Jesse Pinkman


What a grand creation is Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman. Stuttering syncopation, juvenile bravado and arrested emotion wrapped in B-boy swagger. How I loved listening to this guy talk.  All frenzy and ellipses. Pinkman would offer rapid-fire delivery that merged hip-hop and Valley Boy and then stop, leaving one word dangling ... alone. It was  like jazz riffing. As with the other major characters on this remarkable show, Pinkman was a neurotic enigma. And we were left to wonder, or not, how he came to be who he was. Why was he so viscerally homophobic? Was it street hustle or overcompensation? Why did he break bad so early? One thing was clear to me -- Jesse had two, true loves in the series. Both he lost to drugs -- Jane and Walter. Yeah, he cared deeply for Andrea and Brock Cantillo, but by the time he met the young mother and her son he had already been transformed into the "Bad Guy." His attachment to them was not about love but about redemption. But Jesse LOVED Jane Margolis. She cut through all of his residual Cap'n Cook BS and found the kid who loved to draw and imagined that he was special, in some way. She affirmed him and, yes, hurt him, and he loved her deeply. Walt he loved despite the manipulation and condescension. He loved Walt because Mr. White wanted him to be better, to try harder, to apply himself dammit. And when Walt hurt Jesse, turned on him, or let him down, the wound went deep. Pinkman's most powerful scene, at least to me, was delivered in Season Three from the hospital bed, as he was recovering from Hank Schrader's beat down. His denunciation of Walt's million dollar offer was his moment to hurt Mr. White in the way that he, Jesse, had been hurt so many times in his life -- by rejection. "You don't give a SHIT about me," Jesse spat, his face horribly swollen. It was a masterful performance by Aaron Paul, who truly deserved every accolade he's received for his work in this series.

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