Saul and Nacho Go Way Back
On Better Call Saul, we see the origins of Ignacio Varga and Saul’s relationship. Jimmy represented a rather hostile Nacho in a kidnapping charge of the embezzling Kettlemans. He managed to get the charges dropped against Nacho when he discovered the Kettlemans camped out about five miles from their house. But the audience didn’t know that during the second season of Breaking Bad, because the writers hadn’t dreamt it up yet. When Saul believes Jesse and Walt to be cartel hitman, he gives up Varga’s name like it’s nothing.
Billboard Guy Was a Hitman in Breaking Bad
The guy that Saul fake rescues while hanging his HHM rip-off billboard also played a hitman in Season 1, Episode 4 of Breaking Bad. Stuntman and actor Eddie J. Fernandez played both characters.
Loyola’s Diner Is the Spot for Nefarious Meet-Ups
Not only is this a favorite haunt of Mike’s, where he meets with Hector Salamanca in Better Call Saul and later Lydia on Breaking Bad, it’s also where he takes Jesse for a tense meal while they wait for Gus on BB. It’s also where Jimmy meets up with the Kettlemans because his real office is a closet at a nail salon.
Jesse’s Captain Cook Tag Shows Up on Better Call Saul
In an effort to prevent violence toward the Kettlemans, Saul uses a pay phone to call Nacho to tell him not to harm the Kettlemans. If you look closely, you’ll see Jesse’s graffiti tag, JPi, on the phone panel.
Saul’s Choice of Exile to Omaha Was Predicted in Breaking Bad
Saul joked that after his dealings with Walter White his best shot at surviving was destiny with a pastry chain in Nebraska. Looks like the fixer took that to heart. Saul, as Gene, did not find life in Omaha so amusing, especially when he got locked in the dumpster facility for nearly 12 hours.
Fun fact: Cinnabon Corporate gave a nod to Bob Odenkirk about future employment with the companytweeting, “@mrbobodenkirk When you’re ready… cinnabon.com/about-us/careers #BreakingBad.”
No-Doze and Gonzo Had a Fragile Relationship with Tuco Before Breaking Bad
Since Better Call Saul takes place before Breaking Bad, we see that No-Doze, Gonzo, and Nacho were in the desert during the face off with Jimmy and the skateboarders who disrespected Tuco’s abuelita. Tuco was already unhinged on Better Call Saul, but when he switches to meth on Breaking Bad, he’s even worse to his gang posse, as No-Doze and Gonzo found out.
Now We Know Where Ice Station Zebra Associates Came From
On Breaking Bad, Saul’s holding company Ice Station Zebra Associates is used for nefarious purposes. We learned on Better Call Saul that Ice Station Zebra is Kim Wexler’s dad’s favorite movie. She watches it out of nostalgia with Jimmy. They also use it as a fake company when they con an unsuspecting creep Kim picks out at a bar.
Bathroom Guy in BCS Was a Junkyard Magnet Guy in Breaking Bad
The guy who bumps into Saul in the bathroom at Loyola’s during Saul’s Matlock period is one of the junkyard workers who helps Walt build a huge magnet housed inside of a truck to erase a computer in police evidence lock up.
Mike’s Habits Are Pervasive Throughout the Universe
His repeat visits to the same dive bar and diner (Loyola’s) as well as his thing for pimento cheese sandwiches (“the caviar of the South”) can be found in both Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad. The one interesting thing of note is that Mike’s craptastic furnished house gains a few more upscale creature comforts on Breaking Bad as he is solidly in bed with the cartel and earning more.
Hector Salamanca’s Nursing Home Is the Same One from Jimmy’s Matlock Days
Either it’s the only one in town (unlikely), or Casa Tranquila is one of the best retirement homes in town because Hector is not going to ride out his OG last days just anywhere. When we see Jimmy visiting his elder law clients, it’s the very same place Salamanca and Gus Fring rang the final bell in this life.
Jimmy and Gale Live on the Same Street
On Jimmy’s check from the city for his defense services, his address is listed as 160 Juan Tabo. When Walt threatens Mike about killing Gale, he gives Gale’s address as 6353 Juan Tabo. Walt’s threat was real, and Gale’s cozy apartment on Juan Tabo was his last address ever. In real life, 160 Juan Tabo is the address of a real nail salon in Albuquerque. It’s also speculated that Juan Tabo was a shepherd who grazed his flock in Tijeras Canyon.
Saul’s Short Walk from a Beater to a Luxury Boat
When BCS begins, Jimmy drives around in a yellow Suzuki Esteem that’s seen better days. Later, he gets a company car at Davis & Main, sabotages the gig, gives up the car, and moves back to the Esteem beater, but when we meet Saul on Breaking Bad, he’s driving a big ‘ol boat of a Cadillac DeVille.
