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What's the point of being an outlaw when you got responsibilities?
~ Jesse Pinkman
Is a meth empire really something to be proud of?
~ Jesse to Walter White

Jesse Bruce Pinkman is the deuteragonist of Breaking Bad and the main protagonist of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

He is a small-time methamphetamine cook and dealer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who goes into business with his high school chemistry teacher Walter White to make and distribute an incredibly pure form of meth of Walt's creation.

While Walt often treats Jesse like a foolish child in constant need of stern correction, they have a deep bond of loyalty. Like Walt, Jesse is horrified by the brutality in the higher levels of the drug trade, but does what he thinks is necessary. He struggles with feelings of guilt and sorrow over the deaths that result from his and Walt's crimes, especially those of his girlfriends Jane Margolis and Andrea Cantillo.

As the series progresses, Jesse becomes more troubled and sympathetic, while Walt becomes more ruthless and violent. In the second half of Season 5, Jesse goes to war with Walt upon learning from Saul Goodman that Walt tricked him into helping him bring down drug kingpin Gustavo Fring by poisoning his girlfriend's son, Brock. As a result, Jesse teams up with DEA agent Hank Schrader, Walt's brother-in-law, to bring Walt down. They are almost successful in arresting Walt in a desert, but are stopped by Jack Welker and his gang. Jesse is later taken prisoner by the gang and forced into cooking meth for them. He is freed by Walt after the latter kills off the gang, allowing Jesse to escape.

Following his escape, Jesse becomes a fugitive and suffers PTSD, vowing to escape to Alaska. After killing Neil Kandy, who was involved with his enslavement, he manages to finally move on with his life.

He was portrayed by Aaron Paul, who has been widely praised for his performance, winning two Emmy awards.

Biography

Past

Jesse Bruce Pinkman was born in September 1984 into an upper middle-class family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At the time the series starts, he has long been estranged from his parents due to his drug abuse and lifestyle. After being forced to leave his parents' residence, Jesse moved in with his Aunt Jenny, whom he cared for until her death from cancer; afterwards, he was allowed to stay in her home, whose ownership fell to Jesse's parents. Jesse was a poor student in high school, preferring getting stoned with his friends to studying.

Walter White, who Jesse almost always calls "Mr. White," was his chemistry teacher, and flunked him in his class. Walt himself later tells Jesse that he never thought much of him, although his mother recalls that Walt "must have seen some potential in Jesse, he really tried to motivate him. He was one of the few teachers who cared". Jesse would later deliver on that potential, producing a product on his own which Walt concedes is as good as what Walt himself produced and superior to that which was produced by Gale Boetticher, who held an advanced degree in chemistry.

Season 1

On the day that Walt goes on a ride-along with Hank as he busts a meth lab, he notices Jesse running away from the crime scene, and realizes that his former student is the meth cook known as "Captain Cook". Walt uses student records to track down Jesse, and blackmails him into helping him get into the meth business. Walt would use his expertise in chemistry to cook a potent form of crystal meth, while Jesse would sell it across Albuquerque. Walt gives Jesse $7,000 to acquire a base where they would cook meth, but Jesse wastes most of the money at a strip club. Jesse's friend and fellow dealer Christian "Combo" Ortega sells him an RV, which Jesse and Walt intend to use as a roving meth lab.

On the first day of Walt being in the business, Jesse is impressed by the quality of the meth, calling it the purest he had ever seen. Realizing they needed a buyer, Jesse meets with Krazy-8, a local dealer, to do business with him; unbeknownst to Jesse, however, Krazy 8 is actually a DEA informant. When Krazy 8 and his partner Emilio Koyama meet the two in the New Mexico desert, Emilio recognizes Walt from the previous DEA bust. They attempt to kill Walt, but he produces phosphine gas that kills Emilio and knocks Krazy-8 unconscious. Jesse is tasked with disposing of Emilio's body by dissolving it in hydrofluoric acid, but he puts the acid and the body in a non-acid-resistant bathtub, burning a hole through the bathroom and landing the remains of Emilio's body into the downstairs hallway.

