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09 September 2012 @ 12:29 pm
Walt & Jesse Recap (Part 1/9)  
The Long Winded Blues of the Never
Meta by falafel_musings
Artwork by cylune9

lune1

As Walt says to his family the one thing that he needs is a choice. That choice comes in the final exchange between Walt and Jesse when they both choose to cook together rather than being forced into it by circumstance. Walt can no longer claim he is only cooking meth because he has no other way of providing for his family and paying for his cancer treatment. Jesse can no longer claim that he's being blackmailed into this partnership by Mr White.




The Pilot

Pilot3

"If you've gone crazy, that's something I need to know about. That affects me."

Walt and Jesse are the first two characters we're introduced to in the Pilot episode, even though initially we only know Jesse as 'unconscious guy wearing a gas mask'. They are the only two characters who appear in every single episode of the show. This story is largely theirs. Their first meeting (or rather, reunion) comes midway through the first episode. We learn that Jesse is one of Walt's former students, who has been out of high school for roughly five or six years assuming that he made it to graduation. After all that time, they still recognize each other when Walt catches sight of Jesse fleeing from Hank's meth lab bust. This may imply that Mr White was a memorable teacher to Jesse and perhaps that 'Pinkman' was a particularly troublesome student to Walt. Jesse is far from the ideal lab assistant, yet partnering up with an ex-pupil may be the most comfortable way that Walt could have transitioned into the drug trade. Walt can slip into his most familiar role as teacher (which Jesse affirms by calling him "Mr White") and he can feel a sense of authority in this risky new venture. Only a few days earlier Walt was on his knees at the car wash, scrubbing the hubcaps of one of his cocky slacker students. It's kids like Jesse who Walt has wasted his chemistry genius on every day that he worked in the classroom. But Walt's the one in control now; this kid will listen to him and he will do what Walt says and if he doesn't then Walt can easily turn him in to the police.  

Incidentally, Walt found Jesse's house by digging the address out of his old school file which implies that Jesse's parents first sent him to live with his Aunt Ginny when he was still a school kid. It's never been established exactly when Aunt Ginny died. The house is still filled with her furnishings and her make up. That may be because Jesse is very lazy about decor, but it also wouldn't be out of character for Jesse to keep his Aunt's house the way she left it, like a shrine to her memory. However long Jesse has been living alone in Aunt Ginny's house in his state of prolonged adolescence it seems there has been a lack of a paternal role model in Jesse's life. And either as a mentor or surrogate father Walt has come to fill that void. When Mr White steps into his driveway, Jesse crouches behind his car and bares his teeth like a cornered animal. He thinks that Mr White is here to lecture him; like Jesse's other teachers and guardians he must be trying to straighten him out, set him on the right path. This is Jesse's first mistake; he's naive enough to think Mr White actually cares about what's right for him. Walt soon makes it clear that he's only interested in using Jesse as part of his own agenda. Their partnership begins with an act of coercion. In a darkened driveway Jesse is forced into Walt's service. And it won't be until two years later, in another darkened driveway, that Jesse will finally be set free. Jesse thought Mr White came to tell him to 'Get right with Jesus'. He didn't know this man was the Devil coming for his soul.

Right from the start, Walt and Jesse bicker. They are an odd couple not just because their age, appearance, behavior and modes of speech are at different ends of the spectrum. The first episode neatly characterizes Walt and Jesse's different perspectives on their shared vocation of cooking crystal meth. For Walt it's chemistry, for Jesse it's art. This theme will be expanded on throughout the seasons, but these are two men with very contrasting mindsets on what they do together. Walt the rational calculating scientist and Jesse the more imaginative sensitive artist. One thing Walt and Jesse do share from the start is a desire for escape and adventure. Jesse is full of wistful yearning when he talks about getting an RV and driving out into the boonies. When Jesse asks Walt why he's suddenly decided to break the law, Walt doesn't not tell Jesse about the cancer. Instead he gives Jesse a hint of his true motivations simply by saying: "I am awake". Walter White wants to live a little before he dies. And since Walt no longer fears to live he is capable of saving himself and Jesse too by gassing two drug dealers to death who are threatening to kill them. Walt and Jesse saving each other will become a long running theme, but in this first instance Walt is just acting on his teacher's instinct. Any teacher who takes a student out on an extra-curricular field trip knows he's responsible for that student's safety, even if that student is an obnoxious idiot boy. Jesse screaming "Run Mr White! Run!" when they're stranded in the desert at gunpoint isn't remotely helpful but Walt at least knows that Jesse was on his side and hadn't intended to screw them over. So when it came down to it, they protected each other.


