WARNING: The following contains spoilers for El Camino, A Breaking Bad Movie, now streaming on Netflix.
When Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) escaped his white supremacist captors at the end of Breaking Bad, many assumed he sped off to a happy ending. But as writer/director Vince Gilligan goes on to detail in El Camino, that's something Jesse has to work hard for, especially in the aftermath of drug empire that he and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) built in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie finally offers Jesse this shot at redemption and gives him the chance to make peace with certain key individuals in his life, Ultimately, the film concludes by offering Jesse closure, although it takes quite a few winding roads to get to that destination.
After killing Todd in the Season 5 finale "Felina," Jesse returns to Todd's apartment to get money hidden away, only for some fellow criminals in the Kandy Welding Company to arrive and seize the lion's share of the cash in a joint heist. Although they masquerade as cops, Jesse eventually remembers them as they helped build his prison under Todd's gang in Breaking Bad. When Ed (Robert Forster) tells him he still needs $1,800 to buy a new identity in Alaska, Jesse decides to head to Kandy for the cash.
After stealing his parents' guns for protection, Jesse begs the workers for the money only to be told by Neil (Scott MacArthur) he can get all the money they stole if Jesse wins a gunfight. The pair have a good ol' Wild West-style shootout, and when Neil tries to draw, Jesse shoots him with a gun hidden in his pocket, where his other hand was cleverly disguised all along. Neil didn't see this coming at all, and when his partner Casey (Scott Shepherd) tries to draw, Jesse kills him too. He scares the other witnesses into silence and departs, burning the company to the ground for aiding and abetting his torture under Todd's uncle, Jack.
A NEW HOME
Now, Jesse is now finally able to buy a new life as Mr. Driscoll, something he bailed on in Season 5 with Ed. He's in Alaska in the closing moments, following the advice of Mike (Jonathan Banks) who told him he could start afresh there in the cold. Jesse's still repentant of his past, and Mike warned him in their flashback he could never make things right with all of the blood on their hands.
Jesse eventually gives Ed a letter for Brock Cantillo, the son of Andrea -- Jesse's ex whom Todd killed in Season 5. It appears to be an apology, and there could be some financial compensation involved as well. This apparently gives Jesse the closure he needs to move on, which he also gets to a lesser degree from his final phone call with his parents.
TRUE LOVE, ONE MORE TIME
As Jesse drives away from Ed, another flashback takes him to a romantic moment with Krysten Ritter's Jane Margolis, the first girlfriend he had on the show. Walt left her to die from an overdose so he could take control of Jesse's fragile psyche and unsurprisingly, Jesse's never gotten over it. This memory sees him telling her how he finally believes in the path the universe has laid out for him, a precept she once told Jesse she believes in.
However, in true Jane fashion, she's cynical and snarky, reneging on the philosophy and reminding him it's best to cut his own path out and not rely on fate. Now, Jesse has the courage and clear conscience to forge a new way in the world, with the final shot of him being Jesse driving his van, peacefully and happy at last. It's the total opposite to the "Felina" ending where he drove away from Todd's gang screaming, angry and filled with chaos in his heart.
Written and directed by Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie stars Aaron Paul. The film is available to stream now on Netflix, with a later release scheduled for AMC.