Jesse Pinkman, You Were Always Better

jpDear Jesse Pinkman.
Dearest Jesse Pinkman.
Jesse Pinkman, light of my life, fire of my loins, maker of my meth… or, I mean, not my meth. Our meth. The collective meth of the pop culture universe, crystalline blue and just as pure as anything your mentor ever cooked.

On a show without heroes, Jesse Pinkman, you were the best moral center we had. Some have accused you of being weak. And you were, in the worst way, for the best reasons. It was your goodness that made you so easy to manipulate. You longed to do the right thing, but you longed even more to be loved, accepted, embraced by the closest thing to a proud father that you would ever know. Like all people who hate themselves, you just didn’t want to be alone.

And in your every effort to do right, you were stymied and gutted by powerful devils who were determined to make it all wrong. Some of the devils were inside of you, and that was bad. The biggest of the devils was Walter White, and that was much, much worse. Your inner demons, you battled, and won. But the One Who Knocks took everything from you, until he was all that was left, and who could blame you for clinging to him when you had nobody else? You never had a chance.

And yet, you beat him. When it came to the end, when it was just you and Heisenberg, you were the danger, Jesse. Outplaying the player, unseating the king of emotional manipulation. You learned from the best, after all: to win, you have to hold hostage the thing your opponent loves the most. Your triumph was making Walt believe that you were as mercenary as him.

It was just unfortunate that after all that, you ended up on the end of a dog chain.

I’m not much for gendered slurs, Jesse, but can I just say: it would be an honor to be called “bitch” by you. The way the word exits your mouth, buoyant and breathless, like a chubby dolphin suddenly leaping in silhouette against the setting sun. And nobody, not a single solitary soul in the history of the known universe, has looked so charming tumbling off a roof without any pants on.

And wherever you are now—wherever you went, screaming into the night, free at last from your shackles—I hope it’s somewhere far away. I hope you spend your days building wooden boxes, lovingly put together with pegs. If you ever have dreams about Walter White, I hope you don’t remember them in the morning. And I hope you know: Your meth was as good as his, Jesse, but you were the better man.

Breaking Bad, the complete series, is now available on DVD.

What would you say in your love letter to Breaking Bad?

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