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Rhondinella

Jesse Pinkman: Yo, B*itch!

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I love Jesse.  He's one of the characters I managed never to lose sympathy for, even though he did his fair share of terrible things on this show.  Him strangling Todd is one of the greatest moments in a series finale ever.  I hope he made it to Alaska.

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@Spartan Girl I couldn't agree more. By the end of the show that was literally all I cared about. Don't kill Jesse. Let Jesse have some semblance of a "Happy Ending" he's been through enough. He's suffered enough. I'm glad I got to see him drive off. I can imagine the rest. I know he got out and that's what mattered to me. By the end of the series I was so broken down by everything else that it really was all I was concerned about. 

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After watching the pilot episode, I never in a million years would have guessed that I would be so invested in Jesse Pinkman!  (Or Hank and Marie, for that matter).  Jesse's story is so tragic on so many levels because he could have gone a different way so many times, if not for the devil in Walter White.

 

I've often wondered if Walt was jealous of Jesse.  Walt had a master's degree in chemistry, yet Jesse cooked almost as well as him without a real fundamental understanding of chemistry, even though Walt did show him how to do things.  The fact that Todd could never get as high of a percentage with the same tutelage that Jesse got makes me think Walt partly despised Jesse for his talent.

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I adored Jesse right from the beginning of the series (I watched the entire series on Netflix over the course of about 7 weeks).  I loved the episode where he covered for his little brother and his destroying the pot in front of him and saying it was "skunk" anyway.  I wish we had seen more of their interactions.  Jesse was such a good guy deep down, I always felt for him.  In the scenes where he conned his mom, I always thought "yup, I would fall for that too" because he was just such a sweet kid despite everything.  I loved how he was so protective over children.  And, as much as I adored the character, I really loved watching him struggle.  When his girlfriend died, Jesse broke my heart when he kept calling her voicemail to hear her voice.  I just wanted to give him a hug.

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The first time I watched it (am now on my third viewing), I didn't like him. It wasn't until Season 2 that I found myself really liking him and starting to dislike Walt. One of the first episodes that started changing my mind about Jesse was "Peek-a-Boo." That episode is just so heart-breaking and the kid is almost like a ghost. Seeing Jesse taking care of him and shielding him really showed that Jesse had a softness inside.

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There is so much speculation about what happened to him after the final episode. I said in the 5A-B thread that I was not wild about the turn his story took in the last three episodes, and my problem is that it made Jesse's resolution too much about escape from the white-supremacist compound. We had had a rich ongoing story for five seasons, and then at the end it narrowed to an escape plot that, if it had to be done, I would rather have seen as a cliffhanger of some ordinary season with the knowledge that more would come eventually. We had been here with him before, and I wanted his last episodes to be more than an extended and much worse variation on the Tuco storyline.  

 

However, I won't spend a lot of time thinking about where he goes from here. Maybe he makes it to Alaska; maybe they find his fingerprints all over the lab and find the confession tape; maybe he does some time; maybe he makes a deal; maybe he reconnects with his parents and goes into woodworking or art; maybe he finds Brock. The point is that where there's life, and a will to live, there's hope. He came through a lot, in the whole series, and he suffered (sometimes deservedly, sometimes not), and he is still standing. The ending works best for me if I think of his literally being made a slave as the endgame to his having been a slave to the drug trade in one way or another for a long time. Now he's not looking back, speeding down that dark road into the dawn, laughing and crying.  

 

I cared a lot about this character. Good job, Vince Gilligan, other writers, and Aaron Paul.  

Edited by Simon Boccanegra
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I think, in the framework of the show, Jesse did his time for murdering Gale when he was held prisoner and tortured by the Neo-Nazis.  Not that he shouldn't serve time for that, but the satisfaction factor was definitely there for me that he had somehow paid at least part of his penance for that crime.  It would bum me out to know that Jesse did time after he got away.  

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Did anyone else think of Jesse and Jane when reading the news item about the Georgia O'Keeffe painting that sold for a record-breaking amount at auction over the weekend? Hey, he's still out there somewhere, and he always did like to get rid of money fast. Maybe a "vagina picture" was a sentimental indulgence. (Oh, right. Fictional.)

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I think people cut Jesse a lot of slack because he's lonely and vulnerable, has a soft spot for kids and still has some semblance of a conscience. 

