The new Netflix Breaking Bad movie El Camino is getting great reviews and shoving the iconic Chevy car/truck into the current spotlight. Released by Netflix, the Jesse Pinkman character played by Aaron Paul, is on the run fleeing everyone with his crusty El Camino, hence the title.
El Camino picks up where Breaking Bad ended, with Jesse in the 1981 El Camino escaping from his white supremacist captors. Motor 1 talked to El Camino’s transportation coordinator Dennis Milliken (who might possibly have the best job ever) about how the show ends up with some iconic cars.
Cars Define Characters
“As much as I’d like to take all of the credit for this I have to proudly admit that the cars on Breaking Bad have Vince Gilligan’s fingerprints all over
them,” he says. Gilligan is the show’s creator and director. “The process always started with the script. At times he would be very specific about what he wanted for a character. When the description wasn’t defined, I would post a variety of options for him to consider via the internet, and he would choose from those options presented him.”
Due to the subject matter mostly none of the cars chosen are what you would call car enthusiast’s favorites. Like Walter White’s Pontiac Aztek, which many consider the worst car made since the Edsel. Cars define characters well so the Aztek perfectly captured Walter’s life. When Walt becomes Heisenberg, he also takes on different ways to project his new image and so he drives a Chrysler 300 SRT8. Yeah, we’d say those two cars are on different ends of the spectrum.
Discussing character Gus Fring’s Volvo, Milliken says, “In my opinion, there was only one car for Gus and Vince nailed it with this. It screams family, safety, and more importantly, law abiding.”
“It’s Perfect, Yo, Deep Cover.”
Once Pete is done with the El Camino he goes to Skinny Pete, played by Charles Baker; and Badger, played by Matt Jones; to help him ditch it for Badger’s 1986 Pontiac Fiero. Even if you are not familiar with Fieros you
probably know it is a slug that was plagued with issues including catching on fire. Skinny Pete tells Jesse why it’s the perfect car for a getaway, “That right there is a clown car. No self-respecting outlaw would ever get caught dead in that thing. That’s why it’s perfect, yo. Deep cover.”
Haunting Memories Of El Camino
That’s not the last we see of Pete’s El Camino. Jesse’s flashbacks revolve around it, helping to explain why the car he just ditched is important enough to be the film’s title. Originally owned by the psychopathic Todd, played by Jesse Plemons, we see Jesse with him en route to put a fiberglass
bed cap on the El Camino to hide a body they pick up from Jesse’s apartment. Racing to dispose of it in the desert Jesse is forced to ride in the bed next to the corpse, a haunting memory about the car he won’t ever forget.
Flashbacks Feature El Camino
Through this and other flashbacks we see what the El Camino represents to Jesse and his past. Along his road to recovery, Jesse will associate a lot of haunting things with the El Camino. We get to see whether Jesse will overcome some of the deeply disturbing and horrible episodes of his life that this car is intricately tied to.