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The Long Winded Blues of the Never

An All-Seasons Walt & Jesse Recap

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Walt & Jesse: Season One
 
Walt & Jesse: Season Two, Part One



Picspam and Meta on Walt & Jesse's Relationship through the Seasons


Seven Thirty Seven

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"Don't we, like, double our chances? I mean, mathematically?"

At the opening of S2 Walt is frantically muttering about how much meth he'll need to sell and how much money he still needs for his family. He doesn't yet realise that he's just witnessed a man being beaten to death until Tuco calls Walt over again and throws a bloody copse at his feet. Jesse is quicker on the uptake that he and Walt may now be loose ends in Tuco's scary unhealthy brain. Sure, Tuco really wants Walt's clean crystal meth to sell (and snort) but he doesn't trust Walt. And as they are attempting to leave the junk yard, Tuco impulsively grabs Jesse by the neck and throws him to the ground. The message is pretty damn clear. If Walt steps out of line then Tuco will kill Jesse first as a warning. Poor Jesse always gets the fuzzy end of the lollipop. 

Jesse is rightly hysterical with fear and buys a gun for protection in case Tuco comes a-knocking; now an eerie foreshadowing that Jesse will one day keep a gun to protect himself from Mr White. When Walt gets Jesse to talk through exactly what he plans to do, I don't think Walt is just trying to berate Jesse or mock him for not knowing how to open a gun. After Krazy 8, Walt is the expert on having to kill a man because you know that man will kill you if you don't. Walt knows it's not easy and that Jesse's not capable. So they go back to their usual method of fighting back with science with the first appearence of BB's Chekhov's ricin. The poisoning plan goes out the window when Hank reveals Gonzo's death and gets Walt & Jesse thinking that Tuco is on a killing spree. Walt stealing Jesse's gun was a shitty move and in the end Walt leaving Jesse defenseless enables Tuco to use Jesse as bait to lure Walt into his trap. Jesse's considered to be the liability but this time it's really Walt overthinking their defensive strategy that gets them both kidnapped. So call Jesse an idiot all you like, but Jesse would never have left that gun behind.        


Grilled 

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"He's my partner. And if he doesn't go, I don't go."

So Walt and Jesse spend an entire night locked in a trunk together. It's ordeals like this that feed so much into Walt and Jesse's codependant relationship. They are hostages at the mercy of a madman who keeps getting crazier the more he snorts the meth they cooked. They share in the horror and the inhumane conditions and know they can only depend on each other for survival. Walt and Jesse's colours (from their regular colour palette) are very appropriate for this episode - Walt in green and white, the colour of money and Jesse in red and black with a skull on his t-shirt (why do all Jesse's t-shirts have skulls on them?!) like he's already marked for death. This is exactly how Tuco sees them. Jesse knows he's expendable and so he's panicking; daring Tuco to shoot him in the trunk, blowing their ricin plan with his "chilli powder" bit and at one point - hilariously - asking Walt if he'd consider "being all sacrificial" since he's dying anyway (I should hate Jesse for going there, but that part cracks me up every time). 

Walt does actually have one heroic moment of shielding Jesse when Tuco wants to shoot him in the head on a meth-fueled whim. Walt's "if he doesn't go, I don't go" is the first example of the long held pact between Walt and Jesse to protect each other from harm, even if taking a stand for their partner might result in them both being killed. Of course, it's also true that Walt does need Jesse "very very badly" because the only advantage Walt might have against Tuco is that it's two against one. That is before Walt realises that Tuco has Uncle Hector and his bell of doom on his team, and therefore he and Jesse are screwed; Jesse especially. I'm sure Tuco - who looks at a picture of Walt's family and thinks "lots of collatoral" - only let Jesse live so he'd have someone who Walt cares about to threaten and torture. When Tuco is beating the hell out of Jesse, he keeps glancing at Walt to check his reaction. Walt doesn't want to see Jesse killed but he has no earthly idea how to save Jesse either. That is until Walt sees Jesse grasping for a rock in the sand and so commits to offering a diversion in support of Jesse's original "let's crack him over the head with something then go for his gun" plan. Scientific genius can't save them all the time. With Tuco, they are reduced to desperately scrambling to survive.

