Filling in the Gaps: How ‘Better Call Saul’ Informs ‘Breaking Bad’

Review Ethan / 2023-04-17 00:14:49

If you’re like me, you’ve watched Breaking Bad a couple of times and enjoyed it so much that a new series is something you can only dream of.

That dream was realized. When Better Call Saul hit Netflix, there’s no doubt that it was a real winner. It is not the same story as Breaking Bad so some characters may not be familiar. It’s weird seeing some of the same characters evolve into the people they became. There are many interesting beginnings to their backstories and professions. The main question is, obviously: When did Jimmy McGill turn into Saul Goodman. We did find out. Almost.

For those of you who haven’t seen either of these two brilliant shows, you’re missing out. Breaking Bad tells the story of Walter White, a Chemistry teacher who has been diagnosed with lung cancer. That’s some pretty tough stuff to deal with, right? He decides to earn some money so he can support his family. Walt is a genius with the products and Jesse has the keys to the mighty dollar. In desperate times, you need to take drastic measures. How is this possible? Walt is transformed as a man. He becomes dark and fearless and that’s what makes it so brilliant because he faces some of the biggest and worst men in the industry.

Perhaps you are wondering: What is the significance of Saul Goodman? Saul Goodman is a lawyer. He is also a very dodgy lawyer. In Breaking Bad he helps the pair with their money and keeps them out of prison. We learn that Saul Goodman was once Jimmy McGill. And that’s where Better Call Saul comes into play. Find out the secrets of how he became a lawyer. Trust me, it’s good. These are two of the best shows out there and they’re both on Netflix. In fact, Better Call Saul is a Netflix Original – it’s bound to be awesome.

So, what do we learn about the characters past in Better Call Saul that we didn’t in Breaking Bad?

Gus Wasn’t Always in Power

Season three welcomes Gustavo Fring to the mix which, if you’ve seen Breaking Bad, you’ll know he’s a big deal. It’s interesting to see him in a state of uprising. He doesn’t have all of his power, he’s working his way up. He’s not the leader, he’s a follower. Gus is a bit timid, but he does everything he can to keep his job and alive. He cares about his employees and those close to him and that’s evident in both shows however, in Better Call Saul he isn’t in charge. He’s not in any way weak as this might seem but he’s not as powerful as you’d expect if you’ve seen his ruthless actions in Breaking Bad. But not yet.

Jimmy has Family Problems

One of the main aspects of Better Call Saul is the relationship between Jimmy and his brother, Chuck. They’ve had a difference in opinion for a long time and Chuck gradually tries to edge Jimmy out of the law. Chuck suffers from a case hypersensitivity to electromagnetism, which isn’t something that’s been fully diagnosed because it’s possible it’s all in his head. Despite the difficulties between them, Jimmy has continued to care for Chuck even when no one else would. Season three of the show left on a cliff-hanger – Chuck must be dead, right? Perhaps all of the chaos and betrayal between the two is one of the causes for Jimmy’s dodgy law activities. Chuck is definitely someone we didn’t know about in Breaking Bad.

Better Call Saul Season 3 Netflix Release Date

Hector’s Health Conditions & Standing in the Cartel

In Breaking Bad we only see Hector Salamanca in a wheelchair (excluding flashbacks) and it’s one of those storylines you wish you knew more about. In Better Call Saul it starts to piece together as we find out about Hector’s heart condition. Hector is not his friend. He doesn't even like his closest friends. It seems that he thinks he is more powerful than he really is. Hector believes he has a say in the Cartel’s actions but really he’s being told what to do. We’re getting closer to finding out how he ended up in the wheelchair, so perhaps another season will show us the full story.

Jimmy’s Moral Spectrum

There’s something very loveable about Jimmy. He always tries to do what’s best and abide by the law, as that’s the one thing he loves in his life. It never works out the way he first planned and that’s when the dodgy dealings come in. He’s a sweet-talker, a persuasive conman and a bloody good liar. He isn't fixed in his morality. He can change it depending on what he does to make things happen. That’s mostly shown in the series when he turns a group of elderly ladies against their friend just to try to get money. Jimmy admits to being wrong, which is a sign of his love for older people. He will do anything to make it happen.

Mike’s Connection with Gustavo

In Breaking Bad we know that Mike is in business with Gus. He does as he’s told and he’s a great spy. Mike is an expert on his subject. He knows his stuff, especially about guns. However, in Better Call Saul we learn that he didn’t want to be in business with Gus. Season three of Mike shows that he is a thoughtful, intelligent and cautious man. However, he takes a chance to take on an adversary. Just as we didn’t think Gus was much of a badass yet, Mike encounters him as the dark and fierce man we know he is. Gus refused to let Mike kill Hector because “a bullet to the head would have been far too humane”. They seem to have bonded over their hatred for one another.

Better Call Saul must end someday, unfortunately. Due to it happening before Breaking Bad, there’s obviously a strict deadline. That does pose the question of whether we’re going to get to see Walt and Jesse appear in at least one episode. Seeing some of the characters in such a raw state in the Better Call Saul certainly proves for an intriguing watch, especially if you’ve seen Breaking Bad and know the people that they become.

Here’s what we’ve been wanting to know: The name Saul Goodman is derived from the phrase ‘S’all Good Man’. It may not be what we expected, but it is lighthearted and that makes it so much better.

In case you were worried we wouldn’t get to finish the adventure, fear not! AMC renewed Better Call Saul. We’ll see Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman sometime in 2018.


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