One of my favorite parts of Breaking Bad in general is what drives the show – the partnership between Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, two seemingly completely different people with different goals in their lives, which end in disaster one way or another.
But, because of this, their issues are well used for one of the greatest television shows. From a person who has re-watched the show so many times, here are my favorite partner moments between the two, the good to the bad.
When Walter And Jesse Strike Their Deal (Season 1, “Pilot”)
I don’t think anyone can deny that this is obviously one of their best Breaking Bad moments. Jesse can’t even believe that his former science teacher would want to work with him to make meth. The moment they agree, it’s the beginning of a tumultuous and insane relationship, from the very first episode.
“Yeah, Science!” (Season 1, “A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal”)
It’s hard to believe that the producers of the show were thinking of killing off Jesse in the first season. I could never imagine Breaking Bad without Jesse’s little exclamations of praise and wonder when Walter would show off some sort of cool science trick – and this was one of the first. A moment that is often talked about as one of Jesse’s best lines in the series.
I mean, wouldn’t you be astounded with some of the stuff Walt was able to create? The man was brilliant.
When The Two Work Together To Make A New Battery (Season 2, “4 Days Out”)
There’s always been something about this episode of Breaking Bad that made it one of my absolute favorites. The cinematography of the desert paired with the brilliant acting of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, alongside a great story – it hits every note perfectly. However, what really made this one of my favorite moments is their ability to work together.
Even though they fight – pretty consistently, too – they still somehow get a battery going so they can get home after making meth out in the middle of nowhere, despite it being incredibly hot and Walt still very much in the throws of his cancer. Sometimes, their brains work well together, and this is one of those moments where that’s on display.
When Walt Watches Jesse’s Girlfriend, Jane, Overdose (Season 2, “Phoenix”)
But, that doesn’t mean that Walt is a great guy. When Jesse gets into hardcore drugs with his girlfriend, Jane, in Season 2 of Breaking Bad, he starts to become distant from Walt. Walt breaks into Jesse’s home one day because he wouldn’t respond to his calls about their drug money, and finds him and Jane on his bed.
There, Walt sees Jane begin to overdose and start to choke on her vomit, but instead of putting her to her side, Walt stands and watches. He knows that if Jane is gone, Jesse will be able to put his focus entirely back into the business again.
It’s a dark moment for the two of them, and a serious change in character for Walt. Even watching the scene now still makes me cringe.
“Yeah, Bitch! Magnets!” (Season 5, “Live Free Or Die”)
I think we need something a little lighter after that moment, and that’s why I picked this great Season 5 instance. Season 5 of Breaking Bad is filled to the brim with serious moments, as it is the final season, wrapping up many stories, but there are a couple of great, funny one-liners – usually from Jesse.
At this moment, Jesse, Walt, and Mike, are with a couple of guys they paid to help try to figure out how to get rid of evidence on a laptop from outside a protected evidence room. Jesse has the idea of using a powerful magnet to destroy the hard drive, and they acquire a truck fitted with an industrial electromagnet. When testing it, the laptop they were using goes flying towards the magnet, destroying the hard drive. Jesse throws his hands up in celebration and yells, “Yeah, bitch! Magnets!”
I mean, Season 5 has some darkness, but no one can deny the joy they feel in their heart seeing Jesse so happy.
When Jesse and Walt Team Up To Kill A Fly - And Have A Heart-To-Heart (Season 3, “Fly”)
A lot of people don’t like “Fly,” but I think it’s one of the best Breaking Bad episodes out there. Walt and Jesse team up to kill a fly in their lab, because Walt believes it will cause cross-contamination. However, after hours and hours of trying, mixed in with some hilarious bits, they have a heart-to-heart about when it would have been the perfect time for Walt to tell his family about what happened.
Not only that, but Jesse learns that Walt was actually with Jane’s father the night she died. There’s a lot of information in this seemingly uneventful episode, and it creates a wonderful dialogue between the two that emphasizes their evolving relationship.
Jesse Confronts Walt About Brock’s Poison (Season 4, “End Times”)
Another dark moment in Breaking Bad is when Jesse confronts Walt about how Brock, Andrea’s (Jesse’s former girlfriend) son, was poisoned, believing that he used the ricin-laced cigarette to do so, out of spite. Walter claims that Gus must have planned Brock’s poisoning and framed Walter, knowing that Gus is not above killing children after the death of Andrea’s younger brother.
Jesse decides that Walt is innocent – but only later on in the next episode is it revealed that Walt did poison Brock through a Lily of the Valley plant and its berries, and it was all in his plan to rope Jesse into finally killing Gus with him.
I’m not going to curse here, but that is some f-ed up stuff, man.
“Run.” (Season 3, “Half Measures”)
I know you weren’t the only one who was left speechless at the end of this episode. When Jesse finds out that Gus’ dealers killed Tomas, Andrea’s little brother, after they agreed not to use children anymore, he is enraged and plans to kill them, hiding out in his car until the right moment. As he approaches them with a gun, Walt comes out of nowhere, plows the men down with his car, instantly killing one of them.
He gets out and shoots the one who is alive in the head, before turning to Jesse with one word: “Run.”
The chills that just ran across my body. It’s my favorite penultimate episode of all of the seasons, just for that ending. Truly amazing.
When Walt Ordered Jesse To Kill Gale So He Wouldn’t Be Replaced (Season 3, “Full Measures”)
The finale of Breaking Bad Season 3 tested the limits of what Jesse would do for Walt, and didn’t disappoint. When Walt realizes that Gus (their boss) only made Gale his partner so that he could replace both Jesse and Walt once he learned the science and killed the two of them, Walt orders Jesse to kill Gale.
Those final moments of the episode, with a shaking Jesse holding the gun up to Gale’s head, while Gale pleads for his life are heartbreaking. When that trigger is pulled and the screen cuts to black, you just know that everything is forever going to be changed. Jesse has gone through so much, and now he’s had to kill someone for Walt, something he didn’t even want to do. It’s awful.
When Walt Saves Jesse (Season 5, “Felina”)
As I said before, Season 5 of Breaking Bad is incredible and filled with several amazing moments, but the best between Jesse and Walt in this season is the finale. Jesse, who has been held captive for months, is finally freed when Walt tricks his captors into bringing him out, and then dives down onto the floor with him while activating a machine gun he bought to automatically shoot into the building from his car.
Walt then gives the gun to Jesse, asking him to kill him, giving him the choice, even after saving him. Jesse instead notices that Walt has already been shot and says that if he wanted to die, he could do it himself.
After all Jesse went through because of Walt, it’s not a surprise that his final words to him were cold. But, the fact that Walt still risked his life to save Jesse and took a fatal blow because of it shows that even after everything, he still wanted Jesse to be free. No one deserves to be a captive, and Walt recognized that.
Ugh, I miss the Breaking Bad cast and this show. I have to re-watch it again!