A lot of fans have complained that it's unrealistic that Walt and Jesse would leave Tuco wounded, rather than finishing him off. Personally I found it a believable choice from both characters, though maybe for different reasons. Jesse was still crying and shaking after almost being shot to death himself. He didn't have it in him to commit murder at that moment when he was sobbing with relief to still be alive. And Walt's "let him bleed" was filled with contempt, not mercy. Walt hated Tuco for what he'd done to him and Jesse and so he wanted the man to suffer a long painful death bleeding under the hot sun. Walt had wept that he was sorry when killing Krazy 8 but he's already moved on from feeling any sympathy for his dying enemies.       


Bit by a Dead Bee

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"So who's your Chief, little injun?"

This episode opens with some rather epic shots of Walt and Jesse staggering through the desert, focused on getting home but knowing that going home will only be the beginning of a new ordeal for them. They don't talk to each other and often they walk at a distance but there is a quiet sense of solidarity between them now. Jesse trusts in Walt's plan because what else do they have to trust in but each other? On their return Walt and Jesse both have to tell elaborate lies to explain their disappearences over the last few days. While nobody suspects that Walt and Jesse were missing for the same reason, people are starting to sense a mysterious presence in both Walt and Jesse's lives. Skyler knows Walt is lying about the second cell phone and she fears the person on the end of those secret calls might be another woman with whom Walt is having an affair. And Skyler is right. Walt does have another "partner" and he's having a torrid affair with criminality but it's still just that Pinkman kid calling their house. Hank also knows that Jesse is lying about his car being stolen, though he doesn't think a little dipshit like Jesse is capable of shooting Tuco, so he demands to know the identity of Jesse's badass boss, never considering that Jesse's boss could be Walter White, the guy who was missing for exactly the same amount of days.

 While Walt returns from their kidnapping ordeal to hugs and concern from Skyler and Junior, Jesse's family show no such concern for where he's been. It's rather heartbreaking that Jesse phones his dad after getting out of the police station, because I think Jesse was desperately seeking a way to go home and feel safe after what they went through. God bless Wendy the hooker for at least taking Jesse to Waffle House. Jesse can still call Walt, if only in secret, and be reassured that their patnership will continue, though Jesse can hardly believe Walt still wants to cook. But as Walt says "What's changed, Jesse?" Walt's not going to be scared out of the game by Tuco. His cancer is still a bigger threat.         


Down

downdown2

"Dad's cooking breakfast..."

When Walt and Jesse next touch base, Jesse is desperate for money and frantically reminds Walt of their 50/50 partners motto. Walt, it seems, only likes to emphasize that they're 50/50 partners when he wants Jesse to help dispose of the corpses of the people he's killed. When Jesse wants half of his money, not so much. Walt talks about needing time to make amends after putting his family through an ordeal, but disregards that he just put Jesse through a far worse ordeal. Jesse's situation quickly becomes more desperate after his parents evict him from his aunt's house. This episode is often described as Jesse's worst day ever. Which...I don't know if that's true since it's coming shortly after a day when Jesse was kidnapped by an insane drug lord, locked in a trunk and barely escaped being shot in the head. But this is the first episode that really shows how utterly Walter White has ruined Jesse's life. Jesse told Walt they shouldn't be working with Tuco. He told Walt not to bring the cook stuff to his house. Now look who's suffering for it. Walt's so determined to block out Jesse's turmoil that he pulls the phone cord out of the wall. I loved Jesse calling Walt "Daddy Warbucks" because it had me thinking of Jesse as a fucked up version of little orphan Annie. That is if Annie were male and a drug dealer and drenched in blue shit. Jesse is reduced to crawling into the RV and crying himself to sleep in a gas mask. The ramshackle rolling lab he shares with Walt has become the only refuge Jesse has left.     

When Jesse brings the RV to Walt's house in his final phase of desperation, we get a taste of just how unhealthy and volitile this relationship can be. Walt's verbal attack on Jesse is so brutal that Jesse's visibly flinching over every stabbing insult until he snaps and finds himself strangling Walt on the floor. When Walt has Jesse's trembling blue fist raised over him you can just about hear him choke out the words "Do it", the same words Walt will one day say when Jesse is pointing a trembling gun at his head. But Jesse just collapses next to Walt and I imagine they lie there for a long time just panting and realising how very fucked they are. But then after they taken out their frustrations on each other, something else happens. For me it's S2 where the Walt/Jesse relationship develops beyond being a teacher/pupil thing into being a father/son thing. The first little hint of paternal care from Walt comes in his "Want some breakfast?" line to a homeless destitute Jesse. In the early scenes of this episode, Walt's real son Junior was perplexed to see Walt making breakfast which had been Walt's first attempt at a muddled apology to his family. For me, Walt offering Jesse breakfast implies to me that Walt finally realises he needs to mend fences with Jesse too. But it's also Walt acknowledging that he can't just ignore Jesse's problems or claim he's not responsible for them because somewhere along the way Walt ended up adopting this stinking blue urchin.     


