El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie  (simply known as El Camino) is a television film sequel to Breaking Bad written, directed, and executive produced by Vince Gilligan and starring Aaron Paul, as part of Gilligan's overall deal with Sony Pictures Television.
The film chronicles the escape of 26-year-old Jesse Pinkman from captivity, directly following the events of the Breaking Bad . It was released on Netflix on October 11, 2019, and on Blu-Ray and DVD in October 2020.
In an opening flashback, Jesse Pinkman meets with Mike Ehrmantraut on the bank of a river and tells him that he has decided to leave the drug business. They ask each other what they plan to do with the money they have collected. Mike says that if he were Jesse's age, he would move to Alaska and start his life anew. Jesse says that he would try to "set things right", but Mike regretfully tells him that changing his past is the one thing he cannot do.
In the present, immediately after escaping Jack Welker's compound, Jesse speeds away in Todd's El Camino. He is forced to hide in a driveway when he sees a line of police cars heading in his direction. Jesse then drives to Skinny Pete's house, where Skinny Pete and Badger are playing a video game. Skinny Pete initially doesn't recognize Jesse due to his haggard appearance. The duo help Jesse hide the El Camino and give him food and a place to sleep.
The following day, Skinny Pete and Badger are watching a news conference about the previous night's shooting when Jesse wakes and suffers a traumatic flashback to his captivity at the compound. In a panic, Jesse pulls his gun on Skinny Pete and Badger. The duo calm Jesse down and persuade him to take a shower and shave. Realizing that he has to leave Albuquerque, Jesse tears a page from Skinny Pete's phone book and contacts Old Joe, with the aim of getting rid of the El Camino.
Old Joe initially agrees to remove the El Camino, but the car's anti-theft device is activated, which law enforcement will trace. Old Joe flees. Thinking quickly, Skinny Pete comes up with a plan to distract the police by having Badger dump Pete's Ford Thunderbird near the Mexican border while Jesse is given Badger's Pontiac Fiero to escape. Skinny Pete further gives Jesse some cash and his hat to disguise himself. As Jesse drives away, he sees a massive police convoy driving in the opposite direction towards Skinny Pete's house.
In another flashback, Jesse sits in his cage at the compound when Todd Alquist enlists his help with an errand. The two drive to Todd's apartment, where Jesse helps Todd fit a truck canopy onto the El Camino. Inside, Jesse sees the body of Todd's cleaning lady, Sonia, who Todd murdered after she discovered drug money stashed inside one of his hollowed-out encyclopedias. Todd tells Jesse that he has an idea for a new hiding spot in the apartment for his money. The pair roll up Sonia's body in a carpet and bury it in a remote part of the desert. Jesse finds Todd's gun in his glove box and threatens him with it, but Todd manages to calmly talk him down from using it.
Back in the present, Jesse listens to a radio report about an unidentified woman whose fatal poisoning has been attributed to Walter White. Jesse drives to Todd's apartment, where he narrowly avoids being seen by a neighbor as he uses Todd's keys to enter. Jesse sees his mother and father being interviewed on television, urging him to turn himself in. He spends the entire night ransacking the apartment, but initially fails to find Todd's hiding spot. It is not until early the next morning that Jesse, by luck, discovers that Todd hid the money inside the door to his refrigerator.
Just as Jesse makes this discovery, two men in police jackets, Neil and Casey, arrive at the apartment. Jesse hides beneath an overturned mattress and pulls his gun on Casey, leading to a standoff between himself and Neil with Casey as a hostage. Neil convinces Jesse to surrender, only for Jesse to quickly realize that the two men are not actual cops, but criminals who are also searching for Todd's money. Jesse divulges the location of the money, but is forced to take only a third of it by Neil. After walking out of the apartment with the cash in trash bags, Jesse sees the logo for Neil's welding business on the side of his truck and realizes that he has seen him before at Jack's compound.
Using the torn phone book page, Jesse searches for the "Disappearer" who can secretly transport him out of the city and give him a new life. He comes across Best Quality Vacuum and sees the red minivan he saw in his previous encounter with the Disappearer parked behind the store. Inside, after awkwardly trying to remember the password, Jesse offers $125,000 to the Disappearer, Ed Galbraith, who agrees to help him again on the condition that he produce an additional $125,000 for the previous aborted transport. Unfortunately, Jesse comes up $1,800 short even with the money he got from Skinny Pete and Badger combined with Todd's money. When Ed turns him down, Jesse desperately threatens to stay inside the store until he changes his mind. Ed dials 9-1-1, which Jesse calls as a bluff until a police car pulls up outside. Jesse flees with his money while Ed gives a false description to the responding officers. Jesse phones Ed from his car and promises to get him the agreed-upon amount of money; Ed promises to keep their deal if he does.
