Fans of Better Call Saul have been very patient with the Vince Gilligan show, after realising its early seasons would have a different pace to Gilligan’s earlier programme, Breaking Bad.
Instead of the tense, thrill-a-minute approach of Breaking Bad’s later episodes, there’s been a good deal of story-building around Jimmy McGill (played by Bob Odenkirk) as Gilligan and his writing team build up to McGill’s reinvention as Saul Goodman, though things sped up a lot in the most recent season.
There are some familiar faces common to both shows, notably Mike Ehrmantraut, Gus Fring (“I still have the jacket I died in“) and Hector Salamanca, and viewers were given a glimpse into how Saul (or Jimmy) relates to their world.
However, the first three seasons have steered clear of the specific Breaking Bad timeframe, focusing instead on events before and after. Season four, though, looks like bringing them together for the first time.
“We have a subplot that very squarely gets into Breaking Bad territory and brings us into the world — or at least points us on a path toward the world of Walter White and the territory of Walter White,” Gilligan, the creator of Breaking Bad and co-creator of Better Call Saul, told Entertainment Weekly.
Gilligan has previously hinted that Jesse Pinkman, another Breaking Bad character yet to appear in Better Call Saul, might make a return. However it remains unclear whether Jesse, or indeed Walt, will feature in season four.
Instead, we may get a chance to see moments from Breaking Bad’s timeline from a different perspective, as Gilligan’s Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould explains:
“We’re still a few years out from Walter White, but you’ll see some things that will definitely ring a bell and also show some different aspects to things that we saw in Breaking Bad.”
The finale of Breaking Bad was only so great because it acted as the culmination of so many things, and stemmed from a rich universe built up over the course of the show’s five seasons – even if it could have gone very differently.
With this in mind, Gilligan’s comments about the overlap between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul will be music to many fans’ ears.
“I picture two giant circles moving together, converging into an ever-largening Venn diagram, and that Venn diagram represents the overlap between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul,” revealed Gilligan, explaining “That area of overlap is getting larger and larger”. However, it’s clear he wants the first appearance of Walt (played by Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) to be meaningful.
“I think we’ve waited long enough. We damn well better have a good reason for them to show up,” he said.
The fourth season of Better Call Saul will air from 6 August on American network AMC, with the first episode coming to UK Netflix the following day.
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