19 'Breaking Bad' Easter Eggs You Probably Missed in Netflix's 'El Camino'
Warning: This post containers major spoilers for El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. Proceed with caution.
Like meth and murder, one thing we have come to expect from any Vince Gilligan project in the Breaking Bad universe is Easter eggs. Lots and lots of Easter eggs. And El Camino -- Gilligan's desperately anticipated follow-up to "Felina," Breaking Bad's iconic series finale -- does not disappoint as far as wistful remembrances of the original series are concerned. From snow globes to street names, here are some of the clever Breaking Bad (and Better Call Saul) callbacks you may have missed.
More: Let's discuss the ending of El Camino
Los Pollos Hermanos' second life
Any good Albuquerque resident knows that the Isleta location of local fast-food chain Twisters played the role of Los Pollos Hermanos, the fictional chicken joint that served as a cover for Gus Fring's drug-dealing empire in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. As a way to illustrate the passage of time, and perhaps as a thank you to the restaurant (which is best known for its burritos and green chile burgers) for playing such an important role in the series, Twisters gets its very own moment in the spotlight in the opening shots of El Camino. Gus Fring may be alive and well in AMC's world, thanks to Better Call Saul, but he's no longer part of the story as far as El Camino is concerned. (The exterior of Saul Goodman's office, sans the Statue of Liberty, shows up in the same montage.)
The wisdom of Mike Ehrmantraut
Like Gus Fring, Mike Ehrmantraut is still kicking in Better Call Saul's world. But El Camino reinforces the idea that while Walter White served as Jesse Pinkman's official mentor, it was Mike who acted as his spiritual guide and/or father figure. In an early scene, we see the two of them speaking for what will be the very last time (though neither of them knows it in the moment). Ultimately, Jesse asks Mike what he would do if he were in his position, and where he'd go. After some initial hesitation, Mike says Alaska -- which is ultimately where Jesse ends up. What Jesse doesn't know, however, is that soon after their conversation, Walter will kill Mike in this exact spot (in Breaking Bad's season 5 episode, "Say My Name").
Calling all Trekkies
Though it would have been easy for Gilligan to write Jesse's pals Skinny Pete and Badger off (and as) one-dimensional junkies who do little to move the plot forward, they offered up some of the series' most welcome moments of comic relief. That trend continues in El Camino, when Jesse -- after escaping, and knowing that he's a wanted man -- shows up at Pete and Badger's surprisingly well-furnished digs. But there's a definite theme going on here, which is probably best described as: Enterprise chic. In season 5's "Bloodmoney" episode, Badger and Skinny Pete out themselves as series Trekkies (or Trekkers) with an in-depth conversation about the series, and Badger explaining his idea for an episode (which involves a blueberry-pie-eating contest, and some puking). Their chairs are decidedly Star Trek-inspired and there's sci-fi-inspired décor throughout the pad.
Yeah, bitch! Magnets!
Much like the Seinfeld series finale, El Camino plays out like a stroll down Breaking Bad memory lane, with characters big and small making surprise reappearances. One of the happiest surprises was Old Joe, the owner of Old Joe's Junkyard, played by Larry Harkin. Though he was always good to crush a vehicle or help with a scam for the right price back in the Breaking Bad days, he wasn't as easy a sell this time around. But he did offer a belated compliment to Jesse on his whole "Magnets!" idea.
Through a series of flashbacks in El Camino, we get to relive Jesse's days as a hostage to Uncle Jack and his gang -- mainly through scenes between Jesse and Jack's psychotic nephew, Todd Alquist. And Todd's surprisingly pastel-colored apartment is where Gilligan had a lot of fun planting pieces of the past. In fact, when Jesse comments on the pad's unexpected color palette, Todd replies that he was "thinking of Easter eggs" when he chose it. Among the items Todd has lying around are a Vamonos Pest T-shirt (the bug bombing company Walt and Jesse created in order to make their meth operation mobile in Breaking Bad's fifth season) and Todd's pet/souvenir: the tarantula that 14-year-old Drew Sharp had captured in a jar in season 5's "Dead Freight"… just moments before Todd smiled at the youngster, then shot him.
A snow globe built for two
Todd's tarantula might be gut-wrenching, but there's one item that's even creepier: a snow globe -- clearly either homemade or custom-ordered -- that features a tiny Todd and Lydia Rodarte-Quayle in a giant teacup (let's hope he's got some Stevia).
Lydia Rodarte-Quayle's fate
Speaking of Lydia: When we last left the uptight Madrigal executive, single mom, and love of Todd's life, we know that she had been poisoned by Walter White and just assumed that would be the end of her. Though she isn't mentioned by name, a news report states that a Houston woman suspected of being part of Heisenberg's operation has been hospitalized with acute poisoning and is "not expected to survive." So there's that.
