Jesse Got Away on 'Breaking Bad'

'He got to Alaska and had a new life,' says Vince Gilligan

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on 'Breaking Bad.'
Ursula Coyote/AMC
Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman on 'Breaking Bad.'
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Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan has said that he would like to believe that character Jesse Pinkman escaped police and started over after the series finale ended. "My personal feeling is that he got away," he told GQ. But while that's what he wants for the character, he's not so sure it's realistic. "The most likely thing, as negative as this sounds, is that they're going to find this kid's fingerprints all over this lab and they're going to find him within a day or a week or a month," Gilligan said. "And he's still going to be on the hook for the murder of two federal agents."

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Still, Gilligan holds out hope for Pinkman. "Even though that's the most likely outcome," he said, "the way I see it is that he got away and got to Alaska, changed his name and had a new life. You want that for the kid. He deserves it."

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Elsewhere in the GQ interview he describes Pinkman's character as seeming like "really kind of a prick" and "kind of a douchebag" when he was introduced in the series pilot. But after meeting actor Aaron Paul, who played Pinkman, he softened his opinion of the character. "Aaron Paul is so sweet and kind in real life that those qualities rubbed off on the writing and therefore on Jesse," he said. "I mean, he'd still say 'Yo, bitch' and smoke a lot of pot and be kind of annoying, but we realized he had heart."

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Another revelation about the end of the series Gilligan discussed in the interview was the return of characters Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz, Walter White's former business partners. Gilligan said that he was inspired to bring them back into the series after meeting with a fan of the show, a teenager with terminal cancer named Kevin Cordasco. Making chitchat, he asked Cordasco what he would want to see at the end of the series. "He thought about it for a minute and he said, 'I'm wondering about Gretchen and Elliott. I'd like to know more about them. Do you think we'll ever see them again?'" Gilligan said. "It got me thinking. And I went back to the writers' room and told them about it, and it got them thinking, too. So Gretchen and Elliott came back in very large part because of Kevin. The crime, the sadness of it, is that he never lived to see the ending. He passed away in March."