In the series Breaking Bad, we meet Jesse Pinkman (starred by Aaron Paul). He’s a high school dropout who later becomes a drug dealer, who also gets dragged more in the drug business along with his former chemistry teacher, Walter White, who is trying to collect money for his family after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
As a controversial character as he is, having been a drug cook, dealer and a murderer, the audience couldn’t help but sympathize with him. But how can we see the causes and the evolution that softened our hearts towards a character whose actions can actually make us hate him? We’ll see it in the following points.
•His dressing style and language.
Jesse Pinkman’s dressing style changes drastically from the beginning to the end of the series. In the earlier seasons we can see him wearing colorful and baggy clothes, and the constant use of the words “bitch” and “yo”. The colors and style of his clothes depict who he really is inside: a child in the body of an adult who doesn’t believe that the world is a dark place as being said. Some time after Jane Margolis’s death and the several difficulties he goes through such as his grief, drug addiction and his murder to Gale Boetticher, he starts wearing darker clothes with a more “mature” style, which symbolizes the darkness of his personality and thoughts that increase by time.
•His love for children.
As careless as he seemed in the earlier episodes, in the episode “Peekaboo”, we witness Jesse saving a child from his junkie parents whose mother kills the father by crushing his head with an ATM machine. We couldn’t fail seeing a good side of Jesse when he was playing and saving the kid, which is obviously one of the reasons the audience started to love Jesse despite his lifestyle.
His love for children is depicted when we see him fighting the world to save the life of his second girlfriend Andrea’s son Brock, not worrying about how this could affect the business he works in. Jesse wanted to give these kids the love he didn’t receive, since his parents estranged him for his involvement with drugs.
•The parental figure he creates out of Walter White.
As said above, Pinkman’s parents estrange him for his drug abuse. Even when he tried to become clean and set things right with them, they would always slam the door before him. We can see a father-son relationship growing between Jesse and Walter White, whom he calls “Mr White”, since White has been Jesse’s high school chemistry teacher. Jesse’s mother herself, stated that White was the only teacher who could see potential in him. We see Walter White/Heisenberg calling Jesse “son” on several occasions, which is a kind of love and support that Jesse needed. Despite Walter White’s manipulation to Jesse, who has also been the main cause of every hardship that Jesse went through from seeing Jane dying to being the cause he got locked in a lab to cook meth for a gang of Neo-Nazis, he still cared about him. Jesse and Walter’s father-son relationship was stronger that Walter and his real son’s relationship.
•His extreme sensitivity.
Jesse’s other side is shown in the later seasons. We see his heart become better by every hardship he goes through which is in contrast with Walter White. Pinkman is a professional at beating himself up and blaming himself for actions he didn’t do. Some of these include Jane’s death who choked in her vomit due to a heroin overdose, the killing of Drew Sharp although Todd was the murderer, and the murder of Victor in the episode Box Cutter. Adding to this, his murder to Gale Boetticher is the straw that broke the camel: his mental and emotional state from that event goes downhill and he never gets back to being the person he was. He copes with this action by throwing parties at his home and distributing money on the guests. He gradually gets attached to the idea of starting a whole new life, since he got convinced by the fact that the drug business is obliging him to be something he doesn’t want.
•He feels like a real person.
One of the biggest reasons that the audience got attached to Jesse isn’t because he had a good heart and was surrounded by circumstances he couldn’t get out of, but it’s also because we have all known at least one person like him. We have all had this kid at school who couldn’t care less about education, with the belief that doing drugs is a way of having fun, who obviously ended up in a very miserable condition by being given up on by the world.