A few episodes before this Jesse had left rehab, changed his look and accepted what he sees as his responsibility for Jane’s death and the plane crash – even though Walt could have prevented these.
He told Walt: “You either run from things, or you face them, Mr. White. I learned it in rehab.
“It’s all about accepting who you really are. I accept who I am. I’m the bad guy.”
This is something that Walt cannot accept, saying he’s not a criminal – “I can’t be the bad guy.”
And yet from here on it’s Jesse who, although continuing to be involved in illegal activity with Walt, struggles with his guilt, not to mention becoming more and more isolated and losing what he cares about most as Breaking Bad goes on.
In fact, the scene in hospital in One Minute that Paul has highlighted emphasises this as Jesse has a chance to get out – however, he soon calls up Walt and agrees to continue to cook with him.
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By the time season 4 comes around, Jesse’s isolation is evident as he suffers something of an existential crisis after killing Gale to save Walt, inviting drug addicts to hedonistic parties at his house – which they trash – while the meth cook throws money at them carelessly.
After one cook, he even asks Walt if he wants to join him go-karting, which he declines before we see Jesse looking profoundly distraught and alone on the go-kart track.
Of course, Jesse has another chance at a normal life, as Andrea and Brock become something of a family to him. But again, it’s Walt who ruins things, poisoning the boy so Jesse would help him defeat Gus.
Heisenberg then manipulates Jesse into leaving Andrea, before Walt contacts her to try and lure Jesse out of DEA protection – in which he made a confession tape.
In the end, Jesse’s hopes of settling down with her are completely destroyed when Todd kills her in front of him for trying to escape the Nazis.
Also in the final season, Jesse’s guilt over making money from a business that leads to so many deaths overwhelms him, as he ends up trying to give large sums of money to friends and randomers.
But ironically, come the last Breaking Bad episode Felina, it’s Walt who ultimately frees Jesse. And even though Walt asks Jesse to kill him, he refuses, telling him he should do it himself.
Jesse then flees off in Todd’s Chevrolet El Camino in tears of joy. So, considering his journey, and El Camino translating as “the way”, presumably the movie will explore Jesse coming to terms with his freedom from Walter White. Back when he accepted he was “the bad guy” he could have turned his life around, but he was always enticed back in by Walt and continued to lose what he really wanted in a family, while gaining guilt and isolation. Now Walt’s gone, maybe Jesse can now find that “way” to his own personal freedom – or will Heisenberg continue to haunt him forever?
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is released on Netflix on October 11, 2019.