A mystery new image suggests that Jesse Pinkman is struggling with the ghosts of his past in the forthcoming Breaking Bad movie. First airing in 2008 to modest fanfare Vince Gilligan's Breaking Bad would go on to become one of the most revered television series of all time, as viewers fell in love with the story of a mild-mannered chemistry teacher's gradual transformation into an international drug kingpin. After a concluding fifth season, Breaking Bad fans were hungry for more and the Better Call Saul spinoff series has helped fill that void, taking on a life all of its own.
In November last year, however, AMC announced a true Breaking Bad continuation in the form of a feature-length movie special that would explore Jesse Pinkman's life after his dramatic escape in the Breaking Bad series finale. Typically, the project is shrouded in secrecy, but both Bryan Cranston (Walter White) and Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) have recently been posting cryptic promotional posts on their social media accounts. The first simply featured two donkeys with the tag "soon" but the most recent post shows both actors wading through a river, now with the caption "even sooner."
Firstly, it's important to stress that there is currently no explicit connection between these images and the upcoming Breaking Bad movie. However, the project is currently in the process of filming and it seems unlikely that Cranston and Paul would both be working on another production together at the same time. Additionally, the inherent secrecy surrounding the meaning of these images hints at something significant. Something Breaking Bad-related.
In a sense, this is impossible. If this image is indeed taken from the Breaking Bad movie, then Walter White's death in the series finale means he can't be wading through a river with Jesse Pinkman in the present day. The scene can't depict some kind of pre-Breaking Bad flashback either, as both men are very clearly older than they should be for that period and, in any case, Walt and Jesse didn't know each other outside of their teacher-pupil dynamic before the series began.
It's plausible that the image is taken from a scene set during the Breaking Bad story, and fills in a gap that wasn't included in the show itself. With that said, perhaps a more likely explanation is that Walt isn't really there.
It's a understatement to say that Jesse endured a tough time in Breaking Bad, and the character's final scene saw him tearfully celebrating his escape after being captured and forced to work for a group of Neo-Nazis that had seized control of Walt's empire. After such a traumatic and potentially damaging experience, it would hardly be surprising if Jesse was suffering from PTSD and may have also resumed his drug habit. This combination could mean that the Breaking Bad movie finds Jesse constantly haunted by the ghosts of his past, who are keeping him company every minute of the day.
This would not only explain Bryan Cranston's role in Breaking Bad's future, but also account for the heavily rumored inclusion of Krysten Ritter, who played Jesse's former lover, Jane. Like Walt, Jane is dead at the end of the Breaking Bad story and, also like Walt, her passing had a profound impact upon Jesse. Considering everything the man been through, it would hardly be surprising if Jesse was hallucinating deceased Breaking Bad characters in the upcoming movie.
If this does ultimately prove to be the premise of the film, it's certainly an intriguing concept, and Better Call Saul has demonstrated how effectively and meaningfully the core Breaking Bad mythos can be expanded upon. On the other hand, Jesse Pinkman's story arguably comes to a perfect conclusion in Breaking Bad's final episode, leaving viewers to decide whether the character ever finds true happiness. Potentially, that ambiguity has now been taken away, fundamentally altering Breaking Bad's conclusion and the emotions attached to it.
According to Cranston and Paul's posts, fans won't have to wait too long before answers arrive and Vince Gilligan has more than earned the right to be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to continuing Walt and Jesse's story.
The Breaking Bad movie is currently without a release date. More news as it arrives.