The Ending Of El Camino Explained

Series showrunner Vince Gilligan has always been quick to shut down rumors involving Walter White’s death. He’s made it clear: The guy’s dead, y’all. But rumors are like cockroaches — by the time you see one, there’s already a nest in the walls, and it wasn’t long before more rumors scurried onto the internet suggesting that White would make a return in El Camino.

Well, he did, but there’s no messianic return to life here. It’s just a flashback to a conversation Jesse and Walt had in a New Mexico diner. It appears to take place just after the season two episode that saw them trapped in the desert, because the clothes match up with what they were wearing when Jesse dropped Walt off at the airport. It’s certainly far enough back that the bad blood between the two hasn’t yet begun to fester, and Walter still cares, or at least cares enough to pretend to care, about his young partner’s welfare. 

The conversation is seemingly innocuous and most likely mainly serves as a way to get Bryan Cranston into the role for one last hurrah, but it also carries hints of Jesse’s new future. Walt urges him to think about the future, then says, “You’re really lucky, you know? You didn’t have to wait your whole life to do something special.”

It’s possible that Jesse is thinking back to that conversation because he’s finally doing something that he sees as special. Although Walter was clearly referring to things like making piles of money and becoming a respected drug kingpin, Jesse sees putting the sins of his life in the past as a more personal measure of what makes something special.

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