Holly + Arroz
In what cannot be a coincidence, El Camino gives us a close-up shot of where Todd's apartment building is located not once, but twice. He's at the corner of Holly Avenue and Arroz Road. There's a Holly in Breaking Bad: Walter's daughter, but if you translate arroz into English, you get "rice," which takes you even one step further into Gilligan's world: Todd lives at Holly and Rice, which is a tribute to Holly Rice, Gilligan's his longtime partner, whom he references in all of his projects.
During Jesse and Todd's extended weekend together, Todd makes it clear that he wants to reward Jesse for doing a good job in helping him with a few pesky tasks -- like burying Todd's cleaner. So he offers to buy Jesse a pizza, a big one, and asks what kind he likes. Jesse responds that he likes pepperoni. It would be hard for any Breaking Bad fan to forget the ginormous pizza that Walt brought home for Skyler and the family... then promptly threw onto the roof.
Whether this one is an intentional Easter egg or just a happy casting coincidence isn't quite clear. But if Clarence, the gigantic bodyguard who escorted an SUV full of prostitutes to the Kandy Welding guys looks familiar, that's because he has made a couple of appearances as a henchman for Saul Goodman in Better Call Saul -- though on Saul he's credited as "Man Mountain."
In Season 2 of Breaking Bad, Jesse's true character came through in "Peekaboo" -- the episode where Jesse was tasked with tracking down their stolen meth from a couple of junkies who left their kid alone and living in squalor. There's a moment where Jesse, waiting for the couple to return, spends a quiet moment in silent contemplation watching a bug climb up his hand. We see an almost exact re-creation of this scene in El Camino.
As El Camino flashes back and forth in time, we see Jesse sneak into Todd's apartment (post-massacre) looking to find out where the lovable little maniac hid his money. In trying to locate Todd's stash of cash, Jesse looks under the sink (Jesse's own preferred hiding place for his gigantic stash of blue meth) and then spends a bit of time checking the walls of Todd's apartment, which just happened to be one of Walter's favorite places to hide his stacks.
As Walter White's wealth grew, so did the amount of space he needed to store his cash. Enter: the crawl space. One of Breaking Bad's most memorable moments is of a panicked Walter finding out that Skyler has given most of their money away, and laughing maniacally at the no-win situation he has put himself and his family in. In El Camino, Jesse finds a way to get his parents out of their house so that he can sneak in and raid the family's safe. A quick shot shows Jesse from above, standing over his parents' own crawl space.
The favorite son
When Jesse attempts to open his parents' safe, the old password -- presumably Jesse's birthday -- no longer works. So he tries another number, which does work -- his younger brother Jake's birthday, confirming what Jesse has long believed: that Jake is his parents' favorite.
Ed's red minivan
Much of El Camino revolves around Jesse attempting to right some wrongs before he leaves Albuquerque to make a new life for himself. But he knows that the only way for him to truly do that is to call upon Ed, the vacuum salesman/"disappearer" played by the late Robert Forster, who Jesse hired once before -- then stiffed. Jesse remembers that Ed uses a vacuum business as a cover, and that there's a special order he's supposed to place, but he can't remember the specifics of either. But when he sees Ed's red minivan -- the one that waited to take him to safety once before -- he knows he has found the right place.
The two-gun duel
If Jesse learned anything from Walter, it's that two guns are always better than one. When Jesse pays a visit to Kandy Welding, he and Neil Kandy end up in a Western-style shootout. Much like Walter's final shootout in "Felina," having a second weapon handy is what ultimately helps Jesse win.
R.I.P., Walter White
If you watched El Camino hoping that the rumors of Walter's death were greatly exaggerated, and/or that he had created some nifty MacGyver-like trick or gadget to save himself what seemed to be imminent death at the end of "Felina," you're going to be disappointed. In a news report, it is confirmed that the man formerly known as Heisenberg is in fact dead.
The Bounder returns
Walter White may be dead, but that doesn't mean he doesn't show up in El Camino. As we've stated, the movie is full of flashbacks -- one of which shows Jesse and Walt sitting together at a diner in what is clearly the early days of their partnership (Season 2's ninth episode, "4 Days Out," to be exact). Look outside the window and you'll see their (not-so) trusty Bounder RV waiting for them in the parking lot. Walt even takes a moment to look out at it. And why not? It's beautiful.
Regards to Brock
In the final moments of El Camino, as Jesse arrives in Alaska to begin his new life, he hands Ed a letter to mail -- what will ostensibly be his last communication as Jesse Pinkman before he becomes Mr. Driscoll. Look carefully at the letter when Ed's hand drops, and you'll see that it's addressed to Brock, the young son of his ex-girlfriend Andrea (and to whom Jesse has long felt indebted).