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Recap / El Camino

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This is a full synopsis of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. All spoilers below are completely unmarked.


In the twilight of their partnership, Jesse Pinkman and Mike Ehrmantraut talked about their plans for the future after taking their cuts of the methylamine heist. Out of curiosity, Jesse asks Mike where he would go, to which Mike answers that he would go to Alaska to start anew. Jesse finds the prospect of a fresh beginning and making things right appealing, but Mike warns him that the latter is "the one thing you can never do."

In the present, Jesse is laughing, crying, and raving as he makes his escape from the compound of Jack Welker's neo-Nazi gang, where he had been kept as a prisoner and slave for nearly a year. His elation at his newfound freedom is cut short, however, by the sight of approaching police cars, forcing him into hiding. Thankfully, he manages to find shelter with two of his oldest friends, Badger Mayhew and Skinny Pete, as the police launch a manhunt for Jesse for his connection to the deaths of nine people at the compound, including his former partner and drug kingpin Heisenberg/Walter White.

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The two, ever loyal to Jesse, give him money and elicit the aid of Joe, the junkyard owner, to get rid of the El Camino car that Jesse escaped in and which belonged to his personal captor, Todd Alquist. Unfortunately, the El Camino's anti-theft device activates, forcing Joe to flee. To keep Jesse out of the police's clutches, Skinny Pete devises a plan: Badger will take Pete's car and abandon it near the Mexican border in order to trick the police into thinking Jesse has fled to Mexico while Jesse escapes in Badger's car. The El Camino stays at Pete's house, since the police already know it's there anyway. Badger happily bids Jesse farewell, while Pete gives Jesse his hat to hide his face: "You're like, my hero and shit," Pete admits when Jesse reminds him about the extreme risks they're taking.

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In order to secure his escape, Jesse needs money, and lots of it. He knows where some can find some, thankfully: Todd's apartment, cordoned off by police tape. Returning to the apartment drudges up harrowing memories of Jesse's first visit after the death of his girlfriend Andrea by Todd's hands, and of helping Todd dispose of the body of a housekeeper who inadvertently found some of his illicit money. Lesson learned, Todd moved his money to a more secure place in his apartment that required "a little engineering." Jesse got his hands on a gun after burying the body, but couldn't bring himself to shoot Todd: he's an alone and broken man, and Brock was still at Jack's mercy. He handed Todd the gun without a fuss, allowing himself to be bribed by pizza.

Jesse tears Todd's place apart over the night looking for the money, but is unable to find it. He manages to stumble upon its location by accident when banging his head on Todd's fridge in frustration, causing a thumping sound to be heard from inside. He finds the money hidden inside of Todd's fridge shelving, only to have a pair of crime scene investigators arrive. Jesse, in desperation, takes one hostage and demands the other drop his weapon, but the pair manage to talk Jesse down. However, when they hastily grab a nearby power cord to bind Jesse's hands instead of using handcuffs, Jesse realizes they aren't police at all, but associates of Todd coming to find his money. Jesse convinces them to spare his life, warning that if they killed him, they will never be able to find the money and would also have to kill all of the other apartment tenants. Jesse takes a third of Todd's money and leaves, but not before recognizing one of the criminals as one of his former tormentors.

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Jesse then makes his way to the vacuum shop run by Ed, a professional criminal who specialized in helping people disappear. Ed reluctantly obliges to help Jesse vanish after he was stood up last time, but only if Jesse can pay the cost of both the previous vanishing he refused and the one he is requesting now. Jesse, unfortunately, is just shy of Ed's asking price, so Ed refuses to help him and gives back Jesse's money. When Jesse persists, Ed calls the police, forcing Jesse to vacate his store. After the police leave, Jesse calls Ed back and promises to get him the money he is owed.

With that, Jesse calls his parents and asks them to meet him at a park so he could turn himself in. When his parents and police officers watching their home leave, Jesse uses the opportunity to sneak into the house and raid the gun locker, which contains an old .22-caliber pistol and a revolver. He then makes his way to the welding company where Todd's associates worked, the same associates that, he recalls, maintained the harness Jesse was forced into during his year in chains. Kenny, concerned about Jesse's then-recent escape, made a bet with the welders that Jesse can brute force his way out of the newly-installed pulley. They forced him to try to break free by running back and forth for their own amusement - his leash never budged.

The criminals call in prostitutes with some of their ill-gotten gains. After the working girls leave, Jesse steps in and asks for a mere $1800, brandishing the .22 to ensure their compliance. Neil, the crook that has a history with Jesse, mocks him for thinking a peashooter like that could ever intimidate anyone and makes a counter-proposal: a Wild West-style gun duel between them, winner takes all. Jesse accepts the challenge. After several tense moments, Neil attempts to draw his gun, only to be shot to death by the revolver Jesse was hiding in his coat pocket. Neil's partner, Casey, attempts to kill Jesse in retaliation only to get shot in the head. The other crooks flee in terror after Jesse gets their IDs, leaving Jesse to take the rest of Todd's money and escape, but not before rigging the welding company building to explode in a fiery inferno.

Jesse's thoughts wander back to the early days of his partnership with Walt: while staying at a fancy motel and enjoying a warm meal after spending four days out in the desert, the two discussed business, with Walt wanting to sell off their entire batch in bulk after being told that selling it through Saul would take six months. Jesse had promised Walt that his family would get their money no matter how long it took... a promise he never could've imagined would bring about so much death and destruction. Walt asked Jesse about his plans for the future, and floated the idea of getting a business degree. After all, Jesse should consider himself lucky:

"You didn't have to wait your whole life to do something special."

With all of the money he could ever need, Jesse is finally able to elicit Ed's services. Ed drops Jesse off at the Canada-Alaska border. After drilling Jesse on the finer details of his new identity, Jesse gives Ed a letter to deliver Brock, Andrea's orphaned son, before parting ways. As the man now known as "Mr. Driscoll" departs, he thinks back to a discussion he had with Jane, his girlfriend, and of her philosophy of making one's own choices instead of simply going where the universe takes you. He sets off for his new life, his past demons finally laid to rest...


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