Breakage 

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"You need me more than I need you...Walt"

I believe 'Breakage' is the only episode in the entire run of Breaking Bad wherein Jesse calls Walt by his first name, rather than "Mr White". Jesse has managed to roughly put his life back together but he knows that while he's still working with Walt, there's a danger that it'll be turned upside down again. So Jesse wants total control over the sales division of their meth business now and before Walt can argue back, Jesse has the nerve to call him "Walt" and threaten to walk if they don't do things his way. Walt quickly becomes very bitter over Jesse not only acting like they're equals but saying that Walt is the more needy member of their team. Walt can't really deny that he screwed up by insisting that they work with Tuco, so Walt grudgingly allows Jesse to take over. Yet Walt seems to be waiting for Jesse to mess up so that Walt has an excuse to knock him down again. Walt gets the opportunity after Skinny Pete gets robbed. Despite Jesse's dismissal of Walt, he really had been working hard to please him. Jesse telling his drug dealer crew to "Apply yourselves, mofos!" shows he still considers Walt his mentor and still looks to Walt for instruction. In his frustration, Jesse offers Walt another grand from his own share of the drug money, but they both know that's no solution.       

Late at night, Walt gives Jesse a gun and orders him to "handle it". I don't know if Walt really expected Jesse to go out and threaten the meth theives at gunpoint. Walt might have only wanted a bit of revenge because Jesse had dared to assert himself and now Walt wants him to admit that he's not cut out to be a scary enforcer. Walt will call Jesse later (too late) to casually call the whole thing off, like he never imagined Jesse would go through with it anyway. But that's not the impression Walt gives Jesse when he comes to his house that night. It's Heisenberg who knocks on Jesse's door and it seriously sounds like Heisenberg wants Jesse to go shoot some methheads and get his money back.   


Peekaboo

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"You have a good rest of your life, kid."

Jesse having encounters or close bonds with tragic children has become a re-occuring motif of Breaking Bad. It may be on purpose that these tragic children are always young boys (the Spooge kid, Tomas, Brock, Drew Sharpe, etc). These misfortunate little boy characters are all somewhat symbolic of Jesse's own inner child, their sad fates echoing the tragedy of Jesse's lost innocence. The Spooge house is very much a warped depiction of Jesse's current state of being; he's trapped in a world that's dirtied, disturbed and corrupted by crystal meth. Jesse, as a drug dealer, is partly responsible for creating this world but he's also a victim of it because he has no means of escape. Just like the Spooge child, Jesse has been abandoned in this horrible house by his parents; not only his real parents who've disowned him but his surrogate father figure Walt who has sent Jesse into this situation alone.

Walt's story in this episode has nothing to do with Jesse. Walt is so busy trying to sustain the lie he told about Gretchen and Elliot  paying for his treatment that he's all but forgotten giving Jesse the gun and sending him off on this dangerous mission. There's a part of Jesse's soul that is manifested in this starved neglected child. Jesse's attempts to preserve the kid's innocence and rescue him from that house in the hopes that child services could offer him a fresh start; for me, this expresses Jesse's own buried desire for a paternal figure come along and pull him out of his current life; in the hope that he could still lead a better one.


Negro Y Azul

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"Who messes with the blowfish, Jesse?"