Cat's in the Bag...



"After we finish cleaning up this mess, we will go our separate ways. Our paths will never cross."

After their ordeal with Krazy 8 and Emilio, Walt and Jesse mutually decide that after they've disposed of their corpses, they want nothing more to do with each other (oh, how little they knew...). This is about the only mutual decision that they make in the episode. Already Walt is getting into the habit of bullying and browbeating Jesse into doing things that he really doesn't want to do. Like Walt insisting that they keep the meth equipment and the dead bodies at Jesse's house, despite Jesse's repeated "Not my house!" protests. When Walt first proposes the idea of melting bodies in acid, Jesse is freaked out. Again Walt is simply opting for the most effective scientific method of corpse disposal while Jesse has the more human perspective that dissolving bodies is "messed up...". But about a minute later Jesse is pleading with Walt to be the one to melt the body in the acid just so he doesn't have to kill anyone. Walt has already convinced Jesse that being 50/50 partners is their shared contractual obligation, even though Jesse rightly tries to point out that this whole thing was Walt's idea and that Jesse was blackmailed into working with him. Jesse's life has been hijacked and yet he's already feeling obligated to the man who's compromised him.

Walt and Jesse are both aware that killing Krazy 8 is the more terrible job. Jesse doesn't detach himself from Krazy 8's impending demise, though he is clinging to Walt's original diagnosis that Krazy 8 is already dying from the poisonous gas so all Walt is really doing is putting the poor bastard out of his misery, right? From Walt's perspective, he chooses to flip the coin and he lets fate decide because while Walt doesn't want to commit murder, he may be fearing that if Jesse lost the coin toss, he would end up botching the job and creating even more problems; a fear that is affirmed by Jesse burning a hole through his bathtub and splattering his hallway with acidic gore. It may appeal to Walt that he gets to be the master and controller in his relationship with Jesse, but all too often that also entails Walt having to control the chaos that this rampant liability of a partner brings to his life.


...And the Bag's in the River



"We flipped a coin. Coin flip is sacred."

Considering their opposing moral standpoints in later seasons, it's interesting that in the early episodes Jesse is the more pragmatic one when it comes to the necessity of killing people. I don't really doubt that Krazy 8 would have killed Walt and Jesse if they'd let him go and that it was arguably an act of self-defense to finish the job. However, strangling a chained up man with a bike lock surely does not feel like self-defense and Walt is the one who has to go through with it for both their sake's. Jesse's attitude would likely be very different if he were the one tasked with doing the killing. But Jesse has become worse than useless to Walt in this episode. He can't cope with the horror show that his house has turned into and so he's locked himself in the bathroom to smoke Walt's crazy pure meth.

Krazy 8 seems to have his own survival plan to turn Walt against Jesse. I don't think Jesse blabbing all kinds of personal information about Walt to Krazy 8 and Emilio was a betrayal so much as Jesse's foolishness in the early days. Jesse was driving around with his street name of 'Capt Cook' plastered on his licence plate after all. And though he denies it Krazy 8 was being pretty threatening when Jesse tried to sell him Walt's meth. But as we see again and again in Breaking Bad, Walt doesn't desire a partner who is smart so much as he needs a partner he can trust. Jesse's "Coin flip is sacred!" may be a desperate plea for Walt to get rid of the scary dying man in Jesse's basement, but it's also another example of Jesse buying into the idea that he and Walt have obligations to each other. Once Krazy 8 proves untrustworthy by hiding the piece of broken plate Walt cannot put his faith in any such bargains with him. That said, Krazy 8 may have only been keeping that piece of plate for self-defense, much like Jesse will one day keep a gun hidden in his waistband when letting Walt into his home.


Cancer Man



"After what happened it just seems like the thing to do. You know, talk about it. We can't talk to anybody else."

