What happens to Jesse Pinkman at the end of Breaking Bad? In 2013, the AMC series concluded its five-season run with a cryptic finale. Netflix’s new movie, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, picks up the Jesse Pinkman storyline after the series finale.
Jesse was a former student of Walter White's (Bryan Cranston), and he eventually became the science teacher's partner-in-crime by cooking blue meth. Each season of Breaking Bad chronicles Walter’s transformation into a drug king pin, along with Jesse’s sobriety issues and personal setbacks. Because the main Breaking Bad characters aren’t traditional protagonists but rather deeply-flawed antiheroes, the series continues to fascinate viewers with its thematic explorations of morality and redemption.
Breaking Bad’s ending follows Jesse’s attempts to escape from a white supremacist gang. In the penultimate episode “Granite Slate”, gang leader Jack Welker (Michael Bowen) plans to murder Jesse, but Todd Alquist (Jesse Plemons) convinces the crew to utilize Jesse as a meth-cooking slave. And so, he’s locked up in an underground hole. Jesse uses a paper clip to break free from the handcuffs and nearly manages to escape Welker’s compound, only to be spotted by a security camera. The gang, then, forces Jesse to watch Todd murder Andrea Cantillo (Emily Rios), Jesse’s former girlfriend. Meanwhile, Walter - now on the run after being exposed - relocates to a hideout in Maine, and then plots a return to New Mexico.
In the Breaking Bad series finale, “Felina,” a ragged and bearded Jesse dreams of an ideal life while cooking at Jack's compound. In Santa Fe, Walter convinces former business associates Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz (Jessica Hecht and Adam Godley) to use his $9 million to establish a fund for his son; an under-the-radar way to filter drug money that can help his family. Jesse’s friends, Badger (Matt L. Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker), are hired as Walt's faux hit men, and believe that Jesse has gone to Alaska. Walter theorizes that Jesse must be responsible for the new blue meth that’s being produced and sold in New Mexico.
Walter tracks down Jack and confronts him about partnering with Jesse, who then comes face to face with his former business partner. As it turns out, Walter has arranged a weapon rig on his vehicle, and tackles Jesse to the ground while Jack's home is sprayed with bullets. Still handcuffed (and alive), Jesse strangles Todd to death and threatens to shoot Walter. Laughing maniacally, Jesse speeds away from the compound in a vehicle, fully cognizant that he's about to begin a new chapter of his life. Breaking Bad concludes with Walter on his back in Jack's lab, bleeding, smiling, and clearly dying, but it's unclear where Jesse went next. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie will presumably reveal what happens after Jesse Pinkman's escape, as the trailer features Skinny Pete refusing to rat on his old friend.