We get a glimpse of the Caddy-to-be in the pilot of Better Call Saul. It looks as though he’s walking towards it when he shifts over and climbs into the yellow heap. We also get a glimpse of Saul’s license plate on the Caddy in both shows, LWYRUP.
Saul Wasn’t Lying When He Lied About Convincing a Woman He Was Kevin Costner
One of the most amusing call backs (or call forwards, actually), is when Saul tells Walter that he once got a woman to sleep with him because he told her he was Kevin Costner. This is possible based on how dark it was, how drunk she was, and how much Jimmy believed it.
Belize Pops Up, This Time in Bingo and Not as a Euphemism for Murder
Speaking in code, Saul asks Walter if he wants to send Hank to Belize as he had done with Mike. Walter shoots back, “Jesus. Send him to Belize. I’ll send YOU to Belize.” Suffice it to say, the country of Belize felt the need to respond, and use the euphemism as an opportunity. The Belize Tourism Board wrote an open letter in the New York Times, inviting the Breaking Bad cast for an all-expenses-paid trip to visit the country.
The Better Call Saul writers offered up a sort of mea culpa during Jimmy’s Bingo call when he says, “B. As in Belize. Beautiful place. Or so I’m told.”
How Saul Got Marco’s Ring
On Breaking Bad, Saul seems exactly like the kind of guy who would wear a pinky ring. On Better Call Saul, we learn its origins. Marco, Slippin’ Jimmy’s grift partner back in Cicero, wore the ring. After Jimmy returns for a con binge with his old pal, Marco has a heart attack in an alley. Jimmy keeps the ring to remind himself of who he really is and who he’ll eventually embrace and become permanently, as we see on Breaking Bad. Well, at least until Omaha.
Was Heisenberg Lurking When Jimmy Was a Public Defender?
We see something very Heisenbergy in a wide shot of Jimmy at the courthouse, complaining about his fee. A tan canvas coat and the same chapeaux Walt, as Heisenberg, wore rests on a coat rack around the corner from Jimmy. Could this be the showrunners’ way of saying, “You think you’ve got trouble now. Just wait.”?
Remember Ken Wins? Walt Set His Car on Fire, Jimmy Cons Him
Ken Wins has a long history of being a douche in the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul universe. After he steals Walt’s parking space, Walt takes revenge by setting Win’s car on fire. When Jimmy and Kim encounter Win, way before his car was the target of Heisenberg’s wrath, they decide to con him into buying some very expensive tequila, Zafiro Añejo, also seen on Breaking Bad.
Zafiro Añejo Makes an Appearance on BCS, But Isn’t Poisoned This Time
Kim and Jimmy con Ken Wins into buying them a bottle’s worth of $50 shots. This is the same tequila Gus poisoned and gave to Eladio Vuente and the Juárez Cartel to avenge his brother.
Officer Saxton, Long Suffering Albuquerque Cop
Give yourself a pat on the back if you noticed Officer Saxton from Breaking Bad during season two of Better Call Saul. When pharma douche Daniel calls the cops after his baseball card collection is stolen, Saxton is one of two officers who respond. When Skyler calls the cops in season three of Breaking Bad, Saxton is one of the responders.
Saul’s Coffee Mug Evolves
Kim gives Jimmy a “World’s 2nd Best Lawyer” travel mug when he passes the bar. The yellow cup would become a symbol for how Jimmy doesn’t fit in at a straight, upstanding law firm such as Davis & Main. On Breaking Bad, he has a “World’s Greatest Lawyer” mug. Does Kim upgrade the gift, or is this the sad gift Saul gives himself when he rakes in the money from shady deeds, Kim long gone?
Jimmy and Walter Share Key Fobs
Gilligan has said that the color red is significant on both shows, indicating danger. So it’s no accident that Jimmy’s key fob is red, as is the one door on his yellow car. Walt’s keys on the BB series finale sported a red key fob, the one that would trigger the M60 automatic motorized weapon arm in the trunk that would waste Jack and his white supremacist meth gang.
Nail Salons Are a Good Front – Or So Saul Thinks
As Saul knows all too well, you can hide in plain sight with a nail salon. It’s a great place to launder money – and he should know. He drank many a cup of cucumber water at the Zen Nail Salon before settling into his hide-a-sofa in the tiny storage room. So it’s no surprise that his advice to Jesse, and then Skyler, to use a nail salon as a way to launder their meth money.
Saul and His Inflatables
Gaudy? Sure. Trademark of cheesy crooked lawyers? Definitely. It’s an inflatable that inspires Jimmy to make the full on transition to Saul, helping to jettison himself out of Davis & Main and into the clothes of a half-clown, half-criminal lawyer. So it’s no surprise that Saul’s strip mall law office rocks an inflatable Lady Liberty.
This Patch of New Mexico Desert Is Now Called “The Backlot”
So many scenes on both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul have been shot in one particular spot out in the desert that it’s been dubbed “the backlot” by producers. From the many secret meetings to the menacing of the skateboarding brothers, this patch of desert is famous.