Barely any Walt and Jesse interactions in the next two episodes, but I'm still fascinated by the parallels and contrasts in their separate stories even when they aren't together. They are both disturbed by what they've been through in the last few days. Walt is imagining that police cars are chasing him. Jesse is doing meth and hallucinating that scary biker guys are coming to his house to burn him alive. They both feel alienated among their friends and family, Jesse particularly since he is already an outcast at his parent's house. The only thing that cheers Jesse up on a sleepless night is finding an old chemistry test with a crude, insulting (and yet well drawn!) cartoon of Mr White sketched on the flipside. And while I'm sure that Jesse Pinkman was a lazy obnoxious slacker kid (and he hasn't exactly changed at this point), it's a little sad that his obvious artistic talent was never encouraged at school and instead branded 'ridiculous' by his teacher.

There are several reasons Jesse comes to see Walt at his house, though Walt only pays attention to Jesse awkwardly asking if Walt would be interested in cooking a little more meth. Walt's view of Jesse is pretty low at this point. He accuses Jesse of ratting him out and coming to his house wearing a wire. This is the first and last time that Walt suspects Jesse of being a police informant and it ends up being Walt's biggest blind spot. Walt's old threat to give Jesse up to the cops is useless now. Walt's the one who has killed people so Jesse has a better chance of cutting a deal. When Jesse asks about cooking more meth Walt probably just sees Jesse as a desperate junkie after his next fix. But Jesse can't shake off what they did to Krazy 8 and Emilio and he's seeking solidarity from the one person who went through that with him. But more than that Jesse is wanting to prove to Walt that he is not a worthless scumbag. He fails to change his parents view of him, but he does stay true to his partnership with Walt. He brings him his half of the money even though Walt had forgotten to ask for it, even though Walt assumed Jesse smoked it all and even though Walt is being a bastard to him. 50/50 partners.


Gray Matter

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"Wanna cook?"

The above quote is the only conversation that Walt & Jesse share in this episode, but for me it speaks volumes for both their stories. Jesse begins the episode trying to get a job, maybe in a last ditch effort to prove his parent's wrong. But since Jesse screwed up his education and has no legitimate work experience, the best he can hope for his waving a sign around while wearing a 'ridiculous' costume. Just like his loser friend, Badger. Jesse and Badger partnering up to cook in the RV was an obvious mirroring of the Walt and Jesse partnership, only this time with Jesse in the Walt role. When Walt is not there, Jesse often ends up channeling him, playing the knowing teacher in front of his stupider friends and obsessively striving for perfection. Jesse was once content being Badger level, but now that Mr White's "Apply Yourself" has taken root and Jesse wants to be so much more than just "good enough".

Walt had far bigger prospects than Jesse in his youth. Walt only amounting to being a high school chemistry teacher is Walt's equivalent of doing a degrading job wearing a stupid costume and twirling a stupid sign. Walt, like Jesse, is also spending time with another partner, his Gray Matter partner, Elliot, who offers Walt a job as a very thinly veiled act of charity. Walt can't handle this indignity after a lifetime of bitterness since Elliot and Gretchen succeeded with the company that should have been Walt's empire. Walt doesn't want to feel needy. As Walt says to his family the one thing that he needs is a choice. That choice comes in the final exchange between Walt and Jesse when they both choose to cook together rather than being forced into it by circumstance. Walt can no longer claim he is only cooking meth because he has no other way of providing for his family and paying for his cancer treatment. Jesse can no longer claim that he's being blackmailed into this partnership by Mr White. From this moment, they work together and they break bad, because this is what they have chosen to do.


Crazy Handful of Nothin



"This operation is you and me...no matter what happens, no more bloodshed. No violence."

As Walt and Jesse reaffirm their partnership, Walt sets a bunch of strict ground rules; he cooks, Jesse sells, they don't bring anyone else into their business and they'll be absolutely no more violence. Then Walt quickly proceeds to break his own rules for the rest of this episode and in the seasons to come. It starts with Walt allowing Jesse to finish the cooking for him, which suggests that in some off-screen moments Walt has noticed that Jesse is now 'applying himself' to the chemistry. Walt and Jesse trading roles so early is an interesting foreshadowing. One day Jesse will be able to cook as good as Walter. Jesse will actually be chosen by Gus to replace Walt as the chief cook is his million dollar drug ring. We'll also see that Walt (or rather Heisenberg) can handle the more brutal side of the drug trade far better than Jesse ever could.

