Breaking Bad is a television series that is chock full of dynamic and complex characters, and Jesse Pinkman is one of the best. Although he seems like a one dimensional moron at the start of the series, Jesse develops into one of the most complex, interesting, and sympathetic characters in the show.
But, like most of the characters on Breaking Bad, it seems like Jesse has just as many bad personal qualities as he has good ones. So with that in mind, what are Jesse Pinkman’s best personal traits, and what are his worst traits?
Best: His Ingenuity
Although Jesse isn’t always known for having the best ideas or thinking things through fully, he is actually really exceptional when it comes to thinking outside the box and coming up with solutions to problems that no one would ever conceive of.
Yes, the good ideas are outnumbered by the bad ones, but Jesse has occasionally come up with plans that have saved both he and Walt.
Worst: His Poor Judgment
A lot of the people in Jesse’s circle are some of the most entertaining characters in the show, however they have a tendency to be entertaining because they are such obvious idiots.
Jesse is risking a lot by getting so deep into the methamphetamine business, so trusting people like Badger, Skinny Pete, or Jane are incredibly obvious mistakes that almost no one besides Jesse would actually make.
Best: His Creativity
Although Jesse doesn’t explore this side of himself very much once he becomes a drug kingpin, a characteristic that he possesses is a pretty strong capability for creativity and artistry.
His abilities when it comes to creative thinking obviously help Jesse in the meth biz, but he really could have done more with his natural talent, and it would have been interesting to see him show off even more of that side of himself within the series.
Worst: His Self-Destructiveness
Walter White has a tendency to direct all blame and negativity for what goes wrong in his life towards external sources, but Jesse has a tendency to do the opposite. When things start to go wrong, Jesse always holds himself responsible for it, and once he starts blaming himself he also starts punishing himself.
It’s at least a better way of dealing with his problems than Walter’s method, but Jesse’s self-destructive streak tends to have enormous consequences for him and the people around him.
Best: His Intelligence
Despite the fact that everyone seems to presume that Jesse is an idiot, and despite the fact that he does spend a disproportionate amount of time very convincingly playing the part, it seems obvious that beneath that facade of moron is someone who is actually incredibly intelligent.
Walter is the most brilliant chemist who ever lived, and Jesse managed to learn to make meth that is pretty much identical in quality to Walt’s, which is impressive.
Worst: His Spitefulness
One of Jesse’s more positive aspects as a person is that he is actually very caring and in touch with his emotions. But the negative aspect of that positive is that he tends to really take it hard when people are mean to him.
He can be dangerously sensitive and lose sight of the bigger picture when his feelings are hurt, and it’s not uncommon for things to get extremely screwed up because Jesse let his spitefulness get the best of him.
Best: His Inherent Moral Compass
Although Jesse seems like a typical druggie burnout on the surface, the truth is that he is an incredibly empathetic and naturally moral person in the grand scheme of things.
Yes, he makes meth, but he has a real issue with any situation that involves directly harming another person, and no matter how deep he gets into the immoral world of the drug trade, he still has an obvious natural moral compass.
Worst: His Inability To Think Things Through
Jesse is actually a pretty clever dude when it comes down to it, but the amount of problems that he creates and encounters because he simply doesn’t use the intelligence he possesses is insane.
If Jesse would actually take two minutes to stop and think about something before actually doing it, half of the problems that he or Walt encounters throughout the series would likely be avoided.
Best: His Empathy
One of the most entertaining aspects of Breaking Bad right from the beginning is the obvious juxtaposition between Jesse Pinkman and Walter White.
They make fantastic foils for one another, but as the series goes on and the character develops, one of the major ways where Walt and Jesse seem to be contrasted is in their sense of empathy. While Walter seems to get colder and crueler over time, Jesse’s experiences actually make him even more empathetic.
Worst: His Lack Of Foresight
An obvious running theme with Jesse as a character is that he is capable of being pretty clever, but it’s a skill he doesn’t often use.
And one of the most dangerous examples of that problem is Jesse’s seeming inability to foresee the obvious consequences of his actions and decisions that are about to hit him like a freight train. A lot of the more tragic outcomes that Jesse experiences were very predictable, but Jesse didn’t see them coming for some reason.