Walt begins this episode at school, talking after class to a surrogate Jesse student. You can tell the kid is a substitute for Jesse because he is helpfully labelled with a skull on his hoodie. Walt is scolding the kid for not understanding what "bonds" are, which is a crafty bit of irony seeing as Walt is currently failing to understand his own bond with Jesse. Walt seems to think Jesse is ducking him because he's chickened out of going to the Spooge house. When Walt goes to see Jesse in person, he finds Jane (not for the last time) barring his access. S2 for me is the season in which Walt and Jesse develop more of a father/son bond, but when Walt pretends to be Jesse's concerned dad it's another cruel irony considering that Walt's paternal influence over Jesse is only used to draw Jesse into deeper levels of criminality. Also, it doesn't help Walt get around Jane who considers concerned loving fathers to be the bane of her life. But Jesse eventually lets Walt in, throwing his money at him and calling him an asshole which even Walt seems to concede he deserves. Walt is horrified when Jesse explains what happened, though he cuts Jesse off when he is about to tell him about the Spooge's kid - which is perfect because, like I've said, that kid symbolises Walt's neglect of Jesse's more childlike emotions. Though Walt does at least have the decency to say "sorry" as he leaves, because as much as Walt uses and abuses Jesse, he doesn't like seeing Jesse get hurt, either physically or emotionally.   

So just like when Jesse got hospitalized by Tuco for following Walt's orders, Walt dresses up in his Heisenberg persona and goes to do the drug dealing on Jesse's behalf. And Walt is thrilled to learn that Jesse is now rumoured to be an insane violent killer. It's so great! Isn't it so great to have this new terrifying reputation, Jesse? Walt seems to experience a vicarious pleasure through his partner becoming a feared drug lord because this is what Walt really wants for himself. Jesse however is appalled and just wants to crawl under a blanket in his dark room and hide forever. It takes another one of Walt's abusive teaching moments to change Jesse's perspective. The blowfish speech is one of my favourite Walt/Jesse scenes because it's one of those moments where I really don't know whether to laugh or cry. Cranston and Paul play it very funny, but really Walt is only building up Jesse's confidence so he can use him as a puppet; a paper badass to scare off threats and rivals. But Jesse embraces his blowfish identity because (as he says in a later episode) he always wanted a superpower. By the end of the episode, Jesse is back to calling Walt "Mr White" and Walt is back to pushing Jesse into taking bigger risks and well, nothing good's going to come of it.


Discussion Questions 
1) What is your favourite Walt/Jesse scene of the first half of S2?
2) Is it appropriate to say Walt/Jesse have a father/son bond considering how abusive this relationship is? 

Walt & Jesse: Season Two, Part Two


Date: 2012-09-16 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lenina20.livejournal.com
aggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh. This ate my comment! Damn it!

Anyway - I said that I really enjoyed reading this recap - it's really insightful and brilliant, and I like your taking in the father/son relationship, because that can be read in terms of power relationships too. And it connects very well with jesse's constant identification with child characters, as you mentioned above. For as long as he remains wanting/needing a parental/authoritative figure, he remains that teenager, a child that can only be a submitted position in a power relationship with a man like Walt - who in order to execute any kind of power, before he gets to crash planes and take down drug lords, always has to go over Jesse first: he needs Jesse on his side, one hundred percent, and that takes a lot of time of building this relationship in which, ultimately, Walt's will is done, and Jesse's will is bent and controlled and manipulated. It's like the first step in Walt's game, but also the hardest, and most important one - controlling Jesse, so he can control everything else.










Date: 2012-09-16 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
Grrr. LJ has been eating a lot of my comments too lately. I'm reduced to coping every comment just in case my posting fails. Thanks for rewriting though. :)

I like your taking in the father/son relationship, because that can be read in terms of power relationships too.

I've found some BB fans really object the father/son reading because Walt is eeeevil and it's so unhealthy, yada yada. But it's worth acknowledging that some paternal bonds are abusive and as you say, that is rooted in abuse of power.

it connects very well with jesse's constant identification with child characters, as you mentioned above. For as long as he remains wanting/needing a parental/authoritative figure, he remains that teenager,

*happy sigh* This is what makes Jesse the character I always wanted Charlie Pace to be back in my Lost fandom days. In my fic I'd always write Charlie like a teenager because I think if a person gets into abusing drugs in their teen years they fail to grow up and depend on other people for guidance. Jesse's over identification with kids, as you put it - I think it really is about Jesse pining over his own lost innocence.

the first step in Walt's game, but also the hardest, and most important one - controlling Jesse, so he can control everything else.