This is also the first episode we really see Walt and Jesse showing compassion for each other. Jesse in his concern for Walt's condition as he's going through Chemo and his admiration for Walt when he deduces that he's trying to leave money behind for his family. When was Walt going to tell Jesse he had cancer? Maybe he wasn't planning to tell Jesse at all. A big part of Walt breaking bad is escape from his terminal diagnosis. Jesse knowing brings them closer together (which Walt possibly didn't want, but what are you gonna do?) particularly because Jesse now associates Walt with his beloved late Aunt Ginny. And even though Walt is (again) being a bastard to Jesse when he struggles to sell enough meth on his own, I think knowing about Walt's plight makes Jesse more determined not to let Walt down. As portrayed in the Team SCIENCE minisode it's likely that the idea of Mr White fighting back for his family was what got Jesse looking at Walt as a Superhero and wanting to be his wing-man.

There are many reasons why Walt makes his transformation into Heisenberg - needing the money, needing to get respect, needing to lash out after he's lost his hair, etc - but avenging Jesse's pain and suffering is, I'd say, the main catalyst. I think Walt finally appreciates that Jesse was right about Tuco and that Jesse knowingly risked himself at Walt's asking. However, in the end Walt's concern for Jesse only stretches so far. Walt will give Jesse monetary compensation for his injuries, much like the 1.5 million Walt offers in Season 3 when Jesse is the hospital again after another beating. If Walt really felt loyal to Jesse he should have quit his dealings with Tuco after getting their money and taking revenge. But the creation of Heisenberg gave Walt a sudden rush of superhuman power that he'd never experienced before and his desire for power will ultimately override his humanity and concern for others.


A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal



"Today is the first day of the rest of your life. But what kind of life will it be?"

The final S1 episode has a lot of Walt and Jesse in teacher/pupil scenes. Or rather, Walt abusing his position as teacher. This episode begins with Jesse attempting to sell his haunted fucked up house and wanting to leave town. Which is the best decision Jesse could have made at this time to save himself. For Jesse, having to melt a body in acid and almost being beaten to death is enough to scare him out of the meth business (and that's peanuts compared with what's to come). But even early on Walt can't just let Jesse leave. Who else would do all the grunt work for Walt if Jesse left? In the moment when Walt clasps Jesse by the shoulders, imploring him not to waste his potential in meth manufacture, not to live his life in fear, etc, Jesse asks him, wide eyed "What are you doing?" It's called manipulation, Jesse. You'll get used to it. But it's interesting because for Walt breaking bad means freeing himself from the fear that has held him back all his life. I don't know if Walt realizes yet that for Jesse this experience is not so liberating. Walt is chaining Jesse to him, link by link, and dragging him deeper into a world that already horrifies him. It will take until the end of the series for Walt to see those chains he put Jesse in.

But for now still it's endearing to see Walt teaching Jesse about Thermite and Jesse hanging off Mr White's every word. There's already a sense that they are each filling some emotional need in the other and even if Jesse knows he's been used, then Jesse (the disowned son) will accept being used just for the sake of being wanted by someone. Walt and Jesse are both still naive to how much danger they are in, their status as amateur criminals perfectly captured in the silly little bobble-hat balaclavas they wear when stealing their first barrel of methlaymine. Walt has his Heisenberg hat but he is still only playacting at being the gangster as his shock over Tuco beating No Doze to death reveals. Like Jesse points out, meeting Tuco in an empty junkyard is like Walt thinking of himself as a criminal in a movie and it puts them in greater danger. I'd say in later seasons that Jesse develops into the voice of Walt's conscience but in the first season Jesse is at least a voice of caution that Walt doesn't listen to.



Walt & Jesse: Season Two, Part One

 
 
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waltzmatildah: [bb] jesse + walt | there'll be no rescuwaltzmatildah on September 10th, 2012 11:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear God, this is flawless!! And I think I'm going to have to read it again and/or re-watch season one before I can come up with an adequate reply!!

I am so 100% right there with you re. the Walt/Jesse dynamic being the core of this show. For me, it's always been about the two of them and their dysfunctional relationship. I think the intricate powerplays and manipulations, moments of blind loyalty, abject betrayal and desperate helplessness are absolutely the most compelling aspect to this show. And as much as I've come to really appreciate other characters [Hank, Skyler, Mike and Saul in particular], these two will always and forever be IT for me.

