Hummer: Lady Gaga's "Telephone"