An Open Loveletter to Vince Gilligan

Dear Mr. Gilligan,

(We haven’t shared coffee, or a beer just yet, so I can’t bring myself to address this as only “Vince”).

Thank you.

Thank you for your latest creation of El Camino.

I wanted to watch its release as early as I possibly could. I truly considered staying awake (thanks to Aaron Paul’s tweets) and watching it on its earliest release at midnight.

But I had to wake up early the following morning, drive my son to school, and then hit the road to drive from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts for a book signing/selling event.

But the morning of its release, my son and I watched the first five minutes together. That was my suggestion. Five minutes only. No more, no less.

It was the most painful button I’ve ever had to press when I hit the stop button on the remote.

I left for the weekend, did my book event (it was great, by the way… the Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival team is the absolute shit!), drove back home, collapsed on Sunday night, and then watched El Camino on Monday evening, when I could watch it and do it justice.

Thank you.

As a writer, and as someone who is supposed to have talent and do justice in certain moments, I find it frustrating to adequately describe my thanks… but I’ll try and do it justice.

Thank you as a writer… for creating something worthy of being studied and treasured for years to come.

Thank you for creating characters that people love and keeping their arcs true. That people hate. That people are on the fence about as far as whether they love OR hate them. Thank you for mimicing life.

I recently had a fan give me a review of a book I wrote with Matt Hayward. The fan wrote that our book was one of his favorites of all time.

I can’t put into words what that single phrase did to me. 

I’m sure you’ve heard it quite a lot about Breaking Bad, but I hope the magic of hearing that phrase hasn’t worn off. I hope it hasn’t, but just in case, I’ll say it once more. 

Breaking Bad is my favorite series of all time. Same for my son. We’ve watched it, start to finish, at least three times so far. We quote lines back and forth sometimes. I hope hearing that it’s someone’s favorite still does something for you to hear.

Thank you for being true to the story you wanted to tell. For not overextending it until fans and the suits that be forced you to kill it. You told the story you wanted to tell… and that was enough.

But thank you for giving us just a little bit more.

This… this was closure. This was just a little bit more to let us feel the love we felt for the world you created… for the characters you developed. For letting us see just a tiny bit more.

You see, the world you created was genuine. It was true and sincere and real. Oh yes, there were villians. There were heroes. There were those that straddled that murky gray area in between.

And you wrote them all true as can be. And so you were true to yourself.

Thank you for that, Mr. Gilligan.

I’ll do what I can to live up to what you’ve done. I can’t say I’ll ever achieve it in my work… but I’ll damned sure try. And my last thanks, for now… thank you for inspring me with the hope to try and get there.

Robert Ford

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