Yes! Yes! In a way Jesse is the only thing that slows Walt's moral decline, because Walt is too pious and defensive in the early seasons to admit that Jesse Pinkman might be a more decent person than he is. For this recap, I was recently rewatching 'Better Call Saul' and it's clear that Walt really does just want to kill Badger to stop him talking. But Walt can't do that because Badger is Jesse's friend so Walt has to go through a far more complicated elaborate plan just to keep Jesse on his side. Now in S5 Walt can kill 10 guys in prison but he's lost Jesse and that seems to have rendered everything pointless. So pointless that Walt quits! Sorry, I know you hate that part but I'll be willing to forgive it if this is confirmed as the reasoning.

Oh, by the way. I've been meaning to share this picture/banner with you for ages. I didn't make it and I forgot to save a credit for the person who did. But I saw it and saved it thinking "OMG, I must share this with, Len!!" :)

Image (http://s214.photobucket.com/albums/cc99/cappyfal/?action=view&current=tumblr_m6d0o4nuVr1qzjthmo2_500.png)

How are you getting on with Homeland? I've ordered the DVDs from the library out of curiosity...
Edited Date: 2012-09-16 10:33 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-09-16 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lenina20.livejournal.com
That banner is gorgeous!

Homeland is... well. I promised myself I wouldn't marathon on it, and I just finished it, watch seven episodes in the last two days, and finish just to write fic about it, so... I really, really liked it. I loved its politics (though it's a good idea to avoid fandom in a show that deals openly with the terrorism, on both sides) and as much as I usually care about the politics of shows (it is my favorite part of BB, or The Sopranos, for instance - yet not of The Wire, but that is one long reasoning) this is one is amazing on those terms but also, so much more. It's the story of a woman, and damn it, you don't know until you see it, how there are not real women on TV - not this real at least. And it doesn't shy away from emotions just because it's clever TV, you know? And there's an addictive plot - on top of the terribly subversive politics and the unbelievable, real, damage, extraordinary characters. And the actors, too. Unbelievable.

Date: 2012-09-16 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanfastolfe.livejournal.com
Aside: Claire Danes is amazing in it. She really is; she portrays so well the *intensity* that drives Carrie Mathison - the effects of her sporadic ingestion of pills that she keeps "off book" from everyone - even the way she blatantly uses sex to get what she wants from Brody. Give her another decade, and she'll be the most ruthless chesssmaster ever to walk the halls of an intelligence agency.

Date: 2012-09-17 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
I second every single word you have written here.

Date: 2012-09-19 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanfastolfe.livejournal.com
:) She's also scary brilliant. Kind of like a supercharged Hermione, sometimes.

Date: 2012-09-17 12:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
WORD to your Homeland comments. W.O.R.D!!!

To all of it.

It's the story of a woman, and damn it, you don't know until you see it, how there are not real women on TV - not this real at least. I'd actually argue that Skylar White comes pretty close. To be honest, I think it's her 'realness' that ensures she's the butt of so much [incredibly UNDESERVED] hatred.

But, Homeland. YES! Can not wait for it to come back in a couple of weeks :)

Date: 2012-09-16 11:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
I've seen that banner on tumblr!! I've saved it too!! Speaking of tumblr, I'm spending way to much time there. So much pretty, pretty pictures that I decided to create a myself a tumblr account so I can re-blog posts I like (I think the girls at GS may be a little tired of me spamming the board with pretty BB graphics. :))

Here's my tumblr account:

http://cylune.tumblr.com/

Date: 2012-09-17 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
If you're reblogging Breaking Bad related AWESOMENESS, would you mind if I followed you? I only joined tumblr a week ago, and mostly so I could lose myself in images of Aaron/Jesse.

It's working a little too efficiently at the moment...! Hehe. Oops?

Date: 2012-09-17 01:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
Of course!! I'll follow you right back. I'm so loving tumblr right now!! I joined yesterday so my re-blogging is just at its infancy stage. But I'll get to it. Thanks. :)

Date: 2012-09-17 06:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I wish I could get back onto Geeksquee. For some reason my computer tells me it's a dangerous website every time I try to log back in. I'd appreciate your BB picspams if I was there! :)

Now I'm tempted to get a tumblr just to follow your tumblr. I do have a little collection of BB gifs that keep waiting for opportunities to use. Like this one!

Image

Date: 2012-09-17 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
So freaking cute!!!

Are you using Chrome? I get the same message. Just ignore it, there's no virus at GS. I did some reseach when you first mentioned it and the warning is because of a link to a smilie that's coming from a questionable site. The smilie is gone now.