I will come back with answers to your questions once I've had time to properly consider them!!
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on September 11th, 2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Please do come back later for further discussion. It'll take me a long time to recap the full W/J story so far (but hey, it's a long hiatus) so lots of time for rewatching and reflecting.

as much as I've come to really appreciate other characters [Hank, Skyler, Mike and Saul in particular],

Those are my second favourite characters too and I love them a LOT but well part of me would like them to all piss off so I can get another Walt & Jesse bottle episode before the end.
cylune: bbcylune9 on September 14th, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC)
part of me would like them to all piss off so I can get another Walt & Jesse bottle episode before the end.

yes. please.
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on September 14th, 2012 07:08 pm (UTC)
They've almost certainly got no time for another bottle episode but I'd love it if they could find a way to make it happen. I wished they'd done one in 5.1 with Walt/Jesse in one of the tented houses.
karomeledkaromeled on September 11th, 2012 04:19 am (UTC)
Season 1, the time when this show was still emotionally tolerable.
I watched the first season so long ago, I don't think I can come up with "favourite Walt&Jesse moment" so I'm just going to say... all of them? Their codependent, messed-up relationship is the greatest thing about this show.

I'm really looking forward to your next recaps :)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on September 11th, 2012 07:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I've friended you. I don't know when I'll be posting the next part but savoring the Walt & Jesse story seems like one good way to pass a long hiatus, so look out for the next installment.
Naomi: BB Walt and Jesse by stolen-gardenfrelling_tralk on September 11th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
Awesome summary of their season 1 relationship :)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 3falafel_musings on September 11th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
Thanks for reading!
bellonablack on September 11th, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
This is brilliant!:)

I love how you called Jesse a sensitive artist because that is so right on. Awesome. It was interesting to get a good contrast on them both
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on September 11th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I always felt sad that Jesse's artistic skills were seemingly never appreciate. Jesse is no scientist but by treating meth cooking as art he's become a master at his craft.
Han Fastolfe: Jesse2hanfastolfe on September 13th, 2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
I loved the part where he goes "This is art, Mr. White!" and Walt self-deprecatingly plays down the compliment.
(Deleted comment)
falafel_musingsfalafel_musings on September 12th, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
This show gets better with rewatching. I need to do something fannish over BB. The narrative is too complete (well, apart from the Walt quitting beat) to feel the need to write fic. I want to make another vid, but I'm intimidated because the BB vids are so good. So I'll stick to essays for now.

Funny, how long this has been true. Way before the bald head and the black hat.

Vince Gilligan often says that 1x5 was the episode where Walt became Heisenberg for him. When VG first planned the show he was going to have Walt constantly trying to get out of the drug game and being unwillingly drawn back in due to threats or financial needs. He decided it'd be more interesting to establish early that Walt had other options. He had the chance to be brought back into Gray Matter but Walt'd rather go back to the shitty RV and cook meth with Jesse.

I think it's kind of amazing, that the real challenge is controlling the chaos that Jesse creates...because he was impredictable in terms of well, fucking up.

I think Walt having control over a former failed chemistry student is also a small form of revenge for him. It's slacker students like Jesse who have wasted Walt's time and genius for most of his life. So I think there's a secret satisfaction in enslaving a student and gaining Jesse's respect for his brilliance, especially because Jesse relies on Walt to get them out of the crazy predicaments they find themselves in. And yes, I think Walt never feels more Godly than when he is controlling chaotic situations. Apparently the meth business wasn't chaotic enough after Jesse left.
broke_badbroke_bad on September 12th, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
Well this is great (hah I knew that even _before_ reading this through)!!! I'm actually re-watching Breaking Bad rn (currently half way season 3) and I totally agree with you that BrBa gets even better re-watching, you can always find new things and actually I've become even more obsessed with two of my favourite meth makers. It's fascinating to witness the rapid change of Walt and Jesse's behaviour and I've come to respect Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul's acting skills even more!

about questions:
1)Perhaps the first time they cook together, and when Walt conforts Tuco and goes full-on badass mode.
2) -- I really have nothing to add

Yep, gonna stalk your blog until the next recap ;)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 3falafel_musings on September 13th, 2012 06:10 pm (UTC)
Yep, gonna stalk your blog until the next recap ;)

You can friend me if you like. I'm mostly posting about Breaking Bad at the moment but a lot of my posts are F-locked.

I need to talk about Bryan and Aaron's performances more in these recaps. I guess it's a compliment that I can often forget that there are two actors deserving in praise here because I'm so enthralled in the characters it starts to feel like they are real.
broke_badbroke_bad on September 14th, 2012 12:41 pm (UTC)
okey dokey :)
Han Fastolfe: Jesse1hanfastolfe on September 13th, 2012 03:00 pm (UTC)
From this moment, they work together and they break bad, because this is what they choose to do.

