Image Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC
Between now and June 28, the deadline for Emmy voters to return nomination ballots, EW.com is running a series called Emmy Watch, featuring highlight clips and interviews with actors, producers, and writers whom EW TV critic Ken Tucker has on his wish list for the nominations announcement on July 19.
For a high school burnout, Jesse Pinkman has made quite a name for himself. Unfortunately, it’s murdering meth maker. For four seasons running, AMC’s Breaking Bad has depicted the mesmerizing descent of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) into evil, but it has also captivated us with the doomed struggles of his partner that he’s dragged down with him: the angry, lost, and wounded underdog Jesse (Aaron Paul).
After claiming the Outstanding Supporting Actor Emmy for his potent work in season 3, Paul impressed again in season 4, as Jesse struggled to rebuild his life after gunning down the not-exactly-dangerous chemist Gale (David Costabile). The seventh episode, “Problem Dog,” in particular, proved an emotional showcase for Paul. Still haunted by Gayle’s face (he sees him in his first-person shooter video game), Jesse is instructed by Walt (Bryan Cranston) to kill again by poisoning drug kingpin Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) with ricin. Caught between his two lords, he nearly does it with trembling hands, before Mike (Jonathan Banks) interrupts to give him, of all things, a loaded gun for other reasons.
But the scene from “Problem Dog” that truly resonates was the one in which Jesse attends an N.A. support group meeting. He lays himself bare, though tucking his admission of Gayle’s murder in the analogy of killing a dog (“I was looking him straight in the eye. He didn’t know what was happening, he didn’t know why.”) before lashing out at the group (“You’re nothing but customers to me!”). There would be no salvation in confession, not in this episode. Check it out below before reading what Paul had to say about filming one of his favorite episodes.
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