Who Kept Jesse Pinkman in a Cage?

Who Kept Jesse Pinkman in a Cage

In the heart of the gritty, morally complex world of Breaking Bad, lies the tormenting question that has haunted fans for years: who kept Jesse Pinkman in a cage? This chilling and unforgettable image symbolizes the darkest moments in Jesse’s tragic journey, reflecting the inescapable cycle of violence and retribution that pervades the series. As we unravel the answer to this haunting question, we reveal that it is Todd Alquist and the Aryan Brotherhood who are responsible for Jesse’s harrowing captivity.

This article will explore the circumstances that led to Jesse’s imprisonment, the characters responsible for his confinement, and the impact of these events on the overall narrative of Breaking Bad. To understand the intricate web of relationships and motivations that culminate in Jesse’s captivity, it is essential to start at the very beginning.

The Origins of Jesse Pinkman

Jesse Bruce Pinkman, portrayed by Aaron Paul, is introduced in the pilot episode of Breaking Bad as a small-time methamphetamine cook and dealer. He is a former student of Walter White, a high school chemistry teacher who is struggling to make ends meet while battling terminal lung cancer.

When Walter learns of Jesse’s illicit activities, he decides to join forces with him, using his expertise in chemistry to cook methamphetamine of unparalleled purity. Their partnership sets in motion a series of events that lead to the rise and fall of their criminal empire and Jesse’s eventual captivity.

Who Kept Jesse Pinkman in a Cage?

The individuals responsible for holding Jesse Pinkman in a cage are Todd Alquist, played by Jesse Plemons, and his criminal associates, the Aryan Brotherhood. Todd is introduced in Season 5 as a member of the pest control company Vamonos Pest, which Walter and Jesse use as a front to cook methamphetamine. Todd’s uncle, Jack Welker, is the leader of a white supremacist gang called the Aryan Brotherhood, which becomes involved in the methamphetamine business through their association with Walter and Todd.

Todd’s sociopathic tendencies are evident from the beginning, as he exhibits a willingness to commit violent acts without remorse. His role in the story intensifies when he murders a young boy who accidentally witnesses the aftermath of a train heist orchestrated by Walter, Jesse, and their accomplices. The event marks a turning point for Jesse, who becomes increasingly disillusioned with the criminal lifestyle and is haunted by the collateral damage it has caused.

In the final episodes of Breaking Bad, Walter and Jesse’s partnership disintegrates, and their lives take drastically different paths. Jesse’s attempts to escape the criminal world and turn on Walter are thwarted when he is captured by Todd and the Aryan Brotherhood. They imprison him in a cage and force him to cook methamphetamine, using his skills to maintain the high level of purity that Walter’s product was known for.

The Cage: A Symbol of Jesse’s Torment

Who Kept Jesse Pinkman in a Cage

Jesse’s cage not only represents his physical captivity but also serves as a metaphor for his emotional and psychological imprisonment. Throughout Breaking Bad, Jesse is manipulated and exploited by various characters, including his former partner Walter, who repeatedly endangers his life and betrays his trust. Jesse’s confinement in the cage embodies his helplessness and vulnerability, as well as the culmination of years of trauma and abuse.

The cage is located in an underground compound, where Jesse is subjected to brutal treatment by his captors. He is kept in chains, and his only respite from the nightmare is an occasional cigarette, provided by Todd as a twisted form of reward for his compliance.

Jesse’s captivity takes a heavy toll on him, both physically and mentally. He is haunted by the memories of his past actions and the lives he has destroyed, including those of his former girlfriend Jane Margolis and her father, Donald Margolis. The guilt and anguish he experiences are compounded by the relentless cruelty of his captors, who seem to take pleasure in tormenting him.

Escape and Aftermath

Jesse Pinkman’s story continues in the 2019 Netflix film El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which picks up immediately after the events of the series finale. In the film, Jesse manages to escape from the Aryan Brotherhood’s compound with the help of Walter White, who returns to confront his former associates and rescue Jesse.

In a climactic showdown, Walter uses a remote-controlled machine gun to kill the members of the Aryan Brotherhood, including Todd and Jack Welker, while Jesse strangles Todd with his own chains, exacting a measure of vengeance for the suffering he has endured.

