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Jessie Anderson is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. She is a resident of the Alexandria Safe-Zone. She is the former wife of Pete and mother of Ron and Sam. Following Pete's death, a romantic relationship with Rick Grimes begins to develop.
Jessie was a smart, charming, warm-hearted woman and a loving mother with a "bohemian spirit". She cared deeply for those around her and would do almost anything to protect them. She understood the personal struggles of other people and did her best to encourage them and see a brighter future.
However, she had a vulnerable side to her, having lived for years in fear of her abusive husband Pete. She kept the emotional and physical pain to herself, not wanting anyone else to get hurt. That is until Rick came along and personally encouraged her to fight for her survival which had a notable effect on Jessie giving her the courage to finally stand up to her abusive husband.
After Pete's death though initially shattered her, she remained firmly protective of her two sons. She became aware of the harsh reality of the world and encourages the other Alexandrian's to fight for their survival mirroring Rick's wisdom bestowed onto her. She adapted quickly, learning how to defend herself and acquiring the knowledge needed when it comes to handling walkers. Of all the Alexandrian's, Jessie was the closest with Rick, as she was the sole resident who helped Rick adjust into the community. The two shared a bond that eventually became romantic until her death.
According to Andrew Lincoln who has spoken about Jessie's relationship with Rick - "she unlocks a part of him that hadn't been touched since the death of Lori. She was hugely important in the rebuilding of Rick and his future at Alexandria".
Very little is known regarding Jessie's early childhood, other than around her early teens, she attended art college where she presumably studied Sculpturing, it was during this period where she met Pete upon where the two eventually fell in love together, it was through their relationship where Jessie eventually became pregnant with Ron at a young age; Jessie then married Pete several months later where around the time of their late 20's the two would later have another child Sam.
Following this, Jessie later became employed as a hair stylist amongst twelve other jobs, however due to Pete attending Medical School in order to provide for her eventually caused their relationship to suffer and thus Jessie and her two sons became victims to Pete's physical and mental abuse causing Jessie to lose her previous affection for him; however she never acted on this due to her fear of Pete.
At some point during the outbreak Jessie and her family made their way toward the Alexandria Safe-Zone where they settled into the community and upon being interviewed by its leader Deanna Monroe was assigned as a pantry worker and became well integrated amongst the fellow residents of the safe-zone. Jessie sought to create a sense of normality for Ron and Sam both of whom had little knowledge regarding the outside world, she also began sculpting a metal owl-figure as a hobby. However Jessie and her sons were still subject to Pete's daily abuse which they kept hidden from the rest of the community.
Jessie introduces herself shortly after Rick Grimes moves into Alexandria when supplying him with goods from the pantry, and offers to give him a haircut. While cutting his hair, she engages Rick in conversation, talking about her sons. Later, while Rick's group is out on a walk in the neighborhood, he loses sight of his children Carl and Judith, prompting him to panic. He runs into a sculpture outside Jessie's house, alerting her to his presence. She asks if he is okay, and leads him to the Millers' residence, stating that Bob and Natalie love kids. She later witnesses the confrontation between Glenn Rhee and Aiden Monroe at the town gates.
Jessie, Pete, and their kids attend Deanna Monroe's welcoming party for Rick and his group where Rick and her talk about the hope Alexandria holds, but reflects on the losses everyone's suffered. She is later seen holding Judith whilst trying to stop Sam from running around the house. After she gives Judith back to Rick he kisses her on the cheek, though she doesn't appear offended by this despite being married. The next day, she sees Rick and waves to him, which he does in return, but she doesn't notice him reaching for his side-arm, likely to aim at Pete.
Jessie is shown when Rick visits her. She explains to him that her owl sculpture was broken, but doesn't know who did it. Rick promises to look into it, but Jessie questions what he will do, and he tells her that he will think of some kind of punishment. Later towards the end of the episode, Carol Peletier visits Pete, asking for Jessie. In response he replies, "Not a good time." Carol then informs Rick that Jessie is being abused and suggests that Sam may be as well.
Rick confronts Jessie about Pete's abuse, but she tells him that everything will be fine and that he'll move on as he has before. Rick tries to convince her that Pete's abuse is bringing her down; soon, he would kill her, so Pete has to die. Jessie, however, refuses to listen and reminds Rick that Pete is her husband, before closing the garage door on him.
After a few minutes to himself, Rick barges through the front door to confront Jessie again, much to her dismay. Rick informs her that Sam had asked for a gun and confesses that he does not want anything to happen to her, implying romantic feelings for her, and asks her if she will let him do what is needed. After asking if he would do the same for anyone else, to which he replies in the negative, she tearfully accepts. Pete then walks in and Rick tells him to go outside, but after he refuses to listen, he provokes a fight which Jessie tearfully watches. However, when Pete appears to get the drop on Rick, Jessie tries to intervene and Pete smacks her away, prompting Rick to almost kill him. The rest of the community come out to witness the fight before Deanna attempts to defuse the situation. Jessie watches, distraught, as Rick starts waving a gun around whilst telling the others how the things around the community need to work, before Michonne knocks Rick to the ground to stop the commotion.
