Spin-off shows walk a very thin line. They must retain some relationship with the parent show from which they’ve been born, though they must also avoid getting too close. Better Call Saul has walked this tight rope pretty neatly since its inception, with showrunners Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan happily introducing plotlines from the original series. At the same time, however, they’ve been careful to make Better Call Saul a series that stands on its own two feet.
But from the title of next week’s episode, titled ‘Breaking Bad’, things look set to take a far more self-referential turn. The third-to-last episode in the entire series airs on August 1st, and many are expecting a wild ride. The episode title was recently confirmed by AV and the Canadian TV listings site TVPassport.
Many Better Call Saul fans are still wondering if Gould and Gilligan intend to feature Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in this final season. They promised fans the pair would make an appearance way back in April, after all.
During an interview at PaleyFest, Gould confirmed the duo’s appearance: “I don’t want to spoil things for the audience,” he told the panel. “But I will say the first question we had when we started the show was, ‘Are we gonna see Walt and Jesse on the show?’ Instead of evading, I’ll just say yeah.”
Then again, it’s quite possible – given that Better Call Saul loves teasing its viewers – that the episode title is little more than a red-herring. Indeed, it could be yet another episode about Gene The Cinnabon Man.
The episode synopsis doesn’t give much away: “The partners escalate their enterprise to new levels,” it reads, implying that we’re about to stumble into Walter White’s drug lord days.
As many have already observed, the episode title serves as a long-awaited punchline. Saul Goodman, lest we forget, was introduced to viewers of Breaking Bad in an episode titled ‘Better Call Saul’. Might it be that Gould and Gilligan are about to form a perfect loop with the two series?