For Millennials. By Millennials.
There’s no doubt that Breaking Bad is indeed one of the greatest shows ever made. In addition to that, The AMC Original has one of the most well-received finales of all time. It made the end of such a loved show extremely pleasant for the show-watchers. And most fans also agree that Walter White, the show’s iconic anti-hero got a worthy send-off.
However, some Breaking Bad fans do argue that they wanted Walter and Jesse’s final showdown to end a bit differently. They wanted Jesse to kill Walt in that Breaking Bad finale, arguing that it made more sense from their character arcs. So, why didn’t Vince Gilligan go down that road? We finally have an answer!
Walter and Jesse’s relationship
The relationship between Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in Breaking Bad went through a unique arc. At it’s beginning, Walt was like a father character for Jesse. Moreover, Jesse had an estranged relationship with his, which made his relationship with Walt all the more important.
When the two decided to cook meth together, Walt helped make Jesse’s recipe better. So better, in fact, that it became the best meth in the entire country. The two engage in a mutually beneficial relationship, but it did not stay that way for long.
As Breaking Bad progressed into it’s later seasons, their relationship became more strained. What happened was that Walter White’s lack of consciousness catches up with him. And he manipulated Jesse multiple times for his own personal benefit. For example, he let Jesse’s girlfriend die by not administering first aid on her. Then, he poisons a child and frames the death on Gus Fring, eventually successfully manipulating Jesse to kill Gale Boetticher. By the end of Breaking Bad, things had really gone bad between the two. So much so that Jesse had every reason to kill Walter White.
Jesse was justified in killing Walter White
In the Breaking Bad series finale, Walt and Jesse finally confront each other in Uncle Jack’s compound. At that moment, Jesse had every reason to put a bullet in Walt’s skull. After all, it is because of Walter that Jesse ended up there in the first place. Walter tried to have Uncle Jack murder him, but instead, a very sinister fate was waiting up for Jesse. They kept him as a prisoner, cooking meth for them and living practically as a slave. Walt even gave Jesse the offer to kill him, but he refused. And Vince Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly why:
“We talked about Jesse taking Walt up on his offer to kill him or Walt turning around to find Jesse had a gun on him. We talked about every permutation we could conceive of, and we went the way we went ultimately because the bloodlust had been satiated prior to that moment by seeing Jesse throttle Todd to death.”
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan why he didn’t let Jesse kill Walter
The answer to this question is more than just toning down the lust for blood in Breaking Bad. Killing Walter White was just not in Jesse’s nature. Gilligan further said:
“So having satisfied that, it felt to us like, ‘Jesse is not a killer.’ This poor guy has wound up having to kill over and over again. The first time he did it was to save Mr. White as well as himself, and it’s not a natural fit for him, and it’s something that’s stolen a big, important piece of his soul. And we thought to ourselves, ‘You know what? Let it end with Todd, let that be the last person this kid ever kills, let him go on from here to have a decent life.’”
Moreover, Jesse’s refusal to kill Walter was a moment for Jesse to stand up for himself and be different from Walt. In a way, it’s a culmination of his character arc throughout the time we saw him grow in Breaking Bad. Gilligan further said:
“[Jesse] had said a long time ago, in a previous episode, ‘I’m never doing what you tell me to do ever again,’ so when he says no and drops the gun and says, ‘Do it yourself,’ to Mr. White, it’s as much a refusal to do what Walt tells him. He’s just not going to make Walt happy anymore. It’s not about, ‘I’m not still angry enough to murder you.’ Rather, it’s, ‘You want this, and therefore I’m not giving it to you.’”
Do you agree with Gilligan’s reason for not ending Breaking Bad in this manner? Is killing Walt really not in Jesse’s nature? Let us know what you think in the comments below.