When the final episode of Breaking Bad aired, most of the show’s various plotlines had been successfully wrapped up. This made sense. Throughout its five-season run, Breaking Bad was as tight and as well-thought-out as the science it portrayed. Every little thing had a point and mattered, and when it came time to bring it on home, Vince Gilligan brought everything with it.
Or almost everything.
As far as Jesse Pinkman goes, we did get some form of resolution with his story, as he was able to break free from the Nazis and speed away to safety. But when it came time to kick around some lingering questions that the finale left behind, “What does the future hold for Jesse?” was one of the main ones that we were left there to consider.
Now, six years later, we are going to get an answer thanks to El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.
Closure is one of the main reasons why El Camino quickly became one of the most anticipated movies of the fall. However, you can’t sleep on other factors, such as returning to the world of Breaking Bad and spending more time with one of the show’s most beloved characters. Throw those three elements together and it’s easy to see why people are so pumped for the movie.
Seeing as how Netflix decided to greenlight El Camino, I don’t think it would be out of line to now suggest some other potential projects for them to do; projects that pick up a character’s story from a show that is sadly no longer with us.
I think it’s actually perfectly in line. I also think I have some ideas for them, which is truly a remarkable coincidence.
Before getting into it, though, I want to make it clear that I didn’t come up with these ideas randomly. No way. Instead, I thought about why El Camino is so exciting and took the aforementioned three reasons and picked shows and characters based on those reasons.
Without further ado…
1. Michael Scott’s Life in Colorado
Let’s face it: The Office wasn’t nearly as good after Michael Scott left towards the end of the show’s seventh season. It’s not really the show’s fault, as it was more a matter of it being incredibly hard to replace someone like Steve Carrell.
In hindsight, the fact that they were able to pull off two full seasons post-Michael Scott is pretty impressive, regardless of the quality (which, again, wasn’t the best).
But that’s beside the point here.
Michael left Dunder Mifflin and Scranton to move to Colorado with Holly, and when he returned for the show’s finale, he seemed incredibly happy. Michael and Holly had kids and Michael had so many pictures of them.
He also had two phones, which is totally on-brand for Michael Scott (they were definitely flip phones).
If El Camino works because it seeks to answer one central question then a Michael Scott movie would too—provided that question it looked to answer is “What is life like for Michael Scott in Colorado?”
As with El Camino, it could pick up from right where The Office finale ended with Michael getting on a plane and heading back west.
To what, though?
How many kids do he and Holly have? What’s he doing for a living? Has he found an improv class in Colorado? Is he still writing screenplays?
I really hope he’s written a sequel to Threat Level: Midnight.
Oh! What if he’s a stay-at-home dad? A Mr. Mom deal starring Michael Scott could be fantastic, if not horrifying from a parenting standpoint.
2. Just Give Us the Tim Riggins Movie
Over the course of Friday Night Light’s five-season run, Tim Riggins became the heart and soul of a show that was all (full) heart and soul. The character was also something of a unicorn because whereas it became obvious that they were keeping him around because he was a fan favorite, they were able to make it work.
That was largely a testament to the character and Taylor Kitsch’s portrayal. Others may have said “Texas forever” but none were able to say and truly sound like they meant like Tim effin’ Riggins did.
So why not Texas Forever, a movie that picks up the Tim Riggins story where it left off?
The show’s final season started with Riggins in jail having taken the fall for his brother’s ill-conceived chop shop operation, and by the end, he was building a house on land he had bought because of course Tim Riggins went out and bought land.
You think Tim Riggins would buy a house first? Please. Tim Riggins is going to build his own damn house, thank you very much.
What’s Texas Forever about? I don’t really know, man.
How about life? Does that work for you? It works for me.
And, you know, Dillon does need a new football coach. Just saying.
3. Paige Jennings: Spy Hunter
Not enough people watched The Americans and that’s a major problem. It was then and it still is today. But alas, I’ll take my grievances with me and report them via the proper channels.
If you watched the show, you know what’s up. If you didn’t, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Either way, the show’s finale was truly one of the most gut-wrenching, tragic finales ever and that’s factoring in the sad truth that we all saw it coming. No one who watched The Americans ever expected a happy ending. It became more and more impossible with each episode.
In a finale that basically became a competition to see who came out the worst, the winner had to have been Paige, the daughter of the show’s main characters, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, the Russian spies who barely make it back home before getting caught.
They make it out, but their kids don’t. Paige bails on them before they get to the Canadian border and Henry, their son, finds out from their neighbor the F.B.I. agent.
Up until that point, Paige had drank the Kool-Aid and had started dabbling in spycraft herself. Yet she had started to sour on the gig once she got a taste of everything it entails and was having second thoughts; second thoughts that were perhaps the catalyst for her decision to jump ship on the escape plan.
She then returns to D.C., and the last time we see her, she’s alone in an apartment that had been used as a safe house, silently drinking vodka.
She can’t reconnect with Henry, and for all she knows, the F.B.I. is out to get her—especially once they learn that they lost her parents. Few things are more dangerous in this world of ours than a government agency looking to save face.
So what does Paige do?
Does she try and reach out to the K.G.B. and resume spying? Or does she try to act like nothing happen and try and start a normal, spy-free life?
How about she reaches out to the U.S. government and becomes a spy for them? She’s got some inside knowledge that might prove useful, and while I don’t know if she’s been compromised or not, that could be part of the mystery.
It’s spy madness in our nation’s capital in the mid-80s. Let’s do it!
4. Peggy Makes Her Way in the World
When it comes to Mad Men, it’s sometimes crazy to think that we first met Peggy Olsen when she was just a young secretary.
She then became a secretary who was low-key pregnant, had a child, and then became Don Draper’s protege (for better or worse). Peggy is a great example of what good can come from prestige shows running for an extended period of time, as we’re able to see development and extended arcs come to fruition.
Mad Men ended with Don experiencing some form of enlightenment out with the hippies in California, but back in New York, Peggy had elected to stay with McCann-Erickson, who had gobbled up Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce instead of teaming up with Joan. She also found love down in the art department with Stan.
As far as Peggy goes, this situation might be the one that most resembles Jesse’s in Breaking Bad in the sense that both are supporting characters who became fan favorites over the years, and while they did get some resolution to their respective stories in each’s finale, wondering what the future held in store for them was hard to move on from.
Mad Men ended in November of 1970 and there would be plenty to pull from in a movie about a female marketing executive living and working in New York City at the time.
When she was at SCDP, she was largely shielded and protected by Don, but with him out of the picture, she’d be left to fend for herself (something she can obviously do but it’d still be entertaining to see her do it).
Given how things ended on Mad Men, you also can’t rule out a possible Jon Hamm cameo, with Don showing up at some point. Perhaps he can finally explain what he was thinking about when the show ended.
I mean, we all have our theories, but closure and confirmation are always welcome.