Jesse Pinkman played by Aaron Paul

Jesse Pinkman played by Aaron Paul

Born in September 1984 into an upper middle-class family in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Jesse Bruce Pinkman, played by Aaron Paul, in his mid-20s became Walter White’s business partner in the methamphetamine drug trade. In high school, Jesse was a small-time methamphetamine user, manufacturer and dealer. He was also an inattentive student in Walter White’s chemistry class. Before his partnership with Walt, operating under the pseudonym “Cap’n Cook”, he added a little Chili Powder to make his methamphetamine stand out in the market.

Walt insisted on making a pure product, however, and thus eschewed the chili powder altogether, patronizingly teaching Jesse how to make “proper” meth. Walt often treated Jesse like a foolish son in constant need of stern correction. Jesse’s own family kicked him out because of his drug use. However, despite the friction between them, he and Walt have a deep bond of loyalty. Like Walt, Jesse is horrified by the brutality at the higher levels of the drug trade, but does what he thinks is necessary. He wrestles with feelings of guilt about the deaths, all drug-related, of people he’s been associated with, especially his girlfriend Jane Margolis. He often attended Narcotics Anonymous meetings to help deal with these feelings.

Jesse attended J. P. Wynne High School and was a poor student, largely due to his inattentiveness and apathy. Jesse first met Walter White in his junior year when Walter was his chemistry teacher. Walter, whom Jesse almost always calls “Mr. White,” flunked Jesse in his class. Walt later tells Jesse that he “never thought much” of him, though he did frequently write “Apply Yourself” on Jesse’s graded quiz papers and, when meeting Hank Schrader, his mother said that “Mr. White must have seen some potential in Jesse, he really tried to motivate him, he was one of the few teachers who cared”.

In high school, Jesse was already involved in the use, manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine. On Jesse’s website, he mentions that he attended “DeVry University data systems management” along with J. P. Wynne High School. At some point in his early life, Jesse created the band “TwaüghtHammër” with his friends, serving as the drummer.

Jesse has a much younger over-achieving brother, Jake Pinkman, with whom he gets along, despite their differences in age and aptitudes, as well as Jesse’s spotty rapport with his folks. In fact, Jesse seems to connect extremely well with children in general and avoids exposing them to his own destructive behavior, even when to do so would be criminally inept and risky.


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