Jesse Pinkman

Jesse Pinkman

    Breaking Bad
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew up… in suburban Albuquerque. Despite his supportive middle-class background, he struggled academically in high school and learned to specialize in street smarts. His ordinary, well-to-do parents don’t know where they went wrong with Jesse. All they want him to do now is to clean up his act or stay well away.

Living… in his deceased aunt’s house in Albuquerque. While not the image of domestic harmony, Jesse treats his home with a certain reverence, partly out of respect for the memory of his aunt. When Walter White (his former high school chemistry teacher and current partner in the drug trade) asks to be taught how to cook up, Jesse says: “You wanna smoke it up, smoke it up at your house.”

Profession… meth cook and dealer. When Walt encounters him again post-high school, Jesse is working under the pseudonym “Cap’n Cook” and putting chili powder in his methamphetamine as a “signature.” Much like Walt, he says he’s in the meth business for money, yet the pride he seems to take in his work and reputation suggests that there’s more to it than that.

Interests… “Fine herbage!” “Keepin’ it real,” and “MILF’s” according to Jesse’s personal webpage. He also loved to draw as a child, and still holds onto a number of his old comic-book-like sketches that he did in high school.

Friends… Badger, Christian, and Skinny Pete. They make Jesse look like an astrophysicist. They do prove to be useful business associates when it comes to moving and selling crystal on the streets, as long as they aren’t smoking it themselves or otherwise screwing up.

Relationship Status… single. Jesse manages to secure the occasional fling. Failing this, there is a prostitute he sometimes visits and pays partly in meth. 

Challenge… staying alive. When Jesse isn’t running for his life, though, his deeper goal is to gain the love and mutual respect of Walt and his own estranged family.

Personality… sensitive and affectionate, though he tries not to show it. His ‘street-smart,’ would-be-gangster attitude thinly conceals a more vulnerable, sympathetic nature. Jesse does know his way around a drug deal, but his attempts at appearing ‘hard’ are very obviously learned and affected.


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