After they clean up the mess, Walt kills Krazy 8, and Walt and Jesse are left with no choice but to sell their meth on their own. They eventually move the meth lab from the RV into Jesse's basement. Jesse eventually feels that they aren't making enough money, so he gets help from fellow dealer Skinny Pete to negotiate with Tuco Salamanca, a drug lord operating in the area; however, Tuco tries to intimidate Walt by beating Jesse so severely that he has to be hospitalized. Walt (now known as "Heisenberg") retaliates by blowing up Tuco's office with fulminated mercury, "persuading" Tuco to distribute their meth and give them a share of the profits, with an extra $50,000 as compensation for Jesse's pain and suffering. Walt and Jesse steal a truck full of methylamine, so now they are able to produce meth faster and in larger quantities.

Season 2

Walt and Jesse deliver a large amount of meth to Tuco, but get worried when they see him beat his henchman "No Doze" to death in a meth-induced fit of rage. After the DEA raid Tuco's operation, Tuco gets paranoid and believes that Walt and Jesse are about to sell him out, so he kidnaps them both and put them in a remote house in the New Mexico desert with his invalid uncle, drug cartel boss Hector Salamanca. They are held there for several days until Tuco takes them to a "superlab" he owns in Mexico; as luck would have it, they manage to escape from Tuco just as Hank shows up, looking for the missing Walt. They watch Hank kill Tuco in self-defense, meaning that they don't have to worry about him ever again.

When Jesse gets back to civilization, he finds that his car and money have been taken by the DEA, and the RV has been impounded. Even worse, Jesse's parents discover that he has been cooking meth in their basement and kick him out of the house. Hours later, the rest of his belongings are stolen. With nowhere to go, Jesse breaks into the towing impound and spends the night in the RV. Upon waking up, he persuades Walt to give him his share of their drug money, with which he buys a new car and rents an apartment. He starts a romantic relationship with his landlord, Jane Margolis, a part-time tattoo artist and recovering heroin addict.

Skinny Pete is robbed by a group of married addicts, and Walt tells Jesse to "handle it". Jesse confronts the addicts at their house and is traumatized when he sees the wife kill the husband. He later calls the cops so they can take care of the addicts' child. Jesse takes credit for the husband's death, which gives him a fearsome reputation in Albuquerque's criminal underworld. He later assists Walt's corrupt lawyer Saul Goodman in laundering their drug money through a nail salon.

When Combo is murdered by a rival dealer, Jesse falls into a deep depression, which he numbs by doing heroin with Jane. He quickly becomes an addict, and he nearly ruins Walt's deal with meth kingpin Gustavo Fring by getting too stoned to deliver a shipment worth $1,200,000, forcing Walt to do it himself. Walt refuses to give Jesse his share until he gets sober, but Jane blackmails him into giving them the money. That night, Jesse and Jane shoot up and pass out, and Jesse wakes up the next morning to find that Jane has died of an overdose. Unbeknownst to him, Walt indirectly caused her death; he broke into their apartment the night before intent on talking Jesse into getting off heroin, but accidentally caused Jane to turn on her side, and did nothing to help her when she choked on her own vomit.

Panicked and grief-stricken, Jesse calls Saul, who sends his "cleaner" Mike Ehrmantraut to dispose of the body. Walt then enrolls Jesse in a drug rehabilitation program.

Season 3

While in rehab, Jesse learns about Jane's father being so depressed after her death that he, as an air traffic controller, accidentally drove two planes into each other while they were in the air, killing hundreds of people. Jesse leaves rehab clean and sober, and tells Walt that he has accepted the truth about himself - that he is the "bad guy". Jesse and Saul strong-arm Jesse's parents into selling him his aunt's house at a drastically reduced price.

