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Jesse Pinkman: Yo!


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#1

Kris

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Posted Mar 23, 2010 @ 6:25 PM

I'm curious to see if Jesse will remain clean or will he backslide into addiction after a while. I have to say that I've impressed on how multi-layered the character ended up being in Season 2. He wasn't just a one dimensional junkie/drug addict, but in some ways ended up being more moral than "Mr. White." I'm looking forward to his arc this season.
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#2

ReadIshmael

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Posted Mar 23, 2010 @ 6:36 PM

Oh, fuck. Here I've been, trying to think of an appropriate quote to use as a subtitle for this thread, and I overlooked the most perfect and obvious one.

Anyway, I'm pretty much convinced that Jesse's going to backslide. I really don't want it to happen (much as I think he's a necessary part of this show, much as he is my personal favorite, what I want for him is to get clean and get as far away from Walt as possible while he still can), but just like there's no way Walt's done cooking, Jesse isn't done using. And when he relapses, it's probably going to be more horrible than anything else he's been through.
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#3

Constantinople

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Posted Mar 23, 2010 @ 7:03 PM

how multi-layered the character ended up being in Season 2


Layered, like nachos.

I read in a couple of places that Vince Gilligan originally planned to kill Jesse at the end of Season 1, but decided not to sometime after casting Aaron Paul or during the filming of the pilot. Good thing he changed his mind (or the writers' strike intervened).

I think he provides a useful counterpoint to Walter White, partly a kind of youthful enthusiasm (talking about how Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand, Funions), partly a somewhat more realistic view of how business, including the drug business, operates.
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#4

The Gimp

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Posted Mar 23, 2010 @ 7:46 PM

He wasn't just a one dimensional junkie/drug addict, but in some ways ended up being more moral than "Mr. White." I'm looking forward to his arc this season.


From fairly early on Jesse seemed more moral than Walt, IMO. He had no problem dealing small time, but he is no big fish and has had far more trouble making that transition than Walt. I hope he doesn't get super hardcore now that he has accepted his "bad guy" status, or if he does suddenly become a real bad guy then I hope he eventually takes out Walt since there is a certain amount of poetic justice in that.
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#5

birdythurs

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Posted Mar 26, 2010 @ 8:04 AM

Stealing from myself on the old thread (spoilers for literature, not show rumors):

Total Speculation Based on a Bookworm spaz-out: I was reading some short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson and got to "Markheim." As I was reading it hit me Oh my god, Jesse will be Markheim. This is Jesse! Markheim is a petty thief who kills the owner of a pawn shop during his robbery. He hears a noise upstairs and finds a gentleman sitting there warning him that the police will be coming soon. Markheim believes this man to be the devil and has to face a Faustian offer: give me your soul and your life and I'll get you out of this. It actually has some interesting commentary about deathbed forgiveness, the struggle to be good, things like that. Markheim realizes that while he can't live with himself if he agrees to the devil's pact, he also lacks the will and heart to truly turn his life around--it'll just be a downward spiral no matter how hard he tries. He refuses the pact and turns himself in. He knows he'll hang, but he can't do any more wrong. It just smacked me upside the head that Jesse will ultimately be faced with this. Not talking with actual demons, but hitting that point of no return and making the decision to do no (more) harm, even if it requires self-sacrifice.


Jesse cannot end well. I know Gilligan and the writers decided not to go with the "mechanical" death early on, but just following the character--poor Jesse.

I think the best summary of Jesse came in "Four Days Out," when he realized Walt thought he had no time left. "Whatever happens, I'll make sure your family gets the money." I was already for Jesse, but that won me over for good. He's too weak to get out of the drugs, but he's too decent to just cut and run when someone needs help.
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#6

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Mar 26, 2010 @ 9:46 AM

From fairly early on Jesse seemed more moral than Walt, IMO. He had no problem dealing small time, but he is no big fish and has had far more trouble making that transition than Walt.