Jessie has a brief conversation with Rick but lets him know she agrees with him (about what happened the day before), despite her attempt to not to be seen with Rick, Pete watches them from his house.
She is apart of the meeting Deanna set up to talk about Rick among other residents and Rick's group. Deanna informs them about Father Gabriel Stokes's warning saying Rick's group cannot be trusted and they are dangerous, thinking Rick's behavior proved his words. However, Jessie says she doesn't have proof as she hasn't recorded it, implying Deanna's word is meaningless. Enraged Pete comes and accidentally slits Reg Monroe's throat with Michonne's katana while trying to kill Rick. Jessie is seen horrified, Reg immediately bleeds to death in Deanna's arms and she allows Rick to kill Pete, which he does. Jessie does not appear to be devastated by his death.
Jessie is seen in this episode as a flashback. She is first seen tending to Sam who appears to be devastated at the death of Pete. Ron is sitting next to Jessie who storms off angrily, Jessie tell's Ron to come back but he doesn't listen to her. She attends the meeting in Deanna's house regarding Rick's plan about the walkers in the quarry. She also helps the residents build a wall to deter the walkers away from Alexandria. Jessie is later seen in the armory checking out a weapon when Rick walks in. Rick asks for a box of flares which Jessie hands to him. Rick tells Jessie that they should have some time away from one another due to the fact that Rick killed her husband. Jessie admonishes Rick for his behavior with Ron in the woods despite the fact that he saved him from certain death. Rick understands this and tells Jessie that things are going to get worse and that she needs to know how to use a gun. Rick says he could teach her but Jessie turns him down and says that she already asked Rosita to help teach her. She states she'll then teach Ron, Sam and that she is willing to fight.
Jessie is first seen in her home. She calls Ron down from upstairs so she can give him a haircut. She calls him twice before he emerges from his room. He refuses to have his haircut and Jessie assumes that he is being so aggressive because of the death of his father and that he blames her, to which she becomes frustrated at. Ron questions the relationship between her and Rick. She tells him that they are friends and that him killing Pete was the right thing to do because Pete killed Reg and was a danger to everyone, which causes him to storm out.
When the Wolves attack Alexandria, Sam begs Jessie to hide with him, but she tells him that she has to find Ron. Jessie hides with Sam in the upstairs closet when they hear glass smash. They lock the closet door behind them and Jessie gets her gun ready.
Waiting in the closet, Jessie decides to warn Ron to stay away from the house after she hears him return. She leaves Sam in the closet, telling him to lock the door behind her. Downstairs, Jessie hides behind the kitchen counters, knowing that there is a Wolf inside her home. She desperately warns Ron away, but is attacked by woman Wolf. Jessie is slammed to the floor and pretends to be unconscious. As the Wolf picks up Jessie's gun in order to shoot her, Jessie gets up and grabs a pair of scissors from her stylist set and violently stabs the Wolf in the chest several times until she is dead as Ron watches in shock. Jessie then stabs her brain to prevent reanimation.
Along the townspeople of Alexandria, Jessie listens to Rick's speech about becoming stronger after the town is surrounded with a herd of walkers. She goes home and drags the body of the Wolf she killed to the town's graveyard, where she is stopped by Rick who tells her that killers are not to be buried inside the walls. Rick tells her that they wait until the walker herd has broken up.
Walking the streets, Jessie sees the curtains in Betsy's house move. She approaches the window and a zombified Betsy slams against it. Jessie becomes upset that Betsy committed suicide and leads her to the door, where she stabs Betsy in the eye, putting her down whilst a few Alexandrians watch in horror, including Olivia and Barbara. Jessie turns and tells them that she knew she had to fight, she just didn't want to. She also tells them "If we don't fight, we die."
Jessie bakes cookies and tries to get a terrified Sam to come downstairs to get the cookies. He utterly refuses and Jessie is left with no choice but to leave the cookies outside his door, failing her attempt to strengthen him.
At nightfall, Jessie is seen in her garage when Rick walks in. He tells her that he expected Glenn, Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham back by now. She lifts his hopes by suggesting that there is still time for them to return and that they may still be alive. Jessie informs him that she knows there will be a future and Rick nods. Rick then kisses her, which she accepts.
Jessie first appears when she attends Rosita's weapon training lesson, where she appears very focused on training. After Carol notices Morgan and Denise sneaks off, she goes to Jessie's house and asks if Jessie will take Judith while she follows them, to which Jessie gladly agrees, saying that it is no problem.
