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Who Are the ‘Breaking Bad’ Characters in ‘El Camino’?

Vince Gilligan says there are “more than 10 familiar characters” in the upcoming movie about Jesse Pinkman. The trailers have confirmed a few, but now it’s time to speculate about the rest.

AMC/Ringer illustration

These were the first two thoughts, in order, in every Breaking Bad fan’s head when Netflix released a one-minute, 11-second teaser for El Camino on August 24:

  1. “OH MY GOD THEY’RE MAKING A BREAKING BAD MOVIE!”
  2. “Oh man, I wonder who’s going to be in it.”

Breaking Bad was singularly focused on Walter White and his transformation from affable chemistry teacher to cold-hearted, murderous meth kingpin. And while the series finale satisfyingly brought his story to an end, the world around him, populated with scores of genuinely intriguing characters, was left untouched, allowing viewers to wonder what became of its auxiliary players. “What’s going on with Badger and Skinny Pete?” is a thought I’ve had no less than a dozen times over the past six years. And the fervor over Better Call Saul and El Camino suggests I’m not alone.

So we Heisenberg-heads were in luck when, just a few weeks after the release of the El Camino trailer, The Hollywood Reporter dropped a feature on the new film, reporting that it included “more than 10 familiar characters” from the original production. It’s time to look ahead: With three of the characters so far confirmed, and a fourth close enough to confirmation to call it a lock, that leaves at least six more familiar faces who could grace our screens when El Camino premieres on October 11. Let’s try to figure out who they might be.

Hector Salamanca

Ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding.

No.

Likelihood of appearing: 0/5

Holly White

Holly is a baby. Unless we run into her and Skyler at the supermarket, I’m going to say this is an unlikely cameo.

Likelihood of appearing: 1/5

AMC

Marie Schrader

Look, I don’t have the slightest clue whether Marie will be in El Camino. I do, however, need to know something: Is she OK, and is she wearing purple? Colors played a big part in the way Vince Gilligan set the tone on Breaking Bad. Walt was often seen in muted tones to express his darkness, or red to show his rage. Early on, Skyler wore brighter colors, or white, to show her innocence. Marie, though, wears purple. Everything in her world is purple; her clothes, her kitchen accessories, her aura, everything. At least … that’s how it used to be. And I’m not saying that El Camino needs to include a side plot about this, but I’m not not saying that. Has the loss of her husband left Marie with a wardrobe of black? Has she completed her transformation into the Barney of Albuquerque? Will we even find out?

Likelihood of appearing: 1/5

Gretchen and Elliott Schwartz

Honestly, I hope these yuppies are still living in fear of Walt, long after he’s passed. But that’ll all likely remain off-screen.

Likelihood of appearing: 1/5

Gustavo Fring

As the dings in that earlier entry should indicate, Gus Fring is dead—killed when Hector’s wheelchair bomb blew half his face off. Fring could see some screen time in a flashback, but even that would be surprising—trailers have seemed to indicate that the movie is focused on the aftermath of the series finale, on Jesse’s emotional recovery and potential revenge. Gus may not be directly in his crosshairs, so it feels like a stretch to suggest he’ll show his face, or what’s left of it, in El Camino.

Likelihood of appearing: 1/5

Donald Margolis

It’s unknown whether Donald survived the self-inflicted gunshot wound he suffered after his daughter Jane’s death led him to direct Wayfarer 515 into another plane in the sky above Albuquerque. But like Brock, Donald represents one of the last remaining ties to one of the people Jesse loved most. He hasn’t seen Jesse since Jane’s death, and any interaction between the two of them would be heartbreaking.

Likelihood of appearing: 2/5

AMC

Ted Beneke

Ted told Skyler he’d never snitch about Walt’s involvement in the meth business, or how he got hurt. But now that Heisenberg is gone, and the authorities are on the lookout for anything and anyone who might lead them back to Jesse, Ted seems like an easy candidate to squeal. Saul is presumably already on the lam, or in a Cinnabon, and his henchmen aren’t likely to be a threat anymore. Plus, with Walt gone, maybe he’s looking to slide into Skyler’s DMs again.

Likelihood of appearing: 3/5

Huell

I cannot express how strongly I hope Huell is still just hanging out in that safehouse, minding his own business. Maybe we’ll see him interrogated by the DEA once more, as they probe for Jesse’s whereabouts. Although mostly, I just hope he gets another shot at lying on an enormous pile of money.

I don’t care if Walt buried his fortune, or if the neo-Nazis took it, or if this cash was handed off to the Schwartzes to provide for Walt Jr. and Holly. Huell looks happier in this moment than I have in my entire life.

Likelihood of appearing: 3/5

Skyler White

Apart from an early-series confrontation and the most awkward dinner scene ever filmed, Skyler’s interaction with Jesse has been limited. Saying that Skyler dislikes Jesse is putting it lightly; she petitioned to have him killed in Season 5. To her, he represents the catalyst to Walt’s spiral from upright citizen to drug lord. Any run-in with Jesse would likely be caked in vitriol and leave Jesse in a worse place than when it started. But hey, at least he likes her cooking.