I mainly use tumblr to keep track of my favorite graphics and who made it...

Date: 2012-09-17 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
Yeah, I use Chrome. Stupid bitch Chrome.

Thanks for the reassurance. I'm sure a fraidy cat when it comes to anything that I think might damage my computer so I just stayed away from it. I'm logged back in now - looks like you've been busy promoting! :D

Date: 2012-09-17 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
Yes, I've been busy. Mainly working on Jelly. She loves sensitive characters with guilty conscience and seeing them deal with the aftermaths of terrible things they did... so Jesse is her dream character. I would love to have Jelly on board with us. :)

Date: 2012-09-18 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanfastolfe.livejournal.com
Squee! Jesse looking smart! XD

Date: 2012-09-16 10:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanfastolfe.livejournal.com
"He's my partner. And if he doesn't go, I don't go."

That really sums it up. At the core, Walter and Jesse are bound almost irrevocably and permanently. And this show really makes you feel sorry for Jesse, the way he ends up in the blue shit as a metaphor for the way the universe seems to love to open up and just dump crap all over the kid.

"Abusive teaching" - I like that. Very apt! Walt really does adopt a blustery, bullying teaching method with Jesse, but it's telling how codependent and into each other's heads they are that when Walt has half a chance to get rid of Gale, he replaces him with Jesse.

And Jesse groks the cook. He groks it so well that when Gus has to begin his chess endgame with the cartel, his prize cook, Jesse, can come in at 96%.

That's the ultimate vindication for this uneducated loser of a kid whose sole redeeming qualities are his big heart and a long-latent drive to improve himself.

Date: 2012-09-16 10:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hanfastolfe.livejournal.com
1) What is your favourite Walt/Jesse scene of the first half of S2?

Not having re-watched this one yet, I'm harder-put to recall it. But I think if I had to place it, I'd say the blowfish moment. Walter is really good at boosting Jesse's ego ("moment of the rest of your life" talk!) when he needs it to serve some greater objective.

2) Is it appropriate to say Walt/Jesse have a father/son bond considering how abusive this relationship is?

They do have one. Jesse almost never seems to truly take initiative, even when it seems like he does. He always asks "Mr. White" to cook with him, never to cook on his own. And even when Jesse knows he needs to start executing people to boost his reputation, he can't do it and needs Walter to puff his ego up.

In doing so, he becomes an extension of Walter's will without really realizing it, and in the most profound way when Walt orders Gale's execution, and Jesse robotically follows those orders.

Date: 2012-09-17 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
In doing so, he becomes an extension of Walter's will without really realizing it, and in the most profound way when Walt orders Gale's execution, and Jesse robotically follows those orders. YESSSSSSSSS. This is such an eloquent explanation of what happens in that scene and the scenes leading up to it.

Date: 2012-09-17 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I agree with waltz. That is such a chillingly accurate description of Jesse shooting Gale. Along with robotic, it seemed like a Pavlovian response to Walt's months of careful conditioning. Walt's "do it, Jesse, do it!" even sounds like he's talking to a well-trained dog. Man, I can't wait to recap part 2 of S3.

Date: 2012-09-17 06:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
"Abusive teaching" - I like that. Very apt! Walt really does adopt a blustery, bullying teaching method with Jesse,

I think a lot of Walt's breaking bad is driven by Walt's bitterness and desire for revenge on all the people who Walt blames for his lousy life. So just as Walt wants to say 'fuck you' to the likes of Elliot, Gretchen, Eyebrows, I'm sure Walt also wants to punish every lazy delinquent teenager who wasted Walt's career and genius. Walt can't say what he really wants to say to the kids in his chemistry class, but he has no such restrictions with Jesse. He can just insult him mercilessly and make him the whipping boy for all his frustrations. But there are moments where I think Walt genuinely enjoys teaching Jesse and Jesse loves learning from Walt. The blowfish moment manages to be both very cute and very corrupt.

Date: 2012-09-16 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
I love your Epic recaps so much!!!

So Walt and Jesse spend an entire night locked in a trunk together. It's ordeals like this that feed so much into Walt and Jesse's codependant relationship.

I'm no psychologist but I would tend believe that people who suffer traumatic events together might be prone to create unnatural (or even perhaps artificial?) bonds quickly.

