In a surprising development, producers hint that Better Call Saul's Omaha-set flashforwards might take place before Walter White's Breaking Bad death. While a spinoff to a show as acclaimed as Breaking Bad was always a gamble, it seems fair to say at this point that co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould - as well as star/producer Bob Odenkirk - have more than knocked things out of the park with Better Call Saul, which just began its fourth season on AMC this past Monday night.
Better Call Saul is creating a TV legend in its own right, as viewers follow the journey of Jimmy McGill (Odenkirk) as he devolves from kindhearted but ethically questionable lawyer to full-on lead attorney and confidant to murderous drug lords. One of the most talked about aspects of Saul since its premiere episode has been the brief glimpses viewers are shown of the titular character's incredibly mundane life as a Cinnabon employee name Gene in Omaha, Nebraska. For the most part, "Gene" seems safe in his new existence, but there have been some hints that he might be living in fear that those he crossed in his former life will one day show up to even the score.
On this week's edition of the Better Call Saul Insider podcast (via The Wrap), a brand new, quite intriguing curveball has been thrown into the mix when it comes to those aforementioned flashfowards. While speaking on the program, Gilligan, Gould, and Odenkirk suggested that these sequences might be set prior to the events of Breaking Bad's series finale, and that the person "Gene" most fears the wrath of is possibly Walter White (Bryan Cranston) himself.
While most fans had naturally assumed from the beginning that the Omaha flashforwards were set after the end of Breaking Bad - and until now, producers had done nothing to discourage that thinking - it's worth pointing out that a clear timeline has never been established. In the penultimate installment of Breaking Bad, entitled "Granite State," Walt and Saul part ways, with Saul telling his former client of his plan to assume a new, protected life of anonymity in Nebraska. Walt then spent months living in New Hampshire, before heading back to Albuquerque and embarking on what would become his final stand against those who had wronged him, managing to save his estranged former partner Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) along the way.
So, this leaves a months-long window of time in which Walter is still alive that Better Call Saul's Gene scenes could conceivably be taking place during. Of course, that leads to an obvious question: Will the former Heisenberg pay his old lawyer a visit at some point down the line? Thanks to Saul blurting out his impending move to Omaha in their last days together, Walt knows full well where to look for him. Of course, even if he does, it's not like the two men parted on especially bad terms, albeit not particularly good ones either. Walt might demand Saul's help with something that could conceivably put him at risk, but it seems unlikely that Walt would just show up and outright kill the lawyer who had bailed him out of so many jams in the past. Either way, it's an exciting prospect to ponder.
Better Call Saul season 4 airs Mondays on AMC.