Who’d have thought that high school burnout Jesse Pinkman would become everyone’s favourite meth-making hero?
The character is truly a survivor, literally and metaphorically. It’s amazing how Jesse Pinkman evolved from a small character creators almost killed off in the beginning to the last man standing in the meth business. So before you get to binge on Jesse Pinkman’s future saga in El Camino, where he would get a chance for redemption, let’s delve into Jesse’s intriguing yet heart-wrenching story in “Breaking Bad”. From getting bullied by psychotic drug lords to dealing with the loss of loved ones, Jesse Pinkman has been through hell. So, get ready for some soul crushing classics.
Abandoned By Parents – Twice
Like many of us, Jesse Pinkman is the kind of person who’s constantly trying to measure up to his parents’ expectations. While he certainly gets himself into trouble, he’s also a lost, confused soul. Jesse Pinkman was given a proverbial kick in the teeth when his parents kicked him out of their house, for a joint that was actually his little brother’s. Later, they allowed him to move into his aunt’s old house – but kicked him out again, after they discovered a meth lab in the basement.
The Stolen ATM Ordeal
Through a series of unfortunate events, Jesse Pinkman finds himself stuck with two addicts, trying to take back some stolen meth. There’s also a jacked ATM machine present, which the two are trying to break into. And not to mention there’s a young, innocent child there, who Jesse’s trying to protect. Things go from bad to worse, as the two get the upper hand on Jesse – until an argument ends in the child’s mother crushing her husband’s head in with said cash machine. Jesse Pinkman ends up walking out alive, but he clearly feels guilty about leaving the kid alone.
Jesse Pinkman plays the role of emotional qand physical punching bag numerous times throughout the series. And although Tuco Salamanca gave him a pretty hard time, we’ve chosen Hank’s brutal beating for today’s list. After discovering that a caller who claimed his wife had been in an accident was lying, Hank assumes that Jesse Pinkman was behind it and pops around for a visit. Without hesitation, Hank squares up to Jesse Pinkman and beats his face to a pulp. Even though Jesse Pinkman is full of rage, aching to put Hank away, Walt instructs him to drop the charges – which you’ve got to admit, must make those bruises hurt even more.
The Combo & Tomás Cantillo Debacle
If there was ever a lesson for why kids should not get involved with the wrong crowds, then this is it. First of all, Andrea’s little brother Tomás Cantillo kills Jesse’s friend, Combo. Then, Jesse Pinkman learns that 11-year old Tomás has been taken out by gang members in order to tie up loose ends. Jesse Pinkman plans to seek revenge on the dealers who carried out the act, but is beaten to the punch by Walt. It’s a big mess, with Jesse, as always, fighting with grief, guilt and the emotional rollercoaster of having to psyche himself up in order to take someone’s life.
The Drew Sharp Incident
Although Gus, Walt and Todd may not be against involving children in their drug trade shenanigans, Jesse Pinkman most certainly is. And during the methylamine train heist of season 5, Jesse Pinkman learns first hand just how coldhearted Todd can be. During their expertly executed heist, their efforts to steal without violence go perfectly. Until, a kid on his dirtbike rolls by. Afraid the kid’s presence may lead to the gang being caught, Todd pulls out his gun, and without hesitation, fires on the boy. Jesse Pinkman breaks down instantly, in disbelief of what he just saw. And adds another guilt-ridden notch to his conscience.
Poisoning Of Brock
Even early on in season one, it’s clear that Jesse Pinkman is in too deep. And that there’s little hope of him having a normal life. That is until Andrea and her son Brock come into the picture. Suddenly, there’s a shimmering light of hope at the end of the tunnel. And it’s safe to say, Jesse Pinkman would’ve done anything for them. That makes the moment Brock is hospitalised by an unknown poison all the more dramatic. And it’s even worse that Jesse Pinkman thinks he is responsible, believing the poison to be his own ricin. Brock recovers, and Jesse Pinkman finds out he wasn’t to blame. Of course, he later finds out that it was actually Walt which doesn’t make it easier for him to let go.
He Watched Todd Take Andrea’s Life
Unfortunately for Jesse Pinkman, his plan of running away with Andrea and Brock was brought to an agonising end in season five. Eager to keep Jesse Pinkman a prisoner, Todd uses Andrea and Brock as leverage. After an escape attempt, however, Todd decides to take Andrea’s life. Of course, Todd being Todd, that’s not enough. He ties Jesse Pinkman up in a car and makes him watch, his screams muffled by a rag. Unsurprisingly, in the moments afterwards, Jesse Pinkman is filled with rage and despair, but it’s the days that follow, where we see him as a helpless, hopeless, empty shell, that really hit us hard.
He Was Forced to Kill Gale
Gale is yet another unfortunate soul disposed of as collateral damage by Walt and company. And even though he was fuelling the same criminal underworld with his chemistry skills, you gotta feel sorry for him. Deciding that without Gale, Gus will have to keep him alive, Walt instructs Jesse to pay Gale a visit and take him out. Of course, Jesse is absolutely against this, but does realise that it’s their only option. Gun in hand, tears in his eyes – and fighting off every instinct in his body – Jesse faces the pleading Gale and pulls the trigger.
Jane Passed Away in Bed Next to Him
When Jesse Pinkman met Jane, the two kindred spirits just kinda clicked. They were staying indoors all day, every day, doing drugs, and living like it was their last day on Earth. Fun for the two love birds, not so great for Heisnberg – and business. After a drug overdose, Jane shockingly chokes on her own vomit while sleeping. All the while Walt watches on, which is a whole other thing. Following this, Jesse Pinkman is absolutely destroyed with guilt, spiralling into a self-loathing heap. Jane’s death really was a tipping point for Jesse. And as if it couldn’t get any worse, he later finds out about Walt’s involvement in her death. Oh man!
He Was Made a Meth Slave
Just when we thought Jesse Pinkman couldn’t be put through the ringer any more, the last few episodes of the series see him reduced to his absolute lowest point ever. Against his will, chained up like an animal, he’s forced to make meth for Uncle Jack and his minions. And when he’s not cooking, he’s left in a hole in the ground, with nothing but the sky to stare at. Seeing anyone like this would be horrible, but knowing that Jesse Pinkman has completely lost the will to live, especially following the Andrea incident, it’s all the more heartbreaking to watch.