Yea it was interesting that Jesse seemed way more shocked and upset when Combo got killed, even though Jesse was the one who started out as the criminal with Walt it was just sort of the cost of doing business, no different then if the RV needed repairs. I think it was much more then just Jesse being friends with Combo.
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#7

ReadIshmael

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Posted Mar 28, 2010 @ 10:57 PM

I don't know whether to be worried or proud over Jesse's stunt with buying the house. On the one hand, it was pretty shady and he probably spent up all his money, both things that don't foreshadow good things about Jesse's future (not that I expected them, this show being what it is). On the other hand, it was hugely satisfying. I was impressed that he managed not to lose his temper at all in that horribly awkward conversation with his dad, because I was annoyed on his behalf, so when he drove up at the end and his parents were so unhappy to see him, I was thrilled that he'd managed to stick it to them, and in such a clever way.

Edited by ReadIshmael, Mar 28, 2010 @ 10:58 PM.

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#8

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Posted Mar 29, 2010 @ 2:15 PM

LOVE his voice.

Wonderful how they wrote and acted that scene so delicately - he sorts of tells him he shouldn't go in because the workers are busy and Jesse backs away... then the remark about him looking healthy reels him back with a little hope and humility and goodwilll... that maybe sometime he could come by for dinner..... and then BAM! "Yeah... SOMEtime.....". Okay, that's enough.
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#9

thatguy01

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Posted Mar 29, 2010 @ 2:27 PM

From fairly early on Jesse seemed more moral than Walt, IMO. He had no problem dealing small time, but he is no big fish and has had far more trouble making that transition than Walt.


I think Jesse saw drug dealing as a valid lifestyle/career, which is why he was sentimental about other people in it. Walt saw it as criminal and dangerous, and a threat to his straight life if he's caught (which it has been).

Edited by thatguy01, Mar 29, 2010 @ 2:28 PM.

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#10

birdythurs

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Posted Mar 30, 2010 @ 7:53 AM

I think Jesse saw drug dealing as a valid lifestyle/career, which is why he was sentimental about other people in it.


Hmm. I'm sure Jesse did think it was alright, thatguy, but I'm not sure that's why he was sentimental. Obviously he seemed to be a willing participant, and was more concerned with the hassle of the law than morality. But I think the sentimentality comes fromt he fact that that was kind of all he had. Jesse doesn't like to be isolated, we've almost always seen him reaching out and engaging with people. He didn't have his family, so he stuck with his fellow druggies. He seems to actually like Badger and the rest, not just convenient acquaintances/business connections. When word got out that Jesse wasn't the one who dropped the ATM on Spooge's head, Skinny Pete and the others just went on pretending to help him save face. They're not warm and fuzzy about it, but they do all stick together, which is one of the weirdly touching moments in the series for me.
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#11

Libby1975

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Posted Mar 30, 2010 @ 1:14 PM

I'm really curious about the character of Jesse. For starters, why did he get into drugs in the first place? Based on a few things he and Walt have said to each other Jesse did badly at school, so perhaps that indicates when he started down the wrong path -- but why? Many teens dabble with drugs without falling into that lifestyle headfirst. With his family being so well-heeled, it's not like he grew up immersed in a druggie lifestyle. He had alternatives, options, access to a better world. So... what happened?

A disturbing coda to this comes with the revelation that his high-achieving, parent-supported, golden-boy brother smokes dope. (Admittedly this could be an example of that teen-dabbling so common to high school and college-age kids). It made me wonder what it is about that family that makes chemical escape such a necessity.

The way his parents have turned their back on him leaves me dismayed. As the parents of a junkie, I have no doubt they have been through the wringer, so their zero tolerance attitude to their discovery of what they thought was his joint made sense, but leaving him homeless? What... really? What kind of parents are these? Putatively they kicked him out of the aunt's house because he had a meth lab set up in the basement and had that been discovered the house would have been taken away by the government -- I get all that. But when he really had nowhere to go and ended the night weeping on the floor of the RV, that tore my heart out. And his parents knew he could end up on the street. Clearly they are not hard up for a buck -- they put $400 grand into renovating the Aunt's house for sale, when it was more or less OK except for the massive hole in the bathroom floor -- couldn't they have set him up in his own apartment? I just don't get it. And then seeing him looking better -- and this after a gap of some time, during which they would have had no idea if he were alive or dead -- and slapping away his attempts at closeness... once again I wonder, what kind of parents are these?

