El Camino, which premiered October 11 on Netflix, is a harrowing and meditative two-hour long imagining of what happened to Jesse Pinkman after the series finale of Breaking Bad. If you have the stomach for the sort of low-simmering anxiety that creator Vince Gilligan specializes in, then please set aside two hours of your time to watch this, for it is a very satisfying coda to Jesse’s story, which—Spoilers, but come on—ended with him being taken into captivity by those terrible Nazi dirtbags, never to be seen again.
What follows is redemption for Jesse—a revenge narrative that unwinds at an almost leisurely pace. Through various flashbacks, we see what happened to Jesse and how he exacts his revenge. We also get a glimpse into where Todd (Jesse Plemmons), the evil, cold-blooded Nazi nephew lives: this regular apartment, which I assume is somewhere in Albuquerque. It is relatively unassuming. Do not let that fool you.
There is something deeply appealing about this box on stilts—the native vegetation, the balconies, and something about how this place looks like where hopes and dreams go to quietly molder into the night. I understand why Todd, a cold-blooded killer with a face like a gentle bullfrog, might want to live here. What I was not expecting was the interior to look so... chic? Todd?
Todd likes color! Todd may be harboring an appreciation for the Memphis Group, design-wise—it’s in the squiggles in that glass and wood coffee table, and the sinuous, bubbly, curves of that leather sofa. This was not what I was expecting, but I am not ashamed to say that I love it and this interior, with just a teensy bit more light, would look right at home on the Instagram feed of Dobbin Street Co-op, a vintage furniture reseller that I follow with great fervor. Dobbin Street markets itself as a lifestyle brand for the “modern Brooklyn bohemian.” Todd from Breaking Bad is a man in comedian jeans who murders for sport and for his neo-Nazi uncles. Never did I think that these two disparate entities would find common ground, but they have overcome their assumed ideological differences and found unity.
Let’s take a peek at the kitchen!
This island! I have no love for a murderer or for an open concept kitchen, but the way this peninsula separates the space between kitchen and living room without making either feel too open is really working for me. Yellow for the cabinets is an inspired choice; perhaps Todd wanted to bring some of the beautiful New Mexico sun into his home and painted the cabinetry to reflect that buttery light. The blinds on those sliding glass doors are inexcusable, but I’ll let it slide. The kitchen sink is near a window! I bet there’s laundry. New York is a terrible place that makes people forget about what it’s like to live somewhere normal; I am now moved by any apartment that seems better than mine and this fictional home in a drab little apartment complex inspires deep jealousy.
That’s a lovely vent hood! I love open shelving! The contrast of marigold against the blue of the door and the little table to the right is lovely. Again, I do not know who designed this apartment, and I understand that Todd is evil, but I love his home and wish it were mine.
Admittedly, the bedroom is the least impressive room of this house, though I am still moved by Todd’s commitment to color. Also, the floors of this entire abode appear to be ceramic tile, and there aren’t that many windows, just skylights. Still, if you squint and look up at the square of sky, I bet at the right time of day, it looks like a James Turrell installation—something about the moon, the desert, and heaven, maybe.