While Walter White was off developing a meth empire in response to his cancer diagnosis, Jesse Pinkman was following along. At first, he was willing and funny, a teen without aspiration but a knack for both making and taking the drug. By the end of the show, Jesse’s life and character had been transformed beyond comprehension.
Despite being the comic relief and relatability, Jesse still did his fair share of bad things. Sure, he had a lot more guilt about them than the semi-evil Walt, but they happened, nonetheless.
Used Drinking Water On The Fire
This first mistake is more down to the stupidity of season one Jesse than anything else. While he and Walt were out in the desert cooking up one of their first batches, a little fire started and Jesse used drinking water to put it out. In fairness, the fire was gone.
However, so was their supply of drinking water. This meant the two cooks were stuck in the desert slowly dehydrating for days. Bad move.
Was Addicted To Meth
This one is a little more serious. Jesse battles with an addiction to meth throughout the entire run of the show. At first, he doesn’t seem fully addicted, and by the end he has (not really through any fault of his own) kicked the drug entirely. In the middle, things are often a lot worse.
His addiction led to a lot of unnecessary spending, a lot of unnecessary brushes with the law, a lot of unnecessary confrontation with Walt, and a lot of unnecessary health scares. It also led him to heroin eventually. You could say meth was unnecessary for Jesse’s wellbeing.
Spending The Money On One Night
Speaking of spending money pointlessly, remember when it was revealed that Jesse blew a lot of the money he and Walt made on one night full of strippers and drugs?
This was early on, so Jesse didn’t quite know the gravity of the situation, and wasn’t in such a terrifying, life-or-death situation, but he still effectively spent the life savings of an old man with cancer. Rough.
Was A Criminal His Whole Life
Another problem with Jesse is his choice of lifestyle. Even before he met Walt, he was cooking and selling meth which could have ended up in the hands of kids. After meeting Walt, he was co-responsible for the literal deaths of innocent children and got himself into situations far stickier than he would have on his own.
While Jesse is a sympathetic character who doesn’t want this life, it’s hard to move past the fact that he is still involved. If he’d have dropped out earlier on, people would still be alive.
Sold Drugs At Rehab
It could be argued that one of the worst things someone could do is attempt to sell drugs to those in rehab. Well, that’s exactly what Jesse does.
Skinny Pete and Badger don’t like it, and eventually, Jesse himself moves away from the idea, but it doesn’t change the fact that for a while, Jesse was attempting to pedal drugs towards those most vulnerable, just as they were trying to better themselves.
Was A Factor In Hank’s Death
Obviously, the death of Hank is the fault of Walter White. His involvement with the Nazis who put the final bullet in the drug enforcement officer was the cause of Hank’s death. But Jesse doesn’t get away scot-free. After all, Jesse hates Hank, and Hank hates Jesse. Remember, for all his faults, Walt really was trying to protect and care for his family, Hank included.
If Jesse and Walt hadn’t gone their separate ways, the incredible scene in the desert in ‘Ozymandias’ wouldn’t have happened, and Marie wouldn’t have had to hear of her husband’s untimely death.
Was A Factor In Jane’s Death
Again, we feel sorry for Jesse for this one, but you need to look beneath what we are seeing to understand his involvement. Sure, Walt looks down on Jane and walks away, leaving her to die when he could have saved her.
But the reason she is choking in the first place is because of a heroin overdose. Jesse knew she was an addict, and it was he who got her back into drugs. Without that, she would never have died.
Dissolved A Body
One of our first encounters with the brutality and gore of Breaking Bad came in season one. It might be a much lower level of violence than what we saw in later seasons, but the decomposition of a body in a bathtub is still rather grim.
Jesse and Walt ended up with a coin flip to decide who killed him, and although Jesse didn’t have to pull the trigger, he still had to allow a murder to take place in his aunt’s house, then put his body into a bath of acid and let it dissolve what was once a human being.
His Treatment Of His Parents
While it didn’t directly result in any death like many of Jesse’s other actions and activities, his treatment of his parents is particularly heart-breaking. They aren’t exactly nice to him and shun him for being a failure in their eyes, but just as we think they’re fixing the broken bond between them, things go south once more.
He blackmails them into selling him his old house, and at one point, convinces them that he is about to turn himself in, only to do a 180 and never speak to them again.
He Killed Gale
Undoubtedly the worst thing Jesse did was kill Gale Boetticher. He was designed exclusively to be liked. The audience needed someone who was truly, genuinely nice without an ounce of moral corruption within. I guess he did cook meth, but it was mostly just because he absolutely loved chemistry.
He respected Walt for his scientific brain, not his drug empire. Watching Jesse shake and cry as he pulls the trigger is heart-breaking, yes, but the fact that he put an end to the one character who was truly innocent in order to save the man who ruined his life, Walt, was a big mistake.