El Camino

Is this a prequel or a postquel, I wondered, until the movie threw me into a Breaking Bad recap which I badly needed but basically indicated that the movie would pick up where the show left off – why else refresh events? In fact the movie picks up exactly where the show left off, with Walt dead and Jesse driving off madly, and I do mean madly, in an El Camino (says Sean – I can only identify it as far as subcategory “real ugly car”).

This story is told in two parts: the immediate minutes and days following the show’s big shoot-out finale, during which Jesse Pinkman has been liberated from his cage and is finally free from Walter White’s tyranny and all the fallout, and in flashbacks to the time of his captivity leading up to the show’s finale. I found it really difficult to tell the difference between the two despite Sean constantly reminding me “he has a beard!” (which means it’s a flashback”) or “no beard” when it wasn’t. I really should have been able to pick up on that myself, it’s a pretty handy little metric, but it was embarrassingly challenging for me. I’m much more confident in your own ability to keep things straight.

Now truth be told, I needed more than just a 30 second recap. I either have a “piss poor” memory or a “craptastic” one – I can never remember which – but either way, I meant to look up like a nice, meaty 20 minute supercut on Youtube and I guess I forgot to do that too. I annoyed the heck out of the Sean with two main questions that I ran on a loop: who is that guy, and isn’t he dead?

Anyway, poor Jesse survives Walter White, survives cooking in captivity, survives crooked cops and coked up ghosts only to come up $1800 short for taking the Saul Goodman ultimate escape plan route. That’s a tough break after 5 straight seasons worth of bad luck on AMC. Jesse Pinkman arguably deserves a break, but El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie isn’t about to give him one.

It’s kind of nice, after 6 years, to get another little taste of the blue stuff. It’s also nice to revisit old friends. Breaking Bad ended on a bloody and dark note, so it’s kind of nice to have this caveat on a story many of us followed obsessively. Aaron Paul is better than ever and writer-director Vince Gilligan insists on giving us an authentic Breaking Bad experience. While not exactly essential, it’s a nice addition to the canon and proves that every once in a while, you can go home again.

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16 thoughts on “El Camino

  1. Snoskred

    I loved every minute of it. 🙂 But then I did write an entire blog devoted to the show, so I might be a little biased.

    If it is time for a rewatch, you can drop by rewatch breaking bad – I have added the links to the insider podcast for each episode (they start part way through season two) and if you never listened to those trust me, do yourself a favour and listen. Vince Gilligan appears on every single one, there are a lot of cast members and crew members and I learned so much about television from that podcast. They also do a podcast for Better Call Saul.

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  2. selizabryangmailcom

    Good to know. End of Breaking Bad left me with an unsatisfied feeling like with The Sopranos,
    Seinfeld, Cheers (going WAY back, now forward again) and, of course, Game of Thrones, with one of the worst of all possible finales to a series imaginable.

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  3. Ronnie

    I watched a recap on YouTube of the last episode of Breaking Bad before I watched El Camino. I would have been too confused if I hadn’t. I often find flashbacks to be a bit confusing, but I was alright with the flashbacks on El Camino. I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

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  4. Invisibly Me

    I spotted that this had just been released on Netflix & regretted not getting Netflix for this month, but I’m so looking forward to it! It’s that sense of nostalgia and ‘coming home’ to these guys. I also have a craptastic memory but I’m not too worried, I’ll forget everything that happens in El Camino shortly after watching it anyway 😂
    Caz xx

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