Breaking Bad

Great points. I actually forgot to address the PTSD criticism because I got too preoccupied with how to properly structure and gel the multiple points I wanted to get across. I'll probably edit this in though because I agree. The PTSD aspect is definitely an oversight on Vince's part, especially since it would help balance the uncertainty of Jesse's well-being (which is the ending I believe he's going for) considering there's no geographic solution to a psychological/emotional problem. I'm sure if Vince Gilligan was asked, "Wouldn't smuggling Jesse all the way to Alaska in that tight space be a harrowing experience for him specifically?", his answer would be yes. Maybe he thought the audience just didn't have to see that and maybe his adoration for his own character got the better of him, but it is a misstep for brushing that aside.

Your second point is definitely a thinker because I still feel like it worked on some level. I think that whole scene is meant to challenge our perspective of him. I mean yeah, the explosion was a bit much. In terms of the gunfight though, it shows that Jesse may pull on our heartstrings but he's not exactly the tragic saint we chalk him up to be. Like Mike, he's walking into this situation with a code, but code or no code, he's still a killer (Better Call Saul has shown that even the older, wiser Mike doesn't have all his bases covered and doesn't think everything through).

It's three people Jesse's killed prior as you've said but how many bodies has he buried/dissolved? How much death and murder has he seen altogether? I can't imagine how desensitized he must be from all the shit he saw and took part in throughout the series. Also, Walt didn't make Jesse murder Gale. Jesse chose to go all the way over to his apartment and pull that trigger despite the tears that would follow. That particular moment is like a nightmarish johari window of finding out something horrifically unknown about yourself (of what your capable of).

That's what I feel like the movie is about. He didn't shoot Todd and I think he feels pained that he wasn't even enough of a human at that point to take that stand. He didn't shoot Neil and Casey when under the disguise of police officers (again we're reminded in that scene of how he can't muster to fight for himself as they show a vision of Todd reaching for his gun again). He keeps not pulling the trigger and it only gets him restrained (not that he would have shot cops). But now he knows who these guys are and what they've done to him. I don't think its so much that he needs to become a badass to earn his freedom, but by putting himself in the position to pull the trigger again, he's coming to terms with himself in full transparency that his life has worth and this is who he is and this is what he's done. If he has to kill anyone who takes a shot at him and feel bad about it, that's the hell he knows.

You know, I dunno either though lol. I'm taking the opposition on this just to see what we might be missing. I think it's a messy, morally gray scene for a reason but it is a valid point you make. Perhaps we should have seen him struggle with it though, which again goes back to the PTSD thing.
yeah i don't mean to imply he's some innocent babe throughout everything, just that his choices to kill previously were always, at least in his mind, life or death (don't forget that if he doesn't kill gale, walt would definitely have been killed). in this case it was for a relatively small sum of money and possibly revenge? and honestly all they would have had to do to make alter the context would be to have him try to sneak in and steal the money but get caught and be forced into a fight. waltzing in like he did is what really felt off to me
I finally saw El Camino. The Jesse/Todd flashbacks are extremely poignant character studies and I loved them, and everything else surrounding it feels like your typical Breaking Bad episode. Not that that's a bad thing, it did exactly what it was supposed to do in closing Jesse's arc in a meaningful way, especially with his Walt-esque sendoff towards the end (though the lead up to the gun duel is a bit messy, Jesse's shot is legitimately well done). I do find it a bit amusing how the whole plot hinges on the fridge money though.

Does it need to exist? Not really, but it's more of the character-driven BB I adored so I sure am glad it does. In addition to that, the whole thing is a testament to how brilliant of an actor Aaron Paul is when he can carry the whole movie without Cranston and go toe-to-toe with him as a larger than life screen presence. But if you've watched the series at all, you knew that well beforehand.
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yeah i don't mean to imply he's some innocent babe throughout everything, just that his choices to kill previously were always, at least in his mind, life or death (don't forget that if he doesn't kill gale, walt would definitely have been killed). in this case it was for a relatively small sum of money and possibly revenge? and honestly all they would have had to do to make alter the context would be to have him try to sneak in and steal the money but get caught and be forced into a fight. waltzing in like he did is what really felt off to me

If he doesn't kill Gale, Walt would be killed (and him as well), but it's still quite a leap to kill a relatively innocent person without considering other options, even when faced with life or death. What's the point of living if you compromise yourself completely? Unless deep down its not as compromising? Walt is certainly okay with this but Jesse too? And let's not forget Walt wouldn't be on the chopping block if he didn't save Jesse from trying to kill those dealers in "Half Measures", which Jesse was dead-set on doing. No matter how strongly Jesse felt that those guys needed to go, it's still (as Walt mentions beforehand) a pointless exercise. Not something I would consider life or death even in Jesse's mind.