Walt's "if he doesn't go, I don't go" is the first example of the long held pact between Walt and Jesse to protect each other from harm, even if taking a stand for their partner might result in them both being killed.

I like that they never talked about it... it's a silent pact and it's just something that happened naturally without any form of 'formal' acknowledgement. It's just the way it is.

Hank also knows that Jesse is lying about his car being stolen, though he doesn't think a little dipshit like Jesse is capable of shooting Tuco, so he demands to know the identity of Jesse's badass boss, never considering that Jesse's boss could be Walter White, the guy who was missing for exactly the same amount of days.

God, I would have so loved to be in Hank's head when he realized those two events were connected (I think he definitely did at the end of season 5.a). Jesse is connected to the blue meth. He was missing. Walt is a chemist. He was missing at the same time as Jesse. Hank was looking for Walt when he found Tuco. Poor Hank. The answer was right there before his eyes and he missed it.

I believe 'Breakage' is the only episode in the entire run of Breaking Bad wherein Jesse calls Walt by his first name, rather than "Mr White".

It is. I never really noticed in my first watch but it startled me during my re-watch. I had to re-wind (did I just heard Jesse call Mr. White 'Walt'???. Yes, yes, he did. O_O)

Jesse having encounters or close bonds with tragic children has become a re-occuring motif of Breaking Bad.

Jesse's attempts to preserve the kid's innocence and rescue him from that house in the hopes that child services could offer him a fresh start; for me, this expresses Jesse's own buried desire for a parternal figure come along and pull him out of his current life; in the hope that he could still lead a better one.

Good observation. I love Jesse but his neediness and dependence on other people is really one of his biggest flaws. I was so proud of him for finally walking off (without any form of alternate support) in season 5. Took a long time but I was yelling at my computer when it happened.

1) What is your favourite Walt/Jesse scene of the first half of S2?
Probably the 'Want some breakfast?' scene. One of those rare moments when Walt is actually being nice to Jesse.

2) Is it appropriate to say Walt/Jesse have a father/son bond considering how abusive this relationship is?

Oh, absolutely. I don't think there at that stage yet in season 2. I think at the end of season 2, as he told Jane's father, Jesse is like a nephew. Part of the family but not immediate family. I believe the transition from 'nephew' to 'son' happened in Half Measures.

Most abusive relationships happens between family members. I've seen way too many abusive parent/child relationships. So really, I don't think father/son bond and abusive relationship is mutually exclusive.

Date: 2012-09-17 12:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
So really, I don't think father/son bond and abusive relationship is mutually exclusive. Hehe. Jinx.

This is what I just commented with:

well, it's not like father/son relationships and abuse are AT ALL mutually exclusive...

Date: 2012-09-17 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
he! Other than I made an embarrassing grammar mistake, GMTA! :)





Date: 2012-09-17 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Pfffft. Grammar is overrated when it comes to this show. I'm usually all asdhif9oqd43yrh9otq8ys4ulrijd about it so, UNDERSTOOD!!

Have this to make you feel better:

Image (http://waltzmatildah.livejournal.com/pics/catalog/388/83027)

Date: 2012-09-17 02:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
My heart, my heart!! argh!!!! Thanks, it worked.

Date: 2012-09-17 07:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
Thanks. I really need a better title for these things than 'Epic Walt & Jesse Recaps'. Let me know if you can think of anything better. It sounds kind of dorky the way it is.

I would tend believe that people who suffer traumatic events together might be prone to create unnatural (or even perhaps artificial?) bonds quickly.

The kidnapping ordeal with Tuco made me think of the hostage experiences that Brian Keenan describes in his autobiography 'An Evil Cradling' in which he and his fellow hostage John McCarthy where often tied up and locked in trunks to be moved to different hideouts. How you can't really recover from those inhumane experiences by talking about it, but the person who went through it with you knows without need of words. And like you say, Walt and Jesse don't talk about it. It's just the way it is.

Poor Hank indeed. I'd love to make a (music free) fanvid that is basically a S5 Hank trailer, depicting Hank reflecting over the Heisenberg case and connecting all the dots between Walt and Jesse, Walt and Gale, Walt and Gus, Tuco, Krazy 8, etc. Do it like a 'Usual Suspects' end sequence. I don't know if I could do it justice though.

