El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is expected to answer the lingering questions of fans, picking up directly after the climactic events in that show’s swan song, “Felina,” which aired on AMC on September 29, 2013. However, it seems that the newest teaser trailer for the Netflix film just went and dropped the answer to what is, perhaps, the biggest of said lingering (we daresay tinfoil hat level) questions regarding the (some say ambiguous) series finale fate of Bryan Cranston’s Walter White – albeit in a subtle, Easter-egg-esque manner.
The Emmys night El Camino teaser trailer immediately assuages a major desire for Breaking Bad fans, since it provides the first post-Felina look at Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, who’s still just as we last saw him, in the El Camino getaway vehicle for which the film is named. Safely away from the carnage, we see Jesse later that fateful evening parked under the cover of night, having a relaxing smoke, listening to a very informative news broadcast discussing what Albuquerque police found upon being called to the – obviously-loud – finale event: the bodies of NINE male victims.
With creator Vince Gilligan not being the type to drop unnecessary or innocuous information, the broadcast’s body count certainly feels like a proverbial Chekov’s gun that invites viewers to revisit the climactic battle depicted in “Felina” to uncover what seems to be the definitive answer for which Breaking Bad fans have waited six years to get, namely that Walter White IS dead. The answer resides in the numbers.
Indeed, with the cited nine casualties, it’s not hard to deduce that Walt was among them. After all, viewers witnessed Walt’s remote control machine gun (which the broadcast also mentions,) mow down drug slinging White Supremacist Jack Welcker (Michael Bowen) and his crew, consisting of Matt (Matthew T. Metzler), Kenny (Kevin Rankin), Lester (Tait Fletcher), Frankie (Patrick Sane) and two other unnamed proverbial red shirts, after which we saw Jack’s sociopathic nephew, Todd (Jesse Plemons), get strangled by Jesse in an emotionally cathartic bit of retribution. Therefore – barring the possibility of an unseen casualty – this means that viewers saw eight gang members get killed, leaving Walt – who succumbed to wounds by his own gun, also weakened from his returned cancer – as the presumed ninth “male victim” found on the scene.
While we’re still somewhat susceptible to trailer-instigated misdirection, especially from an artiste like Gilligan, we’re likely at a point in which the death of Walt at the end of “Felina” is certified canon; a notion that might be further supplemented in El Camino. It certainly makes sense, since the closing scenes of Breaking Bad built one of the most powerful, poetic and satisfying conclusions in all of television, giving Walt an emotional (albeit tense) punctuation on his tumultuous partnership with Jesse before showcasing an apparent death that was clearly on his terms, memorably to Badfinger’s 1972 song, “Baby Blue.” – Why mess with any of that?
…However, don’t be surprised if Bryan Cranston still shows up as Walt in the sequel movie by way of a secret flashback performance.
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie premieres on Netflix on Friday, October 11.