If he's already dead, why bother with whatever it is he wishes to tell about his last year of being alive? An unseen figure points a gun at the back of Lester's head; a gunshot sounds and blood sprays onto the wall in front of him. The Burnhams' home uses cool blues, while the Fitts' is kept in a "depressed military palette". He shows Jane what he considers the most beautiful thing he has filmed: He masturbates in the confines of his shower;  the shower stall evokes a jail cell and the shot is the first of many where Lester is confined behind bars or within frames,   such as when he is reflected behind columns of numbers on a computer monitor, "confined [and] nearly crossed out". Fitts' service in the Marines, a sequence that unequivocally established his homosexual leanings. A bloodied Frank returns home, where a gun is missing from his collection. He told her, "Your character is in there somewhere. They said it's not important. When Brad informs Lester that he is to be laid off, the latter blackmails him and quits his job, taking employment at a local fast food center. Ricky and Jane find Lester's body, while Carolyn is seen crying in the closet. He felt his first take lacked grace, but for the last attempt, he changed the location to the front of a brick wall and added leaves on the ground. The opening combines an unfamiliar viewpoint of the Burnhams' neighborhood with Lester's narrated admission that this is the last day of his life, forcing audiences to consider their own mortality and the beauty around them. Lester becomes infatuated with Jane's vain cheerleader friend, Angela Hayes, after seeing her perform a half-time dance routine at a high school basketball game. Also sexually frustrated, Carolyn has an affair that takes her from "cold perfectionist" to a more carefree soul who "[sings] happily along with" the music in her car. Ball felt that Mendes liked to look under the story's surface, a talent he felt would be a good fit with the themes of American Beauty. The producers met with about 20 interested directors,  several of whom were considered A-list at the time.