On the Road With El Camino- Five Questions

It’s been six years since we watched Jesse Pinkman hop in that el Camino, burst through that chain link fence as if the devil was chasing him, putting Walter White in his rearview and looking for some semblance of freedom., At the very least, a life where he wouldn’t be the meth chef captive of a group of neo-Nazis. Freedom is such a tricky word in the Breaking Bad universe and knowing what we know it may seem relatively impossible for Jesse Pinkman to be free. Fair or not, he now enters a world where he’ll be the number one suspect to the murders committed by Walt at the compound. There’s no doubt his fingerprints are alllll over that crime scene which immediately makes him a person of interest for the police. On top of that, whatever deal he may have had with Hank is all but nonexistent at this point. Don’t forget that Hank never took his findings to the DEA, outside of Gomez, and they would have no knowledge of Pinkman’s cooperation. With Walter White dead, pinning everything on Heisenberg would be a bit of a law enforcement let down. “We got him but he’s dead so he can’t be tried for his crimes”. Wouldn’t you think the sidekick, “junkie” sous chef would make for a victory in the court of public opinion? A face to put to the chaos left in Walter White’s wake. Life may have been terrible as a captive to Uncle Jack and Todd but it’s sure as hell isn’t about to get any less stressful. Out of the fire and into the frying pan as the saying goes as Jesse Pinkman’s freedom may seem short-lived if it’s even freedom at all. One last parting gift from the great Heisenberg.

After six years of wondering what exactly happened to Jesse Pinkman, we are now only three days away from finding out. El Camino is tearing down the turnpike and seventy-two hours away from bursting through our screens. The Breaking Bad addendum that we didn’t know we needed is almost here and we’ll soon have all the answers. Where those answers leave us is a whole different discussion. But as we wait these three days out like Huell in the safe house maybe we should start thinking about the questions. Maybe we should focus on maybe… five questions?

That’s right, a new edition of Five Questions starts now as we continue to mentally prepare ourselves for the arrival of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie and what better question to kick things of with than the one that is clearly at the front of everyone’s mind…

Will Walter White appear? 

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Not to answer a question with another question buuuut is it even a Breaking Bad story without the presence of Walter White? Just because Walter White is dead, and yes he is very much dead as confirmed by Vince Gilligan yesterday on The Rich Eisen Show, doesn’t mean his presence won’t be felt. Everything that has happened to Jesse across these five seasons has been a result of his connection with Heisenberg so it would be almost naïve to think that Walter White won’t appear in this movie. The bigger question becomes “how”. We saw in the finale that in order to mentally escape his captivity, Jesse would fantasize about being in a woodshop carving, something he loved as a high schooler before drugs pulled him in another direction. Is it possible that Jesse’s mind will conjure a vision of Walt for guidance? Almost like a devil on the shoulder? Or a way of venting frustration and fear? Because despite how terribly their relationship fell apart there is still a bond between both men. It’s clear that Mr. White isn’t the father figure Jesse so desperately needed, unless this was all some extreme tough love, but the connection is still there. I can see Jesse turning to “Walt” in time of need or blame.

A Walter White vision maybe stretch and could lead to too much Heisenberg. Even though Walter White is directly responsible for everything that’s happening this is still Jesse’s story and he should be the sole focus. Seeing Mr. White again will be cool but shouldn’t distract from the overall narrative of the film so maybe we’re looking at a flashback here. Kind of like the opening of “Ozymandias” where we saw the two cooking together in simpler times. Perhaps there is a moment out in the desert we have yet to see. A moment that will propel Jesse forward in his post compound life. As much as Walter manipulated and used Jesse there were some genuine care and advice given throughout the series. Think back to Walt digging Jesse out of the meth house after Jane died. That hug was genuine and perhaps there’s another moment like that waiting to be discovered. Either way, I would be shocked if Heisenberg doesn’t appear on our screens on October 11th.

With Better Call Saul expanding the Breaking Bad Universe is it possible for El Camino to tie into that series?

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The most obvious answer here would be to tie Saul and El Camino together through the use of Gene, the Better Call Saul black and white openers that take place in a post Breaking Bad world. Depending on what happens to Jesse, wouldn’t it make a fantastic post-credit scene? Jesse stopping in at that Cinnabon and locking eyes with Saul? You could have the fallout of that spiral through Better Call Saul. Jesse leaves to go further down the road and Saul continues to fall deeper and deeper into his paranoia. 

At this point, this has just become some unwritten fanfic of mine that’ll I’ll probably never get to see outside of the inside of my head. What if there’s another Better Call Saul connection that could surface through El Camino? Ever since Saul started I have worried about the fate of Kim Wexler, played by the underappreciated, always fantastic Rhea Seehorn. She is a major character who is oddly missing from the Breaking Bad timeline. Is she dead? Is she in jail? Did she move? Where is Kim and please tell me that she’s alright. I spend every Better Call Saul finale stressing on her outcome but wouldn’t it be something if she popped up in El Camino

With Jesse on the run and the cops questioning his associates like Skinny Pete, if Pinkman was to get caught he would certainly need a lawyer. And chances are Jesse will have no money and no Saul so the court would most likely appoint him an attorney. The last we saw of Kim she was hovering around the courts helping clients who couldn’t afford proper legal representation. What if this is the career path Kim Wexler sticks with and what if somewhere down the line she finds herself representing Jesse Pinkman? I’d like Jesse’s chances in Kim’s hands.

