All season, Better Call Saul has been full of little inside jokes for Breaking Bad fans. We’ve gotten tons of Easter eggs thrown in over these 10 episodes, from locations
—to minor vandalism
—to actual casting choices
And last night’s finale was no exceptions. (Spoilers, by the way.) The most fun was definitely a call back to a story Saul once told Walter.
And last night, Jimmy finally introduced us to the woman who fell for that story.
We also got a nice fun reference right in the middle of Jimmy’s bingo meltdown. As he pulls B ball after B ball, quickly losing the little sanity he had left— whatever wasn’t attached to the dignity he’d been stripped of by his brother and law firm— you wouldn’t have been alone if you were hoping or expecting him to to say those magic words: “B as in Breaking Bad” (or some possibly more subtle variation). Instead, we got a different B word:
Yup, B as in Belize. “Beautiful place,” he says. “So I’ve heard. I would love to go there. But let’s face it, that’s never gonna happen.” Let’s hope this is a reference to the actual Belize, and not Breaking Bad’s euphemistic Belize. You know, “where Mike went.” Because even though we know Jimmy won’t end up in “Belize” any time soon, that’s still a bit of general foreshadowing I could do without.
Of course there was at least one more, much bigger nod to Breaking Bad fans. Last night we got a big piece of this puzzle— the question that’s been with us since the beginning of this spin-off: How did Jimmy McGill become Saul Goodman? So far we’ve been watching his transformation from Slippin’ Jimmy to Jimmy McGill, Esq. So how does he end up turning back the other way, breaking his own bad and becoming Saul? Well, as we learned last night, it involved a detour back through Slippin’ Jimmy territory. At the end of a week running cons with his old friend Marco, Marco succumbs to that cough that was nagging him through the episode (or something equally vague). Marco’s mother gives Jimmy his friend’s ring, but while Jimmy wears it to the funeral out of respect, he says he won’t continue to because he’s “not much of a ring guy.”
So Jimmy McGill isn’t a ring guy. But you know who is? Saul Goodman.
For all five seasons of Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman wears that ring. So while Jimmy tells us (by telling Mike) at the very end of the season that he’s a new man, that he’s done trying to please the system or his brother or whoever else wants him to be whatever else that he’s not, this is the physical representation of that change— a solid, tangible reminder that he is committed to being a different guy. A ring guy. We’ve still got about a half dozen years of Jimmy’s path to Saul and beyond (the current season was set in 2002, while Breaking Bad was set in 2008-2009). Whether or not that corresponds to six actual seasons, we’ve got a long path in front of us. This episode made a huge leap in Jimmy/Saul’s story, and it’s exciting to see where they go next.
Vivian Kane was really okay not knowing what a Chicago sunroof was.