As if Jesse driving off into the sunset in the finale of Breaking Bad just wasn’t enough for fans, it was only a matter of time until Vince Gilligan dreamed up an ingenious way to suitably tie up the show’s one loose end. With there being so many fascinating and beloved characters in the series—albeit many of them having been killed off—the announcement of the movie had people guessing about who was going to show up and how they were going to show up.
The movie is made up of equal parts fan service and introducing fascinating new characters that build on the ever-expanding world of Breaking Bad. Now being more than a year removed since the movie first hit Netlfix, El Camino still holds up as an exciting and emotional epilogue to Jesse’s story, and it features so jaw-dropping scene that rival those of the show.
The Walt Flashback
Though the scene isn’t particularly necessary, fans would have freaked out if Heisenberg himself didn’t appear in the movie in one form or another. In the flashback, which takes place during the season two episode of Breaking Bad titled “4 Days Out” after they have cooked over $1 million worth of crystal meth, Jesse and Walter have a bonding moment.
Jesse promises that Walt’s family will get his money if the worst does happen to the former chemistry teacher following his cancer diagnosis. It’s one of the best Walter and Jesse father/son moments, even if Cranston’s bald cap is distracting.
Burying The Body
With Todd being the complete psychopath that he is, he lets Jesse out of his cage for one afternoon to get him to help dispose of a dead body of a maid he had killed in order to keep a secret which he had wrapped up in bin bags in his apartment.
The whole scene is equally hilarious and terrifying, as it shows just out of touch with human beings Todd really is. From the character singing upbeat songs in his car without a care in the world while Jesse is hiding in the back with a dead body to trying to persuade Jesse not to kill him by promising pizza and ice-cream, Todd is completely insane.
The Convoy Of Cops
As Jesse leaves Skinny Pete’s house after trading cars, Jesse is in traffic while a whole convoy of cops passes by in the opposite lane. There are literally around 30 vehicles that speed passed, and the number of cars that speed by helps to show the incredible scope of the meth empire that was created by his former partner. Moments like this are consistent throughout the whole movie, and they remind viewers just how much of a wanted man Jesse really is.
Badger And Skinny Pete
Being two of the best recurring characters in the show, this scene might be Skinny Pete’s most shining moment in the Breaking Bad universe. It’s an emotive scene that’s still full of laughs, Jesse shows up in need at his doorstep, and Skinny feels the brotherly urge to take care of him.
The scene not only has terrific moments from Badger, but Old Joe, the owner of the junkyard, has a great appearance, too. One of the best and most subtle moments comes when Jesse turns down a joint offered to him by Skinny, as his struggle to overcome his drug addiction is one of the saddest things about Jesse.
The Mike Flashback
As the movie is full of flashbacks, the very first one that opens the movie might just be the best. Walter might have always given Jesse advice, but that advice was always based on what Walter wanted him to do.
However, Mike has only ever had Jesse’s best interests in mind when giving him advice, and, in the final few episodes of the show, the ex-cop became something of a father figure to Jesse. It’s an uplifting scene, one of the very few in the movie, and rewatching it makes fans crave the potentially incredible spin-off idea even more.
There are a couple of different scenes that take place in Todd’s apartment, and, with one being a flashback, they are neatly intertwined with one another.
First of all, Todd’s apartment is every bit as weirdly creepy as we would have assumed. It’s clean, but something feels a little off, and it totally feels like a serial killer’s apartment. He even keeps the spider that he took from the child he murdered in “Dead Freight.” That interweaves with Jesse tearing the place apart in search of Todd’s money he knows is hidden in there, and it’s a great homage to The French Connection.
The Vacuum Store
The vacuum store holds a great place in Breaking Bad lore, as it’s always talked about, but rarely ever seen. Being run by Ed (Robert Forster), the actor plays the role incredibly well, and he’s one of the actors you forgot was in Breaking Bad.
As Ed has the power to completely change Jesse’s identity and make him disappear from Albuquerque without a trace, he won’t do it for less than the agreed price, which leads to typically clever and hilarious Breaking Bad bickering between the two of them.
The Welding Flashback
The expansive world is one of the reasons Breaking Bad is the best crime show, as it features so many fronts for crime syndicates, whether it’s the vacuum store, Madrigal, or the criminal lawyer himself, Saul Goodman.
The world keeps building in El Camino with the Kandy Welding Company. After the incredible, heart-pumping sequence where Jesse believes Neil and Casey are cops, he recognizes the Kandy Welding logo on their truck. It flashbacks back to Neil welding together the meth lab where Jesse was trapped for months. When it cuts back to the present, Neil looks all smug and says, “I was wondering when you’d remember,” and it’s truly heartbreaking.
Being the big third act of the movie, it literally comes down to a stand-off, just as it would in a western movie. It’s just as intense as anything from the show, but, before Neil has a chance to draw his gun, Jesse shoots him with a second hidden gun from his pocket.
Though it was a surprise to many, this would have been predictable to the biggest Breaking Bad fans, as the show has never held back from foreshadowing, and, when Jesse holds the two guns in the scene beforehand, it’s a dead giveaway. Nevertheless, it’s so satisfying, as Neil is the last person who helped towards Jesse’s caged life, and he finally got what he deserved.
As Ed drops Jesse off in Alaska, the very place Mike told him he should retire to two hours earlier, the character embraces how quiet it is with a moment of reflection. He then gives Ed a letter to send to Brock, the son of Jesse’s ex-girlfriend who was murdered by Todd. As Jesse gets in a car, the movie ends just as it begins, with him driving away and leaving everything in the past, and it’s the most satisfying conclusion there could have been.