News - Aug 29, 2022
This is the moment Breaking Bad fans have been waiting for for six seasons. Walter White Bryan Cranston and Jesse Pinkman Aaron Paul have finally appeared in Better Call Saul after series creator Vince Gilligan teased their appearances. An episode that could have been a throwaway turns out to be a masterclass in how to use guest stars to tell a compelling story.
In an episode titled "Breaking Bad", Walt Bryan Cranston and Jesse Aaron Paul return to the show. Season 2 episode "Better Call Saul" introduced the world to Saul Goodman in 2009. This Better Call Saul episode is largely a retelling of Jimmy's Bob Odenkirk first moments on Breaking Bad, as Decider's Alex Zalben jokingly predicted. Jimmy reflects on his first meeting with Walt and Jesse as "Gene" orchestrates a plan with his new cab buddy.
A stale idea could have been saved by the sharp focus of writer and director Thomas Schnauz. Better Call Saul carefully shows us a different Breaking Bad moment every time we return to the days of Heisenberg. It's no secret that Walt and Jesse threatened to show Badger's grave to Saul in order to get him to save Badger Matt Jones. Jimmy was in the back of the meth mobile, but we didn't see his moments of blind terror. Certainly, we didn't see what the ride back from the desert was like.
It was that scene in particular that helped Better Call Saul solve one of its biggest mysteries. Jesse turns his attention to Jimmy after bickering with Walt for four decades, and asks the man who Lalo is. He recalls how scared Jimmy seemed when he thought that someone named Lalo was taking him, and even presses Jimmy when he feigns ignorance. When Jimmy says, "It's nobody," viewers have speculated about Lalo Salamanca Tony Dalton ever since Jimmy screamed that name in Breaking Bad's second season. We understand Jimmy's fear and how he dismisses the name now that we've seen the full course of their relationship.
Jimmy's private investigation of Walt is even shown in the episode. As one might expect, Mike Jonathan Banks is involved in the process. However, perhaps even more surprisingly, he's responsible for the best Walter White burn in the entire episode. Mike repeatedly emphasizes to Jimmy that Walt and Jesse are sloppy amateurs who should be left alone when he delivers his report. The fight is on for Jimmy.
As he sees them, he is able to sculpt criminals, a previously unexplored passion of Jimmy's that could completely rewrite Breaking Bad. Mike goes in for the kill at that point.The first Betamax I bought was years ago. Mike tells Jimmy that it is a good product, better than a VHS, according to experts. I spent time and money on this project that turned out to be a complete waste. I'll let it go." Way to own your future murderer, Mike.
It isn't just Walt and Jesse's return that makes these flashbacks noteworthy. It's how masterfully they advance Jimmy's story. The audience would be rewarded with cameos of fan favorites on almost any other show. This simple approach is never enough for Better Call Saul. The story focuses on Jimmy's past story about Walt and Jesse, his current anger towards Kim Rhea Seehorn, and his latest scam involving cab-driver Jeff and his friend. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's legal drama expertly maintains Jimmy's focus even when it gives fans cameos they've seen since Episode 1
While we don't know how this saga will conclude for Jimmy, we do know how it ended for Walt and Jesse. As police arrived on the scene and Badfinger's "Baby Blue" played, Walt bled out from a gunshot wound. AMC and Netflix's spinoff movie El Camino is another option. In that installment, Jesse escaped from the Aryan Brotherhood's compound.
There is even a line in "Breaking Bad" about the police finding Jesse's car at the border, implying that he made it out alive. Jesse has been in Alaska, Walt has been buried, and Gene has been in Nebraska.
There are only two more episodes left in Better Call Saul after this long-awaited appearance. The premiere of "Waterworks" will take place on Monday, August 8. Afterwards, on Monday, August 15, there will be "Saul Gone." Hopefully we'll get the answers we're looking for, and hopefully Kim and Jimmy get a happy ending.