Walt and Jesse‘s (Aaron Paul) working relationship is constantly strained by any number of factors, not the least of which is their previous teacher-student relationship. In season 2, their relationship gets a new wrench thrown in the works: Jane Margolis (Krysten Ritter), Jesse’s girlfriend.
Because Jane feeds into Jesse’s addictions, Walt nearly misses a huge deal with drug kingpin Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) — “the biggest deal of our lives,” as he later calls it. He won’t give Jesse his share of the profits until the young man agrees to get clean, but that doesn’t happen. With Jane, Jesse has drugs, he has love, and he has someone to complain about the all-controlling Walt to. Why get clean? Jane even manages to blackmail Walt into giving her the money, so now Jesse has that, too.
A frustrated Walt ends up talking to Jane’s father (John De Lancie) at a bar without knowing who he is. They discuss the difficulties and ultimate importance of family, leading Walt to Jesse’s apartment later that night, where he intends to apologize. He finds the couple passed out in bed, shot up with heroin; all attempts to awaken Jesse fail. Jane, however, shifts in her sleep, and begins to vomit. Swinging around to her side of the bed as she starts choking on her vomit, Walt realizes something: If she dies, every threat she poses dies with her. And so he just … watches.
Walt later has the audacity to comfort a heartbroken Jesse, crying and blaming himself for his girlfriend’s death. And for three whole seasons, he’s completely unaware that Walt’s inaction was the true reason Jane died. Only after Walt hands Jesse over to a group of Neo-Nazis (a lot’s changed by season 5, to say the least) does he tell all: “I watched Jane die. I was there. And I watched her die. I watched her overdose and choke to death. I could have saved her. But I didn’t.” It’s as if he himself admits that was his point of no return, bolstering u/brady2gronk’s opinion.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA’s 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).