Jesse’s journey is over. The El Camino ending tied up loose ends, offered plenty of fan service, and left things open for a follow-up if need be. However, there are still plenty of questions lingering in the wake of the long and winding road ahead of Jesse at the end of the Breaking Bad movie.
From that letter, to whether Walt is dead, and even the meaning behind one of El Camino’s more ambiguous (and emotional) flashback scenes, there’s plenty to dig into when it comes to the final half-hour. So, let’s put the pedal to the metal and explain the El Camino ending – in detail.
What happens in the final scene?
After eventually recovering all of Todd’s money from the Kandy Welding Company (more on them in just a bit), Jesse returns to Ed the Cleaner – the vacuum salesman who has a knack for making people disappear. He also did the same to Saul – who is now living a new life as shown by Better Call Saul – and Walt, who unwisely chose to return to Albuquerque during the Breaking Bad finale.
From there, Ed drives Jesse (who is concealed in a hidden compartment in his truck) up to Alaska. Once they’ve arrived at their destination, Ed questions Jesse on all the intricacies of his new identity, from social security number to his fictional father’s job history.
Jesse, though, asks Ed for one last favour. He gives Ed a letter to post when he’s down in New Mexico (more on that, too, in a moment). Jesse drives off in his new vehicle – complete with Alaskan license plates to help hide his cover.
In one final callback to the series, we get a flashback scene featuring Jesse and former girlfriend Jane (Krysten Ritter). They talk about “going where the universe takes you” but Jane fights back against that piece of quasi-mystical bullshit, calling it a “terrible philosophy… it’s better to make those decisions for yourself.”
Seemingly inspired by these words, present-day Jesse drives down an icy Alaskan road, seemingly content with the path that lay ahead of him.
There is no El Camino post-credits scene. However, as we mention in our end-credits piece, the end song could hint at an optimistic future for Walter White’s former chemistry student.
Why does Jesse go to Alaska?
This has its roots tied in El Camino’s very first scene. In it, Jesse and Mike (probably around the beginning of season 5 timeline-wise judging by the pair’s looks) share their possible hopes and dreams.
After pushing the typically stoic Mike into revealing what he would do in Jesse’s position, he reveals that he would go to Alaska and start a new life – and it appears to be something Jesse takes to heart.
While for the viewer, the handful of flashbacks dotted around El Camino act as neat final farewells to a beloved cast, they also help inch Jesse closer to his ultimate goal. Jesse takes Mike’s advice here at face value, though Ed the Cleaner perhaps also earmarked that as a suitable location thanks to its relative distance from New Mexico, plus its remoteness.
What does the Jane flashback scene mean?
This is yet another flashback that helps Jesse. The former lovers refer to a past conversation they had, with Jane, who died during season 2 after a drug overdose, telling Jesse she subscribed to the “going where the universe takes you philosophy.”
Jesse likes it – but Jane has grown out of that idea. She says she now believes in making your own decisions. Cutting back to Alaska, Jesse has a slight smile on his face, the smirk of a man who is finally in control after following so many people for so many years.
Who are the Kandy Welding Company?
El Camino’s major antagonists, the Kandy Welding Company, aren’t a part of the original Breaking Bad series – though a flashback fills in their role during the events of the series.
They helped construct Jack’s makeshift lab, where the Aryan gang held Jesse captive and forced him to cook crystal meth. One of the unnamed members is shown welding in “fishplates” during a scene set during season 5 to ensure the cable that Jesse is attached to cannot break.
The two major characters from the Kandy Welding Company are Casey and Neil, the two fake police officers that stumble upon Todd’s old apartment in search for his significant cash pool.
A coked-up Neil later loses to Jesse in a Wild West-style showdown and dies. Neil is also killed while trying to flee – Jesse lets the three remaining members at the Kandy junkyard live, though promises to hunt down and kill them and their families if they ever tell the cops.
Who is the letter addressed to?
The letter Ed is holding during the El Camino ending is addressed to Brock Cantillo, son of Andrea, who dated Jesse during the course of Breaking Bad season 4 and 5. Andrea was murdered by Todd, so the letter may be a form of apology to the orphaned child, though we can only speculate on its contents. The only thing we know for sure is Ed is going to post it to him when he gets back to New Mexico.
Does Walt return/is Walt dead?
Walt returns, but only in a flashback. He’s dead. The end.
You want more? Fine. Fine. Walt’s flashback scene involves he and Jesse living the high life (they get to keep the pitcher of water!) in a roadside diner, potentially during the latter half of the first season when business is booming and they don’t have the likes of Gus Fring breathing down their necks.
Walt’s final words are “you didn’t have to wait your whole life to do something special.” Walt imparts some advice on what Jesse can do now he’s made some serious moolah, an opportunity the 50-year-old Walt only arrived at later in his life. He suggests college – and a business degree.
But to answer the burning question everyone’s had since Breaking Bad ended in 2013: Walt is definitely dead. 100%. A news report on the radio reveals as much, stating Walt was “found dead at the scene of a gang massacre which claimed the lives of nine people.”
What's next for Jesse?
Show creator (and El Camino writer/director) Vince Gilligan has left Jesse’s fate purposefully ambiguous. So, all we have are theories.
If you compare and contrast Jesse’s original Breaking Bad ending and the El Camino ending, he is now a man at peace with himself. Instead of screaming wildly, he is clean-shaven, comfortable, with the slightest hint of a smile creeping upon his face.
Anything could be next – that’s the point. If we had to guess, a college degree (taking his teacher’s advice one last time) could be at the forefront of his future plans, but everything else is left wide open.
Who knows, we may even get a second Breaking Bad movie to clear things up. Again.