‘Breaking Bad’: Why Jesse Pinkman Was Walter White’s Biggest Problem From the Very Beginning

What do you do when you’ve spent your whole life doing everything by the book, and it feels like it all blows up in your face? That was the premise of Breaking Bad.

While some shows like Little House on the Prairie encourages viewers to try again and keep a good attitude, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), the main character of Breaking Bad, decides to build a meth lab.

Breaking Bad: Bryan Cranston
Bryan Cranston | Ben Rothstein/Vinton Productions

For the first time in his life, things seemed to be looking up for Walter. His partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), was more of a hindrance than he was worth, however. While Jesse has many fans, many more felt that things would have ended differently for Walt if he had just killed Jesse off when he first began screwing things up.

On the other hand, there are others who think Jesse’s life would have been much different if Walt hadn’t recruited him.

‘Breaking Bad’ was an instant hit

RELATED: The 8 Episodes of ‘Breaking Bad’ You Need to Watch Before ‘El Camino’

A show about a meth empire shouldn’t have been that big of a hit. It’s not exactly a taboo subject, but it’s not something that would typically draw viewers in. The fact that a dying Chemistry teacher started a meth lab out of desperation because he needed the funds was something others could relate to, however.

Even though it all started out as a means to make some extra money, Walter found his calling in making meth. He was very good at it, and had a mind for both making the meth and running the business. It quickly became clear that Walter had a dark side which was impossible to disguise.

As he begins to grow his business, Walter pulls in a former Chemistry student named Jesse Pinkman. Jesse wasn’t exactly the brightest of characters, and he landed in hot water more than once. 

Jesse Pinkman was a huge liability

RELATED: The 1 Thing That Saved Jesse Pinkman From Being Killed Off in ‘Breaking Bad’

Jesse wasn’t supposed to live through the first season. Writers had originally intended to kill him off, but a writer’s strike unexpectedly saved Jesse. By the time the strike ended, it was clear that Jesse played a huge role in what was to come, and it was a mistake to kill the character.

That doesn’t mean that Jesse made things easy. In fact, some think that he played a rather large role in Walter’s downfall. While Walter didn’t care about many people in his life, he was as fond of Jesse as he was of anyone.

Some of the ways Jesse managed to mess things up was by discussing business with street thugs, improperly disposing of a body that was soon discovered, and consistently ruining Walt’s plans by speaking up at the wrong time.

Fans were done with Jesse Pinkman

RELATED: ‘Breaking Bad’: No One Wanted Aaron Paul To Play Jesse Pinkman at First (Besides One Person)

While Jesse had a strong fan base, many felt that Walt would be better off without him. They took to Quora to express their frustrations.

One fan stated it well when he said, “If you binge-watch as compared to watching over an extended period of time it becomes very obvious Jesse is a huge part of his problem. When Gus came into the picture, Jesse’s value became nil. In the end, it’s clear that Jesse’s character exists solely to keep Walt on the verge of getting caught and actually takes away from what otherwise is a great series.”

While Walt was killed off in the series finale, the writers let Jesse live as they felt he had been through enough. He later found peace in the made-for-TV film El Camino. Even so, those who loved Walt feel that he would still be alive if it weren’t for Jesse’s blundering ways.