AMC’s Breaking Bad prequel/spinoff series Better Call Saul has done an admirable job through two seasons of standing on its own merits without relying too heavily on what’s come before. Though there are some obvious connections, viewers have become engrossed in the trials and tribulations of James McGill and are curious to see where the character goes for the upcoming third season. Still, some can’t help but wonder when some familiar faces (beyond Jimmy and Mike Ehrmantraut) will make an appearance on Better Call Saul.
It’s been a topic of conversation ever since Saul was announced, and just about everyone from Breaking Bad is game to return. Last summer, Bryan Cranston said he was “all in” to reprise Walter White, and Aaron Paul has always been open to play Jesse Pinkman again. The creative team behind Saul is taking their time, making sure any crossover between the two shows is right for the story being told. If a new promo is any indication (watch it above), New Mexico’s most infamous fast food executive will factor into the third season.
The YouTube channel Los Pollos Hermanos posted the 30-second advertisement, which is a play on various television commercials that sell a chain restaurant as a place families can come to enjoy good food together. Coming in at the end is Giancarlo Esposito, who brilliantly played ruthless kingpin Gustavo Fring on Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul‘s second season seemed to hint that Gus was lingering in the shadows, waiting for the opportune moment to strike, but all has been quiet on that front. While Better Call Saul is not mentioned in this promo, it does seem to serve as confirmation Fring will be featured on the show this year. That’s the most reasonable assumption given the timing of its release.
This is an exciting moment for fans, as it adds another layer to look forward to as Better Call Saul develops. The cliffhanger at the end of the second season (setting up a legal showdown between Jimmy and his brother Chuck) could be enough drama for the next season, but now it seems likely one of television’s greatest villains is in the fold as well. As Jimmy begins his descent into the Saul Goodman persona, it will be interesting to see if any interactions with Gus played a role in pushing him down a darker path. For the time being, the show is still mainly focused on law firms and legal cases, but it’s clear Vince Gilligan and crew have larger aspirations in mind.
Gus popping up now makes a great deal of sense, and this is another natural tie to Breaking Bad that doesn’t seem forced on the outset. Based on information collected from Breaking Bad, it’s apparent Saul knew Gus well before he crossed paths with Heisenberg, and now viewers will get to see how that relationship was formed. Esposito was frequently an intimidating presence as the no-nonsense Gus, and his portrayal even earned him an Emmy nomination in 2012. Hopes will be high for his role on Better Call Saul, and hopefully it does not disappoint.
Better Call Saul returns this spring on AMC.