Is Walter White in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie? An often-asked question since it was first learned series creator Vince Gilligan was revisiting Breaking Bad with a sequel movie answering what happened to Aaron Paul’s fugitive Jesse Pinkman after the events of the series finale, Bryan Cranston’s Walter White, a.k.a. Heisenberg, is dead. “Felina” ended with Walt, struck by a stray bullet, collapsing in a meth lab after taking revenge against gang leader Jack (Michael Bowen) for the murder of DEA agent brother-in-law Hank (Dean Norris). Despite making the deal that led to Jesse’s six-month stint in captivity as a slave forced to produce high-quality meth for Jack’s gang, Walter saved his former high school chemistry student, who was last seen speeding away behind the wheel of an El Camino.
The release of El Camino on Friday ends Cranston’s year-long teasing of his involvement with the movie. The star has played coy, even amid early rumors claiming Cranston was returning alongside Paul in the Breaking Bad movie then known only as “Greenbrier.” Series creator and writer-director Vince Gilligan’s passion project was so secretive the media didn’t learn of its existence until shooting had already wrapped; using crew from prequel/spinoff/sequel series Better Call Saul, Gilligan filmed El Camino in complete secrecy across a three-month shoot in New Mexico.
Acknowledging Walt’s death in the series finale, Cranston once quipped on NBC’s Today, “Are they gonna show me on a slab or something?” In June, Cranston slyly stated he could “pop up” as a corpse, telling ET Walter White could return through “a flashback, or a flash forward. I’m still dead, Walter White, I don’t know what [could happen].”
In El Camino, Jesse is a person of interest in relation to the Heisenberg case, the largest meth operation in U.S. history. Barely one step ahead of the New Mexico police, former drug-slinging associates Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) and Badger (Matt Jones) hide Jesse on the same night Walt was discovered dead by police. In desperate need of cash to pay the fee demanded by disappearer Ed (Robert Forster), Jesse confronts shady welder Neil (Scott MacArthur), who once helped rig Jesse’s metal leash during his time as Jack’s slave.
Forced to kill Neil and hanger-on Casey (Scott Shepherd) in a western-like shootout, Jesse flashes back to a never-before-seen memory set after the four-day “cookout” he spent with Walt, where the pair holed up in the desert in the RV that doubled as their meth lab.
In this flashback set after Season 2 episode “4 Days Out,” during which time Jesse is one half of a happy couple with Jane (Krysten Ritter), Jesse recovers from being stranded in the desert along with a cancer-stricken Walt, who is overcome by a coughing fit.
Jesse tells Walt to eat and hydrate, but Walt’s preoccupied with their freshly-cooked batch of meth. Walt is disheartened when Jesse tells him it will take “six months, maybe more” to sell off the batch, netting them each $672,000.
“There’s no one you can think of who might buy the entire amount?” Walt asks.
“Someone with a spare $1.3 million laying around? No, can’t say that I do,” Jesse answers, turning serious. “Your family is gonna get every dime they got coming to ‘em, Mr. White. No matter how long it takes.”
Walt nods. He asks what’s next for Jesse. College? After laughing it off, Jesse considers sports medicine. Walt tells his former student his business acumen as a drug dealer makes him a natural for business and marketing. Walt, still distant, stares out at their bullet riddled RV: duct tape covers up the five bullet holes that act as a reminder of a dangerous encounter with Emilio (John Koyama) and Krazy-8 (Maximino Arciniega) during Walt and Jesse’s first RV cook (in the Breaking Bad pilot).
Still reflective, Walt tells Jesse, “You’re really lucky, you know that? You didn’t have to wait your whole life to do something special.”0comments
With that, Jesse is back in the present. The ABQ is left behind for good as Jesse looks out on Alaska, the last frontier. From behind the wheel of a vehicle less flashy than an ill-gotten El Camino, Jesse drives off for his new life: one far from Walter White and the great Heisenberg.
The Netflix Television Event El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie reunites fans with Jesse Pinkman (Emmy-winner Aaron Paul). In the wake of his dramatic escape from captivity, Jesse must come to terms with his past in order to forge some kind of future. This gripping thriller is written and directed by Vince Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad. The movie is produced by Mark Johnson, Melissa Bernstein, Charles Newirth, Diane Mercer and Aaron Paul, in association with Sony Pictures Television.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is now streaming on Netflix.