Jesse Pinkman rides ‘El Camino’ to Some Long Overdue Closure

Fun story… I didn’t really get into Breaking Bad until it was already over. It was one of those series that I just never started, but after everyone and their mother and their mother’s dog raved about what a great show it was, I started binging the show on Netflix and was hooked.

Yeah, many of the surprises had been spoiled for me, but it was still an absolutely riveting ride from beginning to end and, hey… I even liked The Fly episode. Die mad about it.

I do remember, however, watching the final episode as Jesse rode away into that night and into freedom thinking, “Hey, this looks like a happy ending and all, but this kid is screwed no matter what.” He’s wanted by the FBI, probably going to be chased down by the cops, and he’s not that bright… there’s no way that Jesse is getting a happy ending after the final episode. It’s too bad we’re never going to find out what happened to him.”

And then, El Camino came along and we get just that… Jesse Pinkman post escape from the cartel, walled in on every side, and trying to break away from everything else. Poor Jesse is damaged, he’s desperate, and even though he’s a criminal dug addict meth cooker, you love him, you want him to succeed… you want him to get out.

One part fan service, one part epilogue, and one part Breaking Bad series finale part two, El Camino is a story of desperately looking for a second chance to start over. Does Jesse deserve a second chance? That’s up to people much wiser than me to argue until the heat death of the universe. Personally, I’m glad for this movie not only because it’s closure for Jesse’s character, but in many ways, the ending is more definitive and, yes… even more hopeful.

Breaking Bad is all about how a good man goes bad… El Camino is the hope that there is still a tomorrow even for the worst of us. Yes, you have to fight and claw your way there, but if you want it badly enough it’s there for the taking.

Something about that resonates. I’ve never cooked meth that you know of, I’ve never killed anyone that I know of, and I’ve never been kidnapped by Mexican cartels unless you count that one time, but the message of this movie… that hope that there is always a chance, hits home and Aaron Paul’s brilliant performance in this movie makes it an all-engrossing experience.

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