When Aaron Paul read the script for the season-three finale of "Breaking Bad," he knew the show was at a turning point.
"It was shocking," says Paul, who plays drug dealer Jesse Pinkman, the right-hand man of methamphetamine maker Walter White (Bryan Cranston). "I knew when I read (the script) that this was a loss of innocence for Jesse."
At the end of the third season, Jesse was sent on a murder mission to preserve his and Walt's spots (and lives) in a major meth-making operation.
"Breaking Bad" launches its fourth season at 10 p.m. EDT Sunday on AMC. The season opener picks up where last season ended.
Of the season-three ending, Time magazine said of Paul's character: "It is Jesse who, in a strange way, has become the moral voice of the show, at least insofar as his relative naivete keeps him from going to places that Walt will ... He doesn't want to kill an innocent for expediency. And yet there he is, gun in his hand, acting on the desperate orders of Walt, who only an episode ago told Jesse that he was not a murderer."
Paul likes how "Breaking Bad" never lets its characters rest. They are always on an emotional roller coaster.
"This show is such a story of change, and all these characters constantly morphing into different people within themselves," Paul says.
Living with the character of Jesse during production can be "intense," Paul says. Brutally dark, "Breaking Bad" has never been an easy show to watch or make.
"But we have a very good set about that kind of thing," says Paul. "When you go home at night, you go home. It's not always easy, though."
He calls Jesse "this very confused, lost kid. He is struggling to keep his head above water."
But can he be redeemed?
"I think he can. I don't think he is at a point of no return."
Other highlights for the week of July 17-23 (listings subject to change; check local listings):
"Cyberbully" (8 p.m., ABC Family). A 17-year-old high-school student (Emily Osment) is the victim of online bullying, and the result takes a toll on her and her family.
"Hell's Kitchen" (8 p.m., Fox). Chef Gordon Ramsay sharpens his tongue in preparation for another season of demeaning his contestants in this reality competition.
"Awkward" (11 p.m., MTV). A small accident that looks like a 15-year-old girl (Ashley Richards) attempted suicide changes everything in her life, mainly because no one believes she wasn't trying to kill herself.
"Web Therapy" (11 p.m., Showtime). Lisa Kudrow plays a self-professed therapist who treats patients via a web camera in this new comedy.
"South Beach Tow" (10 p.m., TruTV). Being a tow-truck driver in South Beach isn't all glamour, you know. This reality series shows you the gritty side of the business.
"Heat Seekers" (10 p.m., Food Network). Chefs Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking tour the country to find the spiciest foods.