Meanwhile, Hank deduces that Jesse's RV is a meth lab, so he tracks it down to a local junkyard. Saul has his secretary call Hank pretending to be a nurse and say that Hank's wife is in the hospital, getting rid of Hank and giving Walt time to destroy the RV and protect the operation. Upon finding out that he has been tricked, Hank beats Jesse to a pulp, which leads to Hank being temporarily suspended from the DEA. When Jesse wakes up in the hospital, Walt talks him into helping him in the "superlab" that Gus has given him now that he works for him. He becomes romantically involved with Andrea Cantillo, a single mother and fellow recovering addict. Jesse discovers that her 11-year-old brother Tomas killed Combo on Gus' orders. Jesse plots revenge by killing the dealers Tomas worked with, but backs off when he discovers that the dealers work for Gus.

When Tomas is murdered by the dealers, an enraged Jesse decides to kill them. Walt intervenes at the last minute and kills the dealers himself, and tells Jesse to run. Jesse goes into hiding, thus forcing Gus to replace Jesse with his minion Gale Boetticher, with whom Gus plans to replace Walt, as well. Walt discovers the plot and convinces Jesse to kill Gale, which he does after a moment's hesitation at Gale's apartment.

Season 4

Jesse and Walt return to Gus' superlab, where they witness Gus kill his henchman Victor with a box cutter. Jesse numbs the guilt over murdering Gale by throwing non-stop parties at his house and giving Andrea a large sum of money to care for her son, Brock. He also starts stealing meth from the superlab, which he would sell at his parties.

Mike sends Jesse to collect drop money as part of Gus' larger plan to get rid of Walt. At the last pickup location, Jesse sees a man approach the car with a shotgun in hand, so he rams the car into the attacker's and drives away. Mike later informs him that the man was working for Gus, and the confrontation was a test that Jesse passed with flying colors. Walt realizes that Gus is trying to damage his relationship with Jesse, but Jesse dismisses this claim. He accompanies Mike on another job to retrieve some stolen product from two addicts, fixating one of the addicts on digging a hole and easily disarming the other, which Gus finds impressive. Jesse resumes his relationship with Andrea and becomes a father figure to Brock.

Walt tells Jesse of a plot to kill Gus with ricin, which Jesse hides in a cigarette. He goes to a meeting between Gus and some third-party dealers and thinks about putting the ricin into some coffee, but realizes that this would also kill the third-party dealers present. Walt pushes Jesse to meet with Gus and kill him, but then discovers that Hank (now back in the DEA) is investigating Gus, which would also lead to him; in response, Jesse lies about not meeting Gus via text message. Walt puts a tracking device on Jesse's car and discovers that he had dinner with Gus at his house; the two get into a fight, which Jesse wins easily and warns Walt never to come to his house again. Gus and Mike take Jesse to a meth lab in Mexico, where Jesse replicates Walt's recipe.

After Gus kills cartel godfather Don Eladio and his minions with a bottle of poisoned tequila, Jesse saves him and Mike in the ensuing shootout. Gus shows his gratitude by offering to hire Jesse as a full-time cook, but Jesse says he will only accept if Gus leaves Walt alone. However, Gus manipulates Jesse into believing that Walt is planning to sell them out to the DEA.

Brock falls deathly ill, and Jesse assumes Walt poisoned him with ricin. He shows up at Walt's house and threatens to kill him, but Walt tells him that Gus is behind Brock's poisoning, reminding him of what happened to Tomas. Jesse tells Saul that Gus frequently visits the local retirement home to see Hector, which Saul and Walt think of as a way to finally kill Gus; they put a pipe bomb under Hector's wheelchair, which Hector detonates, killing himself and Gus. Walt goes to the superlab to save Jesse, who reveals that Brock was poisoned by Lily of the Valley berries; Walt nevertheless convinces him that killing Gus was necessary. The final scene of the season shows a potted Lily of the Valley plant in Walt's backyard, revealing that he poisoned Brock to motivate Jesse to kill Gus.

