‘Better Call Saul’: How Hank Schrader’s Appearance Will Impact the Series

Better Call Saul centers around Jimmy McGill, the crooked lawyer who eventually becomes Saul Goodman, but Breaking Bad fans have rejoiced each time a character from the past makes an appearance. Better Call Saul will conclude after a sixth and final season, which means the show’s timeline is creeping up on what we’ve seen in Breaking Bad. As such, more characters from Breaking Bad‘s past have started popping up, including Walter White’s DEA brother-in-law, Hank Schrader. 

While Hank, played by Dean Norris, is only slated to appear in two episodes of Better Call Saul season five, fans have noticed that his brief appearance serves as the catalyst to the drug trade in Albuquerque and beyond.

Hank's role 'Better Call Saul'
Dean Norris | Frazer Harrison/FilmMagic

[Spoiler Alert: Spoilers ahead for Better Call Saul, Season 5, Episode 3]

Hank Schrader in ‘Breaking Bad’ 

Breaking Bad introduced us to Walter White, the high school science teacher turned meth kingpin Heisenberg. Throughout the series, we also met his extended family, including brother-in-law Hank Schrader. The brash Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Albuquerque Drug Enforcement Administration made it his life’s work to stop the production of meth in his community. Eventually, Hank’s mission evolved to take down the cartel. Once Hank uncovers Walter’s secret identity, he devotes himself to brining his brother-and-law to justice.

In one of the most heart-breaking scenes of Breaking Bad, Hank is killed in a gunfight by Jack Welker’s white supremacist gang. Fortunately, Better Call Saul takes place before all of this with an alive-and-well Hank. His planned interference on Gus Fring’s operation is ultimately what sparks the power shift between the cartel and Fring that we see in Breaking Bad.

Hank’s role in ‘Better Call Saul’ 

In “The Guy For This,” Hank and his partner Gomez are brought in to question Krazy-8, an associate of the Salamanca family and known participant in the cartel. Having practiced the script Lalo provided, Krazy-8 informed the DEA agents of Gus Fring’s dead drop locations.

Thanks to double-agent Nacho, Gus is made aware of Lalo’s plot to take his operation down. Still, Fring willingly allows the DEA to uncover the dead drops. Fring’s reasoning for letting the DEA have this faux-victory is still a mystery, but knowing his drive and pursuit to come out on top, it’s likely Fring will use the DEA’s bust to his advantage in the future. When we see Fring in Breaking Bad, he’s still involved with the cartel, which means Lalo’s plan didn’t work. 

Despite Hank only appearing in two episodes of Better Call Saul (“The Guy For This” and “Namaste”), his role as DEA official plays an integral part in Lalo’s plot to take down Gus Fring — one that directly impacts the primary storyline in this season of the show.

Will there be more ‘Breaking Bad’ cast members this season?

Better Call Saul has already featured several Breaking Bad characters from the past, including Hank and his partner, Steven Gomez. We’ve also seen a few other familiar faces, including Ed Galbraith. Also known as “The Disappearer,” this master of false identities was featured at the conclusion of Breaking Bad as well as El Camino

Additionally, Gus Fring’s associate Tyrus Kitt and Huell Babineaux, Saul’s beloved bodyguard, have also been spotted in Better Call Saul, amongst other familiar faces. Only time will tell if the series features more famed Breaking Bad easter eggs

Better Call Saul airs Monday nights on AMC.