Interestingly at his lowest ebb it was Walt, in one of his more avuncular phases, who came and rescued him from the crack house. (And what a vision of hell that was.)

For what it's worth I consider Jessie a sweetheart: he seems to have nursed his aunt through a harrowing illness, (when apparently his parents weren't around); he has never cheated Walt, even when he could reasonably have expected to get away with it or to rationalize it somehow; and he was devastated by Jane's death.

In part Jesse seems to be reaching out for a quasi-family -- and that's pretty normal for people his age. That gang of reprobates he hangs out with would be the rough equivalent of frat brothers or army buddies for other people.
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#12

thatguy01

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Posted Mar 30, 2010 @ 1:30 PM

couldn't they have set him up in his own apartment?


FWIW, that would require guaranteeing a lease on behalf of someone who had just converted a house into a drug factory. Whether they're avoiding enabling him or want to protect themselves, take your pick.

However, they won't even accept a dinner invitation when he's sober and showered, either.
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#13

KnitTzu

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Posted Mar 30, 2010 @ 3:36 PM

I'm really curious about the character of Jesse. For starters, why did he get into drugs in the first place? Based on a few things he and Walt have said to each other Jesse did badly at school, so perhaps that indicates when he started down the wrong path -- but why? Many teens dabble with drugs without falling into that lifestyle headfirst. With his family being so well-heeled, it's not like he grew up immersed in a druggie lifestyle. He had alternatives, options, access to a better world. So... what happened?


Watch a few episodes of the show "Intervention." The majority of the addicts featured in the ten or so eps that I saw had backgrounds similar to Jesse's: comfortable middle-class life, loving parents, lots of advantages. Most had siblings who weren't addicts and parents who seemed as straight and bewildered as Jesse's, parents who show us photos of adorable, smiling children and couldn't understand what went wrong.

It might turn out that there's something really wrong in his family but I doubt it and would actually be disappointed if the writers gave a simple, easy answer for Jesse's involvement in drugs. One of the things I love about this show is the lack of black-and-white answers.

My theory is that he uses drugs as a buffer between himself and the world. When things go wrong in Jesse's life (homelessness, his friend's murder, his girlfriend's death) he always retreats into drug use... but then again, we've also seen him using casually with no apparent trigger.
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#14

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Posted Mar 30, 2010 @ 7:35 PM

Libby1975, I'm curious too about Jesse and what led him to his current lifestyle, which is why I wish we had gotten to see more of his therapy sessions; maybe we would've gotten some interesting background on him.

It's possible that maybe his family wasn't always as "perfect" as they appear to be. Maybe Jesse didn't grow up with the same supportive parents that his little brother is now. Or if they were, maybe they just put far too much pressure on him to be the perfect golden child. The latter seems likely if his younger brother is already turning to drugs. Maybe it's a pattern in this family.

As for leaving him homeless, I agree that it seems pretty heartless and I don't think that's something I could ever do to my child even IF they were a junkie. But maybe they just didn't know what else to do with him. The family (or the aunt I guess) had already given him a place to live, and he turned it into a meth lab. I guess their thinking is that there's no reason Jesse wouldn't just do it all over again if they financially supported him in getting a new place. That's something I do commonly see on Intervention - parents that end up enabling their drug addict children by giving them money or a place to live, when really they need that ''tough love'' - go to rehab or you get nothing.
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#15

Evilida

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Posted Mar 31, 2010 @ 10:38 AM

I think that because we see more of Jesse, we as viewers are naturally inclined to see his point of view rather than his parents. There's no doubt that they have been burned by Jesse numerous times in the past, so his father is protecting himself and his family by casting Jesse out. "Tough love" is a prudent way of avoiding being hurt again and may actually be beneficial to the addict.