Season 5

Part 1

Jesse, torn up about Brock, begins a search for the ricin cigarette that he tried to use on Gus. Walt and Jesse search the latter's house for the ricin, leading to Walt placing a fake cigarette in Jesse's vacuum cleaner to persuade Jesse of his innocence. Jesse is fooled, and agrees to continue cooking meth with Walt. After some trouble with their methylamine supplier, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, Walt, Jesse and their new partner Todd Alquist rob a train containing 1,000 gallons of methylamine. During the robbery, Todd kills a child who witnessed them stealing the methylamine; Jesse is horrified, and decides to quit his partnership with Walt, even though it is making them a fortune. After some disagreement, Walt agrees to buy out Jesse's share of the business for $5,000,000.

Part 2

Wracked with guilt over the child's death, Jesse tries to give away his "blood money", eventually just throwing cash randomly out of his car window. The APD arrests him and Hank interrogates him about Walt, whom he has deduced is Heisenberg, but Jesse refuses to tell him anything out of a sense of loyalty. Saul manages to bail Jesse out, and arranges for him to be smuggled out of town to live under a new identity. While Jesse waits to be picked up, however, he finds the ricin cigarette, and realizes that it was used to poison Brock.

Jesse goes to Saul's office and attacks him, demanding to know what is going on; Saul confesses that Walt poisoned Brock and gave the order to steal the ricin. Enraged, Jesse goes to Walt's house and tries to set it on fire, but Hank intercepts him and talks him to into helping his investigation of Walt; Jesse will arrange a meeting with Walt and wear a wire tap to record Walt incriminating himself, giving Hank enough evidence to put Walt in prison. At the meeting, however, Jesse sees a suspicious-looking man next to Walt, and fears he is walking into a trap. He calls Walt on a pay phone, and swears revenge for Brock's poisoning. Jesse then tells Hank that the best way to get Walt is to mess with his drug money. After Hank interrogates Saul's bodyguard, he deduces that all of Walt's money is in the desert, buried, waiting to be found.

Jesse then calls Walt and tells him that he has found his money, threatening to burn every last bill if he doesn't show up fast. Since neither Jesse nor Hank know where the money is buried, they follow Walt to the location via cell phone surveillance. Walt arrives at the location and, realizing that he has been tricked, tells Todd's uncle Jack Welker, the leader of a biker gang with ties to the Aryan Brotherhood, to get his crew together and kill Jesse. Jack's crew arrives, and a gunfight ensues in which Hank is killed. Jesse hides under Walt's car during the shootout, but Walt gives him away. Before Jack's men take Jesse away, Walt spitefully tells him that he let Jane die.

The gang tortures Jesse into revealing all he knows about Walt's operation. He is then escorted - in chains - to a meth lab, where Todd tells him to cook; he puts a picture of Andrea and Brock on the wall as a warning that he will kill them if Jesse refuses. Jesse tries to escape, but Todd catches him and executes Andrea right in front of him, threatening to kill Brock next if Jesse tries to escape again. The gang holds Jesse prisoner for months, keeping him in chains and forcing him to cook.

One night, Todd brings a shackled Jesse out to face Walt, who has resurfaced after months of hiding, supposedly to make a deal with the gang; unbeknownst to them, Walt has concocted a plan to free Jesse and eliminate Jack and his crew. Walt tackles Jesse just as an M60 machine gun in his car opens fire on the compound, killing Jack's men. During the melee, Jesse wraps his shackles around Todd's throat and breaks his neck, avenging Andrea.

After executing Jack, Walt asks Jesse to kill him, but Jesse, seeing that Walt has been mortally wounded by his own gunfire, tells him to do it himself. As he gets into Walt's car to escape, Jesse overhears Walt answering a call from Lydia on Todd's cell phone and coldly informing her that he poisoned her with ricin; Jesse realizes that he is now completely free of the cartel. Jesse nods to Walt in gratitude, and drives away, laughing and crying with relief.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

In an opening flashback, Jesse meets with Mike on the bank of a river and tells him that he has decided to leave the drug business. They ask each other what they plan to do with the money they have collected. Mike says that if he were Jesse's age, he would move to Alaska and start his life anew. Jesse says that he would try to "set things right", but Mike regretfully tells him that changing his past is the one thing he cannot do.

