El Camino’s biggest unanswered questions

reaking Bad always prided itself on tight storytelling, and with its 2013 finale, “Felina,” the series satisfyingly tied up most of its prominent dangling threads — with one major exception. Coming off of the end of the series, the fate of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) erstwhile protégé and the ostensible heart of the harrowing series, was left largely up in the air, with Jesse driving triumphantly off into the night, headed toward some unknown destination. With El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, series creator Vince Gilligan set out to definitively answer the question of what became of Jesse, picking up right where Breaking Bad left off and following Jesse on his quest to leave his life of crime behind and start fresh in Alaska.

However, despite El Camino’s efforts to provide closure for some of Breaking Bad’s few lingering questions, its focus on Jesse means there are still a few loose ends remaining at the end of its two-hour runtime. From the fate of the White family to the current whereabouts of Saul Goodman, here are all the biggest questions that we’re still asking after El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Does Skyler go to jail?

Although Walt’s wife Skyler (Anna Gunn) spent the first couple seasons of Breaking Bad unaware of his illegal dealings, she eventually joined him on the dark side of the legal fence at the end of the third season, when she suggested buying the car wash where Walt used to work in order to launder the money he was making from his meth empire. By the time the series ended, the pragmatic Skyler was up to her ears in illicit activity, adding tax fraud and obstruction of justice to her list of transgressions in addition to suggesting that Walt have Jesse Pinkman killed.

In the finale, Walt gave Skyler a lottery ticket with the coordinates for the location where the bodies of Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) and Steve Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada) were buried, thinking she could trade the information for immunity. However, that’s the last we ever see of Skyler, and El Camino never mentions what became of her, so we have no way of knowing whether Walt’s last attempt to help his family paid off, or whether the bodies of two dead DEA agents wasn’t a big enough bargaining chip in the eyes of the law to get Skyler off the hook for her criminal misdeeds.

Did Walt Jr. ever get the money his father left him?

Realizing that every penny he ever made selling meth would likely get seized by the DEA once they finished amassing evidence against him, Walter decided in the finale of Breaking Bad to get his money to his family via a more circuitous route. Visiting the luxurious home of Elliott (Adam Godley) and Gretchen Schwartz (Jessica Hecht), Walt’s former business partner and ex-girlfriend, respectively, Walt gives them the $9.72 million he’d managed to hold onto after the rest of his fortune was seized by Jack Welker (Michael Bowen) and his gang of white supremacists. He instructs them to set up an irrevocable trust for his son, Walt Jr. (RJ Mitte), which will be given to him on his 18th birthday as a gift from the Schwartzes. Walt then threatens them that if they fail to carry out his instructions, he’s hired assassins to have them killed.

However, Walt Jr.’s birthday was still ten months away at the end of “Felina,” and El Camino leaves us with no way of knowing whether the Schwartzes carried out their end of the bargain, or if the DEA managed to intervene. We do know that Walt’s “assassins” were a bluff — they were just Badger (Matthew Lee Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker) with laser pointers — so there wouldn’t be any consequences if the Schwartzes decided to keep the money. Whether Gretchen and Elliot figured that out, though, we may never know.

Where is the rest of Walt’s money?

$9.72 million may seem like a lot, but it was actually only a fraction of the fortune Walt was able to build for himself during his time as a drug kingpin. The rest was stolen from him by Jack Welker, after Walt inadvertently led white supremacists to the location where he’d buried his money in the desert. They left him one barrel of cash, but took the remaining seven barrels, containing around $70 million in total.

Considering that Walt’s primary motivation throughout Breaking Bad was his desire to accumulate money for his family, the loss of $70 million feels like it should be a pretty big deal to him. However, in “Felina,” when Jack tries to use the location of the remainder of Walt’s money as a bargaining chip to save his own life, Walt shoots him before he can even finish pitching his proposed deal, ending any chance he had of ever being able to get his hands on his money again. But although Walt died before the beginning of El Camino, the money is definitely still around somewhere, just waiting for someone to find it. However, that someone won’t be Jesse Pinkman, who merely goes after Todd’s (Jesse Plemons) nearly $1 million stash of drug money in El Camino, and never even seems to consider looking for the rest. Since most of the other people who knew about Walt’s stash are now either dead or in hiding, that $70 million may be gone for good.

How are things between Skyler and Marie?

By the end of Breaking Bad, relations between the former Lambert sisters were rocky, to say the least. After Hank discovered the truth about Walt and arrested him, his wife Marie (Betsy Brandt) forced her sister to tell Walt Jr. the truth about his father, seeming to take joy in Skyler’s family’s fall from grace. However, Marie climbs off her high horse to support her sister when Walt captures baby Holly, only to be devastated when Holly is returned safely and Hank is killed. The last contact we see between Marie and Skyler is in the finale, when Marie calls to warn Skyler that Walt is back in town, and cautions her to stay wary and safe.

