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AMC (ended 2013)

Editor's Note: We've now updated this to include Season 5B, up to but not including the finale.

When Breaking Bad first premiered, it was very much the story of Walter White. But once series creator Vince Gilligan realized the asset he had in Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman, the show started to put just as much focus on Jesse's journey as it did on Walt's. Mr. Pinkman became the moral compass of a show that's very rarely had such a thing (in ABQ, all moral compasses seemingly point straight to hell). 

Of course, Jesse's growing importance to the narrative never stopped Gilligan and the rest of the creative team from treating Jesse like a piece of crap. Which is why I was able to create this list of the 10 worst things to ever happen to the poor guy. 


12. He fell backwards off a roof that one time

And he wasn't wearing pants.


11. He was forced to spend a day with ATM-stealing meth heads and care for their neglected child

This is also the moment when the world decided to collectively hug Jesse Pinkman and never let him go.


10. He fell through the roof of a Port-a-Potty

Gravity made Jesse its bitch.


9. His parents kicked him out of their house

Absolute worst freaking parents on the planet, am I right? They even took the phone!


8. He didn't listen to Walt about the acid and really f*cked up his bathtub


You should have listened to Walt's advice about the plastic tub, man.


7. His friend Combo was shot by a 10-year-old


R.I.P. Combo.


6. Hank beat the shit out of him


I suppose this item could have just been titled, "All the times anyone beat the crap out of him."


5A. Walt poisoned Jesse's girlfriend's son Brock to manipulate Jesse into helping him kill Gus

And that plant was in Walt's backyard the whole damn time.


5B. And then when he finally realized the truth about Brock's poisoning and tried to burn down Walt's house in revenge his plans were thwarted by Hank


Damn it, Hank!


4. He was held hostage and forced to cook meth for Todd because Todd has a crush on Lydia


Todd is the worst (but also the best because he spared Jesse's life?).


3. He was forced to watch Todd kill Andrea as punishment for trying to escape


She might not have been well-loved by fans, but she didn't deserve that. And neither did Jesse.

2. He was forced to kill Gale in order to save Walt

The aftermath was probably the worst we've ever seen the poor kid prior to Season 5B. (And if your heart isn't already aching for the kid, just re-watch Jesse's confession in "Problem Dog.")


1A. His girlfriend died in bed right next to him after choking on her own vomit, and Walt did nothing to save her


That was way harsh, Tai. 


1B. And then Walt told Jesse the truth about Jane out of anger and spite and Jesse completely lost the will to live


F you, Walt.

Holy shit, that was depressing. Here, this should cheer you right up.

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/29/2013

Season 5 : Episode 16

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Oh... yeah you got the jane one- sorry
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What about his beating from Tuko Salamanca ?? and who could forget him waking up next to a dead girlfriend(jane)!!!
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poor Jesse :''''''(((((( ... that last gif always made me smile!!!!!!!
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Hank is the most self absorbed person in the show (great actor btw) Hank does not consider any consequences for his actions but I must say he did some first class self defence when about to be taken out by the silent brothers I loved Hectors character too and the special effects when half of Gus' face was blown off and he still found time to straighten his tie moments before death has to be one of the best scenes in film history let alone a TV show I am sure Tarentino would have loved to have used that idea in one of his films lol that's more his style
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I know Walt has the Plant near his pool (Lily Of The Valley) but that does not mean Walt poisoned the child on purpose it was probably accidental contact with the plant at some point and transfer to a door handle or even Gus could have done it knowing Walt had such a plant near the pool remember Gus was dead set on driving a wedge between the 2 .. the Risen he just stashed behind wall sockets and light switches for something else to come I feel
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walt has full on admitted to poisoning Brock. Justifying this season verbally that he knew just the right amount to use so that Brock would be ok.
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Walts measures to win jesse back usually do the reverse but their little universes seem to come together perfectly but collide perfectly as well I hope the unexpected keeps happening right until the last episode which I am sitting on the edge of my seat for, I am hoping the "hit" Walt is about to put out on Jesse prongs Walts "conscience" (he still has a conscience for Jesse and his family against all odds) I cannot see Walt allowing anybody to kill Jesse even though he's planned it he'll back out or save his life he has too much love for the boy and I mean love in a non gay way they have a father/son bond and Jesse even picked up his poorly marked school test (marked by Mr White) and focused on "Apply Yourself" as a second chance.

