Better Call Saul Just Rounded Off a Story 13 Years in the Making
Warning: Full spoilers follow for Better Call Saul through Season 6, Episode 11, “Breaking Bad.”
Going full Walter White, we’ve done it, we’re finally breaking bad in Better Call Saul. The clue is in the name of the latest episode: “Breaking Bad.” But after six seasons of Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman leading the charge, we finally got those long-awaited cameos from Breaking Bad alumni Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul.
The action in the episode flips between the Better Call Saul timeline and the “future” of what happens to Jimmy McGill/Saul following his deal with Ed, aka the Disappearer. The black and white scenes of Saul’s alias Gene Takavic in Omaha have always fascinated fans, and as we head toward Better Call Saul’s endgame (just two episodes left now!), Cinnabon Gene is proving just as important as the titular Saul.
Better Call Saul Finally Breaks Bad
Better Call Saul telling its own story away from the series it is a prequel to, Breaking Bad, all changed with the arrival of the villainous Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) in Season 3. The seemingly mild-mannered owner of Los Pollos Hermanos was already the big bad of Breaking Bad, but in Better Call Saul, we see how he amasses his own meth empire.
By the time we get to Better Call Saul Season 6, creator Vince Gilligan has embraced the Bad-Verse and brought the two shows together for a storyline that’s been 13 years in the making. Taking us back to that fateful night where we first met Saul in the desert of Breaking Bad Season 2, Episode 8, the worlds of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad fully come together. The phrase “dancing through the raindrops” has been coined by co-creator Peter Gould as a way to mix the current world of Jimmy, his Saul period, and his future as Gene.
Better Call Saul’s final season has already seen off Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) and Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), and there’s another layer here. It was during Saul’s Breaking Bad debut that the two villas were first mentioned – despite appearing physically on the series. As Better Call Saul has never been about Jesse and Walt, it makes sense that their cameos are just that. Similar to the El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie’s dinner scene, where Walter White appeared in a flashback, the pair are only there to join the dots between the two shows. Arguably, there are much bigger stories at play here thanks to the second half of the episode.
Tying Off Those Loose Ends
Aside from the return of Cranston and Paul, another Breaking Bad character had an altogether more important part to play. In the Cinnabon Gene timeline of 2010, Saul risked it all over a phone call with former assistant Francesca (Tina Parker). Although Breaking Bad’s “Felina” rounded off Walter White’s story, it left a lot of cliffhangers for the periphery characters. Thankfully, Francesca gives us a whistle-stop tour of what happened to everyone else.
Firstly, there’s good news for Saul’s long-suffering henchman, Huell Babineaux (Lavell Crawford). The last we saw of Huell, he was waiting in a DEA safe house for the return of Hank Schrader (Dean Norris) and Gomez (Steven Michael Quezada). Hank and his partner would never return – with the pair being brutally gunned down by Jack the neo-Nazi. It’s a running joke among the show’s community that Huell is still there, but according to Francesca, he got his happy ending. “I guess back home in New Orleans,” she says. “DEA held him under false pretences or something. Last I heard, he walked.”
When Gene asks for updates on Lazer Base owner Danny Wormald (Mark Proksch) and Vamonos Pest’s Ira (Franc Ross), Francesca delivers a sniping, “Do they have Internet where you are?” He also wants to know what happened to Huell’s BFF Patrick Kuby (Bill Burr), but she said she has “no idea” after he was hired to track down Jesse in Breaking Bad. This 101 of Breaking Bad characters is more than just closure, as it teases that we’re really heading to the end of Saul Goodman’s story.
For those wondering what happened to Skyler White (Anna Gunn), Francesca confirms she made good on the get-out-of-jail-free card Walt left her with. As part of Walt’s redemptive arc, he gave his estranged wife the GPS coordinates to the bodies of Hank and Gomez, as well as where he hid his blue meth fortune. Francesca simply says, “Skyler White got her deal,” and then adds, “The only ones left to go after are you and Pinkman.”
Solving the Kim Wexler Mystery
Finding out about Walt’s wife and low-level grunts is all well and good, but the big reveal comes from confirmation Kim Wexler is alive and well in the Cinnabon Gene timeline. Up there with Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn is one of the show’s biggest assets, and with Kim sitting out Breaking Bad, many feared she’d go the way of Nacho and Lalo before Better Call Saul’s final credits roll.
Francesca warns that the entire heat of the Breaking Bad saga is now on Gene’s head. The shell companies used to hide his illicit funds are Saul Goneman, with one being an Easter egg to Kim. Jimmy’s Tigerfish Corporation is a nod to the USS Tigerfish from Ice Station Zebra, which happens to be Kim’s favorite movie. This hammers home that despite their differences, Kim has never been far from his thoughts. So, does this mean a reunion is on the cards?
Jimmy learns that in the wake of the Heisenberg case, Kim phoned her to check that he is okay. An optimism Jimmy then phones Kim’s workplace of Palm Coast Sprinklers in Florida and has a heated exchange with someone there. Some convenient passing trucks make it impossible to hear what’s being said, but things end with an enraged Gene smashing the phone. The Kim mystery rolls on into the final two episodes, and with Jimmy clearly upset by the exchange, she’s not out of the woods yet.
There’s plenty to theorize on here, but let’s remember, we don’t know who is on the other end of the phone. Whether it’s someone delivering some tragic news or Kim herself saying she never wants to hear from Jimmy again, Seehorn is sure to have a part to play in Better Call Saul’s swansong. The penultimate episode being called “Waterworks” sounds like a convenient tie to Kim’s workplace, meaning a trip to Florida looks like. Either way, a black and white Gene promo proves the writers aren’t done with Saul’s miserable future just yet.
Having the two star-crossed lovers put their differences aside and walk off into the sunset doesn’t seem very better Call Saul, leading some fans to think Kim is ready to hand Jimmy over to the authorities for the ultimate case of revenge being a dish best served cold. Even if killing Kim off in the final two episodes would be a very Gilligan thing to do, we’re hoping she and Saul get their happy ending. If not, there’s still the potential of a Huell spin-off, or what about a miniseries for Skyler? With only two episodes of Better Call Saul left, place your bets on what’s being cooked up in the lab.