Spoilers ahead for Vince Gilligan's El Camino. Breaking Bad includes many discreet connections that reward the most dedicated of viewers. All the Breaking Bad Easter eggs in tie the sequel back to the hit series in lots of unexpected ways. The Netflix film follows Aaron Paul's Jesse immediately after the events of the El Camino Breaking Bad finale, which aired in 2013. With six years to reflect on how Jesse Pinkman's story would end, there was plenty of time to craft the perfect callbacks to the original AMC series. These Breaking Bad references are bolstered even further by the inclusion of some fan-favorite characters, making for a truly crowd-pleasing finale for Jesse.
While plenty of
Breaking Bad characters are missing from El Camino, the ones that appear are the ones who've most impacted Jesse's life. Paul's Jesse Pinkman, Charles Baker's Skinny Pete, Matt Jones' Badger, Larry Hankin's Old Joe, and Jonathan Banks' Mike Ehrmantraut were all confirmed ahead of the film's premiere. But surprise (but highly-anticipated) cameos include Jesse Plemons as Todd, Krysten Ritter as Jane, and Bryan Cranston, of course, as Walt. Along with character returns, creator Vince Gilligan sprinkled nods to his Emmy-winning series throughout the film for one final farewell. Because, even though there's more Better Call Saul to come, El Camino is the end of the road for Jesse.
The opening scene of
El Camino has Mike and Jesse meeting up in a flashback where they both decide to leave the meth cooking operation. The location? The riverbank where Mike dies after Walt shot him. Turns out, Mike is the one who gave Jesse the idea to go to Alaska.
"It's the last frontier," Mike tells him. "Up there you can be anything you want."
When Jesse gets to Alaska, his license plate fittingly says, "The last frontier."
The Real-Life Locations Of Saul's Office And Los Pollos Hermanos
The movie pays homage to some of the Albuquerque, New Mexico, locations where
Breaking Bad filmed. The Mexican fast food restaurant Twisters, which filled in for Los Pollos Hermanos, and the strip mall where Saul Goodman's office was located are featured while Jesse sleeps at Skinny Pete's.
Jesse calls on Old Joe from the junkyard to help him dispose of Todd's El Camino. Joe reflects on the time Jesse came up with the idea to use a super-powered magnet to wipe Gus Fring's laptop clean while it was held in evidence by the authorities. In the Season 5 premiere, Jesse had triumphantly screamed, "Yeah, bitch! Magnets!" when his plan worked, and it clearly left a good impression on Old Joe.
Skinny Pete And Badger To The Rescue
While Skinny Pete and Badger were never the most skilled of sidekicks, they were usually down to help Jesse in any way they could.
El Camino is no exception, as the pair get Jesse back on his feet after escaping the gang's compound. Skinny Pete, in particular, comes up with a plan to get Jesse back on the road and offers to take heat from the DEA directly.
"Dude, you're my hero and sh*t," Skinny Pete tells Jesse before he departs.
Todd And "The Little Boy"
Plemons reprises his role of Todd Alquist in flashbacks. Jesse remembers the time Todd let him out of his cage to enlist his help in burying the body of his housekeeper, Sonia. Todd threatens Jesse by reminding him that he will "have to visit the little boy," if Jesse escapes — referencing Andrea's son Brock. Todd killed Andrea in front of Jesse the other time he tried to escape, so this keeps him in line. When Jesse gets to Alaska, he sends a farewell letter to just one person — Brock.
Disposing Of Dead Bodies
The way Jesse helps Todd dispose of his housekeeper's body is reminiscent of Jesse trying to take care of Emilio's body back in Season 1. Jesse clumsily dropped Emilio's body from the RV into his driveway (all with the pressure of Skyler White approaching). In the movie, he drops Sonia out the window into the driveway. While possibly not a direct reference, it may remind you of that classic moment.
