Fans of the hit TV drama Breaking Bad got to relive some of the show's epic, enthralling moments with the recent release of El Camino: A Breaking Bad story on Netflix. The film somewhat plays out like a huge, action-filled episode of the show, which follows our downtrodden protagonist, Jesse Pinkman, in the aftermath of Walt's drug empire collapsing and the defeat of Jack's gang.
One of the neatest aspects of the film, aside from the exciting action and terrific performances, is the handful of cameos throughout. While we got to see a number of heartwarming nostalgic appearances by some of our favorite characters, there are plenty more we wish we could have seen.
Though it may not have seemed necessary or even possible to inject some into the narrative, the abundance of flashbacks certainly made it possible for just about anyone to make an appearance.
10 Coolest: Ed Galbraith
This memorable scene featuring the unsung hero named Ed Galbraith is made all the more sentimental and significant given the recent passing of the highly talented actor that plays him, Robert Forster. It's certainly great to see that Forster got to reprise his role as Ed for one final memorable scene in the Breaking Bad universe.
Ed is the man responsible for smuggling both Walter and Saul into their new lives of anonymity amidst a ton of heat on them. Basically, if it weren't for the discrete, cunning tactics of Ed, we wouldn't have either that epic Breaking Bad conclusion, or the more recent hit spinoff, Better Call Saul. In El Camino, Jesse seeks out the vacuum shop owner in a desperate attempt to gain a new identity, which Ed is hesitant to do. This is partly what sets the plot in motion, as Pinkman must find a way to retrieve the required funds to make this happen.
9 Wish We Saw: Tuco
In fairness, it would have been rather difficult to inject Tuco into a film which is several years removed from his time in the drug trade. Yet, even a mere flashback scene or two, which could have revealed more about his dealings with Walt and Jesse in their early days in the meth business, could have made for a neat viewing, and a cool bit of early BB nostalgia. At least there's plenty of this intimidating drug kingpin to watch in the similarly great spinoff show, Better Call Saul.
8 Coolest: Jane
In a moment that's both emotional and philosophically relevant to Jesse, we get to see a brief scene involving Jesse's girlfriend in Breaking Bad season 2, Jane Margolis. Pinkman recalls a moment in which the two of them are driving, and Jesse commends her for drifting to where the universe takes her. In a Morpheus-esque moment, Jane discredits this notion, claiming it better to maintain total control over one's own life.
This is significant as it's precisely what Jesse has sought to do for the duration of El Camino, making it an impactful closing scene. Given the tragic demises of both of Pinkman's love interests, Jane and Andrea in BB, it was heartfelt to see a moment involving one of them, even if it was short-lived.
7 Wish We Saw: Lydia
Considering Todd and Lydia ended up being something of a criminal tag-team not unlike Bonnie and Clyde, it's a bit peculiar to see quite a few scenes with Todd while Lydia is completely M.I.A during El Camino. Granted, we do get a quick, subtle nod to her character as we hear a news report mentioning the Madrigal meth supplier was in bad shape from being poisoned, but technically still alive.
Still, it would have been neat to see more with her, Todd, and/or Pinkman as they hashed out business dealings in the events leading to the eventual collapse of Walt's drug empire.
6 Coolest: Skinny Pete And Badger
In the beginning of El Camino, Jesse is on the run after escaping the clutches of Jack, Todd, and their sadistic Neo-Nazi crime syndicate. We're not quite sure what his first stop will be as he's flooring it from the clubhouse. Could he be on his way to see Brock? Or perhaps to the vacuum store owner to go into hiding? As it turns out, he meets up with his friends, and two of the show's more amusing characters, Skinny Pete and Badger.
After the hell that Jesse has no doubt been through following his captivity, and the death and mayhem that's surely to follow, it's perhaps a good thing to kick off El Camino with a bit of comic relief.
5 Wish We Saw: The Cousins
Shifting from two of Breaking Bad's more humorous, lighthearted characters to a pair of the most stoic, hardened antagonists on the show, we've got Leonel and Marco Salamanca, known simply as "The Cousins." Like Tuco, these two are pretty far removed from the aftermath of Walt and Jack's crime syndicates that play out in El Camino.
Still, a flashback scene featuring these two badass villains could have been one with potential, given that just about every scene these guys are in is rife with thrilling action and Michael Bay-style explosions.
4 Coolest: Mike
Fans of BB didn't quite know what to expect after starting El Camino and traveling back roughly 8 years ago to the American southwest post-Heisenberg. But after the film kicks things off with an appearance (albeit a brief one) of one of the show's most memorable characters, we knew we were in for a fun romp.
While the conversation between Jesse and Mike seems somewhat insignificant in the scheme of things, it's a neat revelation to see that it's Mike who seems to plant the seed of an idea that takes root for Pinkman; that he should get out of dodge. It's also Ehrmantraut that poses the idea of Alaska being a great place to hide out and start fresh.
3 Wish We Saw: Uncle Jack
While El Camino has its own cast of villains - between the Todd flashbacks and the introduction of the Kandy Welding crew - their appearances weren't quite as memorable as the cold and crude Neo-Nazi gang leader, Jack Welker. Considering this character wasn't even introduced until season 5, there is seemingly a good deal of untapped potential with this villain. El Camino could have taken some liberties in exploring more of this mysterious gang member's past and his relationship to Jesse, Walt, and his own nephew Todd.
2 Coolest: Walter
We essentially knew it was coming. In fact, it seemed as if a large part of El Camino's excitement hinged on the potential reveal of a Walter White cameo. Yet, it was still a joy to see it when it finally happened - even if there weren't a ton of revelations during Bryan Cranston's one and only scene.
Seemingly as a way for Gilligan to tie this into El Camino's through-line of Jesse starting anew, Walter asks Jesse what's next for him after their drug escapades while eating in a restaurant. This is likely meant to transpire during the episode "4 Days Out," as the two mention the absurd amount of money they'll make after cooking that hefty batch in the RV.
It's a heartfelt scene that reminds us of the amusing banter and chemistry (pun not intended) between Walt and Jesse. It also closes out with a memorable line which is no doubt significant to Pinkman, "You're lucky, you didn't have to wait your whole life to do something special."
1 Wish We Saw: Gus
Given that El Camino focuses on elements surrounding the unrelated gang of Jack and Todd, it somewhat makes sense to leave out one of BB's most dynamic and chilling villains. Still, it's a bummer that Gus was nowhere to be found, especially when El Camino had made clear such a cameo was possible with the frequent flashbacks from Jesse.
Considering he was a crucial part of Pinkman's rise (and eventual collapse), a Fring appearance would seem to make sense. Perhaps Vince Gilligan figured that Gus' showing on Better Call Saul was sufficient for the Chilean chicken man.