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In the very last episode of Breaking Bad (Season 5),

Walter comes over to Jack's place with the intention of killing him and his crew. Jack brings Jesse into the room so that Walter can see him. Before the shootout, Walter tackles Jesse to the ground, apparently, in order to save his life.


Now my question is, did Walter actually intend on killing Jesse?

I mean, he had assumed that Jesse was working with Jack and his crew but he didn't have any idea about the conditions that he was in.

Could it be that Walter made Jack bring Jesse into the room so that he would be killed along with rest of them but after seeing his condition he probably changed his mind

Or did Walter have no intention of killing Jesse in the first place?

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    We can't read minds, let alone of fictional characters. Walter played that one very close to the chest. – cde Sep 8 '15 at 12:51
  • Walter wanted to take revenge of Hank's death. Although he knew that Jesse is cooking for them, he never anticipated to meet him at that place at that time. – Faizan Rabbani Sep 5 '16 at 12:45
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+50

Or did Walter have no intention of killing Jesse in the first place?

Walter never stated nor said out loud that he is going to kill Jesse, however I think that we can presume that he is not going to the meeting with the intent of saving him. And there are several facts that point in that direction.

  1. Jesse has betrayed Walter, became Hank's informant and delivered him to the DEA. This has (accidentally) caused Hank's death and the loss of (almost) all the money that Walt has buried in the site where the shootout with the neo-nazis group occurs. When Walter finds out that Jesse survived the shootout and that he's hiding under the car, he delivers him to the neo-nazis to kill him. Jesse would be executed right on the spot, if not for Todd that decides to save him because he wants Jesse to teach him the process to cook meth (Season 5 - Episode 6: Ozymandias);

  2. When Walter comes back in town, after handling the Gretchen and Elliott situation, he learns from Badger and Skinny Pete that the blue meth is still around. He is then certain that Jesse is still alive and he is still cooking (Season Finale: Felina). He doesn't say anything but he's certainly not happy about it.

  3. When Walt reaches the neo-nazis compound, before starting the "carnage", he asks Todd to bring Jesse inside the building. If he had no intention to kill Jesse it would have been safer to keep him away from the building (Season Finale: Felina).

I therefore think it is a fair assumption to say that Walt had every intention to kill Jesse with all of the neo-nazis and that he changed his mind only at the last moment and only after he saw what Jesse has become.

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    "it would have been safer to keep him away" Good point. In fact, saving Jesse probably cost Walt his life. He'd be lower on the ground if he didn't lie on top of Jesse. – Walt Sep 8 '15 at 14:16
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    @Kenny Evitt: you're absolutely right and I stand corrected ;) My recollection of the scene was inaccurate. Although ... it was Walt accusation to Jack that provoked him into bringing Jesse in the room with them. I'm speculating here but I guess that Walt, who believed that Jack and Jesse had become partners, not seeing Jesse in the room, had to improvise in order to have him there and kill everyone and complete his "vengeance". – Pesetas74 Sep 8 '15 at 17:48
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    @Pesetas74 The other, practical, reason why Walt called-out Jack about not killing Jesse, is that he needed to reach the key fob that Jack's underling had removed from Walt's pocket and placed out of reach (on the pool table in the clubhouse). Walt was able to pickup the fob while Todd was retrieving Jesse. I think Walt changed his mind about killing Jesse after he saw him and understood what he'd been thru since the last time they saw each other. – Kenny Evitt Sep 8 '15 at 17:59
  • Although it is very unlikely that Walter did not understand Jesse's position prior to that meeting. Neo-nazis are a jarhead band, and Jesse ratted them all out when he went to Hank. Thus, such kind of people, whe specifically referred to him as rat (or synonim) would have never worked as partners with him. Walter is smart enough to know that. As I see it, he actually went to save Jesse as well, though his main motivation still being revenge. – Nikita Neganov Feb 8 at 10:24
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I can simplify it for you...Jesse was Walter's son in his alter-ego life. I believe that he never had any intentions of killing Jesse in any situation. Walter always talked about doing everything that he did for his family. We always assumed that he was talking about his wife and son/daughter but he ultimately was unable to be close with his family (real wife and real children). Who he was really talking about was his alter-ego family. His alter-ego wife was his passion for his craft of making Meth and his alter-ego son, in all it's gory details, was Jesse. In the end, his ultimate goal was to save his alter-ego son and the gravy was if he was able to save his real family from his own alter-ego Walter, then all would have a "happy" ending. The day that Walter found out he had cancer, he died and the alter-ego, was born. Jesse goes crazy because his Dad just died, he almost died and we potentially have a new Walter, in the rescued Jesse. Great show!

My resource is that I watched all of the episodes, binge fashion over the course of two months and I was able to see that story arc play out over and over, each season

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    "I watched all of the episodes, binge fashion over the course of two months" - Cute, but that's not "binge fashion". I watched it over 10 days. ;-P – Napoleon Wilson Sep 11 '15 at 17:07
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Jesse was responsible for taking away Walter's money, his freedom, and his family. For all Walt knew, Jesse was still making a fortune off of the formula he created.

For a couple of years I believed that Walt went there to save Jesse, but now I think otherwise.

To answer another point, if he WAS trying to save Jesse then he would want to know where he was. That was a big compound and he may have assumed that Jesse was locked away somewhere. Andrea had been killed, which may have made the newspapers that the vacuum cleaner guy was delivering. No way Jesse would allow that and the only people Walt knows who are ruthless enough to kill her on her front step are Jack's crew. So maybe he did know that Jesse was being held captive. Maybe he wanted to make sure he knew where Jesse was so that when the shin hit the flan he wouldn't have to search for Jesse afterward. Or worse, if he had died in the melee then Jesse is locked up with nobody to feed/care for him. He could not take it for granted that the police would come as there likely were frequent gunshots heard around this compound.

So there you have it. Reasons why he might save him, and reasons why he might not.

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The last time Walt, Jesse and Jack were together in Ozymandias, Walt explicitly asked Jack to kill Jesse, so it makes sense this was still his intention when he went back to Jack's in Felina... until he saw what sorry state Jesse was in (as basically a slave, not a partner of Jack's).

  • This would be better if you edited in some quotes as evidence. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 5 at 15:57

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