In Breaking Bad, Walt had the opportunity to work with Gale and earn 3 million dollars. Instead he insisted on working with Jesse and split the money with him. He claimed it was because he didn't have chemistry with Gale but that seems like an unlikely excuse. What are the other reasons that Walt would give up 1.5 million in order to work with Jesse?

2 Answers 2


I think Walt knows that he is valuable enough to Gus until the point where Gus can replace him. And Walt also knows that once Gale masters the cook that Walt and Jesse produce, Walt is no longer useful.

Walt also knows that Jesse won't give him up, and that while Jesse is a good cook, he's not on par with Walt. This makes it almost a no-brainer for Walt to refuse to work with Gale, because the only 2 outcomes of that partnership are that Walt will be out of business or killed by Gus.

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    I'm sorry but this is just way off target. You make it sound as if Walt only sees Jesse as a means to an end. Were that the case, Walt would have arranged to kill Jesse himself. Yet not only did he not, he put his own life at risk to protect him on several occasions. In his own way, he saw Jesse as a son-figure. Regarding your 2nd paragraph specifically, in the episode OP refers to, Walt admits quote, "Your meth is good Jesse. As good as mine." As for your first paragraph, Walt wasn't even shown to be actively plotting against Gus til after Tomas is murdered (suspectedly on Gus' orders.)
    – arkon
    Mar 31, 2016 at 11:48
  • Why would Walt kill Jesse? They've built a partnership, and Walt is not some stone-cold killer. As for the rest of your argument, I believe there was a point where both Walt and Jesse's cooks were tested, and Walt's was higher grade. Jesse learned a lot from Walt, but he doesn't know the chemistry behind how to correct a cook if something goes wrong with the ingredients. As such, you can assume that line "As good as mine" was a little brown-nosing because he needs Jesse. It's not easy to find someone knowledgeable enough to cook, whom you can trust in that business. Mar 31, 2016 at 12:38
  • "while Jesse is a good cook, he's not on par with Walt" I fully agree with your answer, but I think that Jesse's inferior cooking is partially arrogance from Walt. The finale shows that Jesse is very much capable of creating a good product; and it is a somewhat recurring theme that Jesse is treated as a lesser person compared to who he actually is (which is analogous to Walt's undervalued genius)
    – Flater
    Jul 19, 2017 at 11:54
  • @b1nary.atr0phy: Arguably, Tomas' murder gave Walt the moral high ground to more overtly plan to take down Gus. Before Tomas, Gus was morally beyond reproach (relative to a criminal environment). In that way, Tomas could have been a means to Walt's end (of ending Gus), similar to how Jesse is a means to his empire (as the right hand man). Walt is proven to be a manipulator once he is an established criminal, and cares little for collateral damage (e.g. poisoning Brock, even if not lethal, shows a disregard to the suffering of innocents)
    – Flater
    Jul 19, 2017 at 12:12

At the time, Walt wanted Jesse to drop charges against Hank, after Skyler had asked him to spare the family the pain of the pending charges. Initially, Jesse refuses the offer to join the "partnership", but moments later, Jesse calls Walt from his hospital bed agreeing to join the partnership. Also remember that during the time that Walt was excluding Jesse from his job with Gus, Jesse threatened to continue his production, even though he knew the DEA was aware of his connections to the meth. He said that he had a "get out of jail free card", which he explained meant that he could always implicate Walt to get a deal in the event he was caught.

  • This seems like a much more likely explanation than Walt being worried about being replaced. There was no indication at the time that Gus planned to replace Walt or that Walt had even considered this. So the idea that Walt involves Jesse to keep him from blowing their cover makes a lot more sense as that's what the focus was on.
    – Dan D
    Apr 21, 2015 at 19:25
  • Rewatching the show now. There are later complications with Gale, but as of the episode when this decision is made, this answer is 100% on the mark. Walt cuts Jesse in to keep Jesse happy so he won't sue Hank and eventually inform on Walt. Jul 30, 2017 at 21:04

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