Breaking Bad 

How Better Call Saul Season 6 Can Change Breaking Bad

Better Call Saul is gearing up for a dramatic final season, but the ending of Jimmy's story can fundamentally alter the original Breaking Bad series.

How heavily will Better Call Saul season 6 affect Breaking Bad when the prequel series comes to an end? Very rarely are spin-off TV shows embraced by audiences as heartily as their predecessors, but Better Call Saul has been a glaring exception. The adventures of Jimmy McGill faced lofty comparisons after Breaking Bad was hailed by many as the greatest television series of all time, but not only has Better Call Saul enjoyed universal praise, some are even questioning whether the spin-off is superior to the original. In recent years, Better Call Saul has become a byword for “successful prequel,” with even the MCU’s Kevin Feige using the spin-off as a comparison.

Set six years before the events of Breaking Bad, the earlier seasons of Better Call Saul were more self-contained, establishing Jimmy McGill as a lawyer desperately trying to stay on the straight and narrow after a morally questionable youth. Jimmy’s fictional world was built from the ground up, leaving the returning Mike Ehrmantraut to shoulder the spin-off’s few connections to Breaking Bad. By the end of season 5, however, both series were completely intertwined. Jimmy and Mike are both embroiled in a conspiracy to help Gus Fring kill Lalo Salamanca, and the once reputable lawyer is now operating under his familiar Breaking Bad persona, Saul Goodman. As Better Call Saul‘s sixth and final season looms, those parallels are only set to multiply.

RELATED: Better Call Saul: All The Clues To Season 5’S Kim Wexler Twist

As if any additional hype was required, Better Call Saul co-creator, Peter Gould, recently stated that season 6 would completely change the way fans viewed Breaking Bad. That’s quite a statement to make, given the esteem in which Breaking Bad is held, and Gould obviously wouldn’t elaborate further, but as the Better Call Saul story comes to a close, which elements and plots could Gould be referring to?

How Jimmy’s Better Call Saul Season 6 Story Can Change Breaking Bad

Rhea Seehorn as Kim and Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy in Better Call Saul

There will naturally be plenty of focus on Better Call Saul‘s “Gene” timeline in season 6, but Jimmy’s future exploits aren’t likely to redefine his relationship and involvement with Walter White in Breaking Bad. The more obvious part of Jimmy’s ending that could potentially affect Breaking Bad is his relationship with Kim Wexler. Since Rhea Seehorn’s character doesn’t appear in Breaking Bad at all, something clearly happens to her in Better Call Saul season 6, whether that be a tragic death, a stint in prison, or divorcing Jimmy. Whatever happens to Kim will undoubtedly change how Saul is viewed during future Breaking Bad rewatches. If Kim dies or breaks up with Jimmy, Saul Goodman will be cast in a more sympathetic light during Breaking BadBetter Call Saul has already turned its eponymous lawyer into a more sympathetic figure, but confirming a tragic reason for his “Saul Goodman” transformation would finalize that process. However, if Jimmy is responsible for Kim being sent to prison, or even manages to somehow get her killed, then he’ll feel considerably more villainous during the era of Walter White.

Jimmy and Kim’s story would have an even more profound impact on Breaking Bad if Kim survives. Kim could go into hiding when Better Call Saul season 6 ends and remain in contact with Jimmy, pulling the strings from the background in the Breaking Bad timeline. This has already been hinted with the Ice Station Zebra company. If Kim Wexler was somehow secretly involved with Walter White, this would add a whole new perspective to Breaking Bad, compelling viewers to go back and rewatch the original series with a new eye, knowing that Jimmy and Kim were meeting up off-screen.

The other Breaking Bad paradigm shift Jimmy’s story could trigger relates to the famous “it wasn’t me, it was Ignacio” line in season 2. Better Call Saul has already improved this scene by introducing audiences to both Nacho Varga (Ignacio) and Lalo Salamanca, but the full truth of Jimmy involvement is yet to be revealed. The logical assumption is that Jimmy helps Nacho get rid of Lalo, then tries to pass the blame when he thinks Lalo’s goons are onto him, but Better Call Saul has rarely been predictable, and could pull the rug from under their audience. For example, Jimmy may be directly involved in the death of Lalo. Then when he’s captured by Walt and Jesse in Breaking Bad, he feigns fear and ignorance, trotting out the line about Lalo despite knowing the crime lord is long dead. Jimmy could simply be trying to con Walt and Jesse into hiring him as a lawyer by playing up his connections to the cartel and presenting himself as meek and non-threatening.