 

But IIRC, he's the one that got Jane to fall off the wagon in the first place, which ultimately led to her death as well as got Skinny Pete and Badger to prey on addicts at the meetings.  He was a smart kid, if he felt so bad for kids, how could he not see that selling their parents an even more addictive version of meth would lead to enormous pain and suffering like the little boy who lived in squalor with the parents who stole the ATM machine?

 

Even Walt's conscience woke up at the end, right before Hank found the Leaves of Grass... if we forgive Jesse because he feels guilty at the last meeting where he scolds the group leader for never having the balls to draw the lines of a moral limit, or because he feels bad about Todd killing the boy on the bike (even though he's still ready to take the blood money up until Walt points out his hypocrisy)... why does Jesse get a pass and not Walt?  Because he's younger?  Because his eyes look prettier when he cries?

 

The only decent people of the main characters are Walter Jr, Marie and Hank.  If Jesse really cared about kids, he wouldn't sell their parents meth...  we all hate Walt for cynically using Lily of the Valley on Brock, yet we conveniently forget that Jesse met Brock's mom when he was tempting her to get high again, after his last girlfriend had ODd on heroin. 

 

I'd say morally Jesse and Walt are pretty much on the same plane, except Jesse's just a sloppier, shittier criminal
 

Edited by Sentient Meat

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It's true that Jesse did try to shield Jane a little bit from his use... but seriously, what did he expect to happen?

 

It's not only has he been selling meth for a long time but that he also has a pattern of this behavior... exploiting the whore at the motel... trying to seduce and tempt the innocent girl at the gas station, and as I mentioned above, he originally was trying to seduce Brock's mom when he knew she was a recovering addict who had a kid and he knew the effects of his behavior because he saw the poor kid at the house with the ATM.

 

I found myself sympathizing with Jesse too... he's a likeable guy in many ways.  I just had to point out some of things he did because so many people think he's so much better than Walt.

Edited by Sentient Meat
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Killing Gale nearly destroyed Jesse. Killing Krazy 8 at first was shocking for Walt but he quickly got to the practicalities of body disposal and long before the end, killing almost anyone was just a business decision for him, rather than something that affected him on any emotional level. In some ways, that's why I still liked Jesse and hated Walt--Jesse still kept his soul, and was affected by the things they and he did; Walt I think always felt the rest of the world was less than he was, and he quickly got over any reaction to pretty much anything he did, unless it had a negative effect on him.

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Yes, Jesse was sympathetic because he always felt guilt and remorse over the people they hurt or killed, ESPECIALLY the innocent ones-the kid on the motorbike and Gale.  

 

As for his product hurting kids, there's a moment between him and Andrea where he alludes that she is a shitty mom for using or something.  I can't remember which season, but it's clear that he does think of the kids of addicts, at least every once in a while, which is more than Walt ever has.

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Gale wasn't as innocent as you might think he was.  First of all he was a brilliant man that admittedly went into meth cooking profession for the money.  Not in a desperate attempt to leave some last minute child support for his family, nor did he have the excuse of being a rebellious misguided kid estranged from his family... he wanted more money so he could buy more exotic coffee blends, world music cds, and other obnoxious hipster consumables.  Do you think when Gus asked him if he could take over for Walt because of his cancer that he didn't understand the implications of what "one more cook" meant?  Gale like Walt and Jesse, knew the risks of the world he was entering and getting in bed with a man like Gus.  He didn't deserve to die necessarily... but he was far from innocent.

 

The kid on the bike is definitely the most tragic death, but ironically it was mostly Jesse's fault.  When Walt and Jesse explain the train robbery plan to Todd... Jesse clearly tells Todd... "No one other than us, can ever know that this robbery went down.  Nobody, you got it?"  Little did Jesse know that he was unleashing a sociopathic dog on the poor kid, but those lines sealed his fate.  Should the three of them have all marched to the police station and turned themselves in at that point?  Of course, they should have... but none of them did.  It would be as if all the gangsters in Reservoir Dogs turned themselves in when Mr. Blonde went rogue in the jewelry store.  Most movie criminals say to themselves... just this one last big hit and then I'm out... that's how we as an audience allow ourselves to root for an otherwise despicable character.  Walt's only crime in this case is that he's not delivering that line... but Mike and Jesse are. 

