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Blog: With 'Confessions', Jesse Pinkman is the real hero of 'Breaking Bad'
*SPOILERS AHEAD... just so you know.
For two full seasons, the desperately emerging plot twist of Breaking Bad hasn't been anything involving protagonist (or antagonist?) Walter White or even the head-on collision was has driving toward with his brother-in-law, Hank. It wasn't about Gus Fring or his issues with control, even if that explosive Season 4 finale was better and more definitive that virtually all other shows' series finales.
No. To me, it was always obvious that Jesse Pinkman – played by Aarol Paul, above – wasn't just loyal, but also wildly intelligent and extremely capable. He is, perhaps, smarter than even the brilliant chemist who's had him wrapped around his thumb since "Yo, Mr. White" had hair.
Finally, on Sunday night with "Confessions", that plot point hit its apex. Jesse finally realized everything Mr. White had done to him – well, not everything – and he finally drove the car off the ledge.
Jesse's strength has been the same reason for his many downfalls: he just doesn't care.
*The moment Jesse became the boss and Walt became his assistant
It first emerged when Gus slit one of his henchman's throats on front of him and Walt. While Mr. White – and even Mike – stood there in disbelief, Jesse got it. At breakfast after (*video above), he casually ate his eggs and described it all to Mr. White, who appeared to be as stunned by Jesse's intellect as George Sr., Michael, and Gob were when Buster taught them a lesson in Season 3 of Arrested Development.
Later, when Gus was drafting his new dream team, he didn't choose Walt. He chose Jesse. He chose the guy that – to him – was easier to control and (as Mike pointed out to Pinkman himself) had a stronger sense of loyalty.
But, there was something else there.
Jesse always knew what was going on, even if he didn't know everything about Jane's death or the Ricin. When he's clean, there's nobody better suited for the job he has, or anyone better at it.
He always knows when Mr. White is playing him – manipulating him – but he goes along with the guy anyway because he doesn't care what people think of him. He's more worried about the end game than he about the millions or his legacy, and the end game has never involved the death of Mr. White.
He knew Walt killed Mike. In some way, he knew Walt poisoned Brock, and he doubted the need for Gus's death even after he took an active part in it. He got it right at first, pointing a gun to Walt's head and nearly pulling the trigger, but who would you believe: a ruthless drug kingpin or your high school chemistry teacher?
There was some agony in this Sunday's final moments, too.
As much as Walt has tortured, destroyed, and tormented the younger Pinkman, he's also cared for him. He's loved him like he loves Walter Jr. He's looked out for him, and saved him on multiple occasions.
Even on his worst day, Walt's choices have helped Jesse. Jane needed to die. Brock needed to be the pawn that would let Jesse kill Gus, and Walt knew the kid would be alright.
Mr. White was only on Gus's chopping block, after all, because he chose to kill those two gangsters himself, and he came to Jesse's aid after he learned Pinkman was right – those two dudes not only used kids as drug mules, but they killed them like they'd kill a 30-year-old.
Still, it doesn't matter now. Walter's desire to control everything and his ease of lying to Jesse while doing it has been unearthed.
Those decisions – whether they were right or wrong – weren't Walt's to make.
It's why Jesse finally snapped at him in the desert – in "Confessions" – and begged him to stop playing him. He didn't want him to tell him to leave town for him. He just wanted him to be honest. He just wanted him to ask him for a favour.
He didn't need to have it laid out in a convincing – scientific – argument. He didn't need a hypothesis or a conclusion.
Jesse's stronger and smarter than anyone thinks he is and, in some way, his casual disposal of millions of dollars may have saved his life.
He doesn't have Walt's pride, and Walt's pride may kill him.
Or, it could be Jesse.
Breaking Bad, you've got my attention once again.