RELATED: How Better Call Saul Foreshadowed Gus Fring’s Breaking Bad Boss’ Death

How Gus and Mike’s Better Call Saul Season 6 Story Can Change Breaking Bad

Gus and Mike in Better Call Saul

Mike Ehrmantraut and Gus Fring find themselves eyebrow-deep in trouble heading towards Better Call Saul‘s final season. The dynamic duo arranged for an assassination attempt on Lalo Salamanca, but that mission went awry, and now Lalo is gunning for revenge and holds the advantage of surprise. Since Gus is the big shot in Breaking Bad, it’s obvious that he’ll get the better of Lalo eventually, and the chicken man’s victory won’t significantly affect how Giancarlo Esposito’s character is viewed in Breaking Bad. The more interesting question is why Gus and Mike are so tight in the Breaking Bad era, and Better Call Saul season 6 can explain why.

Viewers will be expecting Gus’ cunning intellect and meticulous planning to get the better of Lalo, but what if it’s Mike who hands Gus the keys to the kingdom by taking his Salamanca nemesis out of the picture. Relying so heavily on Mike would frame Gus as a more vulnerable villain, which Breaking Bad fans certainly aren’t used to, and would explain why Fring trusts Mike so implicitly when the pair are first introduced. Gus and Mike’s entire relationship would take on a whole new meaning, adding a new layer to their Breaking Bad dynamic.

Conversely, Better Call Saul season 6 may also reveal why Mike is so loyal to Gus. Ever since Better Call Saul began, Mike has developed a fondness for Nacho Varga, treating the reluctant gangster as a proxy for his deceased son. Mike has unsuccessfully tried to convince Gus to let Nacho “out,” but after all is said and done with Lalo, Gus might have no choice but to accept Mike’s pleas. This would put Mike firmly into Gus’ debt, and explain why Jonathan Banks’ character is so loyal to his employer in Breaking Bad. Mike is already a tragic character when he gets ruthlessly gunned down by Walter White, but knowing that the former cop sold his soul to ensure Nacho could walk free would make Mike’s Breaking Bad arc even more heart-wrenching.

Gus Fring has been a markedly different character in Better Call Saul, showing far more weakness, inexperience and emotion than he did in Breaking Bad. Gus even revealed to Mike the compound built in honor of his deceased business partner and friend, Max. Breaking Bad saw Gus finally get revenge for Max’s death by killing Don Eladio and the cartel, but viewers still don’t know a great deal about their relationship. Better Call Saul season 6 could dig deeper into the Gus and Max partnership, perhaps even confirming theories that the pair were romantically linked. This would add a human touch to Gus, and graft a more personal edge onto his long-running vendetta.

RELATED: Better Call Saul: How Old Jimmy Is In The Prequel, Breaking Bad & As Gene

How Hank’s Better Call Saul Season 6 Story Can Change Breaking Bad

Dean Norris as Hank Schrader in Better Call Saul

Dean Norris made a brief return as Hank Schrader in Better Call Saul season 5, interviewing the apprehended Krazy-8, meeting Jimmy McGill, and taking his first steps in the Gus Fring investigation. Hank’s story was left open, which suggests the character will return in Better Call Saul‘s final season, but so perfect was Hank’s journey the first time around, his prequel scenes are unlikely to do anything radical that would risk lessening the impact of Hank’s death. Moreover, Hank’s role in Better Call Saul has been minimal, and season 6 doesn’t leave much time to introduce new elements into his character.

Perhaps the most obvious way Better Call Saul could “change” Hank would be with a fork-in-the-road moment. Hank has always been portrayed as a single-minded and determined individual, doggedly pursuing the drug dealers of Albuquerque. Better Call Saul‘s final season could weave in a storyline where Hank is tempted to leave everything behind – the DEA, his investigation, New Mexico – before ultimately deciding to finish the job first. Knowing that Hank could’ve escaped his fate would enhance the tragedy of his death in Breaking Bad, especially if he was planning on quitting after getting to the bottom of the meth operation.

The other way Hank could fundamentally change Breaking Bad is by proving Jimmy McGill responsible for the entire story. In “50%,” Jimmy offers a half-price discount for his legal services, which sends a pair of drug addicts on a crime spree. As a result of this blowout, Krazy-8 is arrested by police and interviewed by Hank and Gomez, who try and flip him into an informant. Breaking Bad confirms that Krazy-8 was feeding tips to the DEA and even ratted out Emilio, resulting in the DEA almost busting Jesse in Breaking Bad‘s first episode. If Better Call Saul‘s final season explicitly confirmed the relationship between Krazy-8 and Hank, then through the chain of events described above, Jimmy McGill would indirectly be responsible for Walt and Jesse’s partnership.

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