That night, at the Pinkman house, Jesse's parents are washing dishes when Jesse calls them on the phone. Jesse tells his parents that they "did their best" and are not at fault for the choices which have brought him to his present situation. He further asks them to pick him up, ostensibly to turn himself in. Once his parents and some plainclothes police are lured away from the house, Jesse sneaks in and steals two guns from a safe in their closet. Before he leaves, Jesse finds the address of Neil's welding business in his parents' phone book. Jesse infiltrates the property right before a group of strippers are driven in to entertain Neil, Casey, and three of their friends.
In another flashback, Neil performs welding work on Jack's meth lab while Jesse, Todd and Kenny look on. Kenny, concerned that Jesse will make another escape attempt, expresses doubt that the metal frame Neil has constructed for Jesse's harness will last. He and Neil make a $50 wager on whether Jesse can break the frame, with Kenny forcing Jesse to run from one end of the lab to the other while still attached to the harness.
In the present, Jesse waits for the strippers to leave before he enters Neil's office and confronts him. Seeing that Jesse is armed with a .22 handgun, Neil agrees to give up his third of Todd's money if Jesse beats him in a duel. However, Neil is unaware of the second gun hidden in Jesse's jacket pocket, and is killed just as he tries to draw. Casey grabs his own weapon and attempts to shoot Jesse, which results in a gun battle that leaves Casey dead. Jesse forces the three remaining men to hand over their drivers' licenses and allows them to flee. Before he leaves with Neil's share of the money, Jesse rigs a bunch of propane tanks to explode, destroying Neil's property and covering his tracks.
In the penultimate flashback, Jesse talks to someone over the phone from a hotel room. He is revealed to be staying in the room next to Walter White's. The pair drive the RV to a cafe and have lunch. Walt is despondent when Jesse tells him that their latest batch of meth will take six months to sell, but Jesse assures him that his family will receive all of the money that is coming to them from the duo's meth cooking. The conversation turns to Jesse's future, with Walt encouraging him to go to college and study business or marketing. Walt tells Jesse that he is lucky that he didn't have to wait his whole life to do "something special."
In the present, Ed drives a moving van to a rest stop in the Alaskan mountains where an SUV is waiting. He collects Jesse and his luggage from a hidden compartment in the back of the van. Before they part, Ed quizzes Jesse on the details of his new identity as "Mr. Driscoll", while Jesse gives Ed a letter addressed to Brock Cantillo. As he drives away, Jesse recalls an earlier conversation with Jane Margolis, in which she disavows her philosophy of "going where the universe takes you" and states that it's better to make decisions for yourself. The film ends with Jesse smiling as he heads toward his new life.
Aaron Paul as Jesse
Larry Hankin as Old Joe
Todd Terry as SAC Ramey
- Vince Gilligan originally conceived the project as a minisode titled "63" that would have been produced for the series' 10th anniversary as a gift to fans, acting as a final 63rd episode of Breaking Bad, but was soon developed into a full episode and then feature length film, to more effectively make use of the cost of assembling a cast and crew.
- The movie was filmed with the working title Greenbriar, named after "Greenbriar the Gnome," a garden gnome in Skinny Pete's backyard that became the crew's mascot after appearing in an early scene that was ultimately cut for time, in which it gets run over and destroyed by the titular El Camino.
- This is perhaps later teased in the Better Call Saul episode, "", where a similar damaged gnome also appears at the end of the episode's teaser.
- Thirteen characters from Breaking Bad appear in El Camino: Jesse Pinkman, Mike Ehrmantraut, Badger, Skinny Pete, SAC Ramey, Old Joe, Todd Alquist, Ed Galbraith, Diane Pinkman, Adam Pinkman, Kenny, Walter White and Jane Margolis. Five characters from Better Call Saul also appear: Ehrmantraut, Galbraith, Suzanne Ericsen, Clarence, and a police officer played by Simon Drobik.
- Currently, Mike and Ed are the only two characters who appear in Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and El Camino.
- Robert Forster, who played Ed Galbraith in Breaking Bad and reprised his role for El Camino, passed away on the same day that El Camino was released: October 11, 2019. Forster's final onscreen appearance in Better Call Saul Season 5's "" was filmed during the El Camino shoot, two months before they began principal photography for the season.
- The news reports allows us to confirm certain facts following "":
- Eight of the nine bodies discovered are those of Jack Welker and his men: Kenny, Todd, Matt, Frankie, Lester and two unnamed members. The last corpse is that of Walter White, who is therefore confirmed dead, if a doubt still persisted.
- Lydia's impending death is confirmed, stating that while she is still alive, she is in critical condition from the ricin poisoning and not expected to survive.
- The authorities have become aware of Jesse's captivity as well as the public at large. Jesse is only listed as a person of interest in the case, suggesting that no official charges have been filed against him or that SAC Ramey didn't want to reveal that they were. He is later called a suspect on the news, but no mention of what charges if any are against him.
- Walt and Jesse's operation is called the largest meth manufacturing operation in US history.