 

Also, don't forget that Walt finally did have his own epiphany, when the white supremacists were about to kill Hank.  He could have walked away with all that money, if he had just shut up and let them do their business.  Hank has that great line about for how although Walt was the smartest man he'd ever known, he was too dumb to see that Hank's fate was sealed ten minutes earlier... but I'd argue that maybe Walt would have known, and felt it more important to communicate that Hank meant more to him than 80 million dollars and his own family's future.  Remember, at that point Walt still would have lost his family because there would be no way to explain away Hank's absence, so he would be simultaneously giving up all his money and his family just to prove his love for Hank.

 

Walt and Jesse aren't as different as you think... and although that poor kid died... Walt also took Tuco, Gus, Lydia, the two corner dealers and a gang of white supremacists out with him.

Edited by Sentient Meat
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I find Jessie likable and Walt deeply unlikable.  Yes Jessie has done some awful things but he also has a great deal of humanity left imo.  Whereas to me Walt is stone cold evil and it was never about looking after his family for him but right from the start he was mesmerised by and addicted to the money, the power and the lifestyle and seeing himself as a hero and a kingpin.  Jessie was a small time drug dealer trying to feed his own habit and was sucked into and deeply damaged by Walt's evil. All just my opinion of course.

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One of the key moments in the show is right after they dispose of the kid's body and bike, Jesse is still reeling from the guilt and he's horrified to hear Walt happily whistling behind the tarp while he's cooking.  What does Jesse do though?  He goes to Mike.  Mike, the guy he had to talk out of killing Lydia, the guy he thought was send to kill him at one point, and who has probably killed dozens in the past for Gus.  Why then does Mike deserve the red carpet treatment and not Walt?  Because this behavior is expected of him?  Jesse hates Walt for being so cold blooded yet he immediately teams up with someone just as ruthless?

 

A brilliant part of this show is that it takes people that seem like one thing and then slowly reveals them to be completely the opposite.  Sometimes this sleight of hand are characters performing it on each other, sometimes it's the writers performing it on the viewers.  Marie, for example appears to be a shallow, materialistic bitch but eventually demonstrates a stoic, even heroic compassion when it comes to taking care of Hank.  Gus appears to be a model citizen and small business owner but is a vicious, controlling killer.  Even Saul, the ethically challenged ambulance chaser surprises us with his loyal service to his clients up to the very end.

 

Despite all the horrible damage that Walt did, he does try to save both Hank and Jesse at the end and I'm pretty sure if you asked Vince Gilligan's opinion whether the end of the show signified Jesse's revenge as opposed to Walt's redemption... I'm pretty sure he'd say it was the latter.  It is this redemption that makes the two fairly comparable in the end.

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Walt never had he option of keeping the money in the desert, whether he begged for Hank's life or not. The Nazis would have taken it either way.

At first they didn't know that the money was there... Walt offered them money if they didn't kill him.

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They figured out that Walt had given them the coordinates.

 

At first they only knew that the coordinates were the location of the hit, but when Walt called off the hit... they still didn't know exactly what they meant.  It's possible at some point they might have figured it out... but all they knew at the time was that Jesse would be there.  When Walt saw Hank was there... even though he felt betrayed by Jesse... he didn't want the Nazis to kill Hank so he tried to stop it.  That's why there was some redemption for Walt... if they knew about the money, then Walt wouldn't have sacrificed anything.

Edited by Sentient Meat

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I love Jesse. He's one of the characters I managed never to lose sympathy for, even though he did his fair share of terrible things on this show. Him strangling Todd is one of the greatest moments in a series finale ever. I hope he made it to Alaska.

I like to think Jesse became a bush pilot in New Zealand. :-)

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I liked both Jesse and Walt, but I do think Jesse gets treated with kid gloves by many fans, while Walt is judged far more harshly.

 

A few points:

 

1) Jesse starts cooking meth so he can smoke meth buy weed (and Funyuns) and not get a real job.  Walt starts cooking meth to pay for his cancer treatment and leave something behind for his wife, disabled son and unborn daughter. 

 

2) Jesse smokes meth in front of Jane (though he did ask her to leave) getting her back on meth and then heroin.  Yes, Walt let Jane die, but at that point Jane was already in a death spiral and was bringing Jesse down with her.  Remember Walt had gone back to Jesse's to try to save Jesse after Donald's "Never give up on family" talk in the bar.