As walkers begin to swarm Rick, Deanna, Carl, Ron, Michonne, and Gabriel, Jessie runs from her house and shoots and kills the walkers in front of them, guiding them to her house. Once inside, Jessie goes into Sam's room in a hurry and tells him to keep quiet and stay hidden. She, along with the others have an urgency to help Deanna due to her injuries whilst fighting walkers.
Jessie later helps keep walkers out of her house after Ron breaks the window glass in the garage, letting them swarm in. She, Rick, and Carl push against them using a couch. She says she heard yelling from the garage when Carl and Ron were in there, but they lie and say they were fighting against "them".
Now, walkers are starting to push in from the front of the house. Jessie desperately pushes against them alongside Gabriel, Carl, and Ron, but there are too many. Masses of walkers begin to enter the house as Michonne orders them to retreat upstairs.
When upstairs, Rick decides they all must cover themselves in walker blood and guts, where Jessie looks disturbed, but accepts that this is what they must do. The group put sheets on themselves and begin putting on the walker guts. Sam walks in and is very distressed about what he sees, but Jessie tells him to pretend that he is strong until they are safe and away from the walkers.
The group head outside into the walker herd, covered in guts. When they reach the porch, they all stop and watch the masses of walkers in distress. They all lock hands and proceed to walk out of Alexandria. Sam begins to call Jessie's name multiple times, which begins to attract the herd's attention.
After shuffling past the herd, Jessie and the group stop on the side of the road to discuss a new plan of attack. When Gabriel suggests taking Judith to safety, Jessie attempts to persuade Sam into following him, with Sam strongly refusing, wishing to stay with her and insisting that he can make it. The remaining members then continue towards the community gate, their trek lasting until nightfall.
As they press forward, Sam begins to remember Carol's threats regarding the walkers eating him up; he witnesses a little boy walker strolling among the herd and immediately freezes up in fear. Jessie, Rick and Ron attempt to encourage him to move, to which Sam responds by tearfully voicing his concerns to his mother. This however, gives away his position and Sam is quickly grabbed and devoured. Jessie crys out hysterically for her son, still holding onto his hand but this begins to attract walkers. Distraught over Sam's death, Jessie completely shuts down with Rick calling out to her aswell as Carl to; tugging her by the hand. She remains in an unresponsive state as a walker suddenly latches onto her from the front and is quickly swarmed. As her screams echo, Rick watches on in horror; becoming emotional and begins to have quick flashbacks to when he first met Jessie. Jessie alerts Rick, snapping him out of his trance to realise that Jessie is still clinging on to Carl's hand. Rick pulls out his axe and hacks off Jessie's hand, freeing Carl, and her remains are left to be devoured.
While making their way through a horde of walkers, Sam panics when he sees a little boy walker in the distance which causes him to freeze up and after Jessie, Rick and Ron fail to calm him down, he gets devoured by walkers. Completely devastated by her son's death, Jessie starts sobbing hysterically; screaming out her son's name which begins to attract nearby walkers. She won't let go of Sam's hand and quickly becomes paralyzed in a state of shock as Carl attempts to encourage her to come with them.
A walker soon latches onto Jessie's shoulder to which she doesn't react to and suddenly she is swarmed, being dragged to the ground. Carl calls out to Rick, to which he realizes that Jessie is still holding onto Carl's hand and seeing she is a lost cause and walkers already creeping on Carl. Rick raises his axe and swipes down three times, cutting off Jessie's arm and releasing Carl. She's left to be devoured.
This list shows the victims Jessie has killed:
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- The casting call for this character was "Samantha", being described as "an attractive, strong, smart, charming and articulate woman who also has a vulnerable side. She's a mother with a bohemian spirit, and a talented artist."
- Upon being cast as Jessie, Alexandra Breckenridge explained: "I didn't know anything. I hadn't watched the show before. I'd watched the pilot a long time ago, which I enjoyed, but I wasn't into the blood and guts at the time so I didn't continue watching for that reason. When I got the part, I watched all four seasons in a week and was having zombie nightmares. It was like cramming for an exam. I hadn't read the comics and when I first had my meeting with Scott Gimple, he suggested not read the comics because the show and characters aren't always exact to the comics. If you've seen the comics, my character has short black hair with bangs and wears a headband — and she's a meek; she's a weaker character than I'm playing on the show, which is great because I enjoy playing a stronger character."
- Breckenridge confirmed that Jessie and Pete both met in Art College and fell in love, but she got pregnant with Ron at a very early age, prompting Pete to attend Medical School in order to provide for his family, which caused their relationship to suffer.
- Jessie possesses several tattoos, including a tri-spiral like tattoo on her left shoulder as well as another one located on her right arm which appears to resemble an owl-like figure.
- Jessie is the fourth series regular to die while being credited under "also starring", the first being Gareth, the second being Bob Stookey and the third being Deanna Monroe.
- Jessie is the second main character to be killed off in a mid-season premiere, the first being Tyreese in "What Happened and What's Going On".