However, his family also seem blind to Jesse's genuine good qualities. His mother and his father scoffed at the notion that he had supported his aunt through her illness for reasons of affection rather than from more mercenary motives. Maybe there's a bit of self-protection here - Jesse has to be irredeemable for them to feel comfortable with casting him out - but there also seems to be some resentment that Jesse got to live in the house so they couldn't sell it. They seemed to be projecting their own motives on to Jesse.

And again, having the good son and the bad son. If they want Jesse to recover, it's hardly helpful to him to be reminded over and over again how much of a screw-up he is and how much better his brother is in every way.

Personally, I think it's fairly easy to understand why someone like Jesse would turn to drugs. He wasn't gifted academically or athletically, which would make him practically invisible in high school; his aunt, who seemed to have been very close to him, was dying; and he was in the shadow of his perfect younger brother. The drug fraternity offered him the illusion of friendship and a way to cope with his emotional pain and isolation. After that, addiction took over.

Edited by Evilida, Mar 31, 2010 @ 10:39 AM.

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#16

jbethea

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Posted Mar 31, 2010 @ 1:55 PM

I don't really think that early on, Jesse was portrayed as an addict. a user and a dealer, yes. but there's a big difference between that and the junkie he was becoming hanging out with Jane.

and most people get into drugs...because they're fun. for a while anyway. you don't have to be wanting or needing to escape from anything to use them or to enjoy them. though of course with drugs like meth there is the danger of becoming addicted, it doesn't always happen.

Edited by jbethea, Mar 31, 2010 @ 1:56 PM.

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#17

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Posted Mar 31, 2010 @ 5:12 PM

I agree, jbethea. Jesse was being deliberately portrayed as a casual user and it wasn't until he hooked up with Jane that things spiraled downhill. And there doesn't need to be some deep dark background reason why someone tries illegal drugs or uses them regularly any more than there needs to be some deep dark reason why someone drinks alcohol.
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#18

calliek

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Posted Mar 31, 2010 @ 9:22 PM

I would say things started spiraling when Combo got killed.
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#19

jbethea

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Posted Apr 1, 2010 @ 9:22 AM

I think you're probably right. the shit started getting really deep for Jesse about then.
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#20

ReadIshmael

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Posted Apr 4, 2010 @ 10:21 PM

Jesse's like a completely different person so far this season, and it's breaking my heart. I mean, I'm thrilled that he's clean, and I can appreciate that he seems to have gotten more serious, but he's so quiet, and so withdrawn. Something needs to bring him back to life.

I did laugh a little at him actually thanking Saul for the cactus, but then I cried at the look on his face after Jane's number went out of service, so it wasn't enough.
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#21

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Posted Apr 5, 2010 @ 3:09 AM

I agree that Jesse need not necessarily have any more challenges growing up than the next suburban guy - but if he has intelligence and good heart rather than a gift for negotiating an academic world (ADD, dyslexia, anxiety) it will be easy for him to rely on drugs if he never developed any other, healthy and effective coping mechanisms.
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#22

Kel Varnsen

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Posted Apr 7, 2010 @ 7:46 AM

I would say things started spiraling when Combo got killed.


Not only that but he witnessed first hand that addict getting his head crushed by ATM. Seeing that would mess up with anyone's head.

I agree, jbethea. Jesse was being deliberately portrayed as a casual user and it wasn't until he hooked up with Jane that things spiraled downhill.


I think I would call Jesse more than just a casual user, even before he met Jane. I mean there were lots of times that he and Walt were supposed to be dealing with serious things and he was hitting the meth pipe instead.
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#23

Evilida

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Posted Apr 7, 2010 @ 8:18 AM

agree that Jesse need not necessarily have any more challenges growing up than the next suburban guy - but if he has intelligence and good heart rather than a gift for negotiating an academic world (ADD, dyslexia, anxiety) it will be easy for him to rely on drugs if he never developed any other, healthy and effective coping mechanisms.


