There may be some slight spoilers for anyone who cares. Nothing too major is discussed, other than the endings of Season 2 and 3.
“Breaking Bad” is easily one of the best shows I’ve ever watched. That is a statement I will take to my grave. It is completely enrapturing and always thought provoking. Be it through sheer shock value or intense dialog, the show constantly one ups itself and brings a macabre smile to my face.
The characters on the show run the gamut of morality and are often trotting the line into evil. It’s the only show besides “The Shield” where it is truly hard to connect with anyone, yet Vince Gilligan and crew have written some wonderful characteristics into their characters that make them pleasurable to watch.
As such, I find myself bonding with the character of Jesse Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul. The kid is a meth addict with a failure of a life. The series shows his eventual spiral into evil at the hands of Walter White, portrayed by Bryan Cranston.
Jesse starts off on the wrong side of the law, but he isn’t an inherently evil person. His actions mostly harm himself and his family life is devolving based around that. Since Walter is essentially blackmailing him into cooking meth, he has no choice but to soldier through the cesspool and trek deeper through the darkness.
There’s one point during the second season where Jesse loses his girlfriend due to an overdose. He completely blames himself and even remotely connects a plane crash to his “failure.” In the next season, taking on a new persona that he assumes is evil, he eventually kills a man to save Walter.
You can see it’s not easy for him.
What this does for me is make me think; do I have the capacity for murder? I’m not going to blame “Breaking Bad” for giving me that thought or even claim that I will now become a convict. What I’m questioning is this: would I react the same way as Jesse?
See, I bond so much with Jesse because I feel like my life is spiraling downward. Family deaths have caused me to lose contact with a bunch of my family members. I remained home this past Thanksgiving because I didn’t feel like I could bond with anyone.
I also had a close problem with my alcohol intake. I was bordering on alcoholism while I was trying to impress some girl, a status that I’m still very scared of. While I do sometimes get drunk, I’ve never returned to the level of insanity that I previously could.
Some of my older co-workers give me problems, as well. My reactions aren’t outward at them, but I often get incredibly distraught at home and tend to lash out at whoever crosses my path. It’s sickening when I think about it, but my rage needs to be let loose.
This makes me think back to my teenage years when I often would punch walls or instigate verbal fights with other classmates. With how awful I perceive my life to be now, could I honestly kill someone?
Jesse eventually breaks under the impression that he needs to save his partner, but he soon becomes cold blooded and takes more lives. This is something that wasn’t present during the first two seasons of the show, where Jesse was visually sick at the thought of murder.
Will there ever be a time where I just break? Is it possible that someone will push me over the line and I’ll react with violence and bloodlust? I honestly think that answer is no and I’m pretty sure that none of the situations in my life are as serious as the predicaments that Jesse found himself in.
I don’t think I’ll be killing the entire Colombian Cartel anytime soon.
Still, the very idea that I can bond with such a low-life character and that I see a lot of similarities just makes me wonder. It says a lot when a show as gritty and brutal as “Breaking Bad” can create a character so plausible that I have to stop and examine my own psyche.
At the very least, I’d probably be just as wrecked over the death of a loved one as Jesse. Maybe that’s a plus?