Jesse has struggled with addiction off and on throughout the series. In his introduction, we learn that his meth addiction has contributed to his inattention at school, which causes him to flunk out of Walter’s chemistry class, and also prompts his parents to kick him out of their house. From there, we’ve witnessed multiple attempts at quitting drugs for good, with a couple of serious relapses. It might seem as though he’s finally kicked his meth habit for good, but there are a few factors weighing heavily against him.
Once an Addict, Always an Addict
It’s a widespread belief that even a sober addict is still an addict—and that anyone who has suffered serious addiction is merely one high away from falling back into full-blown addiction. Jesse has a definite track record and, although that doesn’t necessarily mean he is sure to fail again, the possibility is always there. Most recently, when Walt goes to his house to drop off a duffel bag of cash, Jesse hides a bong. While marijuana is clearly not Jesse’s drug of choice and hardly makes him a junkie, it does provide that open door for more substantial abuse. Most recovering addicts feel the need to avoid all drugs and alcohol, with any form of intoxication providing a gateway to their drugs of choice. Jesse’s impulse to hide the bong suggests a sense of guilt on his part, which indicates that he knows the risk he’s taking by getting stoned.
Jesse’s last big relapse comes when Jane introduces him to heroin. In an instant, he goes from cleaning up his life to full-blown junkie—and that escalates exponentially when Jane dies. The loss, and his inability to cope, leads him to a short but dramatic stay at a crack house, where he hits rock bottom. His recent break-up with Andrea might have a similar effect on him, even if he feels he’s done the right thing by pushing her out of his life. His marijuana use might be hinting to just that, foreshadowing the possibility of an explosion of drug use yet to come.
Jesse has proven repeatedly that he can’t be trusted with large sums of money. The last time he had a duffel bag of cash, he turned his home into one non-stop party central, blowing every last dollar on drugs. This most recent sum of cash now at his disposal, given his grief and history, might be the final piece to the perfect storm that sends him over the edge for good.
Conditions in His Favor
Despite all he has working against him, Jesse has proven himself to be a smart and resilient kid. He has survived much, and he has been the brains behind some of the most resourceful plans engineered between him, Walt, Mike, and Saul. Given this resourcefulness, he might come through the end of Season 5 on a surprisingly positive note.
Only time will tell.
Leigh M. Lane is a speculative fiction author whose works span from sci-fi to horror. Her most recent full-length works are The Hidden Valley Horror, Finding Poe, World-Mart, and Myths of Gods. For more about her work, go to her website at http://www.cerebralwriter.com.