I am a little bit forgetful as to why Walter poisoned Brock I think it was the less harmful one Lily Of The Valley this was all planned to not kill the child but to directly occupy Jesse with hospital time V Methlab time ? Many questions of morality in my head. It was a cruel twist after the Train Robbery I suppose you could blame Walt for the death of everybody but it's all contradictive all of the deaths were unavoidable they were not to know Tod is a complete sociopathic killer and being sociopathic is a mental illness Tod doesn't see any wrong in killing folk he could have been with anyone and still shot a young kid .. oh well let's see what happens
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so much of that is because of Walt... you should make a list like this with the worst things that Walt has done. maybe to Jesse, but hell, it could be to anyone.
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Hey, what happened to all the blank lines I typed in my posts below? Are blank lines no longer allowed in replies?
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"When he met Walter White" should really be the number one worst thing that happened to Jesse. But not to us because that odd couple pairing is my favorite thing on TV!!!

I'm really worried for Jesse this season :(
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Jesse is the definition of 'Butt Monkey' if I ever saw one. For those television fans unaware of the term, 'Butt Monkey' refers to a fictional character 'who is always the butt of the demeaning joke or the "put him through hell" plotline. For whatever reason, the Butt Monkey seems to walk through life with a permanent "Kick Me" sign attached to their backs, invisible to them, but all too visible to the rest of the world. Nothing ever goes right for this character, and if something bad is going to happen to someone, chances are it's going to happen to them. Long story short, it sucks to be the Butt Monkey.' (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ButtMonkey)

It's worth a read if you're a television fan, and could also possibly support my Jessie should die idea if in fact he's played this role the entire series.

'Peekaboo', the episode where Walt sends Jesse to confront the two drug addicts, was the first ever episode of Breaking Bad I ever saw, and to be honest, it was such a dark episode I considered not watching the show again.

As with the other thread, I'd argue Jesse had a choice not to kill Gale (he could have, after all, let Walt die instead, which probably would have been a much better outcome for him). And from his parents perspective, Jesse isn't the best son either, is he?
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It's interesting that we (yes I do it sometimes as well) think of Jesse as a moral compass of the show and Walt as the devil when basically everything bad Walt did Jesse's done as well. Sure he feels bad about it and does it begrudgingly but haven't we been fooled a little too easily?
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thanks Kaitlin great article... Jesse will have his redemption.
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I really wish I had time to catch up before the finale.
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Why are you on here then posting comments? Go marathon now!
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A few people seemed curious about Vince originally planning to kill Jesse. Here's how that came about:

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Well now that the show is ending... Maybe Gilligan will kill him?
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How come just being born did not make it on the list?
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I hope he finds out and kicks Walt's ass. Maybe he won't find out about anything or everything, but Walt has done so much to him. I'm currently rewatching the whole the series and the serious manipulation that starts in season 4 from Gus and Walt is just horrible to watch. I really want him to just take his bag of cash and run somewhere where he will never be caught. Or do the ultimate betrayal and turn Walt in for immunity or Witness Protection or something. I just want him to survive.
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I hope he finds out about Jane.It just seems like he needs to.And I think killing Gale hit him harder then anything else.The way Gale was reacting to what was going on...man I actually feel really bad about his death.He just seemed so innocent ya know.I wonder how Aaron Paul prepared for that scene.I'm sure it took an emotional toll on him.I am really excited for tomorrow night!And I know that Jessie would've probably ended up in a pile of s*** even if he hadn't meant Walt,but because of Walt,Jane died,He forced Jessie to kill Gale and poisoned Brock to manipulate Jessie.I mean making him think he lost the ricin and possibly having someone come by it on accident and killing them was and is just wrong.
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Meeting Walter White is number 1 IMO.
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Walt didn't take Jessie anywhere he didn't want to be. I presume the "morals police" will swoop in somewhere as letting Walt, Jessie, and the rest just disappear to some tropical paradise just can't be allowed to happen
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so you want a predictable/traditional/stereotypical ending? the "good guys" win and the "bad guys" get punished?
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No, you misread that. Agarress is saying basically what you said in the other thread, that people who want to project morals into the show will come in and say that Walt can't live happily ever after because he's a bad person.
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my bad!
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FYI: Use the Photo icon to upload an image URL to the comments!


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I think Jesse doesn't have to learn about Brock. But he DEFINIETLY has to learn about Jane.
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Although it didn't happen to him, per say, I am really surprised that the murder of the aforementioned 10-year-old didn't make the list. Given that he was (or at least felt) indirectly responsible for it. And it was something that hit him so hard he slipped back momentarily into his drug-taking and was willing to die in seeking vengeance against the murderers.
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I always thought Walter was more responsible for the kid's death. If he had just made him the ricin to begin with, instead of ratting him out to Gus the boy wouldn't have been killed.
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Yeah, but in Jesse's eyes, it was him confronting Gus about it and making such an issue of it, that led to Gus' 'No more children' order and subsequently his death. Whether or not we see it more as Walter's fault, Jesse took it to heart and blamed himself, adding to already piling guilt and remorse and self-loathing.
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I think #7 should be higher. His parents didn't just tell him that he can't stay in the house. They pretty much ended their relationship with him. Not sure where I'd put it though. Certainly no lower than #5. Maybe as high as #2.
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I have the feeling Jessie is going to find that Walter didn't help Jane and will kill him.
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There's no way he can find out, unless Walter tells him what he did. I don't see that happening unless Walter is already minutes, or at most a few days away from dying anyway, from cancer or less natural causes. So I don't think they'll be going down that route.