It’s implied during that conversation that the sisters haven’t spoken in months. While the relationship between Sklyer and Marie was never particularly warm, they seemed fairly close in the early seasons, living nearby and seeing each other often. It’s probably safe to assume that their relationship will never be the same following “Felina,” considering that Walt’s actions led directly to the death of Marie’s husband — and Marie has no way of knowing that Walt didn’t pull the trigger himself — but while the call in the finale may not mend the rift between them, it at least put them back on speaking terms. However, we’ll never know whether their relationship continued to heal or severed for good, since neither sister is seen or mentioned in El Camino.

Does Lydia die?

In “Felina,” Walter White spends a lot of time paying back the people who have wronged him, but one of his most elaborate revenge schemes involves his judgement on Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (Laura Fraser). An executive at Madrigal Electromotive, Lydia once helped supply Walt with the ingredients he needed to cook his blue meth, but ultimately decided that Walt and Skyler were too much of a liability, and considered killing them both. Unfortunately for her, Walt was several steps ahead, and used her own habits against her by poisoning the Stevia she always used in her tea.

The last we saw Lydia in “Felina,” she was looking significantly under the weather when she called Todd, thinking that her plan to kill Walt had been successfully carried out. By the time she placed her call, though, Heisenberg seemed to relish telling her that not only had her plan failed, but that her illness was in fact the first stages of ricin poisoning.

While Breaking Bad implied that Lydia was doomed, El Camino reveals that her fate may still be up in the air. At one point, Jesse hears a radio news report mentioning a “Houston woman” with possible ties to Walter White who is in the hospital in critical condition and not expected to survive. However, while her odds don’t look great, we’ll never know for sure if Walt was successful in his attempt to get rid of her.

Will Badger and Skinny Pete suffer any consequences for helping Jesse?

One of the most heartwarming parts of El Camino comes right at the beginning, when a traumatized Jesse turns to two of the only allies he has left — his longtime friends Skinny Pete and Badger. However, after Pete and Badger help Jesse, they hit a snag when they attempt to get rid of the deceased Todd’s El Camino: the LoJack was activated, meaning the police would arrive at Pete’s house soon.

Jesse offers to drive the El Camino away from the house, apologetic for putting his friends in harm’s way, but Skinny Pete has another plan: Badger will abandon Pete’s car near the Mexican border, Jesse will escape in Badger’s car, and Pete will remain at his house with the El Camino. Further, Pete and Badger give Jesse all the money they have on them, which amounts to $8,200, a significant chunk of the $20,000 Walt gave them to point laser pointers at his former friends. After Jesse and Badger drive off, Pete moves the El Camino to the front of his driveway and waits for the police to arrive, showing that he has nothing to hide. While the teaser for El Camino seemed to pick up after this, with Pete in the police station, being interrogated about Jesse, the film itself never shows either of Jesse’s friends again or addresses their fates. We can only hope that Pete’s plan went off without a hitch, and they both were able to come through it no worse for wear.

Who is taking care of Brock?

Of all the lives ruined over the course of Breaking Bad, probably none were more tragic than Andrea (Emily Rios) and Brock Cantillo (Ian Posada). Andrea was a single mother Jesse met in a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in season three. Eventually, Jesse started dating Andrea and bonding with Brock, her six-year-old son, and even provided them with money to move to a safer neighborhood. However, the Cantillos’ association with Jesse would ultimately prove disastrous, as Brock was first poisoned by Walt to manipulate Jesse into siding with him against Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and Andrea was later murdered by Todd to punish Jesse for attempting to escape.

What becomes of young Brock is left up in the air at the end of Breaking Bad, and although Brock and Andrea are both mentioned several times during El Camino, we never learn what happened to him after his mother was killed. Keeping Brock safe was always Jesse’s primary motivation for cooperating with Todd and Jack’s white supremacist gang, and El Camino reveals that it may have even been why Jesse killed Todd — Todd said that if Jesse ever tried to escape, he’d kill Brock, making Jesse’s later strangulation of Todd just as much about protecting Brock as it was seeking revenge for Andrea. But where Brock went and who’s taking care of him in El Camino is left open-ended. He could’ve been taken in by his great-grandmother, but if she couldn’t care for him, he may be in the foster system.

What did Jesse write in his letter to Brock?

In the penultimate scene of El Camino, as Jesse prepares to embark on his new life in Alaska, vacuum cleaner salesman and clandestine Disappearer Ed Galbraith (Robert Forster) asks him if there’s anything else he needs to take care of before the two part ways. Jesse hands him a letter — a single folded card covered in dense handwriting — which Ed reads over and then promises to mail from Mexico City in a month. As Jesse drives away, the camera reveals that the letter is addressed to Brock Cantillo.

Neither of them discusses what Jesse wrote in his final missive to Brock, although based on Ed’s followup question asking Jesse if there’s anyone else he wants to say goodbye to, we can guess that at least part of his note was a farewell. The rest is left up to our imaginations. Perhaps Jesse tried to offer some sort of explanation or apology for what happened to his mother, or maybe he was relaying to Brock his hopes for the child as he grows up. It’s also possible that Jesse used some of the money he took from Neil Kandy (Scott MacArthur) to help provide for Brock’s future, similar to the trust Walt managed to set up for his son. We may never know what Jesse’s final words to Brock were — which would technically also be the last words he ever uttered as Jesse Pinkman — but no matter what he wrote, we’re sure it came from the heart.