My point being, I think revenge has always existed in Jesse's DNA and that's the achilles' heel that always put him in a worse place. It's what prevents him from moving on to Alaska the first time around when he aims to burn Walt's house down instead (not even checking if the kids are in any of the rooms ironically). If Hank wasn't there to stop him, he would have went through with that too. Granted, he was under the influence of drugs and in an emotionally livid state (both in "Half Measures" and "Confessions" endings) compared to the more level-headed, premeditated shootout in the movie, but still, is there not some leeway for the imprisonment/torture he endured for six months which these guys were cruelly and consciously complicit towards? (Neil and Casey specifically)

I know the money is small but I would argue this situation is life or death (at least moreso than the pointless revenge trips of the past he's been drawn to). Jesse locked away in a cage (which is something he'd associate as a place where he's not even a person anymore), in my opinion, is death for him especially with the trauma that comes with it. It's certainly no way to live and sure, he can try his luck as an outlaw on his own, but he's so close to the much more promising future. That $1,800 might as well be a $1 million because it's not like he can just get a job for a couple of weeks and he's not looking to rob and do harm to any third party. If he has no choice though, it might as well be these guys. Wouldn't you say worse comes to worse, killing anyone who steps to him here, is much less compromising than his choice to kill Gale?

Also, personally, I don't know if I can picture Jesse trying to stealth his way into the welding place to steal the money, because look how much of an ordeal it was to find Todd's cash even when he had a pretty good idea that it was at least narrowed down to that apartment after spending a significant amount of time getting to know how Todd thinks. I don't think Jesse would have wanted to waste an exponential amount of time trying to find Neil's hiding spot in whichever location that could be (without being seen, no less). The guy is a welder/engineer so you know he could have had it in a much more secured, clever spot. It was a stroke of luck to be told truthfully it was in the duffle bag but I guess that's good karma for being upfront and honest to begin with. Overall, I'd say that approach was Jesse's best bet. I guess the question is what would have happened if they declined his request and allowed him to leave?
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good point on his previous tendency to violent revenge. i hadn't thought of those cases. though i will say, in both those instances it was shown as an incredibly emotional, well, "rabid dog" type response. this was calculated and calm. there's also, of course, three other guys in there that he knows nothing about and that may just be welders with zero inclination into the terrible shit the main two guys are involved in. and going in like that, he'd have to know it's entirely possible he'd end up having to kill those guys too. i dunno, i guess ultimately it boils down to a personal opinion. it didn't *feel* in character to me :gatorshrug:
Rewatching the scene on youtube, Jesse does seem to flash a brief expression of inner-turmoil after having killed the two guys (probably mixed with adrenaline) before focusing his attention on the last three. So yeah, you make a fine case for those extra guys being assumed by Jesse as potentially expendable and I guess it is problematic because while the scene *feels* right enough to me, I can't necessarily give you a clear reason why he'd be okay generalizing them all into one big villainous ball.

One thing I noticed is that one of the guys pleads, "I have kids" and Jesse responds "Like I give a shit". For me, that could be a nod to the hypocrisy of the scene altogether. The same Jesse who was playing peacefully with the beetle (callback to season 2's "Peekaboo") is the same who just blindly walked into a room with an intention to kill anyone under self-defense. I think you're right though. There is a bit of a hole here. It's just, in my opinion, I feel it's a hole intended to make you question where Jesse's murky sense of morals lie in this particular situation which is kind of how I've always seen him throughout the show.
SO, I finished the show today. This show is amazing, the greatest show I have ever watched. Season 1 is very weird but awesome, very weird in the fact like how The Simpsons had a weird season one, it's forming, Walter has no goatee, Marie has blond hair, Jesse is a loser but still loveable.

Season 2 is really good, Peekaboo is one of my favorite episodes of the whole show, along with Better Call Saul, Four-Days-Out, the plane crash is annoying overall, but considering the show could've been canceled due to low ratings, this being an ending would've been meh.

Season 3 is a massive step up from these first seasons, but I like season 2 more than 3.

Season 4 is quite boring for the entirety of the middle portion, But crawl space takes the season to the highest degree, and ends amazingly.

Season 5 is the best season of television, no need for me to elaborate.

I will be watching El Camino next weekend, then gonna start BCS a little later.
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Blazed through Breaking Bad, El Camino, and Better Call Saul over the past three months. Suffice to say, it was one hell of a ride. Better Call Saul in particular is absurdly great - pure Shakespearean art on screen - and I won't soon forget it.