Better Call Saul premiered earlier this week with a double dose of episodes, and while I know the show is its own thing, it’s pretty hard not to draw some parallels between it and Breaking Bad. Luckily, the series so far is pretty keen on that too, and was more than happy to drop a few interesting connections to its predecessor.
The Best Case Scenario
As he himself predicted in Breaking Bad‘s final season, Saul Goodman is now the manager of a Cinnabon somewhere in Nebraska, a job he quite clearly loathes, pining after the time when he was a (comparatively) successful lawyer.
The African Pancake Tortoise
This one might be a bit of a stretch, but that tortoise that Saul is watching on TV during the prologue looks a heck of a lot like one that appears in Breaking Bad. You know, the one with Danny Trejo’s head on it.
The parking lot attendant who is currently the bane of Saul’s existence is none other than Mike, presumably in between his career as a Philly cop, and working as Gus Fring’s right hand man. How Fring managed to find and recruit Mike seems like one hell of a story, one that I’m curious to see if Better Call Saul has time to address.
Loyola’s Family Restaurant
The restaurant where Saul meets the Kettlemans, the couple whose business he’s trying so hard to get, is called Loyola’s Family Restaurant. This establishment has a heck of a rapport with the characters of Breaking Bad. It’s appeared at least four times, and is apparently a personal favorite of Mike’s as well (maybe Saul introduced him?). He takes Jesse there in season four, and Lydia in season five.
The Nail Salon
Remember how Saul came up with the plan to launder Jesse Pinkman’s money through a nail salon? Well that idea doesn’t seem so out of the blue now that we’ve seen where Saul’s original office was located.
One of Breaking Bad‘s most memorable “villains” make a big appearance in the first and second episodes of Better Call Saul. When Saul’s two less-than-reliable partners accidentally spoof the wrong car, and subsequently follow it home, they find themselves face to face with none other than Tuco Salamanca, the character who would later become Walt and Jesse’s first real run-in with the Mexican cartel.
Juan Tabo Boulevard
After grabbing on to a truck to follow Tuco’s mother home, Saul’s skater partners tell him that they are currently on Juan Tablo Boulevard. If that street sounds familiar, it’s because that’s where Gale Boetticher’s apartment is located.
No-Doze and Nacho
Two of Tuco’s lieutenants, No-Doze and Gonzo, also make an appearance in Better Call Saul. No-Doze the one that Tuco tells to “stop helping,” and that little exchange is pretty meaningful when you factor in Breaking Bad. No-Doze is the one who Tuco beats to death for speaking out of turn (again) while dealing with Walt and Jesse. Gonzo dies soon after while trying to get rid of the body.
Nacho meanwhile, Tuco’s associate who approaches Saul about a potential deal at the end of the second episode, might be connected to Breaking Bad as well. In the second season of that show, when Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul, Saul mistakenly believes that they were sent by someone named Lalo. “It wasn’t me,” he says, “it was Ignacio.”
Some fans are speculating that “Nacho” is short for Ignacio, and that the fallout from Saul’s dealings with this guy put him on the wrong side of the Cartel.