I wouldn't say Jesse is intelligent. Maybe he didn't do all that well in school because he just isn't particularly bright and wasn't interested in applying himself to things that didn't come easily to him. Not every C- student has ADD or dyslexia, and Jesse has never shown any sign of either. Not everyone is capable of being an A+ student, just as not everyone is capable of being a star athlete.
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#24

peeayebee

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Posted Apr 11, 2010 @ 6:48 PM

I just wanted to say that every time I see "Jesse Pinkman: Yo!", it makes me smile.
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#25

ReadIshmael

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Posted Apr 11, 2010 @ 10:31 PM

To echo a post in the episode thread: Sober Jesse is hot. He was so frickin' magnetic in that opening scene, even as much as I hated what he was doing.

The scene with Walt really illustrated a lot of the things I've always liked about him. He was concerned about whether he was making trouble for Walt, concerned about Walt's job, concerned about Walt's marriage, totally cool with Walt wanting out of the business, and really excited to show his product to Walt. He was so proud to show off how much he'd learned and was really looking for approval, and I was sad for him when he didn't get it. I was really glad to see that he's held on to his caring side and some of that little-boy innocence. I was worried the Jesse I knew and loved was gone forever.
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#26

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Posted Apr 11, 2010 @ 11:09 PM

Well said, ReadIshmael. I really hated what he was doing in the first scene, trying to encourage that girl to try the meth. Like he doesn't already know firsthand how easily it can completely destroy your life. At least he redeemed himself somewhat in the other scene you mentioned - nice to see a glimpse of the Jesse we love still inside there somewhere!
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#27

nocturnelle

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Posted Apr 12, 2010 @ 6:12 AM

Wow, ReadIshmael (D. Quinn ref btw?), I couldn't have said it better. Jesse is hot as hell and was using that to his advantage which is admittedly kinda skeezy, but I sorta like to think that he deep down knew that the girl wouldn't like meth at all and would pass it on to someone else. Which is what happened, according to what she said to Hank. But hot damn! I do not blame the cashier in the least...those eyes! I wanted to reach right through my tv screen. LOL @ Hank's reaction when the gas station cashier was describing him, "I get it, he's dreamy."

ETA: IIRC, Jesse said something to her about meth like, "it makes everything, like, maximum interesting." Which, according to to what I know about the drug, sounds damn spot-on...but in Jesse-speak. Excellent writing for his character.

Edited by nocturnelle, Apr 12, 2010 @ 6:15 AM.

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#28

jbethea

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Posted Apr 12, 2010 @ 7:56 AM

He was so proud to show off how much he'd learned and was really looking for approval, and I was sad for him when he didn't get it.


right? he was so excited. I just wanted to give him a big hug.

however I LOLed when Walt reassured him "you're good at plenty of things, son!" and then couldn't think of any.
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#29

ReadIshmael

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Posted Apr 12, 2010 @ 8:25 AM

I LOLed when Walt reassured him "you're good at plenty of things, son!" and then couldn't think of any.

The execution of that moment was hilarious, but it's also really sad that neither of them can think of a single other thing he's good at, or might be good at.

(D. Quinn ref btw?)

Yes, indeed.
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#30

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Posted Apr 12, 2010 @ 8:42 AM

The execution of that moment was hilarious, but it's also really sad that neither of them can think of a single other thing he's good at, or might be good at.


It's also kind of funny (in a non ha-ha kind of way) how that applies to both of them. Seems like cooking meth is the only thing either of them really know how to do successfully. The whole argument was hard to watch because Jesse obviously felt confident that he had done a good job, and probably would have liked to hear that validation. I think they both desire to have that recognition on some level. They're both very, very different characters (since Walt truly is the ''bad guy'' that Jesse believes himself to be) but it's interesting to see some similarities in their personalities.
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