Why Does Jimmy Have Bad Knees?
In Season 1, Jimmy is tackled to the ground by police. He yells out, “I’ve got bad knees!” He says the same thing to Walt and Jesse when they kidnap him and take him to the desert. Writer Thomas Schnauz explainswhy Jimmy has this affliction, “We thought he must have taken a lot of bad hits on the ice of Chicago and he probably messed up his knees falling down all the time. When we did it in Breaking Bad, we didn’t have a reason that he had bad knees, but it’s nice when we can tie those threads together.”
Gus’s Yellow Shirt Can Be Spotted During Jimmy’s Shopping Spree
Is that you, Gustavo? As Jimmy transitions into Saul, he turns to a garish style of dress. As he picks out all of the colors of the rainbow in a clothing store, you can spot the distinctive look of Gus Fring and the Los Pollos Hermanos corporate colors on a mannequin.
Where Have You Seen Chuck’s Nurse Before? Breaking Bad of Course
Chuck is in the same hospital as Brock (son of Jesse’s girlfriend, Andrea). Chuck is there for reasons probably stemming from a psychosomatic disorder. Brock was there because he had been poised by Walt with ricin.
The Foreshadowing of Todd Murdering Drew Sharp
There’s a definite harbinger of doom surrounding Mike’s entry to New Mexico on Better Call Saul. Before he leaves Philadelphia, a bartender tells him that Albuquerque has a lot of tarantulas. Mike retorts, “I’ll be on the lookout.” Then he takes the train to New Mexico where he’s picked up by his daughter-in-law. How is this connected to Breaking Bad?
Drew Sharp was the little boy who captured a tarantula in the desert near the train tracks when Jesse, Walt, and Todd were stealing methylamine from a tanker car. Because the kid has spotted them, Todd shot the kid without compunction, much in the manner Walt later dispatches Mike.
Krazy-8 Is Just Getting Started in the Drug Game on Better Call Saul
Before he met his fate in Jesse’s basement after Walt lost the coin toss, Krazy-8 was dealing for Tuco. He looks fresh and eager on Better Call Saul. Not so much on Breaking Bad. Maybe the family furniture business wouldn’t have been so bad after all.
Mike’s Gun Dealer from Better Call Saul Plays a Huge Part on Breaking Bad
Mike meets Lawson when he first comes to Albuquerque. Saul will learn of Lawson’s specialty because he refers Walt to the gun dealer who sells him the infamous M60. Walt would mount the M60 in the trunk of his car to take out an entire group of bad guys in one swinging automatic shootout.
The Cousins Menace New Mexico for More Than a Minute
Salamanca uses his nephews as cold-blooded killing machines. The silent duo did their fare share of wet work targeting Walt on Breaking Bad, but they were in town way before that, making Mike’s life miserable.
Kim Wexler and the Omaha Connection
This is a hopeful sign that Saul is not in hiding alone after his dealings with Walter White. On Season 2 of Better Call Saul, Kim wears a Kansas City Royals shirt. A tipster alerted Uproxx that the Royals Triple A team is the Omaha Royals. Did Saul choose Omaha because he knew that Kim would be there, or to have some connection to her?
Tuco’s Boxing Glove Necklace
When we first meet Tuco in his lair in Breaking Bad, he’s wearing the boxing glove necklace as he menaces and then beats Jesse to a pulp with Skinny Pete, No-Doze, and Gonzo watching. He’s wearing the same necklace when we see in him Better Call Saul where Jimmy gets a great view of it in the desert as Tuco discusses how he’s going to get rid of the twins who called his Abuela a “biznatch.” Tuco has become a dangerous problem for Nacho who asks Mike to take him out. Instead, Mike gets Tuco arrested by starting a fight with him. As Tuco batters Mike, the former cop from Philly takes a souvenir.
The Dog House, Celebrate New Business Or Purchase a Gun
After watching Tuco kill one of his henchman over nothing, Jesse is understandably rattled. He has a nervous dinner at the Dog House and slips a guy some cash for a gun. The Dog House is also where Kim and Jimmy celebrate their new future together, practicing law under their own respective shingles. The drive-in showed up in several other scenes in Breaking Bad. Apparently, it was a favorite spot of Jesse’s, like Mike’s thing for Loyola’s. You can visit the real Dog House at 1216 Central Ave in Albuquerque.
Fan Discovers a Clue the Showrunners Didn’t Think Anyone Would Find
END OF SEASON TWO SPOILER!
Season two of Better Call Saul ends with a cliffhanger. Just who wedged that piece of deadwood (shout out to Jim Beaver?) into Mike’s car horn so that he wouldn’t kill Hector Salamanca with his long-range kill shot to the head? One viewer, Shaquita, looked at the first letter of each episode from the season and found a clue. The letter’s spell FRINGS BACK. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould were surprised when the fan posted this on Twitter, but they really shouldn’t. Fans are going to sleuth.