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On the Emmy-winning drug dramabreaking BadAs 2013 drew to a close, Jesse Pinkman had a happy, if ambiguous, ending: Walter White's former meth partner, but now estranged, fled the white supremacist compound, where he was tortured while being forced to produce more. Products. (Walt's end, of course, was more finite: mortally wounded in a gunfight, he fell while inspecting his precious machinery.)
Netflix launched six years laterEl Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which filled in the blanks for what exactly happened to Jesse (Aaron Paul) in the moments after he wandered into the night, crying out for freedom and dear life. Jesse would eventually evade the authorities and with the help of Ed (much more than a vacuum shop owner)Robert Forster), he found safe passage to Alaska, where he peacefully departed for his new life as Mr. Driscoll.
Paul e Vince Gilligan,breaking Badthe creator who wrote and directedThe wayThis is exactly the ending they've hinted at in interviews for years.In 2013, Gilligan told EW: "Some people might think, 'Well, he probably got two miles before the police caught him.' But I prefer to believe that he got away and that he has a long road of recovery ahead of him... All those horrible things I've seen will also terrify him, but the romantic in me wants to believe that he's got it. Alaska and live a peaceful life in communion with nature.” Last year,Paul echoed a similar sentiment,hoping that Jesse "goes straight to Alaska, a mountain town in the middle of nowhere, and starts building things with his hands".
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
photo credit: netflix
An early version ofThe wayIt didn't end as victorious for Jesse, though. In fact, the open and touching criminal wound is in police custody. When Gilligan began investigating this admittedly logical but definitely not fan-friendly idea, his friend Holly Rice advised him to reconsider this finding. After the 2013 finale, "I thought it was up to the audience to find out how Jesse escaped, but that was enough to see him go into the night victorious," Gilligan tells EW. "But then, over the years, in idle moments I would ask myself, 'How exactly did he escape? Because this is not an easy task! What if he didn't? What if they arrest you around the corner?'”
What exactly did Gilligan have in store in this version? "I didn't go very far, but it would probably be a young woman who would need help," she says. "He was hiding over the Canadian border, and this woman was working at a motel as a maid or something. [He] goes out to save her, knowing full well he's going to suffer for it, he's going to get caught for it, but he does. even so. And the final scene maybe showed him in a prison cell, but at peace for the first time since the beginning of the film. I think there would be that component where I couldn't sleep. After his escape, he didn't sleep a single night for about a week. The police are looking for him and he's really desperate and high on adrenaline. And he ends up sitting in a prison cell ironically falling asleep like a baby. And I was like, 'Oh, that would be great.'
He then sought a lawyer. "I suggested a version of this to my friend Holly," he says, "and I also did it separately [breaking BadExecutive producer/Better call SaulCo-creator] Peter Gould and the writers and they all looked at me like I was absoluteLok:You can't have Jesse back in a cell at the end of the movie! People will graffiti and feather him!” I'm glad I listened to you. I think there is a version of this movie that would work if executed perfectly, but I don't know.fromhe was the guy who could do it. I'm glad I did it the way I did."
When EW asked Paul about this alternate version of the story, he was silent for a second before saying, "Wow.... He never told me that.Wow🇧🇷 This is very interesting. And how would Paul have felt telling that story in his place? "I mean, I'm glad he didn't get caught, you know?" says Pablo, laughing. "I'm glad he got away. As a fan, there are a few things: The parents of the kid [Drew Sharp] who was shot on the motorbike, I'd like them to know what happened to their son. There are such small things I would love to find out for his family. But he's also so perfect and that's what really tore Jesse apart. He's an emotional being. He wears his heart on his sleeve and he cares about people and he cares about the children and their well-being."
This is again in full in one of the proofsThe wayIn Jesse's last moment, in his final act before becoming Mr. Driscoll, Ed delivers a letter to send to Brock (Ian Posada), the son of Jesse's ex-girlfriend Andrea (Emily Rios). You may recall that Walt (Bryan Cranston) poisoned Brock, and Todd (Jesse Plemons) shot Andrea in the head in front of Jesse to send him a chilling reminder of being a dutiful meth slave. Which brings us to another alternate ending that Paul says he was "very devastated to see the cutting room floor before we started shooting".
The audience never discovers the contents of Jesse's letter to Brock, though it is an attempt to explain/apologize/repair for all the harm Jesse inadvertently brought into Brock's life. "That letter to Brock was the first thing Vince wrote when he was writing this script," notes Paul. “After he finished that letter, he started on the script. Originally, this letter's voiceover was at the end of the movie: I was driving through Alaska and you could hear what was in this letter... It's heartbreaking, it's beautiful, it's just honest. But Vince was like, 'You know what? Maybe it's better to leave it unknown. "And we don't need that. He was right. But I love to know what the letter said."
Would you mind sharing at least one line from this letter, Aaron? "Dear Brock," the actor said dryly, before explaining, "I swore to Vince that I would never reveal the contents of this letter. But… [Jesse] just couldn't be more open and honest. In fact, he says, 'I'm sorry' and that's it."
It's fascinating to wonder if little Brock would want to read a letter like this from Jesse after everything that's happened. "When,ehe might read it eventually,” says Paul. "I'm sure your grandma is the one who will open it and will probably take it to the police and…who knows?"
It will remain one of the mysteries ofbreaking Badfranchise, or at least untilthe return of Sr. Driscoll.
To find out what else Paul revealed about filming El Camino and whether he'll return to play Jesse,head here.
(This story has been updated with an extended quote from Gilligan.)
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Walter White descends into the criminal underworld.
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