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Aaron Paul speed-summarizes Breaking Bad, guarantees El Camino won't screw it up

Aaron Paul
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live

With Vince Gilligan bringing the much-abused Jesse Pinkman back to our (TV and selected movie theater) screens tomorrow in the immediate sequel movie El Camino, Jimmy Kimmel thought his viewers might need a little Breaking Bad refresher course to explain, among other things, why Aaron Paul’s character looks suspiciously like he’s been locked away as a neo-Nazi gang’s meth-cook slave for many, many months. Bringing out Paul during his monologue seemed like a smart move, Paul being booked on the show as guest and all, so the once and future Pinkman took a deep breath a gave it a shot, running down the entire, five-season, multiple-character arc in just under three minutes.

Spoilers, obviously, ahead, as Paul ran through: Walt having cancer, cooking meth and killing lots of people “with science;” Jesse saying “bitch” a lot and falling “in love with Jessica Jones;” Walt Jr. really liking breakfast; “a scary chicken man named Gus;” Hank figuring out the whole game while on the toilet; “creepy Mexican murder twins;” plane crashes; killing a fly; Danny Trejo’s head on a tortoise; pretty much everybody else dying; and Walt freeing Jesse from those Nazis with “a robot gun in the trunk of his car because, science, bitch.”

So now we’re all caught up, Paul took a breather on Kimmel’s couch to assure everybody that, while getting the (surviving) gang back together for the Pinkman-led epilogue El Camino might seem like a risky proposition, creator Vince Gilligan, still and ever, knows what he’s doing. Relating how Gilligan had called him several years ago to say he was toying with the idea, Paul said that, while he told his former boss he’d “follow [Gilligan] into fire” anytime, Gilligan promised that he’d only ask Paul to become Pinkman again “if it’s perfect.” Cut to seven months later, when Gilligan got Paul back on the phone to say, “I’m done, and I think it’s pretty damned good.” While acknowledging Kimmel’s joke that another chapter could only “damage” Breaking Bad’s legacy, the actor once again restated what fans of the show (and Emmy-bait spinoff-prequel Better Call Saul) already know. “If you trusted Vince throughout that entire series,” said Paul confidently, “you should absolutely trust him in this film.”

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Paul, on the other hand, maybe not so much, as the Idaho native has a habit of staging elaborately chaotic scavenger hunts in hometown Boise whenever he has a premiere coming up. Most recently, the El Camino screening ticket scramble prompted, among other things: a scooter accident; several perhaps ill-advised fan tattoos; and an official Twitter alert from the Boise Police Department. “It was an utter shitshow,” admitted Paul, who also showed an exclusive clip to Kimmel and his crowd, in which the on-the-lam Pinkman—indeed, looking like shit—seeks refuge with a couple of welcome (and still-alive) old pals.

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About the author

Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.