Breaking Bad Episode (5×15) “Granite State” – MVA Revealed
Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman Suffers Another Loss in “Granite State”
Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman has got to be one of the unluckiest characters on television. In episode 515, “Granite State,” Pinkman tried to escape his enslavement as a meth cook for the Aryan Brotherhood, but ended up losing one of the few people left in his life that he cares about. Aaron Paul has given many stellar performances over the years, and as the series winds down to its finale Paul has had much to work with. His heart-wrenching performance in “Granite State” has earned him this week’s Most Valuable Actor Award.
It Puts the Lotion in the Bucket… In this week’s episode, Jesse found himself locked in an underground cage with nothing but a mat, a blanket, and a bucket to contend with. When Jesse isn’t groveling in his hole, he’s chained to a dog run and forced to help Todd cook meth. To say Jesse’s life is looking pretty bleak is an understatement, and things got even worse for him as the episode went on. Realizing the only thing standing between life and death is Todd, Jesse devised an escape plan, in which he stood on his bucket, climbed out of the cage, and ran away. The plan sounds good in theory, but Jesse didn’t consider the surveillance cameras trained on the grounds outside of his cage. The minute Jesse made it to the top of the fence he was surrounded by armed men. In the past Jesse’s plans haven’t gone well, but it was usually due to him under-thinking them. In this scene, Paul showed how far Jesse has come this season. Throughout the scene we could see a more mature version of Jesse who didn’t enact his plan until he had every detail he could gather based on his surroundings to come up with a viable escape. Yes, it’s true he ended up getting caught because he didn’t spot the cameras, but that can be chalked up to fear. An emotion every one of us has experienced at some time or other.
“I would not have had that happen to you. Discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me.” When Jesse was caught he dared his captors to kill him, but they had other plans. Despite the fact that mere moments earlier Jack and his crew were discussing executing Jesse for turning rat to the DEA, the men didn’t give Jesse his final wish. Instead, they drove him to Andrea’s house to watch as Todd executed her for Jesse’s “betrayal.” In their minds they’re doing Jesse a favor keeping him alive. He should be happy to cook meth instead of being six feet under. Even after Jesse flips out following Andrea’s death, Jack tells Jesse, “Hey, settle down!” To them this is all business. Aaron Paul didn’t have any lines in this scene because he was gagged, but all of Jesse’s emotions were clearly displayed all over his face. Everyone Jesse has cared about has been lost or taken away from him. First it was Walter who was always destroying Jesse’s other relationships, and now Walter has been replaced by Jack and Todd.
There is only one episode of the series left, and Jesse’s fate is still in a precarious situation. Though we don’t see what happens to him after this point, it’s obvious things haven’t gone well for him. Over the past five seasons Aaron Paul has done some remarkable work on Breaking Bad, and I’m sure he will continue to do more. Even if he doesn’t ever work on another television series that becomes as big a success as this, the work he’s done on the show should be work that he’s proud of. While I’m hoping Jesse survives until the very end, I’m not counting on it. What I am counting on is that when the time comes we’ll at least get to hear Jesse tell off his killers in triumph and not in defeat one last time.
Don’t miss the series finale of Breaking Bad, Sun., Sept. 29 at 9/8c.
What is The Most Valuable Actor (MVA)
For most of the shows we cover, we find each episode has an actor that stands out more than the others – one who absolutely owned the episode. This vote isn’t about the other actors not delivering or being any less valuable, but as we mentioned, it’s about who stands out in the episode. It could be a combination of great writing, delivered lines, emotional execution; basically, if it gives us goosebumps or moves us in any way it’s getting a vote. We’ve found that, depending on the show, it’s a lot tougher to see who got our vote. This means that for every episode we, at TVAfterDark, will decide who gets our MVA vote. An actor can be voted several times within a season, but only ONE can be chosen in each episode. You can see our MVA’s here.