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IIRC the kid acted strangely in the presence of walt in the last season. Maybe the kid knows he was poisoned by walt??
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I really hope the last 8 eps work in his favour, poor Jesse :(
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You know Vince Gilligan was originally planning to kill Jesse at the end of season one. I can't imagine this show without Jesse Pinkman. I wonder how/if Jesse will found out the truth behind Brock's poisoning.
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That's crazy, I'd never heard that until now. I think I probably would have stopped watching at that point. I remember finding Walt's family (besides Hank) super annoying the first couple of seasons. And I've always disliked Walter, idk if the showrunners intended for him to always be so unsympathetic to start but he always was to me.
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Wow...I didn't know that. The show would have been completely different without Jesse. I can't imagine it.
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I agree, it's just not fair all the sh*t that Jesse gets! And then Walt's going to talk him into something even worse, you can bet your Funions on that ;-)
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It makes sense that bad stuff is always happening to him. He's an irresponsible, reckless kid who is prone to bad decisions and does not have a good head on his shoulder at all. If he was not so well connected to the big movers in the drug world, he would have been killed a long time ago. And yes, Jesse's best when he's depressed and down.
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Yep, that was depressing. :P
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Staff
This is amazing.
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*weeps*
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Awesome! (How do you embed GIFs in your posts, though, I have to wonder?)
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you just use the "add a photo" button..
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There's an 'add a photo' button? Oh, wow, there's an 'add a photo' button! I have no idea how I missed that.
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Considering how much it impacted him, I'd have thought #5 (Combo's death) would be higher on the list... but then I see #4 to #1 and can't disagree with any of those.

Shit, I thought there was more than enough crappiness in my life but Jesse's is quiiiite a bit worse, hehe.
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#9 was just super depressing in general
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regarding #1--wasn't she the one who led him back to drugs? If I remember that correctly then her dying may of been a good thing since she reinforced his drug use. Sorry he lost his lover but she wasn't good for him...I need to re-watch it to make sure that I am remembering it correctly.

I like leepierce184's #1;-)
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Yes and no.

Jesse decided to take crystal meth because he felt responsible for Combo getting killed, so he told Jane to go away because he didn't want her to get tempted into ruining her sobriety. But she sympathized with his pain and decided to stay with him by joining in on the drugs. So in that sense, he actually led her to relapse.

Buuuuut after smoking the crystal meth for a while, it was Jane's decision that they "upgrade" to a speedball by mixing in heroin with the meth. That then killed her.
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I can look forward to watching it all again when the show ends.

Thanks for clarifying everything.

I don't think they were good for each other because of the drugs but she didn't deserve to die even though I understood Walter's reasons---his passive inactions likely contributed to her death--sad but I don't think her and Jessie were good for each other because of their drug addiction fueling the other person's drug addiction...in a perfect world it would of been nice if they went to rehab and lived happily ever after but that would be boring to watch on tv. We need an "evil" grin emoticon!
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I've seen the argument about Jane being a bad influence on Jesse because of them doing drugs, fueling their addiction. And I can understand where that's coming from. But the thing is... How does that make what Walt did a "good" thing? It's not like after letting Jane die he told Jesse to get out of the drug business, go into rehab, and start a new life. No, he pulled Jesse from one bad life to another for selfish reasons, to get Jesse to help him with the meth business. Sure, he justifies it as "realizing his potential," but that's BS talk for "doing what I want him to do."
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it was a "good" thing for Walter.
you are correct in what you say
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"his passive inactions likely contributed to her death"

It was much, much worse than that. She made sure to sleep on her side so that she wouldn't choke on her vomit if she throws up. Then Walt came in and shook Jesse to try to wake him up. This made Jane roll over on her back. I suppose she could have rolled over anyway, but she was in a safe position before Walt inadvertently rolled her over.

So she didn't die just because of his passive inaction. She died because he rolled her over, and *then* chose to just stand there and watch her die.

I also have to object to the choice of words "likely contributed". Maybe you were just trying to say that there's a chance she would have died anyway, that night or some other time. I would agree with that, but you seem to be saying that we don't know for sure that Walt's actions caused her death. We *do* know that for sure.

I consider Walt to be as responsible for her death as if he had gutted her with a knife. There's no moral difference between "causing someone's death through inaction" and "causing someone's death through action". Inaction is just a special kind of action.


