The Breaking Bad Heist That Changed Jesse's Views On Crime Forever

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) bounces back from a lot of pain and trauma on Breaking Bad, but the one thing he cannot endure is seeing kids get hurt. Jesse's protective instinct for children is established early on in the series and remains one of his most defining — and redeeming — characteristics throughout the series.

Not only does Jesse sacrifice his own relationship with his parents by taking the fall for his little brother Jake (Ben Petry) after his folks find the boy's marijuana, but he also goes out of his way to comfort and shield the child of the two addicts who ripped off Skinny Pete (Charles Baker), nearly starts a war with Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) by going after the dealers who used and killed Tomás Cantillo (Angelo Martinez), and he develops a special bond with Brock (Ian Posada), whose safety becomes Jesse's sole motivation in his darkest hour.

Jesse is often affected by the violence and collateral damage of his work in the meth trade, which is what distinguishes him from Walter White (Bryan Cranston), but when little ones are involved in the fallout, Jesse has an even harder time coping. In fact, the incident that changes Jesse's view on the business for good involves the loss of a very innocent life.

The train heist has devastating consequences

In season 5's "Dead Freight," Walt, Jesse, and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) work with Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) to steal 1,000 gallons of methylamine from a train, and they almost manage to pull off the perfect crime. While the train engineers are none the wiser after the boost, a little boy named Drew Sharp (Samuel Webb) has been playing with his bike in the area and potentially witnesses the crime. Instead of talking to the kid to find out what he saw, Todd immediately pulls out a gun and kills the kid, much to Jesse's horror.

Jesse severely struggles with the boy's death, especially since Walt is clearly less upset by it, and he attempts to break away from the business once and for all. Even when Walt tries to use his classic manipulation on Jesse, offering him his own lab and complimenting his cooking skills, Jesse refuses to be persuaded. Walt usually talks Jesse out of leaving him, but not this time.

After some confrontations, Jesse finally receives his share of the methylamine buyout from Walt, but only after Mike goes missing (which Jesse knows Walt is responsible for). Jesse tries to give his money away to the family of Drew Sharp and Mike's granddaughter Kaylee, but Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) thwarts the charity effort by alerting Walt. Jesse, who does not want what he now considers blood money, resorts to literally throwing his cash away into random yards in a neighborhood and accidentally attracts the attention of the police — and, by extension, Hank Schrader (Dean Norris).

It's another kid incident that finally turns Jesse against Walt

Jesse's depression about what happened to Drew isn't quite enough to turn him against Walt where the DEA is concerned, despite Hank telling him that he knows that Walt is Heisenberg. Instead, Jesse informs Walt about what Hank said to him in the interrogation room and reluctantly agrees to run away with the Disappearer. However, it only takes one more revelation about another kid who has been victimized by the world of Blue Sky to fully turn Jesse against his former mentor.

After Jesse realizes that Saul's body man Huell Babineaux (Lavell Crawford) has stolen his weed from his pocket before his meeting with the Disappearer, Jesse knows he was right about Huell previously stealing the ricin cigarette from him, which means Jesse was also right about Walt being the one who poisoned Brock to turn Jesse against Gus. This is the final straw for Jesse, who is already reeling over Drew's demise, and he finally turns against Walt for good.

If it hadn't been for kids like Drew and Brock being hurt in the process of Walt's reckless empire building, Jesse might have never stopped being loyal to Walt, but after that train heist ended on such a tragic note, things were never quite the same for Jesse Pinkman.