One Hint Explains Why Walter White Will Appear in ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 5

No doubt some fans have been frustrated waiting to see Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) show up in Better Call Saul after several years of teases that they might. So far, many outlying characters from Breaking Bad have shown up.

There was thought for a while that Walt and Jesse might never really make expected appearances, despite being pivotal parts of Saul Goodman’s (Bob Odenkirk) story.

Some analysts think Saul’s story (or really Jimmy…or Gene) has its own arc and shouldn’t rely on Walt and Jesse to flesh out what his future will be. A cameo by Walt is probably inevitable, though, especially with the new plot points in El Camino. It just goes to show what a difference a year makes in rumors about a Walt appearance, including likely plenty of secrets still being kept.

Vince Gilligan said last year a Walter White appearance was coming

Bryan Cranston attends The American Associates Of The National Theatre Celebrate 'Network' at The Rainbow Room.
Bryan Cranston | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Over a year ago, Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul creator-writer Vince Gilligan said everyone should expect to see Walt show up eventually during Better Call Saul. Back then, this was a hint he’d show up in season four, which ended over a year ago without said appearance.

During this time frame, El Camino was filmed and kept a secret for months until finally having a release on Netflix on October 11. In that, we all saw the continuing story of Jesse, with Walt showing up in a flashback cameo to prove he truly was dead in the present time. There was even a pivotal scene of Jesse watching a news segment mentioning Walt is dead after being shot to death during the final scene of Breaking Bad.

At least now everyone can say for sure Walt will only ever show up in flashbacks. Since no one saw every possible event occur during Breaking Bad, there’s likely plenty to mine from in giving Walt more flashbacks if more Breaking Bad spinoffs or movies are made.

What most fans want to know is whether Walt will figure into a final season of Better Call Saul, including the time when Saul first met Walt and Jesse.

Season 5 of ‘Better Call Saul’ is coming next year

Recent reports say the fifth season of Better Call Saul will debut at some point in 2020, almost two years after the last. Based on how Vince Gilligan was able to keep the secrets of El Camino (using some slick ingenuity), it’s making everyone wonder if he’ll slip in a Walt and Jesse cameo in Season Five without it leaking.

The coming season would be the perfect time to make this happen with El Camino fresh in everyone’s minds. Gilligan’s strategy might have been to have El Camino be a bit of a plot bridge with the events of BCS’s upcoming fifth season.

Of course, a few critics think Saul should go out in a different way than having to rely on Walt being involved in his story. Let’s all remember a cameo of Walt and Jesse would be event TV and completely overshadow Saul’s trajectory.

On the other side of things, the cameo of Walt in El Camino has already taken away all surprise of him showing up again. Vince Gilligan may find some way to make Walt and Jesse background characters to help make Saul’s outcome all the more ironic if not poignant.

Would Bryan Cranston return to play Walter White?

Cranston has previously said he wouldn’t say no to appear in Better Call Saul. In 2016, the actor elaborated in an interview with Rich Eisen on an episode of The Rich Eisen Show.

“I owe Vince Gilligan so much. He was my champion to get this role,” he told Eisen. “If they were to call me and say, ‘We have this idea, we’d like…’ I would say, ‘Yes, you don’t have to finish the pitch. I’m there, what do you want me to do?’ I’ll do whatever they want because I know how careful they are and proprietary they are with those characters and storylines and it wouldn’t be something, ‘Oh, isn’t that kind of a stunt casting kind of thing.’ It would be something kind of unique and obscure and creative, and I’m all in.”

Walt showing up for season 5 doesn’t mean he’ll be there for Saul’s outcome

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A lot of strategizing is obviously going on in having the Walt cameos occur at just the right time for the fullest emotional effect. His flashback in El Camino was relatively brief and gave some twisted irony in the things he once said to Jesse.

There may be a similar scene with Saul in season five, setting up a similar trajectory to the one Jesse had. While Jesse did manage to escape (to Alaska), Saul might not be so lucky.

An ending to Better Call Saul might not be for a few years anyway. Once it does arrive, Saul (now as Cinnabon owner Gene Takovic in Nebraska) may face down narcotics criminals he’s worked for going back years. One has to wonder if Jesse might at least be involved somehow under a different identity.