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"Did he know shaking Jesse would make her roll over?"

No. And when it happened, he almost certainly didn't understand the significance of it.

"Her method of staying on her side while unconscious wasn't foolproof"

This is very likely to be true. (I suppose it's possible that the drugs prevent you from changing position while sleeping, but I have no reason to think that they do).

"Would EMS arrived on time to be able to save her?"

No. But I think she started to cough up her vomit, and the problem was that since she was on her back, it just ran back into her throat instead of out of her mouth. So it's very likely that all Walt would have had to do was to roll her over and hold her face in a down position for 30 seconds.

"She knew she was engaging in high risk behavior so what percentage of her death was her fault?"

I don't know about this one. I don't think there's a meaningful way to define this concept. If the probability that she would have died anyway that night is P, then did Walt commit 1-P of a murder? If the probability that she would have died that week is Q, then did Walt commit 1-Q of a murder? It's not clear what time we should consider, and it's impossible to estimate the probabilities accurately.


"I think he indirectly caused her death and facilitated the death through his inaction (yes, inaction is an action). I think it started as an accident but then became a choice..."

Agreed.

"I also think she contributed to her own death (maybe even more then Walter)"

In a way, I suppose, but I don't think it's relevant. Suppose that I see someone walking a rope between two tall buildings, and I grab the rope and shake it so that he falls do his death. You could say that he contributed as much to his death as I did, but does that make me any less of a murderer? I don't think so. The fact that the victim "contributed" in some way doesn't make the chosen action less than murder.

"I want to be surprised and not have the cliche ending of the bad guy getting locked or or killed"

Agreed. I still get irritated when I think about the cliche ending of Falling Down.
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Like I said, I need to rewatch it. To my limited recollection he inadvertently* caused her death and what was worse (morally) was that he didn't try to help but I thought I understood why he did not intervene---she was bad for Jesse and bad for their business--I'm not saying the he was right or that she deserved to die--however I remember not being sad that her character died and actually thinking--hmm, that solved that problem (horrible of me, I know).

*inadvertently~~he didn't know shaking Jesse would cause her to roll over and vomit, right?...more below

Let me play devil's advocate:

Did he know shaking Jesse would make her roll over?
Did she know that shooting up those drugs could lead to unconsciousness and vomiting? Yes.
She did chose to shoot up enough drugs to lead to unconsciousness and vomiting, right? She knew that because she tried to set it up so that she wouldn't asphyxiate on her vomit.
Her method of staying on her side while unconscious wasn't foolproof~~I need to watch it again.
Could she of rolled over if Jesse had rolled over on his own (without being shook)?
Would EMS arrived on time to be able to save her?
Do we know for sure if Walter tried to help her (assume he knows basic cpr) it would of worked? Had she aspirated enough vomit that doing something like the Heimlich maneuver would of been ineffective?
Was he obligated to call 911 or attempt cpr (even if not certified)? What if there was no working phone, what if he didn't know cpr/heimlich?
She knew she was engaging in high risk behavior so what percentage of her death was her fault? Wow, that sounds bad~blaming the victim~~but she did contribute/cause her own death...as did Walter

Regarding causing death through inaction or action, I think it depends on intent and depends on direct vs indirect cause...more complicated legally and morally. I guess that's why we have manslaughter, murder 2, murder 1....

Despite what I wrote above, and just going off my imperfect memory, I think he indirectly caused her death and facilitated the death through his inaction (yes, inaction is an action). I think it started as an accident but then became a choice~~I hope that makes sense. I also think she contributed to her own death (maybe even more then Walter).

It's weird to debate on Walter's behalf when in real life I would try to save anyone's life regardless if the person was a junkie, criminal, anyone as long as it did not immediately jeopardize my life. I am not Walter White and would not of made the choices he made to start with to get in those situations. At the same time, I can understand his choices/actions/inactions even if I would of done it different. He is a "bad" guy and IRL I would want him locked up in jail but in show I want to be surprised and not have the cliche ending of the bad guy getting locked or or killed (but that has nothing to do with this debate).

After I watch it again, I'll probably come back here and wonder WTF I was thinking when typing this...
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}-D
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DJ8, maybe so. It could also appear to be a happy steer, which might invite lawsuits from the folks who make Laughing Cow cheese. You know, la vache qui rit.
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That seems a bit too similar to 8=D.

>_<
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Jesse has to learn about all the times Walt lied and manipulated him right? I mean, it's one of the foundations of the show, the way Walt handles Jesse and sucks him into his world. No way Jesse doesn't find out about Jane and Brock.
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1. He took Walt's Chemistry class, which ultimately led Jesse down this dark and dangerous road.
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