When we first meet Jesse, he's tumbling out of a second-story window just ahead of the DEA agents who are smashing through down his door. A naked woman is briefly framed in the open window - seems that Jesse wasn't just napping up there. Walt is on a ride-along with his badass brother-in-law Hank, so he sees this. It turns out that Jesse had been in one of Walt's chemistry classes and thus the premise of Breaking Bad is set in motion as Walt decides to make Jesse an offer. After all, "you know the business and I know the chemistry."
Jesse might start out as a "pathetic junkie" who makes trash meth, but he grows so far beyond that. We get glimpses of his home life - Jesse was raised in a very nice suburb where his parents and younger brother still live. It's a life of music lessons and Space Camp. One aspect of Breaking Bad that has always appealed to me is its willingness to look squarely at the effects an addict has on those around him - Jesse's parents love him but are simply worn out from the unending lies, late night phone calls, and desperate empty promises. Also, they have a young son to consider, so they've made one of the toughest decision a parent can make. Jesse's made his choices and now he has to live with them. And he's decided to be "the bad guy," although I've had several moments in watching Jesse when I just want to take him home and make him soup. (I'd lock up the silver first. I'm not deeply stupid.)
Strange things happen once Jesse and Walt team up. While Jesse understands the rough edges and violent deal-making that occur in the meth world, he often defers to Walt, almost always calling him "Mr. White" as if Walt was his adviser on a science fair project. (This is so prevalent that it's worth noticing when Jesse calls him by his first name. The name "Walt" in Jesse's mouth is usually spit out like a scornful curse.) Jesse's got brains and he's hungry for someone to notice his skills and worth. This makes him easy to manipulate - which Walt does, over and over and over.
However, life is never static and by the end of Season Four, Jesse is his own man. He may be a broken and angry man, but he's not a cats-paw any longer. He's demonstrated his loyalty, his intelligence, and most of all, his usefulness. Season Five will show if Walt notices.
By the way - mark your calendars! AMC has made it official - the first part of Season 5 will begin airing on July 15! Watch the "behind the scenes" video here!
And this is simply one of the best videos about Breaking Bad I've seen. The music is the Bandini Remix of Ennio Morricone's theme song from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Watch it. Then tell your friends. Narvinek deserves to be widely known for this level of artistry. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen through the end of Season 4, you might want to hold off of this. You've been warned.