Last week my husband and I sat down to watch El Camino, Netflix’s new spin-off sequel to the series Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad was probably one of my favorite television experiences of all time, and I’ve come to “miss” many of its characters. El Camino is a chance to reunite with a few of them for a little while. Make no mistake, however — it’s a dark two hours of viewing.
El Camino picks up with the story of Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) in the moments immediately following the conclusion of Breaking Bad. No spoilers here, but if Jesse looks like he’s been through some form of hell, he has — months of captivity and abuse.
Here, he’s just turned up unexpectedly at the Albuquerque home of his friends Badger (Matt Jones) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker)…and there happens to be a passing scent reference.
Badger and Skinny Pete regularly provided comic relief throughout some of Breaking Bad‘s darkest interludes, but now they’re rendered nearly speechless by Jesse’s appearance and by what they know of his predicament.
Skinny Pete (the one with the hat) leads Jesse to the bathroom, gently encouraging him to take a hot shower. He’s ready to share all his medicine cabinet has to offer: a fresh bar of Irish Spring soap, not to mention his collection of men’s fragrances.
“I got Axe body spray…I got Obsession for Men. I got Tommy Hilfinger [sic].”
Well, who hasn’t pronounced “Hilfiger” incorrectly at some point? And the set dressers got the bottles right.
“Feel free to use any of ’em you want, you know? Use ’em all.”
(That’s a somewhat horrifying thought, mixing Axe with one or two other fragrances, but the mood is still so dark that I didn’t laugh as much as I normally would have.)
Badger (the heavier guy) chimes in, “Obsession’s the bomb, yo. I got it for him for Christmas.”
Again, I wanted to laugh, especially because the Obsession All Over Body Spray (an aerosol!) seems to be just what Badger would buy, rather than the Eau de Cologne — don’t ask me why, it’s hard to explain — and maybe I did chuckle, but I was oddly moved by their efforts to be kind and generous when they’re so obviously out of their depth.
I don’t know which scent, if any, Jesse chose to apply after his shower and shave, but he obviously appreciated their loyalty and support in these scenes.
Have you watched El Camino? What did you think?