Friday, September 6, 2013

Breaking Bad: The Jesse Situation

Posted By on Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 7:11 AM

jessephone.jpg

The Jesse Situation

For as much as everyone wanted to see Hank confront Walt, having Jesse do the same is what’s ultimately going to be satisfying. We as an audience have more emotionally invested in Jesse, who has become the heart of the show. It’s an unlikely path considering originally he wasn’t supposed to live past the first season. It’s a credit to the writing staff who has found ways to keep his character important and interesting, and to Aaron Paul, who has picked up two Emmy Awards (with a probable third in a few weeks).

The thing is, we don’t know what the hell Jesse is going to do. Which is the point, I guess. At the beginning of “Rabid Dog” Jesse is in a rage, ready to burn down the White house until Hank intervenes. By the end he’s calm and collected with a new plan formulated telling Walt he’s coming for him and is going to get him “where he really lives”. There are three things Walt cares about: his family, his money, his ego. Let’s break them down and try and predict where Jesse will attack.

Family

Skyler. Walt Jr. Holly. Up until the phone call from Jesse Walt never dreamed of killing him, despite insistence from Saul and Skyler. He was family. More of a son to Walt than Junior has been, despite the terrible things he’s done to him. It speaks to Walt’s arrogance that he think he’s been helping Jesse all this time. No plan of Jesse’s involving Walt’s family would fly with Hank. Walt would likely confess in an instant if he thought his son’s life was in danger, but Hank, who has been more of a father figure to Walt Jr than Walt, would never allow it.

Money

Walt doesn’t want his considerable efforts to go for naught. While in a haze after passing out in “Buried” he told Skyler he’d confess if she promised to keep the money and give it to the kids. Problem for Jesse is, Walt buried the cash. Only he and the lottery ticket know it’s location.

Ego

This is the biggest of Walt’s sins. He couldn’t bear to let Hank think Gale was Heisenberg the master chemist. When asked how he knew the giant magnet successfully destroyed Gus’s laptop he hissed “because I said so”. He pulled a Destiny’s Child in the desert, demanding Declan say his name. There are many more examples across the five seasons. I’ve always thought death would be too good an ending for Walt, with the best punishment being him living a lonely existence, having beaten cancer yet no one knowing who he is and what he had done.

This is the one avenue Jesse could hypothetically attack that would hurt Walt without endangering lives. Walt doesn’t know Jesse is working with Hank, which plays in Jesse’s favor. That is, if Jesse can survive Todd and his murderous Uncle. Everyone either wants him dead or doesn’t care if he dies as long as he brings down Walt in the process. He’s been marked for death for a few episodes now. Everyone who has stood in the way of Walter White has perished. Like Skyler asks, what’s one more if it means total safety?

As a fan I’d love to see Jesse’s plan, whatever it is, work. Hey, something has to scare Walt enough to adopt a fake identity. As a critic I know the end is likely near for Jesse Pinkman. Hopefully his plan can bring down Walter before that happens.

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