This post contains SPOILERS for Better Call Saul's "Something Beautiful"
The latest episode of Better Call Saul featured a surprise cameo from a familiar face, letting viewers know we are inching closer to Breaking Bad. There's no denying AMC's drama has done an exemplary job of standing on its own merits and escaping the shadow of its parent program. Even though Jimmy McGill's transformation into Saul Goodman is inevitable, viewers are still compelled by the dynamics provided by characters like Chuck, Howard, Kim, and Nacho. Still, longtime fans of the franchise are always on the lookout for connections to Breaking Bad.
Prior to the fourth season of Better Call Saul premiering, it was revealed there would be a Breaking Bad character featured. Unfortunately, it's neither of Saul's most infamous clients (Jesse Pinkman and Walter White), but it's still a very noteworthy inclusion. This week's "Something Beautiful" sports a cameo from none other than Gale Boetticher.
Gale has a small role in the episode, appearing in a single scene where Gus Fring pays a visit to learn the results of sample tests Gale has conducted. Boetticher notes that they are not of high quality and he could produce a much better product. Gus admires Gale's enthusiasm, but does not bring him onboard just yet. Of course, Breaking Bad fans know that is going to change at some point. On that show, Gus hired Gale to be his meth cook, and he envisioned Gale taking over for Walter.
It'll be interesting to see if Gale makes any more appearances as the season goes on, but he seems to have a place in Better Call Saul's future. One of the episode's main through-lines involves Gus working to get an upper hand over Hector Salamanca by staging a hit on Arturo (who is already deceased) and Nacho. Because of the incident, Juan Bolsa decides the cartel will only run domestic product (no going over the border) and orders Gus to find an American supplier so they do not run out of product. It's perhaps no coincidence that after having this conversation with Juan Bolsa, Gus seeks out Gale; the show's way of communicating to the audience this is the origin of Gale's employment with Fring. As fans know, he's an accomplished "meth chef" in his own right and just the kind of person Gus would want for his operation.
This isn't to say Better Call Saul is going to end a la Rogue One with Walt and Jesse paying their first visit to Saul's office, but co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are definitely planting the seeds for how everything came to be. In the timeline, we're about five years away from the start of Breaking Bad, and with Jimmy's one-year suspension taking place now, it means the fifth season should take place around 2004 or 2005. This hasn't been confirmed, but perhaps that'll be where Saul concludes, giving Jimmy time to build his reputation as "criminal" lawyer Saul Goodman and Gale to further his working relationship with Gus.