I think this really is the centerpiece of the next four seasons. Everything Walt and Jesse do, they do because they made this decision way back. Spock, in "The City on the Edge of Forever" talked of "focal points in time": key events on which future events hinge for many years or even centuries afterward.

This, here, in this show, is one such focal point for Walter and Jesse.

For S1, I thought my favorite (least bullying/manipulative, as Walt goes) was when Jesse had that lightbulb moment, seeing Walter's radiation treatment spots and trying, in his own way, to let Walt know he understood.

The dynamic? As I noted in my own quick S1 in review, Walt and Jesse haven't quite yet solidified into the teacher/student roles, but Walt still shows traces of the bullying, cajoling and arrogant blustering he likes to do to Jesse, while Jesse is getting used to being a student again under the demanding Mr. White.
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on September 13th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
For S1, I thought my favorite (least bullying/manipulative, as Walt goes) was when Jesse had that lightbulb moment, seeing Walter's radiation treatment spots and trying, in his own way, to let Walt know he understood.

I think this is my favourite W/J moment of S1 too. I think it really humanizes Jesse in Walt's eyes and he suddenly sees him as something other than this lowlife druggie idiot. Walt must have been wondering how Jesse ended up living alone in his aunt's house. But I don't think he was expecting to see this caring side to Jesse's nature or realize that Jesse has been kind of orphaned by the only paternal figure who wanted him around.
cylune: bbcylune9 on September 14th, 2012 01:11 pm (UTC)
So I'm kicking off a nine part essay complete with screencaps and quotes to pay tribute to their turmultuous journey so far

Oh frak. That's what I get for not login in to livejournal for a few days!! damn it girl! YOU ROCK!!

Great analysis of the relationship. It's also my favorite aspect of the show... so this post? Made. my. week. The hiatus will be so much easier to withstand with those awesome posts from you. :)

Some great observations you made:

That said, Krazy 8 may have only been keeping that piece of plate for self-defence, much like Jesse will one day keep a gun hidden in his waistband while talking to Walt.
 
When Walt is not there, Jesse often ends up channelling him, playing the knowing teacher in front of his stupider friends and obsessively striving for perfection. Jesse was once content being Badger level, but now Mr White's "Apply Yourself" has taken root and he wants to be more than "good enough"


In an interview recently, Vince Gilligan was asked to describe Walt and Jesse in two words. For Jesse, it was 'wants better' (For Walt it was 'ego and lies' but then he changed it to 'untrue to himself'.)

Walt only amounting to being a high school chemistry teacher is Walt's equivalent of a degrading job wearing a stupid costume and twirling a stupid sign

As Walt says to his family the one thing he needs is a choice. That choice comes in the final exchange between Walt and Jesse when they both choose to cook together rather than being forced into it by circumstance.

There are many reasons why Walt makes his transformation into Heisenberg - needing the money, needing to get respect, needing to lash out after he lost his hair, etc - but avenging Jesse's pain and suffering is, I'd say, the main catalyst.


That would be my take too and a running theme throughout the series. 

But the creation of Heisenberg gave Walt a sudden rush of superhuman power that he'd never experienced before and his desire for power will ultimately override his humanity and concern for others.  

Well said! And here goes the 'I do all this form my family' out the window. I've said it before but this is how Walt is suddently feeling 'alive' - he loves the thrill and the catalyst for those feelings of empowerment is often Jesse. Maybe his brain made a behavioral connection (I would bet a lot of money that all those guns in the flashfoward are for aiming at people that hurt or represent a danger to Jesse.) 

It's called manipulation, Jesse. You'll get used to it.

I think that scene defined their relationship a major part of the series. Up until that 'manipulation greatest hits' scene. 

1) What is your favourite Walt & Jesse moment from S1?
Oh, so many. Hard to select just one... Maybe that moment when they are both cleaning Emilio's blood from each other in the kiddies pool. Amateur criminals indeed. Such a disturbing and funny visual. 

2) How would you define the Walt & Jesse dynamic in the first season?
Representative of the rest of the series. Seeds of intense co-dependency were there. It didn't go into in another direction - it went more intense from now on. 

