beyond what I have seen in other mentorship roles because they both
quite literally rely on the other for their collective survival.
As their lives are so interconnected, Walt also experiences an
immense pressure between right and wrong. Murder is never right, but
that does not stop him from doing so in order to keep Jesse safe.
Additionally, as Walt notices Jane, Jesse’s girlfriend, choking on her own
vomit while passed out as a result of heroin use, he does nothing and
lets her die, a decision that haunts Walt until he comes clean to Jesse.
Walt is far from an ethically sound character. When looking deeper
behind his actions, there is a common theme at the heart of nearly every
questionable and even seemingly selfish decision he makes: Jesse’s
wellbeing. While it could be argued that nothing Walt ever does is
“right,” one could also argue that he hardly ever does anything
regarding Jesse for a “wrong” reason.
When a high school chemistry teacher and a homeless-drop-out
become two of the most successful drug lords in the world, it is obvious
that both must have learned quite a bit. On the surface, Walt teaches
Jesse the basics of chemistry and how to create the ultimate pure
product.
Jesse teaches Walt how to sell drugs. In reality, however, it is much more
than that. In the show’s opening scenes, Jesse receives a failed exam as
a student in Walt’s chemistry class. The only words written on it are,
“Ridiculous! Apply Yourself.” That is precisely what Walt teaches Jesse
over the course of the series. He taps into his potential, and Jesse
flourishes. Walt also teaches Jesse strength and loyalty, two
characteristics that Jesse has never learned while growing up in a shaky
home with little parental guidance. Building off of these principles, Jesse
teaches Walt by challenging him. Walt is always the smartest person in
any room he was inhabits, but that does not stop Jesse from questioning
his ideas from the cooking process to the selling process. Jesse teaches
Walt what it is like to really be “alive.” This is an adrenaline rush that
never runs out for Walt. Similar to any cop duo, Jesse teaches Walt just
as much as Walt teaches Jesse, and that is one of the story elements that
allows Walt to act as such a “good mentor.”
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