With his captors dead, Jesse is finally free to leave the cage that has been his prison for so long. The film follows his attempts to evade law enforcement and start a new life, a journey that takes him to Alaska, where he hopes to find redemption and a fresh beginning. As he drives away to begin his new life, he experiences a mixture of relief, gratitude, and sorrow, knowing that the scars of his past will remain with him forever.

How Long Did They Keep Jesse in The Cage?

Jesse was held captive by Todd Alquist and the Aryan Brotherhood for several months. His captivity occurs during the final episodes of Breaking Bad, specifically between the events of “Ozymandias” (Season 5, Episode 14) and “Felina” (Season 5, Episode 16).

Although the exact duration of Jesse’s imprisonment is not explicitly mentioned in the series, it is implied that he endures this ordeal for an extended period before ultimately being rescued by Walter White in the series finale.

Escape Attempt

Throughout his captivity, Jesse Pinkman’s indomitable spirit and desire for freedom drive him to seek a way out of the torturous cage that has become his prison. In a desperate and courageous attempt to escape, Jesse manages to climb out of the cage. However, his daring escape plan is tragically foiled when he is caught while trying to climb over the fence surrounding the compound.

In response to Jesse’s escape attempt, Todd Alquist and the Aryan Brotherhood decide to make an example of him. They drag him from the fence, forcing him to witness the brutal execution of Andrea Cantillo, Jesse’s former girlfriend, and the mother of a young son, Brock.

This ruthless act serves as a chilling reminder of the consequences of defiance, and the lengths to which his captors will go to maintain control. Jesse’s spirit is shattered, and he is left even more broken and hopeless than before, having to carry the burden of yet another innocent life lost because of his actions.

Who Helped Jesse in El Camino?

Who Kept Jesse Pinkman in a Cage

In El Camino, several characters assist Jesse Pinkman in his journey to evade law enforcement and start a new life. Some of the key individuals who help Jesse are:

  • Skinny Pete and Badger: Jesse’s close friends and former partners in crime provide him with shelter and support immediately after his escape from captivity. They help Jesse devise a plan to divert the police by driving his El Camino in different directions, and Skinny Pete gives Jesse his own car to continue his journey.
  • Old Joe: The owner of the salvage yard and a previous acquaintance of Jesse and Walter White. Joe helps Jesse by attempting to dispose of the El Camino, although he ultimately advises Jesse to abandon it after discovering it has a LoJack system installed that would alert law enforcement to its location.
  • Ed Galbraith (a.k.a. The Disappearer): Portrayed by Robert Forster, Ed is a vacuum cleaner salesman who secretly specializes in providing criminals with new identities and helping them disappear. Jesse turns to Ed for help in obtaining a new identity and starting a new life in Alaska. To pay for Ed’s services, Jesse must acquire a substantial sum of money, which leads him on a dangerous mission to retrieve the cash he needs.
  • Todd Alquist (Flashbacks): Although Todd was one of Jesse’s captors, his actions in El Camino are revealed through flashbacks that depict events during Jesse’s captivity. In one such flashback, Jesse discovers a hidden stash of money in Todd’s apartment, which he later retrieves to pay Ed for his services.

Todd Has Traits of a Psychopath

Todd Alquist, one of Jesse’s captors, displays several traits and behaviors throughout Breaking Bad that suggest he could be considered a psychopath, including:

  • Lack of empathy: Todd demonstrates a disturbing lack of empathy and concern for the suffering of others. This is evident in his cold-blooded murder of a young boy who accidentally witnesses the aftermath of the train heist, as well as his treatment of Jesse during his captivity.
  • Manipulative and charming: Todd can be manipulative and charming when it suits his needs, as seen in his interactions with Lydia Rodarte-Quayle and other characters. He often uses these traits to gain trust or maintain control over situations.
  • Impulsive and reckless behavior: Todd exhibits impulsive and reckless behaviors throughout the series, often taking unnecessary risks or committing acts of violence without considering the consequences.
  • No guilt or remorse: Todd shows little to no guilt or remorse for his violent actions, indicating a lack of conscience and moral compass.
  • Shallow emotions: Despite his lack of empathy and guilt, Todd occasionally demonstrates shallow emotions, such as his apparent infatuation with Lydia or his concern for his pet tarantula. However, these emotions seem to be more self-serving than genuine expressions of care for others.