SPOILERS ahead from El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
Toward the end of El Camino, we finally get a flashback cameo from Breaking Bad's Walter White, and he has a key line to Jesse Pinkman that resonated strongly with Walt actor Bryan Cranston.
Walt and Aaron Paul's Jesse Pinkman have breakfast in a diner, and it's clear the conversation is happening early in their Breaking Bad working relationship -- during one of the good times, after a successful cook, giving them both a chance to think about the future. Walt was coughing, and the assumption was still that he would die from his cancer, leaving his money to his family. But what about Jesse? Would he go to college? What would he do next after they sold the batch? Walt wanted to know.
Walt also wanted to share his envy, and it surprised Jesse when Walt gave his young drug protege a wistful look and shared these words:
Entertainment Weekly asked Bryan Cranston about that line, and he too found it very interesting:
Fascinating. It really was a perfect line to sum up Walter White's ethos at the time -- and actually throughout the rest of Breaking Bad from there. El Camino writer/director Vince Gilligan gave credit where it was due, saying the line came from producer Melissa Bernstein, who suggested the scene should have more meaning than just fan service:
I'm glad Vince Gilligan had a strong team to watch his back while he made El Camino. He almost ended the movie with Jesse Pinkman in jail until the Better Call Saul team (and his own girlfriend) convinced him that was a bad idea. I'm also glad Gilligan is willing to listen to the ideas of others, since ultimately it was his call.
Vince Gilligan continued to EW on how that line in the diner scene took shape and what it said about Walter White's mindset:
Yes, right after Walter White's line to Jesse, Jesse gives an incredulous look -- that's the screenshot above -- and then the scene cuts to Alaska, where Jesse prepares to start his new life. Maybe he will go to college and study sports medicine or business. He can start fresh.
Jesse also ends the movie by giving vacuum salesman/disappearing maestro Ed (RIP Robert Forster) a letter for young Brock. Aaron Paul said he was disappointed that the movie cut out the voiceover that was originally planned to reveal the full contents of the letter. He gave a hint to what's in there, though.
Did you spot all of the Breaking Bad characters in El Camino? What other TV shows should get movies after Breaking Bad? Between El Camino and the Downton Abbey movie's success, you know more are coming.
Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.
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