“Breaking Bad”: Jesse’s Box

Why was Jesse laughing as he sped like a maniac from the Nazi compound? He’s been a slave, basically, whose best escape attempt failed and got a dear friend capped by Todd. When Walt looks at him in that trailer, he’s looking at a broken, hopeless dog.

Recall when Jesse told Hank, “Mr. White, he’s the devil. He is smarter than you. He is luckier than you. Whatever you think is supposed to happen, the exact opposite of that is gonna happen.”


These men have history

Imagine that last scene from Jesse’s point of view. Mr. White is there? And he kills all their enemies with a rigged machine gun in his trunk? That’s exactly what Jesse was talking about—Walt had to be brilliant and lucky. He was. From out of nowhere.

Walt told him about Jane, in “Ozymandias,” so they were done. There was nothing left to ever say. But for Walt to appear and set him free was the final perfect act of Heisenberg. Kill some bad(der) guys and end things with a nod. Classic.

There was a short flashback in that final episode, of Jesse making a wooden box really carefully, lit pretty with angelic music playing over soft closeups of the meticulous crafting. Then we see him tortured, face cut up and swollen, chained to the roof in a Nazi meth lab. He is imprisoned and forced to make drugs.

It’s not so easy to make a box like that. That box was about Jesse’s potential. In a 12 step meeting back in the third season (episode: “Kafkaesque”) he describes making the box when a teacher challenged him to do his best. He built multiple boxes. “By, like, box No. 5, I had built this. . . thing. You should’ve seen it, it was insane. I built it out of Peruvian walnut with inlaid zebrawood. It was fitted with pegs, no screws. I sanded it for days until it was smooth as glass. Then I rubbed all the wood with tung oil so it was rich and dark. It even smelled good. When you put your nose in it and breathed in, it was perfect.”

Aaahh. He lies and says he gave it to his mom. When his sponsor starts to tell him “It’s not too late,” Jesse interrupts to say he didn’t give it to his mom, he traded it for an ounce of weed.

Where does Jesse go after fleeing the Nazi compound? Someplace to fulfill his potential. He can do that now because Mr. White freed him. Holy crap “Breaking Bad” was great.


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