Where did Huell go?

The last we saw of Saul Goodman’s (Bob Odenkirk) intimidating bodyguard Huell Babineaux (Lavell Crawford) toward the end of Breaking Bad, he was sitting in a DEA safehouse, patiently awaiting the return of Hank Schrader and Steve Gomez. Unfortunately for everyone, Hank and Steve were killed by Jack Welker and his gang shortly thereafter, and therefore wouldn’t ever return to the safehouse to advise Huell on next steps.

According to series creator Vince Gilligan, who also wrote and directed El Camino, Huell would’ve eventually been found, questioned, and ultimately released by other DEA agents, and is now out in the world, living his life. But that’s not really good enough for fans who hoped to see Huell’s fate definitively addressed in canon. The official Breaking Bad Facebook page took it one step further, sharing a video of Huell getting up and leaving the safe house to coincide with the release of El Camino, but Huell failed to get a cameo (or even a mention) in the movie itself. Even if we consider the Facebook video part of the film, all it establishes is that Huell eventually left the safe house. We have no idea where he went or what he’s up to now, and El Camino doesn’t give us any clues.

What happened to Francesca?

The other long-suffering employee in the office of Saul Goodman & Associates is Francesca Liddy (Tina Parker), who we last saw toward the end of Breaking Bad’s final season, when she was held at gunpoint by Jesse Pinkman while he beat Saul into admitting that he stole the ricin cigarette Walt had made to kill Gus Fring. Although Huell, who was also present during this scene, was later picked up by the DEA, we never learn what became of Francesca after Saul fled Albuquerque and Saul Goodman & Associates was no more.

In the Breaking Bad spinoff series Better Call Saul, we learn that Francesca was once a bright-eyed and enthusiastic former employee of New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Division, but that over her years of working with Saul, she became jaded and cynical. We wondered whether we might see her pop up in El Camino, but the former receptionist/accomplice didn’t receive a mention in the Jesse-centric tale. Still, Better Call Saul did leave us with a few clues for where Francesca goes after the events of Breaking Bad. In the spinoff, we see that Saul gives Francesca the business card of a lawyer from his Jimmy McGill days — we may find out what happened to Francesca in an upcoming season of BCS.

Speaking of Saul Goodman, what’s he up to now?

For viewers of Better Call Saul, we’ve gotten a small glimpse into what Saul Goodman (formerly Jimmy McGill) is up to following the events of Breaking Bad. The last we saw him in Breaking Bad, Saul was preparing to embark on a new life in Nebraska, courtesy of Ed Galbraith. In Better Call Saul, we see that in his new life, Saul is known as Gene Taković, and he works at a Cinnabon in Omaha. Still afraid of the enemies he made through his association with Walt, Gene lives in a constant state of anxiety and paranoia, and also appears to suffer from depression stemming from missing his former life.

While we may eventually get a more complete picture of what Jimmy/Saul/Gene’s life looks like following Breaking Bad, El Camino didn’t offer up any clues. The only obscure nod to Saul Goodman is a brief shot of the strip mall that once housed his law office, which has since been turned into a sports bar. Neither Jesse nor Ed ever discusses what became of the disgraced former lawyer, and although Better Call Saul fills in the blanks a little bit, there’s still plenty we don’t know about Saul’s life following Breaking Bad. But if there’s one thing we know about Saul Goodman, it’s that as much as he may insist he’s left his former life behind him, he likely won’t be able to keep his nose clean for long.

Will Jesse go to college?

Throughout Breaking Bad, although it was never stated outright, it was always implied that Jesse Pinkman dropped out of high school before graduating. We knew that he failed Mr. White’s chemistry class as a junior, yet Jesse’s parents still considered Walt one of Jesse’s better teachers, implying that his F in chemistry was not an anomaly on his report card. However, in El Camino, Walt comments that Jesse might try college, suggesting a business and marketing degree as a counter to Jesse’s proposal of sports medicine. But first, Walt says, Jesse would have to get his GED, to which Jesse responds that he doesn’t need a GED because he already has a high school diploma. “You were standing right on stage when they handed it to me,” Jesse says, clearly insulted that Walt assumed he hadn’t graduated.

Of course, now that Jesse has a new identity in Alaska as “Mr. Driscoll,” he likely wouldn’t be using his degree from J.P. Wynne High School on his application, but that doesn’t mean he can’t continue his education under his new name. If Jesse Pinkman has a completed high school education, then so does Mr. Driscoll, and although few of Walter White’s ideas ever seemed to be in Jesse’s best interest, this one might be. El Camino doesn’t tell us what happens to Jesse once he arrives in Alaska, but it’s nice to think that if we were to catch up with him at some point in the distant future, we’d find him with a successful career in sports medicine.

source: https://www.looper.com/169979/el-camino-biggest-unanswered-questions/

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