Ending Explained is a recurring series in which we explore the finales, secrets, and themes of interesting movies and shows, both new and old. In this entry, we break down the ending of the Breaking Bad movie, El Camino.
Jesse Pinkman’s journey has come to an end. At least for the time being. Should this really be the final chapter in the character’s story, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (available only on Netflix) ties up some of the series’ loose ends and gives fans some much-needed closure. At the same time, the film leaves the door open for a sequel if that’s something Vince Gilligan and Aaron Paul decide they want to pursue down the line.
In the closing moments of the movie, a continuation of the popular AMC series that ran for five seasons from 2008 to 2013, Jesse (Paul) and Ed the Disappearer (Robert Forster) arrive in Alaska, where the former meth cook is supposed to live out the rest of his days in hiding. He has the opportunity to start over without having to worry about his past. Ed asks Jessie to recite the details of his new identity before he drives off into the snowy terrain.
Jesse hands a letter to Ed, who reads it and says he’ll post it when he’s in Mexico City. The biggest mystery surrounding El Camino’s closing moments is with this letter. It’s addressed to Brock Cantillo, the young son of Jesse’s ex, Andrea. Fans of Breaking Bad will remember how she was murdered back in Season 5. Her death has clearly haunted Jesse ever since.
While the contents of the letter are kept hidden from us, it’s safe to assume that Jesse feels like he owes the child an explanation following the events of the series. Let’s face it: Andrea would still be alive if she’d never met Jesse, and Brock wouldn’t have been poisoned by Walter White, either.
The film reaffirms just how much Jesse cares about Brock. During El Camino’s flashback scenes of his time spent in captivity — where he was forced to cook meth for a white supremacist gang — there is a picture of Andrea and Brock in the lab, put there as a warning that Brock would also be killed if Jesse didn’t cooperate with them.
The letter is Jesse’s final goodbye to Brock. Prior to the ending, he bid his farewells to his remaining friends and family — both real and imaginary. If El Camino truly is the end of Jesse’s story, he’s at least said goodbye to all of the people who matter to him.
Of course, the letter could also be a hint about what we can expect from a potential sequel. Perhaps a grown-up Brock will require Jesse’s help. Furthermore, if the letter gets into the hands of one of Jesse’s enemies — like Neil’s goons who were allowed to live — they might use Brock to lure Jesse back into a world of death and crime.
In the end, Jesse’s future is shrouded in ambiguity. Will he find peace in the last frontier of Alaska? Will his past return to haunt him at some point? Will he cross paths with Brock again? Anything could happen, and that’s the exciting part. We don’t know what the future holds. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Jesse Pinkman. But if it is, El Camino is the perfect way to say goodbye to the character.