Review: In ‘El Camino,’ Jesse Pinkman’s road is paved, finally, with his own intentions

This review was originally published on, and can be viewed here. 


The most remarkable thing about “EL Camino,” the Breaking Bad one-off (maybe? Maybe not?) sequel that sees Vince Gillian going feature-length in his return to gritty, grimy Albuquerque is how precisely unremarkable it is.

Ever since those khakis soared through a clear, dry New Mexico sky, Gilligan’s landmark TV show excelled at an attention to detail—instead of trying to outdo himself, it was all about letting his story take its natural course…against as exquisitely-realized a neo-Western tapestry as possible. For all intents and purposes, Gilligan was the cook of a product that was as pure as Walter White’s blue sky, and once the story’s finish line began to come into view the question wasn’t so much if White would end up on the road to hell; it was in what gear he’d be heading there.

“El Camino” adopts – in great measure, and to mostly satisfying success – that same matter-of-factness that fueled “Breaking Bad’s” homestretch. Gilligan isn’t trying to outdo himself; there are no shocking revelations that upend or change our view of everything that’s come before. If you watched “Breaking Bad” (and there’s plenty to be enticed by for those who haven’t) and had three guesses, you could very well describe broadly how this two-hour joyride focusing on the tormented Jesse Pinkman ends.

But what happens in those two hours makes for a worthwhile return to Albuquerque…and a world that remains as delectably murky and dangerous as ever. Continue reading →