I liked Walt offering Jesse breakfast. Well, I always want to feed Jesse. :) He can't live on Poptarts and Funyuns! And yes, it's nice to see Walt's moments of being nice to Jesse, maybe because they come so rarely (at least, the nice moments that aren't just Walt being manipulative).

Date: 2012-09-17 08:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cylune9.livejournal.com
What??? But they are EPIC! I don't think it's dorky at all. And even if it was dorky, I love dorky.

I'd love to make a (music free) fanvid that is basically a S5 Hank trailer, depicting Hank reflecting over the Heisenberg case and connecting all the dots between Walt and Jesse, Walt and Gale, Walt and Gus, Tuco, Krazy 8, etc. Do it like a 'Usual Suspects' end sequence. I don't know if I could do it justice though.

THAT'S AN AMAZING VIDDING IDEA!!!! Please make it happen! I can help if you need it...

Well, I always want to feed Jesse. :) He can't live on Poptarts and Funyuns!

Yeah, me too. Doesn't help that Aaron Paul is a 'scrawny little dude'. I think he's even skinnier than skinny Pete. Kind of brings out my parental instincts.

Date: 2012-09-17 09:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
THAT'S AN AMAZING VIDDING IDEA!!!! Please make it happen! I can help if you need it...

Thanks! At the moment it's only an idea. I'd need to put together a little masterlist of all those moments over the seasons when Hank has been so close and Walt's been right under his nose and he hasn't made the connection. Then maybe intercut those clips with scenes of Hank PTSDing.

I think I'll do Handlebars first, but I'll keep the Hank trailer in the back of my mind.

Date: 2012-09-17 12:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Again, holy crap, Falafel, this is A THING OF BEAUTY. You're making me SO BADLY want to rewatch all the episodes, but my DVDs are currently out being used to convert the masses [aka: I've lent them to a friend!!]. MUST GET THEM BACK!

I freaking loved your observations on the power dynamics between Jesse and Walt and the pseudo father/son implications that arise and that are then played upon by the writers. Also, you mentioned the significance of the costuming choices, which is something that I have always freaking LOVED about this show. For me, it's things like that that really tell you [as a viewer] that the people behind the scenes really do CARE about the story that they're telling you. That they've thought about it from every possible angle. That they know WHAT they want to say and HOW they're going to say it. And, having watched far too many shows where it's painfully obvious they're making it up as they go along, it's quite possibly the thing I love this show for the most. It's integrity.

Also, for Jesse and Walt and Skyler and Marie and Saul and GAH. All the things! But also the integrity!!

1) Oh, MAN! Tough questions are TOUGH. I might have to do my re-watch and get back to you with the definitive response, but, off the top of my head, all the scenes they share re. the Tuco debacle as I think it's those scenes that really do lay the most significant groundwork for the relationship we have between them today.

2) YES. So freaking appropriate. And I think it's only emphasised as the show goes on. Also, the abuse part... well, it's not like father/son relationships and abuse are AT ALL mutually exclusive, in fact, I think the abuse really only cements the dynamic for me. Especially when taken in context of Jesse's abandonment by his own parents.

I am so going to be reccing the shit out of these posts, btw. As long as you don't mind.
Edited Date: 2012-09-17 12:43 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-09-17 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] falafel-musings.livejournal.com
I am so going to be reccing the shit out of these posts, btw. As long as you don't mind.

Oh please do. I'm still fairly new to BB fandom so I'm still seeking fellow BB fans and would love more people to come and reflect on the Walt/Jesse story in obsessive detail with me. Part of the reason I'm doing this recap is because it's the sort of meta that I - as a fan - go looking for online. I hope other BB fans would be pleased to find and follow these posts.

the abuse part... well, it's not like father/son relationships and abuse are AT ALL mutually exclusive, in fact, I think the abuse really only cements the dynamic for me. Especially when taken in context of Jesse's abandonment by his own parents.

Yes, I know that paternal bonds and abusive relationships can easily go together. I was thinking of a recent interview with some of the cast at comic-con where Paul and Odenkirk were talking about Walt seeing Jesse as a son and Jonathan Banks objecting with "What kind of broken home are you people from?!" But that's the truth of it. Walt/Jesse are a fucked up family to each other and Jesse has no other family and it looks like Walt won't have his family either in the end. Walt in the Denys and Jesse in his house in 5x8 is the most alone we've seen these guys; I can't help wanting them back together again. Even though they'll probably cause apocalypses together.

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