2. His Journey Of Morality Really Doesn’t Go Very Far
One of the supposed endearing traits of the Jesse Pinkman character is how he grows as a person as time progresses. He is seen to be a person too good and too moral to be involved in the drugs trade but if I may quote Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, ‘I’d like to test that theory.’
Remember Jane, the girl Jesse loved? We all look back with complete animosity towards Walter White as he stood over her convulsing body while she choked to death on her own heroin-induced vomit (hey we’ve all been there). Such is the potency of the scene that we so easily forget that the only reason Jane found herself in such a state was through the words and actions of Jesse.
When we are first introduced to her character, she is a now clean former drug addict, rebuilding a relationship with her father that drugs almost ruined. It is only when Jesse – after finding out of the death of Combo – decides to use drugs as a way of escaping his pain that she relapses. To remind you, he effectively tells Jane that unless she’s there to do some crystal meth, she has to get out. The scene in which she returns, heroin in hand to sit with him and relapse provides a poignant reminder of how the actions of the shows two protagonists so adversely affect the lives of the people they love. There is no protest from Jesse, no sign of concern as to what his girlfriend is about to do, no realisation that in pushing her away he has pulled her back into a hell she clawed her way out of.
I am fully aware that one swallow does not a summer make, and many would say that Jane’s death was in fact the catalyst for Jesse’s reformation. Again, I find this hard to believe, especially if we take a look at his actions during Season 3 after Jane’s passing. Firstly, to seek revenge on his parents for kicking him out of his house (they discovered he was cooking meth in the basement) he decides to enlist Saul’s help in blackmailing them into selling the house to Jesse for an absurdly low price by manipulating his home-meth-cooking against them.
If you couple that with the fact that he then tries to peddle his crystal meth to the vulnerable addicts at the rehabilitation centre that looked after him following Jane’s death (in some very comical scenes with Badger and Skinny Pete), I would argue that Jesse’s moralistic transformation is about as likely as Walt Jr missing a breakfast.
This article was first posted on October 8, 2013