 

3) Walt sends Mike to clean up Jesse's mess and then risks his own life going to the drug house to save Jesse and then paid for his rehab.  At this point, Jesse is of no use to Walt and is in fact a huge liability.  He was a big obstacle to a lucrative deal with Fring and a risk to Walt's freedom , by either doing something stupid or being a witness against him.

 

4) After Hank beats him up, Jesse not only threatens to ruin Hank's life, but threatens to rat out Walt when he inevitably gets caught cooking or dealing.  It should have been an easy decision for Walt to have him killed at that point.  Instead, he makes him a 50/50 partner, costing himself $1.5 million and greatly straining his relationship with Fring.

 

5) Walt is perfectly happy making $500K per month, but Jesse bitches about how much more Fring is making (apparently ignoring the facts that Fring had invested millions in the super lab, provided all the precursors, including the hard to obtain methylamine, paid for a distribution network, security, etc. and took most of the risk of arrest.  All Walt and Jesse had to do was show up and cook, and Walt really didn't even need Jesse. 

 

6) Jesse starts stealing meth from Fring, putting both their lives in danger.  He then starts selling it (or trying to sell it) at NA meetings to people in REHAB.  That might be more evil than anything Walt ever did.  And he did this for pennies, compared to the millions he was getting from Fring.  At least Walt, like Gale B could make the claim that he was only producing a high quality product for people who were going to buy it from someone no matter what.  Jesse was trying to tempt people who were going out of their way not to use it.  Even Badger and Skinny Pete saw how wrong it was and couldn't go through with it. 

 

Again, I liked both characters, but the idea that Walt was pure evil and Jesse was an innocent, cuddly teddy bear seems totally off to me. 

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To be fair, I never saw Jesse as 100 percent innocent.  Nobody on this show was.  I just think that Jesse grew more of a conscience later in the series while Walt was selling more and more pieces of his soul.

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A brilliant part of this show is that it takes people that seem like one thing and then slowly reveals them to be completely the opposite.  Sometimes this sleight of hand are characters performing it on each other, sometimes it's the writers performing it on the viewers.  Marie, for example appears to be a shallow, materialistic bitch but eventually demonstrates a stoic, even heroic compassion when it comes to taking care of Hank. 

 

Great point about Marie.  The more times I watch the series, the more I like her, though originally I didn't.  Sure she was annoying at times and a kleptomaniac, but she was probably the most noble of all the main characters.  Before his PTSD, she loved Hank and let him be a man, and pursue his goals, rather than emasculate him, and hold him back, as Skyler apparently did to Walt. 

 

She was there for Walt and the family during his cancer battle and helped find the best doctors.  She also supported Walt's right to make his own decisions about treatment.

 

While he was dealing with the PTSD, Marie was supportive and understanding, despite Hank shutting her out and treating her like crap much of the time.  After Hank was wounded and crippled, she fought for him, encouraged him, cared for him, while he really treated her like crap. 

 

When she found out Hank had Walt in custody, she did the right thing by making Skyler tell Walt Jr, rather than have him hear about it on the news.  In the finale she put everything aside to call Skyler to warn her that Walt was back in town. 

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...  we all hate Walt for cynically using Lily of the Valley on Brock

Granddaddy of all unpopular BB opinions...I didn't hate Walt for this.  His aim wasn't to kill Brock, and in my mind he knew enough about lily of the valley scientifically that he was sure to only give Brock enough to make him sick.  I'm not saying it was a "proper" thing to do, tainting someone's food/drink never is, but I understood why he did it.

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Granddaddy of all unpopular BB opinions...I didn't hate Walt for this.  His aim wasn't to kill Brock, and in my mind he knew enough about lily of the valley scientifically that he was sure to only give Brock enough to make him sick.  I'm not saying it was a "proper" thing to do, tainting someone's food/drink never is, but I understood why he did it.

I share your unpopular opinion.  If Walt could cook 99.1% pure meth in a broken down RV, I'm sure he knew how much he lily of the valley he could give Brock without killing him.  Yes, it was a horrible thing to do, but he was trying to save his own life and the lives of Hank, Skyier, Junior and Holly and did worse things.