Now that he’s free, what is Jesse’s endgame?

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There is no denying that Jesse Pinkman has been through the wringer. Spending the last year as a tortured, meth-cooking hostage to a group of neo-Nazis seems to be a heavy price to pay for being associated with Heisenberg. At this point his scars have scars. With his newfound “freedom” what will Jesse’s plan of attack be? There was a time where he was looking to start a new life in Alaska but it seems that minivan has sailed. There’s no denying that he’ll be hunted by the police now. We know that Jesse thinks of himself as the “bad guy” so it’s possible that he’s willing to accept his fate with the law, but something tells me that he still has some loose ends to wrap up.

Loose ends like making sure that Mike’s granddaughter gets the money that was intended to be left behind for her. Loose ends like sending money to the murdered kid from the train heist. Providing he was able to stash any of his money before shit hit the fan. Jesse’s heart is his biggest strength, and sometimes his largest weakness and his loyalty to Mike will leave him wanting to make good on making sure his granddaughter is taken care of. That it wasn’t all for nothing.

There is a chance that maybe Jesse will aim at taking down the rest of this neo-Nazi meth empire. It is possible that there are other people in Uncle Jack’s crew besides the ones Walt wiped out. Maybe Jesse will want to purge the world of the blue crystal. Perhaps the law isn’t the only one hunting Jesse now. This could possibly explain the man with the warped hand from the trailer… maybe.

Or maybe Jesse has another plan…

Will Jesse come for Brock?

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It seems that all of Jesse’s romantic relationships have been destined to turn to ash. Jane overdosed while Walter watched her die. Andrea was killed on her doorstep in an attempt to force Jesse to become submissive to his new life. It’s like he said way back in “One Minute”, ever since Heisenberg came into his life everything has turned to garbage. He has nothing… except maybe Brock. 

If there was any glimmer of hope in Jesse’s life it would be reestablishing a relationship with Brock. Who knows what happened to the kid after his mother was killed. It certainly seemed that Andrea’s family wasn’t without its share of drama, her brother peddled meth (literally) and killed Combo, which makes it possible that Brock was put into the foster system. I don’t see Jesse being able to adopt Brock, being on the run doesn’t help his chances, which means he could be adding kidnapping to a list of already growing charges. Seems unlikely though.

What we do know about Jesse Pinkman though is that he has a soft spot for the kids in his life. Way back in season one he took the hit for his younger brother when their father discovered a joint. In “Peekaboo”, Jesse made every effort to shelter the child of the meth heads from the horrors of that house. Even going so far as leaving the kid outside waiting for the police so he didn’t see his father’s head squashed by an ATM machine. Hell, Jesse broke his sobriety to avenge Andrea’s brother and kill the dealers before being bailed out by Walt’s car. Jesse has shown time and time again that children matter to him. It’s almost this quest he has to prevent them from becoming him. Do I think that Jesse will be reunited with Brock? No. Do I think he’ll try and leave him something behind like money or a place to find Jesse when he’s old enough? That seems more like Jesse’s speed, and more than a little Shawshank like, and hopefully enough to give Jesse a little peace.

Badger and Skinny Pete will be there, so, who else from Breaking Bad is going to show up?

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Vince Gilligan has been on record saying that there will be ten returning characters from Breaking Bad in El Camino. With the inclusion of Badger and Skinny Pete, we’re down to eight. Then factor in a certain actor, who will remain nameless because of spoilers, admitted they were in the film and we’re down to seven. If we count question one then it’s a pretty good chance we see Walter White and now we’re down to six. If I was a betting man, I’d say the majority of the characters we see will be in flashback form. Maybe we get something with Todd and Uncle Jack torturing Jesse. Perhaps something triggers a Jane memory. I’m thinking we might see the cop who arrested Badger back in the day. The one from Road Trip who said he wasn’t a cop. Marie is a top candidate too as I can see Jesse seeking her out in his possible apology tour or maybe he left what’s left of his money in the guest room. Purple attire or not, I don’t think Marie will be all that welcoming.

But, I think it would be something special if we could see Skyler and Walt Jr. one last time. While it’s not vital to this particular story, I would like to see them learning of Walt’s fate. Hearing that it’s all over now. I think they’ve earned that sense of closure and we should be assured in knowing they received it. And a fun fact, Skyler has appeared in every Breaking Bad episode except “The Fly” so her presence is almost as automatic as Walter White. 

Bonus- Did Huell ever leave the safe house?

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Seriously, if we don’t get the answer to this was the movie even worth it?

In three days, we’ll have all these answers and closure to Jesse Pinkman’s story. Three short days until the next chapter in the Breaking Bad saga. I expect an RV sized amount of feels to accompany my El Camino viewing. How about you Geeklings? What are your biggest questions heading into El Camino? Be sure to sound off in the comments or throw me a line over on Twitter @iamgeek32. It’ll be nothing but Breaking Bad/El Camino all week so feel free to stop by and chat it up. We can get through this together… bitches.

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