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Better Call Saul Has Become Breaking Bad (And That's Okay)

Stranger Frings

Of all the parallels that can now be drawn between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, perhaps the most obvious is the aforementioned arrival of Gus Fring and with him comes the origin story to the entire crime world fans saw Walter White dominate previously. Subsequently, Better Call Saul's original remit of showing fans how Saul Goodman came into being has now evolved into depicting how the whole New Mexico drug landscape of Breaking Bad developed in the years prior.

The Salamanca group play a central role in the plot, essentially covering Hector's backstory. Gus Fring is slightly less self-assured than the character who faced off against Walter White, giving him some early character development. And in every episode, viewers see Mike Ehrmantraut display yet another useful skill that makes him such a valuable asset to the criminals of the franchise. Essentially, the nearer Better Call Saul's timeline gets to that of its parent series, the more fans begin to see the various elements that made up Breaking Bad falling into place.

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As mentioned previously, sticking too closely to the format of a parent series is a common and costly mistake many spinoff shows have made over the years but it's important to stress that this is not the case for Better Call Saul. Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's creation spent two seasons being a compelling, crime-tinged legal drama with fascinating characters and scintillating dialogue. The show unquestionably confirmed itself as a more-than-credible television entity and earned the right to decide whether to keep going down its own new path or shift into a more Breaking Bad-esque gear. Clearly, Better Call Saul has chosen the latter and this was most likely always the intention.

Furthermore, the brief glimpses of Jimmy McGill's post-Walter White life as Gene suggest that the show may, in the future, become a sequel rather than a prequel and if this is indeed the plan, there is little to be gained from shying away from the franchise's past. Naturally, some viewers may dismiss the various cameos and Easter Eggs as unnecessary fan service but when the rest of the show is so high in quality, does it really matter? And anyway, what Breaking Bad fan didn't crack a smile when Huell turned up?

Crucially, the only factor that truly matters is quality. Better Call Saul may not have the viewing figures of Breaking Bad but it certainly has the same sense of being unmissable, masterful television and as long as that continues, it doesn't make a difference whether the show introduces more elements from its past of whether it goes in a different direction altogether. Vince Gilligan and co. are continuing to make superb television within the world of Breaking Bad and as long as that continues, viewers will gladly tune in week after week.

Next: How Bob Odenkirk Feels About Playing Saul Goodman Again

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