Before the 'Breaking Bad' Movie, 8 Theories About the Fate of Jesse Pinkman

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We know what happened to Walter White (Bryan Cranston), but what of Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul)?  (AMC)

Last November, a decade after the series premiered, Vince Gilligan announced that a Breaking Bad movie was on the way. It has since been revealed that the plot will revolve around a kidnapped man's quest for freedom—so, duh, it's about Jesse Pinkman. Fans are having mixed feelings, due to the deep emotional attachment most of us developed towards the character.

Writing for Uproxx, long-time fan Steven Hyden says: “Allowing Jesse to flee into the desert night [in the finale] seemed less like a loose end than a tantalizing grace note for the most tortured character in Walter White’s orbit. I didn’t need to know where Jesse ended up. The value in not knowing was the hope that he would somehow be okay. But now, I know Jesse has another two hours of torment ahead of him. Thank you?”

This being Breaking Bad, torment is indeed inevitable. When it comes to specifics about what happened to Jesse though, there are multiple theories that have been flying around the internet since the show ended back in 2013.

Here's a selection for you to ponder before the movie arrives.

Aaron Paul's Theory: Fishing in Alaska


During a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, Paul said: "I like to think Jesse got away. I like to think he kept driving... I like to think he was building something in Alaska... So, I think he's living happy on a lake somewhere in Alaska, fishing a lot, making things out of wood, probably kicked the habit of meth."

Fan Theory 1: Two kids and a teaching position

"Jesse will end up happily married with two kids... Walt started out as a nice guy and broke bad, while Jesse started as 'a bad guy' and then gradually [became] more and more of a nice person with a heart. Meaning, at the end... they will have switched places completely. And who knows, maybe Jesse will become a chemistry teacher, after everything Walt has taught him."

Vince Gilligan's Theory: Prison

Breaking Bad's creator, head writer, executive producer and director, errs characteristically on the side of harsh realism: “The most likely thing, as negative as this sounds, is that they’re going to find this kid’s fingerprints all over this lab and they’re going to find him within a day or a week or a month. And he’s still going to be on the hook for the murder of two federal agents.”

Fan Theory 2: Woodworking with Nick Offerman

"Now living in Branson, Missouri under an assumed name… Jesse gets in touch with Badger and Skinny Pete, who drive up to visit him. He unloads [his] entire story to them… Badger takes notes, asks Jesse if he can write a screenplay about it. Jesse agrees… Badger sells the screenplay almost immediately, and it causes a bidding war… He moves to Hollywood and uses his newfound connections to arrange a meeting between Jesse and Nick 'Ron Swanson' Offerman, and the two of them spend a few hours in Offerman’s woodworking shop. It is the happiest day of Jesse’s life."

Bryan Cranston Theory: Happily Ever After

After five years playing Walter White, the man most responsible for much of Jesse's misery, you can't blame Cranston for trying to find a way to make it up to Pinkman, so he's erring on the positive side. "I would like to see [Jesse] break that mold and eventually break out and find his own real true calling,” Cranston told IndieWire. “Something that empowered him as a human being, that is on the straight and narrow, that allows him to be able to open up, to let another human being into his life. And be happy. ‘Cause I don’t sense that he was really ever happy.”

Fan Theory 3: Jesse literally becomes Mike Ehrmantraut

This one is a long shot, but fans long ago came up with a theory that Mike is Jesse's future self, having traveled back in time in order to guide Jesse away from Walter White's maniacal grip. Film Daily notes that: "There’s a lot of tenuous 'evidence' to support this [theory], like how both characters love kids, the way that Mike looks out for Jesse, some maddening speculation surrounding Mike’s past, and a paradox involving the ricin Walt once poisoned Brock with."

The Hollywood Reporter Theory: Kidnapped to cook (again)

Given what happened in the finale, this one is almost too grim to contemplate. "In season four… Gus takes Jesse south of the border to demonstrate his cookery to the cartel… The entire event is filmed, captured on camera. If dark forces in the world beyond the Breaking Bad series finale know Walter White is dead, and also know Jesse Pinkman's whereabouts... they will be very incentivized to find and capture the man for his cooking skills." Noooooooo!

Fan Theory 4: Jesse winds up in The Walking Dead

Some corners of Breaking Bad's fandom think the show is a prequel to The Walking Dead and that Walter White's blue meth is responsible for starting the zombie apocalypse. Remarkably, this isn't as ridiculous as it sounds. In episode two of The Walking Dead, a close up of Merle's stash of drugs reveals a bag containing blue meth. Much later, in Season 4, Daryl describes Merle's drug-dealer as “a janky little white guy tweaker” who was prone to using the word "bitch." Sounds a lot like Jesse, no? Another crossover in Walking Dead's second episode comes in the form of Glenn's red and black Dodge Challenger—the exact model that Walter gave to Walt Jr. in Breaking Bad, having bought it in (no, really) a place called "Glenn's Car Lot." Finally, fans of both shows have suggested that in Season 4 when Fring walks away from Walter's explosion with half his face missing, he was the very first sign of the zombie apocalypse to come.


No word yet on a release date for the Breaking Bad movie... but we wouldn't be that sad to see Daryl Dixon and Jesse Pinkman in a room together. Make it so, AMC!