Holly Avenue And Arroz Road
Gilligan previously teased this Easter Egg to
The Hollywood Reporter. Todd's apartment is located at the intersection of Holly Avenue and Arroz Road. Holly was not only the name of Walter White's daughter — it's also the name of Gilligan's longtime partner, Holly Rice. "Arroz" means "rice" in Spanish, so Todd's apartment location is a shoutout to the Breaking Bad creator's girlfriend.
Jesse finds a tarantula in a cage in Todd's "bitchin'" bedroom. The
tarantula is the one that Drew Sharp — the boy that Todd killed during the train heist — found in the desert. This murder was what made Jesse quit the meth game and when Jesse returns to Todd's apartment after the gang is dead, he makes sure to feed the spider.
The Todd And Lydia Snow Globe
In Todd's bedroom after his death, viewers get a better glimpse of his snow globe collection. Apparently, a snow globe creator, Todd's devotion to Lydia is on full display when Casey finds a snow globe depicting the pair meeting up in the café to discuss their meth empire. Lydia is appropriately sitting in a teacup, the very thing she drank from that caused her death. (A radio report notes that Lydia is in critical condition and not expected to survive.)
Jesse skipped out on his first opportunity to get to Alaska via Ed Galbraith's Best Quality Vacuum company when he realized Walt had, in fact, poisoned Brock. He finds Ed (Robert Forster) by going through all the vacuum repair companies in the phonebook (phonebooks were still kind of a thing in 2010). Ed, who "disappeared" both Walt and Saul, won't relocate Jesse until he pays for the previous trip and the current one in full. Jesse quotes himself when he confirms that Ed will move him once he has the money: "A deal's a deal? Your word is your bond?"
Jesse's parents Adam (Michael Bofshever) and Diane Pinkman (Tess Harper) plead on the news for their son to turn himself in. But, like he had done before, Jesse steals from his parents to ensure his escape to Alaska. He uses his brother Jake's birthday to break into the family safe and obtain two guns.
After Jesse runs into Neil Kandy (Scott MacArthur) at Todd's apartment, he remembers how the welder was involved in torturing him while he was imprisoned. As he waits to get money back from Neil, Jesse gently plays with a beetle like he did in Season 2's "Peekaboo." He doesn't hurt it, proving that Jesse still refuses to kill the innocent — but the same can't be said for the guilty.
The Old West Style Shootout
Breaking Bad has been referred to as "neo-Western." So it's only appropriate that El Camino features an Old West-style shootout between Jesse and Neil Kandy. Jesse channels a fast-drawing gunslinger when he kills Neil with his second secret gun.
Actor David Mattey has appeared in
Better Call Saul as Man Mountain. In El Camino, he plays Clarence, who delivers the sex workers to Neil Kandy and his crew. If he's the same character, it looks like he's changed his line of work slightly since the Better Call Saul days.
While Jesse doesn't proclaim his famous line, he does use his significant knowledge of science to blow up Kandy's Welding Company.
Cranston's Walter White returns in a scene from the early days of his and Jesse's partnership. Within this flashback, Jesse utters his famous, "Yeah, bitch!" as he loads up on the salad bar at the Owl Cafe. The RV is visible in the parking lot and Mr. White's warped view of the meth game is on full display when he tells Jesse he is lucky because, "You didn't have to wait your whole life to do something special."
Ritter also makes a triumphant return as Jesse's girlfriend Jane, who Walt let die of a drug overdose. Once safely in the quiet state of Alaska, Jesse thinks about the time they discussed free will. She tells him, "I've gone where the universe takes me my whole life. It's better to make those decisions for myself." Now, peacefully in Alaska away from Mr. White and his past crimes, Jesse can finally make his own destiny.
The end credits song, "Static on the Radio" is by none other than Jim White, so Jesse can't escape the surname forever. But
El Camino with all its Breaking Bad connections confirms that Jesse Pinkman, aka Mr. Driscoll, is finally free.