‘Better Call Saul’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Episode Draws Subtle Parallels Between Walter White and Saul Goodman

Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad finally crossed paths. The Better Call Saul Season 6 episode was literally titled “Breaking Bad.” Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) returned for a scene with Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) in their stalled RV. But, the rest of the episode shows a more subtle connection between Walter and Saul.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Better Call Saul episode “Breaking Bad.”

'Better Call Saul': Saul Goodman handles a beaker in Walter White's RV in 'Breaking Bad'
Bob Odenkirk | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Writer/director Thomas Schnauz and Music Supervisor Thomas Golubic were guests on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast on Aug. 2. With both of their intimate insights into Saul Goodman and Walter White, they made a connection others may have missed. Better Call Saul Season 6 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Saul Goodman became Walter White in the ‘Better Call Saul’ episode ‘Breaking Bad’

After Better Call Saul catches up with Breaking Bad in that RV moment, it flashes ahead to Gene Takovic, the latest alias under which Jimmy McGill had to live after Saul Goodman. He started a scam with Jeff (Pat Healy) and Buddy (Max Bickelhaup) to break into rich people’s homes and steal their identifying documents. 

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“He reminds me of the Walter White Breaking Bad situation which is that there’s a certain point when you can have a validation,” Golubic said on Better Call Saul Insider. “Like the original scams were really there just to make sure that Jeff couldn’t hurt him. But then he decided to keep going.”

Walter White and Saul Goodman crossed the same line 

Golubic is referring to the point in Breaking Bad at which Walter had made enough money to provide for his family. Then he kept going because he liked being Heisenberg. 

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“And it’s that point of no return,” Golubic said. “We have lots of them but it’s interesting to capture those points of no return when you realize this is being done for more than just fixing a problem. This is being done because of a compulsion. It’s covering a type of longstanding pain that may never get resolved. We’ll see.”

The writer of ‘Breaking Bad’ on ‘Better Call Saul’ weighs in

Schnauz has written and directed many episodes of both Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad. He explained why Saul risks his Gene Takovic identity with more crime.

Saul Goodman is all about covering pain, the pain of the past, the pain of everything that went down with Kim and Lalo and Howard. He was Gene, in hiding as Gene and getting along but then he has this phone conversation with Kim, or somebody at Kim’s company, we don’t know what it was. He smashes the phone. Apparently, some wound has reopened. He can’t go back to being Gene. He’s got some hurt that he needs to cover up again and he goes back to his drug of choice which is scamming. It’s basically a way of anesthetizing the pain. He’s got to be back in Saul world to feel better.

Thomas Schnauz, Better Call Saul Insider podcast, 8/2/22

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