And on another note... working a BB vid. Can't wait for you to see it. :)

Edited at 2012-09-14 01:11 pm (UTC)
falafel_musings: breaking bad 2falafel_musings on September 14th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
on another note... working a BB vid. Can't wait for you to see it. :)

Okay, I made your week? THIS is the best news ever!!! *hugs you* I really really can't wait. I'd ask you what song your using but I think I'd like to be surprised. Eeeep! Can't frakking wait.

Recaps seemed like my best fandom pursuit for now. The BB ensemble vid I want to make is more ambitious than my current vidding skills can pull off. I still want to make it, but I need longer to play with Sony Vegas. Fic is tempting but I don't want to write post 5.8 fic and give myself a fixed idea of how I want the BB ending to go. So I went for BB essaying. I haven't got the energy to recap the full show but I'm up for the challenge of recapping (and relishing) the Walt/Jesse story.

I like VG's description of Jesse. It makes me hope he'll strive for redemption in the last eight episodes. Mind you, all our favourite characters who strive for redemption end up dead so...*sigh*

I would bet a lot of money that all those guns in the flashfoward are for aiming at people that hurt or represent a danger to Jesse.

I think so too. Bryan Cranston did say Walt comes back to ABQ to protect somebody and like you say - traditionally - when Walt 'Heisenbergs out' it's about protecting Jesse or getting Jesse back. I'll be a bit disappointed if it's not.

Up until that 'manipulation greatest hits' scene.

*dies laughing* Perfect description of that moment.

I'm hoping to post a S2.part1 recap this weekend. After that I might need to slow down as I get ready for moving house. But this recapping will see me through a few months of withdrawal at least. OMG, can't wait for your vid!!!
cylune: bb2cylune9 on September 15th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
It's posted! I had to take a day off from work to complete it but it's done!!
baberaham lincoln: tori impostersbessiemaemucho on October 23rd, 2013 03:54 am (UTC)
Ah! This is a great recap. I've been haphazardly rewatching the series & talking about it with a few friends who just started watching from the beginning, and it is bonkers how much these characters and their relationships have evolved, along with the viewers' understanding of them.

My friend also made the point that she hated Walt for the coinflip, because at that point Walt was already directly responsible for one death and Jesse was an innocent. The coin flip is also one of Jesse's few lucky breaks!

Walt sets a bunch of strict ground rules; he cooks, Jesse sells, they don't bring anyone else into their business and they'll be absolutely no more violence. Then Walt quickly proceeds to break his own rules for the rest of this episode and in the seasons to come. YEAH BASICALLY.

Also my new-to-BrBa friends keep saying, "Why doesn't Jesse get out of town!!" And I keep trying to explain even if Jesse knows he's been used, then Jesse (the disowned son) will accept being used just for the sake of being wanted by someone. Beyond wanted (though maybe not in season 1)--needed.

SIGH.

Anyway, great recap! I'm excited to read the rest of them... because I wasn't already having enough feelings about Breaking Bad.
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on October 23rd, 2013 05:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm pleased new people are discovering these essays (started them almost a year ago!). I'm very tempted to start an all season rewatch too, but I know it'll bring on a lot of OH MY HEART moments.

Jesse wasn't exactly an innocent. He was a drug dealer after all. I think Walt would argue that he was more the innocent and civilized one at the time. Walt also blamed Jesse for bringing Krazy 8 and Emilio out there and creating the situation. But yes, Jesse was only out peddling Walt's meth because Walt blackmailed him into it. And Jesse never would have got dragged into murder and melting bodies without Walt.

*sigh* Poor Pinkman. So needy and lost.
baberaham lincolnbessiemaemucho on October 23rd, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC)
Yes! Well, as I've mentioned, it never occurred to me to seek out any kind of Breaking Bad fandom while the show was on? I had a few friends who also watched and we'd talk about it every week. But now the show is over and those friends are basically done talking and thinking about it? Whereas I... still want to talk about it a lot. So I guess I need some NEW FRIENDS. (I've also been encouraging friends to start watching the show from the beginning, even though I'm fully aware of the emotional damage it's about to cause them... I'm basically as bad as Walt.)

Right, obviously as a drug dealor Jesse was responsible for some bad shit before Walt ever came along, but my friend meant innocent in terms of directly causing someone's death (she used the term "clean hands"), which Jesse hadn't done before Walt came along (and I doubt ever would have).