In the present, immediately after escaping Jack's compound, Jesse speeds away in Todd's El Camino. He is forced to hide in a driveway when he sees a line of police cars heading in his direction. Jesse then drives to Skinny Pete's house, where Skinny Pete and Badger are playing a video game. Skinny Pete initially doesn't recognize Jesse due to his haggard appearance. The duo help Jesse hide the El Camino and give him food and a place to sleep.

The following day, Skinny Pete and Badger are watching a news conference about the previous night's shooting when Jesse wakes and suffers a traumatic flashback to his captivity at the compound. In a panic, Jesse pulls his gun on Skinny Pete and Badger. The duo calm Jesse down and persuade him to take a shower and shave. Realizing that he has to leave Albuquerque, Jesse tears a page from Skinny Pete's phone book and contacts Old Joe, with the aim of getting rid of the El Camino.

Old Joe initially agrees to remove the El Camino, but the car's anti-theft device is activated, which law enforcement will trace. Old Joe flees. Thinking quickly, Skinny Pete comes up with a plan to distract the police by having Badger dump Pete's Ford Thunderbird near the Mexican border while Jesse is given Badger's Pontiac Fiero to escape. Skinny Pete further gives Jesse some cash and his hat to disguise himself. As Jesse drives away, he sees a massive police convoy driving in the opposite direction towards Skinny Pete's house.

In another flashback, Jesse sits in his cage at the compound when Todd enlists his help with an errand. The two drive to Todd's apartment, where Jesse helps Todd fit a truck canopy onto the El Camino. Inside, Jesse sees the body of Todd's cleaning lady, Sonia, who Todd murdered after she discovered drug money stashed inside one of his hollowed-out encyclopedias. Todd tells Jesse that he has an idea for a new hiding spot in the apartment for his money. The pair roll up Sonia's body in a carpet and bury it in a remote part of the desert. Jesse finds Todd's gun in his glove box and threatens him with it, but Todd manages to calmly talk him down from using it.

Back in the present, Jesse listens to a radio report about an unidentified woman (Lydia Rodarte-Quayle) whose fatal poisoning has been attributed to Walter White. Jesse drives to Todd's apartment, where he narrowly avoids being seen by a neighbor as he uses Todd's keys to enter. Jesse sees his mother and father being interviewed on television, urging him to turn himself in. He spends the entire night ransacking the apartment, but initially fails to find Todd's hiding spot. It is not until early the next morning that Jesse, by luck, discovers that Todd hid the money inside the door to his refrigerator.

Just as Jesse makes this discovery, two men in police jackets, Neil Kandy and Casey, arrive at the apartment. Jesse hides beneath an overturned mattress and pulls his gun on Casey, leading to a standoff between himself and Neil with Casey as a hostage. Neil convinces Jesse to surrender, only for Jesse to quickly realize that the two men are not actual cops, but criminals who are also searching for Todd's money. Jesse divulges the location of the money, but is forced to take only a third of it by Neil. After walking out of the apartment with the cash in trash bags, Jesse sees the logo for Neil's welding business on the side of his truck and realizes that he has seen him before at Jack's compound.

Using the torn phone book page, Jesse searches for the "disappearer" who can secretly transport him out of the city. He comes across Best Quality Vacuum and sees the red minivan he saw in his previous encounter with the disappearer parked behind the store. Inside, Jesse offers $125,000 to the disappearer, Ed Galbraith, who agrees to help him again on the condition that he produce an additional $125,000 for the previous aborted transport. Unfortunately, Jesse comes up $1,800 short. When Ed turns him down, Jesse desperately threatens to stay inside the store until he changes his mind. Ed dials 9-1-1, which Jesse calls as a bluff until a police car pulls up outside. Jesse flees with his money while Ed gives a false description to the responding officers. Jesse phones Ed from his car and promises to get him the agreed-upon amount of money.

That night, at the Pinkman house, Jesse's parents are washing dishes when Jesse calls them on the phone. Jesse tells his parents that they "did their best" and are not at fault for the choices which have brought him to his present situation. He further asks them to pick him up, ostensibly to turn himself in. Once his parents and some plainclothes police are lured away from the house, Jesse sneaks in and steals two guns from a safe in their closet. Before he leaves, Jesse finds the address of Neil's welding business in his parents' phone book. Jesse infiltrates the property right before a group of strippers are driven in to entertain Neil, Casey, and three of their friends.

