Jesse's Saddest Relationship On Breaking Bad Isn't What You Think

Breaking Bad, the acclaimed drama about a chemistry teacher who begins making meth to save up money for his family, ran for five seasons from 2008 to 2013. Over the course of the show, viewers saw Walter White (Bryan Cranston) transform from a meek high school teacher to a ruthless, power-hungry crystal meth cook. Walter continuously puts himself before everyone else, including his family and his meth-cooking partner, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Jesse, with actual compassion and empathy, is easily one of the most likable characters in Breaking Bad. He was fairly young when he got into the business with Walt, and his life gets increasingly worse over the course of their relationship, causing Jesse to eventually turn against Walt.

Throughout the series, Jesse loses his girlfriend, Jane (Kristen Ritter), whom he truly loved, when Walt witnesses Jane overdosing and does nothing because she was a distraction to Jesse's work. Then, he ultimately loses his next girlfriend, Andrea (Emily Rios), when she is murdered by Todd (Jesse Plemons), although they were broken up at the time, in Jesse's efforts to keep her and her son away from his dangerous world. Both of these losses are tragic for Jesse and heart-wrenching for the viewer to witness.

But there's one other relationship of Jesse's that is arguably even sadder, which is often overlooked by even the biggest Breaking Bad fans.

Jesse's relationship with his parents is heartbreaking

When viewers are first introduced to Jesse's parents, Adam (Michael Bofshever) and Diane (Tess Harper), it's clear that their relationship with their son is rocky at best. Adam and Diane vehemently (and justifiably) disapprove of his involvement with drugs. In an early season 1 episode, they allow Jesse to stay with them for awhile, until the maid discovers weed in the house and they kick him out — it turns out the weed was Jesse's younger brother Jake's (Ben Petry), but Jesse takes the fall for it anyway and leaves.

His parents are later responsible for Jesse losing access to the house he was living in (it's their legal property), and it's easy for viewers to see Jesse as the victim here. And when Jesse is able to buy the house from them, it's a satisfying moment for both him and viewers. The parents aren't seen for the rest of the series, with Jesse successfully shutting them out of his life. From their perspective, their son has fallen deeper into the drug world — enough so to buy a house with drug money — likely leaving them feeling helpless and saddened by what has come of their son's life.

Adam and Diane then show up again in El Camino, the spinoff film about Jesse's aftermath. Jesse sees them on a TV interview urging him to confess his crimes and turn himself in. He calls them, asking them to come pick him up. He also tells them that he thinks they did their best as parents and that all of his failings are his fault alone. It turns out, however, that Jesse just wanted them out of the house so that he could steal their guns. After being given some hope, Adam and Diane are then left again thinking their son may never redeem himself, nor will they ever reconcile with him in any way.