Likelihood of appearing: 3/5

Walt Jr.

In Breaking Bad’s finale, we saw Walt Jr.—or is it still Flynn?—walking home from school and into Skyler’s new apartment. The last he spoke to his father, he admonished him for his role in Hank’s death. Walt Jr. is the only major character not to have met Jesse, though Walt did call him by his partner’s name, once. It would be fitting for Jesse to run into his old boss/fellow meth kingpin/mentor/tormentor’s son while trying to put his life back together. Maybe they can have breakfast together.

Likelihood of appearing: 3/5

Brock

Listen, I’m not saying this picture of Brock and Andrea in the trailer absolutely means that Brock is going to be in the movie. I’m just saying that it probably means he’s going to be in the movie.

It makes sense. Brock’s poisoning is what pushes Jesse to turn on Walt, and his survival means there’s still someone out there who Jesse cares about enough to fight for. Todd made Jesse watch as he killed Andrea, and his killing of Todd acted as revenge for the act. He can’t get revenge on Walt for using the lily of the valley on a child, but he can spend whatever life he has left supporting the child of the woman he loved.

Likelihood of appearing: 4/5

AMC

Saul Goodman

It seems likely that Saul, or Jimmy, or Gene, or whatever we’re calling him now, will appear in the third chapter of the Greater Breaking Bad Universe. While the rest of Breaking Bad’s main characters left our screens when the series concluded in 2013, the sleazy lawyer-turned-Cinnabon-manager has remained. Better Call Saul has been a Ringer obsession for a while now (“JUSTICE FOR RHEA SEEHORN” or whatever my colleague Miles Surrey normally yells), and Bob Odenkirk’s slimy, criminal lawyer will be a mainstay in the public consciousness for at least two more seasons. If we see Saul, it’s likely we’ll catch him on his way to Omaha, in the middle of a second rebranding. His appearance would also act as the third and final chapter to his character’s arc: Jimmy McGill begat Saul Goodman begat Gene Takovic. I’d put my money on something like this happening, because if there’s one thing television networks love, it’s crossover events. Vertical synergy!

Likelihood of appearing: 4.5/5

Skinny Pete

One half of everyone’s favorite tweaker duo, Skinny Pete is absolutely going to be in El Camino. We know that for a fact. He’s been in two of the three trailers released up to now, and his appearance was also confirmed in the aforementioned Hollywood Reporter spotlight. Last we saw Pete, he and Badger were helping Walt blackmail Gretchen and Elliott into setting up a fund for Walt Jr. and Holly using the money he made from his meth empire. Here’s hoping Pete doesn’t get mugged again.

Likelihood of appearing: 5/5

Badger

Badger made an appearance with Skinny Pete in the full El Camino trailer, likewise ensuring he’ll be present. My man might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s handy with a laser pointer and he can rock a beanie. Badger and Pete were the two people closest to Jesse who weren’t either now-dead paramours or enemies actively trying to kill him. With Jesse on the run, it makes sense that he’d turn to his two best friends for help.

Likelihood of appearing: 5/5

Old Joe

The king of the scrap yard made an appearance in a teaser last week, picking up a call—presumably from Jesse—while looking over his dump and watching a news report on everyone’s favorite fugitive. Joe’s seen some things: He helped dispose of the old RV, kept Hank from catching Jesse, provided the electromagnet that wiped Gus’s computer (YEAH BITCH! MAGNETS! OH!), and took care of Mike’s body after his death. All while keeping his mouth shut. Joe might not be the likeliest of allies, but he’s a good one.

Likelihood of appearing: 5/5

Mike Ehrmantraut

As someone who’s generally wary of flashbacks as a narrative device, as recently as a week ago, I’d have told you this was a long shot. Thankfully, Vince Gilligan disagrees. At the Emmys, Jonathan Banks, who portrayed the erstwhile henchman/mobster/fixer, leaked that he would be making an appearance in the upcoming film.

Mike is dead, thanks to Walt, so it’s a safe bet his screen time will be set sometime before the series’ finale. Or maybe it’s all a hallucination.

Likelihood of appearing: 5/5

Walter White

It has to happen, right? Walt’s last moment on Breaking Bad shows his hand slowly slipping from a drum in the Nazis’ meth lab, tracing his bloody fingers down its exterior before falling to the earth to rest in eternal slumber. It was a near-perfect ending for a seminal character. That should’ve been that. But a line in The Hollywood Reporter’s piece said a “private jet” was used to “shuttle a key cast member in and out of Albuquerque without notice.” I’m willing to bet my long lost economics degree that cast member is Bryan Cranston. Cranston has said in the past he’s against the idea of a Breaking Bad reboot, but said nothing of the possibility that he’d appear in a sequel. Heisenberg might be gone, but that doesn’t mean he’s gone for good. Maybe he appears in a hallucination like Mike may. Or maybe it’s a flashback. Or maybe Jesse looks down at a plate of eggs and arranges some bacon to make out Walt’s formerly mustachioed face.

Likelihood of appearing: 5/5