In another flashback, Neil performs welding work on Jack's meth lab while Jesse, Todd and Kenny look on. Kenny, concerned that Jesse will make another escape attempt, expresses doubt that the metal frame Neil has constructed for Jesse's harness will last. He and Neil make a $50 wager on whether Jesse can break the frame, with Kenny forcing Jesse to run from one end of the lab to the other while still attached to the harness.

In the present, Jesse waits for the strippers to leave before he enters Neil's office and confronts him. Seeing that Jesse is armed with a .22 handgun, Neil agrees to give up his third of Todd's money if Jesse beats him in a duel. However, Neil is unaware of the second gun hidden in Jesse's jacket pocket, and is killed just as he tries to draw. Casey grabs his own weapon and attempts to shoot Jesse, which results in a gun battle that leaves Casey dead. Jesse forces the three remaining men to hand over their drivers' licenses and allows them to flee. Before he leaves with Neil's share of the money, Jesse rigs a bunch of gas tanks to explode, destroying Neil's property.

In the penultimate flashback, Jesse talks to someone over the phone from a hotel room. He is revealed to be staying in the room next to Walter White's. The pair drive the RV to a cafe and have lunch. Walt is despondent when Jesse tells him that their latest batch of meth will take six months to sell, but Jesse assures him that his family will receive all of the money that is coming to them from the duo's meth cooking. The conversation turns to Jesse's future, with Walt encouraging him to go to college and study business or marketing. Walt tells Jesse that he is lucky that he didn't have to wait his whole life to do "something special."

In the present, Ed drives a moving van to a rest stop in the Alaskan mountains where an SUV is waiting. He collects Jesse and his luggage from a hidden compartment in the back of the van. Before they part, Ed quizzes Jesse on the details of his new identity as "Mr. Driscoll", while Jesse gives Ed a letter addressed to Brock Cantillo. As he drives away, Jesse recalls an earlier conversation with Jane Margolis, in which she disavows her philosophy of "going where the universe takes you" and states that it's better to make decisions for yourself. The film ends with Jesse smiling as he heads toward his new life.

Victims

Breaking Bad

El Camino

  • Neil Kandy - Shot to death by Jesse.
  • Casey - Shot to death by Jesse.
    • Total - 5

Videos

Trivia

  • Many critics have praised the character's development over the series.
  • The only main character Jesse never personally meets is Walt's son, Walter White Jr. Though Jesse seemingly mentions him to Krazy-8 during the time he is held in captivity by Walter White.

External links

Navigation

            BreakingBadLogo.png Villains

Main
Walter White | Jesse Pinkman | Skyler White | Gustavo Fring | Mike Ehrmantraut | Hector Salamanca | Saul Goodman

Season 1
Tuco Salamanca | Krazy-8 | Emilio Koyama | No-Doze

Season 2
Tuco Salamanca | Hector Salamanca | Spooge | Tortuga

Season 3
The Cousins | Hector Salamanca | Gustavo Fring | Victor | Juan Bolsa | Rival Dealers

Season 4
Gustavo Fring | Mike Ehrmantraut | Tyrus Kitt | Victor | Gaff | Chris Mara | Don Eladio | Huell Babineoux | Patrick Kuby | Joaquin Salamanca | Hector Salamanca

Season 5
Jack Welker | Todd Alquist | Lydia Rodarte-Quayle | Kenny | Mike Ehrmantraut

El Camino
Neil Kandy | Casey | Kenny | Todd Alquist

Better Call Saul
Lalo Salamanca | Juan Bolsa | Chuck McGill | Hector Salamanca | Tuco Salamanca | The Cousins | Gustavo Fring | Don Eladio | Nacho Varga

Organizations
Juárez Cartel | Los Pollos Hermanos | Walter White's Drug Empire | Neo-Nazis

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