- El Camino contains several flashbacks that take place during Breaking Bad events:
- The flashback with Walt takes place during the episode "", after they get the RV working but before Jesse drops him off at the airport. The RV can be seen in the background during the flashback.
- The flashback with Mike takes place during the episode "", after Walt and Jesse’s cook but before Mike and Jesse announce to Walt they are retiring at Vamonos Pest. Vince Gilligan has also called the flashback a "missing scene" from "".
- The flashback with Todd, Kenny and Neil takes place after "" and after Jesse’s escape attempt, as Kenny mentions that Jesse had already tried to "rabbit" on them once, referring to his escape.
- The multiple flashbacks with Todd and Jesse takes place between "" and "", as Andrea is already dead and Todd threatens to kill Brock next.
- The gun Jesse is armed with through the confrontation with Neil and Casey in Todd's apartment is the same gun from the flashback to burying Sonia's body in the desert. Jesse once again finds it in Todd's glove compartment while hiding from the cops, suggesting Todd never bothered to move the weapon after Jesse nearly shot him.
- Skinny Pete and Badger together having enough money to give Jesse for him to come up with $8,200 separate from Todd's drug money may directly connect to Walter White paying the two each $10,000 the night before in "", for helping him with Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz.
- The fact that there is only $8,200 left suggests that they already spent some of it.
- The $1,800 that Skinny Pete and Badger spend is the same amount of money that Jesse needed when he confronted Ed.
- The fact that there is only $8,200 left suggests that they already spent some of it.
- The release of the film on Netflix was timed so that the lyrics of the song featured in the end credits, "Static on the Radio" by Jim White, "Three A.M. I'm awakened," would coincide with 3:00 AM MST.
- Many Easter eggs referring to Breaking Bad are hiding in El Camino:
- Todd retains in a vivarium the tarantula captured by Drew Sharp.
- Todd has a strange collection of snow globes. One of them represents him with Lydia, sitting on a giant cup of tea, the snow being replaced by rose hearts.
- As in the episode "", Jesse contemplates a beetle and lets it climb on his hand.
- Following the downfall of Gus Fring's empire, the building that used to be the flagship Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant is now used by another restaurant called Twisters.
- After Saul Goodman left Albuquerque, his office was turned into a restaurant called "Duke City Sports Bar."
- Todd's apartment is not far from the intersection of Holly Avenue and Arroz Lane. Holly is the name of the daughter of Walter and Skyler, but it is also the name of the companion of Vince Gilligan, whose name is Rice, Arroz in Spanish.
- Todd’s Vamonos Pest uniform is seen on the floor of his apartment.
- The DVD and Blu-Ray box set contains a number of deleted and extended scenes from the movie:
- An extended version of the opening scene where Jesse hides from the cops in a driveway after escaping from the compound. Jesse has trouble restarting the El Camino and is caught by the irate homeowner. While driving away, Jesse knocks over the man's mailbox.
- An extended version of Skinny Pete and Badger hiding the El Camino in Skinny Pete's backyard, also showing why the El Camino was covered by a tarp the next morning.
- Skinny Pete flushing his drugs, playing video games and preparing his story for the police as well as his arrest.
- Todd and Jesse leaving Jack Welker's Compound and driving through Albuquerque together before Todd makes Jesse hide.
- Jesse setting the explosion at Kandy Welding Co. and then discovering that he was wounded during the gunfight. The scene continues into Ed Galbraith driving to Best Quality Vacuum where he finds Jesse asleep in Badger's car outside. Jesse opens the trunk, revealing the cash inside and Ed takes his gun, puts it into the duffle bag and leads Jesse inside the store, giving him instructions, promising to look at Jesse's wound and offering him a choice of where to relocate to, stating "no guarantees, I'll do what I can." As Ed heads inside, Jesse collapses from the pain of his wound.
- An extended version of Walt and Jesse at the hotel after the events of "" before they head for the diner.
- An extended version of the ending with Jesse and Jane. This version reveals that the reason that Jesse and Jane were stopped while talking in the flashback is that Jesse's car broke down and they were waiting for a tow truck to come and pick them up. During this version of the conversation, Jane initially asks if Jesse is trying to propose to her when he brings up her idea of going wherever the universe takes you.
- “I’d Really Love to See You Tonight” - England Dan & John Ford Coley
- “Sharing the Night Together” - Dr. Hook
- “Spikey” - Red Snapper
- “Curzon” - Demdike Stare
- “Kountry Gentleman” - Family Force 5
- “Call Me the Breeze” - Lynyrd Skynyrd
- “To Sir with Love” - Lulu
- “A Little Bit of Soap” - The Jarmels
- “If I Didn’t Have a Dime” - Ron Moody and the Centaurs
- “Static on the Radio” - Jim White feat. Aimee Mann
- "Black Water" - Reuben and the Dark
- "Enchanted" - Chloe X Halle (original cover)
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