 

I think "I understood why he did it" sums up why I didn't really hate Walt.  Nearly every move he made was understandable, logical and in many cases unavoidable unless he was willing to sacrifice his life and/or Jesse, Hank's, Sklyer's, Walt Jr.'s and Holly's. 

 

Jesse, on the other hand (who I also liked) did many bad things that were totally irrational and unnecessary.  Stealing a half pound of meth a week from Frng and trying to entice recovering addicts at NA meetings to buy it, when he was making $500K a month?  Really? 

 

The decisions that Walt made that could not really be defended at all, IMHO, were

 

a) Killing Mike - Killing Mike didn't benefit him, as he still didn't get the names of Mike's 10 guys from him.  That said, it was sort of a heat of the moment decision and could be said to be a result of Mike calling his bluff of killing him if he did not give the names.

 

b) Turning down the $5 million dollar buyout from Declan.  That was the one move that seemed to be driven purely by greed and pride, with no element of self preservation or protecting his loved ones involved. 

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I share your unpopular opinion.  If Walt could cook 99.1% pure meth in a broken down RV, I'm sure he knew how much he lily of the valley he could give Brock without killing him.  Yes, it was a horrible thing to do, but he was trying to save his own life and the lives of Hank, Skyier, Junior and Holly and did worse things.

 

I think "I understood why he did it" sums up why I didn't really hate Walt.  Nearly every move he made was understandable, logical and in many cases unavoidable unless he was willing to sacrifice his life and/or Jesse, Hank's, Sklyer's, Walt Jr.'s and Holly's. 

 

Jesse, on the other hand (who I also liked) did many bad things that were totally irrational and unnecessary.  Stealing a half pound of meth a week from Frng and trying to entice recovering addicts at NA meetings to buy it, when he was making $500K a month?  Really? 

 

The decisions that Walt made that could not really be defended at all, IMHO, were

 

a) Killing Mike - Killing Mike didn't benefit him, as he still didn't get the names of Mike's 10 guys from him.  That said, it was sort of a heat of the moment decision and could be said to be a result of Mike calling his bluff of killing him if he did not give the names.

 

b) Turning down the $5 million dollar buyout from Declan.  That was the one move that seemed to be driven purely by greed and pride, with no element of self preservation or protecting his loved ones involved. 

 

I thought he had to kill Mike because there was no way Mike would let the killing of his 10 guys go unanswered.

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That could be why he killed Mike, but I got the idea Mike was planning on going far away and never returning. Even Walt told Mike he realized he didn't need to kill him when he remembered Lydia had all the names.

Then again, Lydia deduced that Mike must be dead because she believed Walt would never dare to kill his guys if he were alive.

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Jesse, on the other hand (who I also liked) did many bad things that were totally irrational and unnecessary.

 

Yeah I think I give Jesse more of a pass precisely because he did things that were irrational and unnecessary.  To me that came from a place of the disease of addiction, not saying it's ok, it's totally not, but in recovery he could change.

 

Walt to me was just evil and very calculated about the bad things he did with no conscience and that makes him much worse to me.

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That could be why he killed Mike, but I got the idea Mike was planning on going far away and never returning. Even Walt told Mike he realized he didn't need to kill him when he remembered Lydia had all the names.

Then again, Lydia deduced that Mike must be dead because she believed Walt would never dare to kill his guys if he were alive.

Killing Mike did disturb me, but then we got Mike's awesome request to die in peace when Walt was rambling on (IMO Mike had some of the best lines). I was hoping he'd off the lispy , staccato speaking pain in the ass Lydia sooner than he did.
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Killing Mike did disturb me, but then we got Mike's awesome request to die in peace when Walt was rambling on (IMO Mike had some of the best lines). I was hoping he'd off the lispy , staccato speaking pain in the ass Lydia sooner than he did.

Mike did have some of the best quotes.

I thought it was fitting that Lydia was the last person killed by Walt and his last words were "Goodbye, Lydia." :)

She was arguably more evil than Walt. She wanted to kill all of Mike's guys (and Mike) "as a prophylactic measure" as Mike put it, even while the hazard pay was keeping them quiet.

Even that "dead eyed Opie POS", Todd had more of a heart than Lydia, as he declined her request to kill Skyler and chose to scare her instead.

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