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Kandy Welding Co Breaking Bad
The following contains spoilers for El Camino.
Vince Gilligan ties up a ton of dangling ends from Breaking Bad in his new Netflix film, El Camino. Jesse Pinkman wasn’t left with an easy road ahead after Walter White brutally murdered a bunch of Pinkman’s Neo-Nazi captors. But throughout El Camino, Pinkman is able to put the pieces of his life back together by taking advantage of a handful of clues and familiar faces from his old Breaking Bad-era days. Some of these agents of assistance are predictable figures, such as Pinkman’s longtime buddies, Skinny and Badger. Others are a bit more elusive, like Robert Forster’s recurring fixer character, who only seems to show up in the Breaking Bad-verse when characters hit rock bottom. But one key figure on Pinkman’s escape from utter catastrophe comes by way of a relatively nondescript source–a welding company called Kandy Welding Co.
After Pinkman is imprisoned by Jack Welker, the ruthless Neo-Nazi leader and uncle of awkward maniac Todd Alquist (played by Jesse Plemons), the peace-seeking meth kingpin is forced to, once again, cook up Heisenberg’s famous baby blue crystal. But since Pinkman’s a volatile and unpredictable dude, the Neo-Nazis decide to affix some physical restraints in the lab. Fans of the show will vividly recall the image of Pinkman, cuffed at his hands, lumbering around a meth lab with a chain that’s locked off on a sort of dolly system on the ceiling. Who put that whole hellish meth-slave system together? Kandy Welding Co.
In El Camino, Pinkman crosses paths with Neil, an employee of the welding company. Pinkman’s at the house of now-deceased Todd Alquist, digging around for a stash of money that Todd Alquist had stolen before he died. Pinkman knew Todd had the money. But as he soon finds out, Neil, is also after Todd’s thousands.
Though Pinkman and Neil end up dividing the fortune and parting ways, their fate doesn’t end there. Jesse soon finds out that the cash he’s stolen is not enough to buy him a fresh start from Robert Forster’s vacuum salesman character. So Pinkman needs to get that money back. He doesn’t know exactly where to find Neil, until he realizes that Neil is a part of the same welding company that helped imprison Pinkman in the meth lab.
By finding the center of operations of Kandy Welding Co., Pinkman is able to recover his stash of money–but not after finding himself in a shootout that would put John Wayne to shame. In the end, the company plays a crucial part in giving the former drug dealer his freedom. And it serves up one of the Breaking Bad franchise’s all-time greatest action scenes.
El Camino is out in limited theaters and available to stream on Netflix right now.
Dom Nero is a staff video editor at Esquire, where he also writes about film, comedy, and video games.