Blood Simple ends with a dripping sink shot from below (actually from the perspective of the private detective).

The frame is the sequence:

enter image description here The private detective is exhaling, looking at the bottom of the sink, of which one of the tubes has a droplet which is about to fall (but it doesn't).

He's staring at this droplet while dying but actually nothing happens.

Now I tried interpret myself as a joke of Coen Brothers of a meaningless scene which is parallel to a meaningless sequence of events (in the sense that all the evil in the movie is made by stupid character who basically think they're more clever than others and only the protagonist in the end develop a proper understanding of what's going on, even if the inability of his love to trust him will kill him - which is the only way for her to become consciousness of what's going on), but I was not very satisfied with it, also because they're great symbolist, from the jew's biblical tradition to metaphor and imagining, so I took a look on the internet but found a series of different interpretations, but nothing special.

Last chance, I took a look to the original screenplay:

[...] He is smiling.

VISSER "...If I see him, I'll sure give him the message."

HIS POV The underside of the sink, its convoluted chrome works beading moisture.

VISSER Looking, with mild interest.

HIS POV A condensed droplet trickles down the chrome. Directly overhead, it hangs for a moment from the lowest joint of the pipe. It fattens, wavers, wavers--and falls, spelling...


What do you think is the real meaning of this scene? Is some strange symbolism with a history behind that or a funny escamotage of the Coen to make people keen their attention to a side detail which really doesn't matter?

1 Answer 1


That's a good question. I also thought about this scene, my first thought before looking up at Google was also the pointlessness, maybe he finally realized what exactly happened.

There was a very interesting and brilliant comment on Reddit from u/ZorroMeansFox:

It's just an existentialist parallel to the expression "Waiting for the other shoe to drop." He's just hanging on, thinking about seeing one last thing happen before he dies --and the fact that its a trembling drop of water under a bathroom sink just puts his life into a sad, pathetic perspective: "This is what it comes to, all my foolish dreams and plans; waiting to die, waiting for a dirty waterdrop to fall..."

(Also: It's an image drawn from another violent film, Point Blank; where a central character, after being betrayed and knocked unconscious, wakes up in a cell on the (now closed, rotting and decrepit) Alcatraz Island Prison facility, and that's the first thing he sees after opening his eyes and looking up: The trembling drop of water on the sink pipe. He then apparently has the same sorts of "This is all such a pointless mess" thoughts as the character in Blood Simple. As does the audience, of course. And, interestingly, the sense of symbolism and pedestrian karmic retribution in this image relates to an earlier line of dialogue in the film, when the task he's assigned to do had been described as "The drop has changed, but the run remains the same.")

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