From the small-time guy who wanted to make loads of meth money, to someone who threw away millions to the ground in season 5? What led Jesse Pinkman to his point of breakdown?
He has loved and lost. He seems like the guy who wouldn’t care, but his helpless cries move us every time. Jesse Pinkman has been emotionally hackled by his partner Walter White time and again. He has been manipulated and pushed to atrocious ends. If we compare his early pride and roguish persona, we realize how Jesse’s character has changed over time. At the end of ‘Breaking Bad’, we see him struggle through guilt left by numerous tragic events which he has either eye-witnessed or had a hand in. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and figure out the tragic events that managed to mentally disturb Jesse.
- Losing those he loved
- Victim of White’s manipulative ways
- Jesse Pinkman: “Its blood money”
Losing those he loved
In season 2 of ‘Breaking Bad’, Jesse falls in love with his next-door neighbour and landlord Jane. They dreamed of escaping the town and living a life full of travel and adventure. Sadly, things got worse when Jane, who was also a recovering addict, died of an overdose. Jesse was left devasted after her death and blamed himself for it. Luckily, Walt rescued Jesse from a crack house and sent him into a rehabilitation clinic. While we got to see his attempt at getting clean and sober, no one truly gets to know if Jesse ever emotionally recovered from Jane’s death or not.
Further, in the series, we saw Jesse enter a relationship with Andrea Cantillo who had a son, Brock. Much to our shock, Andrea was shot by Todd Alquist as punishment after Jesse refused to cook meth and his attempt at escaping from his uncle’s compound. A few episodes later, Jesse takes revenge by snapping Todd’s neck.
Victim of White’s manipulative ways
After killing Gale at the end of season 3 of ‘Breaking Bad’, Jesse planned to escape his guilt. How? He set up a rave party at his house. He also gave away a bucket load of drug money to his girlfriend Andrea and urged her to leave Albuquerque with her son Brock. As the party began to fade away, we saw Jesse curled up in a corner while the speakers blasted music on the highest volume.
After Mike noticed Jesse’s recklessness, he put him under a test. Jesse not only passed the test but soon gained the trust of Mike and became Gus’s man-in-charge too. His newfound loyalty, however, put Walter’s life in danger, who soon realized that he couldn’t do anything without Jesse’s help. Jesse fell into White’s manipulative ways when he found out Brock has been poisoned by Gus’s accomplices. He helped lure Gus into the hospital to kill him. But their plan failed after Gus became suspicious.
In the end, White got his way after he killed Gus by plotting a bomb on Hector Salamanca’s wheelchair. At the end of season 4 of ‘Breaking Bad’, it is revealed to us that it was actually White who had poisoned Andrea’s son to win back Jesse’s loyalty.
Jesse Pinkman: “Its blood money”
One of the major incidents of season 5 that severely impacted Jesse was when he was siphoning methylamine with the crew. It was during that heist when Todd Alquist shot a child despite Jesse insisting him not to. After the incident, Jesse claimed that he could not deal with any more bloodshed. Later, when Walt left Jesse with two duffel bags filled with 5 million dollars cash, he anxiously collapsed on the floor and cried. He started distancing himself from everyone.
Jesse later took the two duffle bags to Saul and told him to deliver half of the money to Drew Sharp’s parents, and the other half to Mike Ehrmantraut’s granddaughter Kaylee. But Walt delivered the money back to him and told him that he has earned it. Jesse was hellbent on not accepting it as he saw it as blood money. So, he gave some of it away to a homeless man and tossed the rest out of the car window. It is during these scenes that Jesse comes across as a victim of emotional and mental trauma.
In the last minutes of the finale of ‘Breaking Bad’, Jesse is freed by White. His hysterical cry laughter left us balling our eyes out. But it did give us relief that Jesse could now finally start over and leave all the bloodshed behind. Do you miss Jesse Pinkman?