GAH, sorry... talking about this show turns me into the girl from the end of Mean Girls who just HAS A LOT OF FEELINGS. D:
.yatsirch on December 5th, 2013 06:26 am (UTC)
After all that time, they still recognize each other when Walt catches sight of Jesse fleeing from Hank's meth lab bust. This may imply that Mr White was a memorable teacher to Jesse and perhaps that 'Pinkman' was a particularly troublesome student to Walt.

True, while I can definitely buy Jesse remembering Mr. White it's interesting that Walt recognizes Jesse and almost immediately remembers his name. Usually when I run into a former teacher there's that moment of blind panic where they're clearly blanking out on my name, but then again I was never a delinquent (or star) student.

In a darkened driveway Jesse is forced into Walt's service. And it won't be until two years later, in another darkened driveway, that Jesse will finally be set free.

OH GOD why would you go there, it's so true though :C This type of perfect symmetry is how I found peace with the end of Breaking Bad, but more on that later-

When Walt first proposes the idea of melting bodies in acid, Jesse is freaked out. Again Walt is simply opting for the most effective scientific method of corpse disposal while Jesse has the more human perspective that dissolving bodies is "messed up...

I also couldn't help wondering if maybe Ginny had died more recently than we thought and maybe that was contributing to Jesse's discomfort with the dead bodies? Even if it'd been within the last two years it's recent enough, also again, it's probably mostly the whole sensitive artist vs. cold science thing.

And while I'm sure that Jesse Pinkman was a lazy obnoxious slacker kid (and he hasn't exactly changed at this point), it's a little sad that his obvious artistic talent was never encouraged at school and instead branded 'ridiculous' by his teacher.

God I knew at least five guys like s1!Jesse at art school in the geeky illustration program, he would have fit in so well. Why didn't someone direct the kid in that direction?

This is also the first episode we really see Walt and Jesse showing compassion for each other. Jesse in his concern for Walt's condition as he's going through Chemo and his admiration for Walt when he deduces that he's trying to leave money behind for his family. When was Walt going to tell Jesse he had cancer? Maybe he wasn't planning to tell Jesse at all.

...and this is where I officially started to care about the relationship between these two idiots, ugh. I love that Jesse managed to figure out that Walt was going through chemo without being told.

There are many reasons why Walt makes his transformation into Heisenberg - needing the money, needing to get respect, needing to lash out after he's lost his hair, etc - but avenging Jesse's pain and suffering is, I'd say, the main catalyst.

Agreed. For better or for worse, Jesse contributed to the birth of Heisenberg and while it was initially a great big EFF YEAH moment I rather regret enjoying it in hindsight. It was also sort of like Walt taking down the jock on behalf of Walt Jr. in the pilot, but with 100% more explosions. Excellent point as well about the sketchiness of Walt maintaining ties to Tuco after what happened to Jesse :\
falafel_musings: breaking bad 1falafel_musings on December 5th, 2013 09:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing your awesome awesome thoughts!

I was never a delinquent (or star) student.

I work in a high school (as a librarian not a teacher) and from what I've seen it's the naughty kids who the teachers remember best. It's because they have to yell their names so often and write up the most behavior incident reports on them.

I knew at least five guys like s1!Jesse at art school in the geeky illustration program, he would have fit in so well. Why didn't someone direct the kid in that direction?

I know a lot of little Jesse's from my school. There's one kid in particular who is ADHD, impulsive, loud, always in trouble, but he's also very sweet, sensitive and creative when you get to know him. High school is rough on kids like that. It's all about grades and achievement. While Jesse's parents had framed his drawings on their walls, I doubt they really encouraged him to pursue the sort of art & design career that would have best suited him. Instead there's talk of Jesse's parents wanting him to go to business school.

maybe Ginny had died more recently than we thought and maybe that was contributing to Jesse's discomfort with the dead bodies?

Yeah, someone suggested this idea in a fic recently. Jesse was probably there when Ginny died and I can imagine seeing someone he loved as a dead body really disturbed him (I'm thinking of Buffy's 'The Body' episode now). I don't think Jesse had really recovered from Ginny's death when Walt came to him. I think he was still vulnerable over it.

Excellent point as well about the sketchiness of Walt maintaining ties to Tuco after what happened to Jesse :\

Like Jesse points out, Walt doesn't even ask him. He just makes a deal for them both to continue working with the psycho who put Jesse in the hospital. It's actually interesting that Jesse is considered the stupid reckless one yet it was Jesse who didn't want them to work with Tuco or Gus. Think about how much pain and suffering would have been avoided if Walt had listened to Jesse.