Vince Gilligan, creator of Better Call Saul, has teased that the show may feature more post-Breaking Bad flashforwards and beyond the usual confines of a season opener. Better Call Saul is, of course, a prequel to the iconic drug-cooking TV show, exploring the early days of Saul Goodman (formerly Jimmy McGill), but that doesn’t mean the entire show is set in the past.
While the majority of Saul unfolds is 2003, each of the three seasons thus far have opened after the end of Breaking Bad, showing Jimmy’s life after his run-in with Walter White; now going by the name of Gene, he works in a mall-based Cinnabon in Nebraska, struggling to repress his former life. Despite only appearing once a year, these have become highlights for fans, looked forward to as much as the puzzle pieces explaining how Jimmy became Saul.
When Screen Rant recently talked with Vince Gilligan about the show, he revealed he was wary of having these scenes become too expected, explaining, “consistency applied once or twice too often can become perhaps redundant – possibly even boring“. However, his affection for these recurring sequences is clear, and while he doesn’t want to give away any Season 4 spoilers, he did tease not only the black-and-white framing device returning, but it doing so in a different form:
“I don’t want to give anything away and I can’t make any hard-fast promises because even we don’t know where we’re going most days – but I think it’s not unlikely we’re going to see more story set in Omaha, Nebraska. Certainly perhaps at the beginning of seasons and maybe even beyond that. It seems there’s a lot of story there, it’d be a shame not to get to it.”
At the end of Breaking Bad, the rise of Jack White’s white supremacists force both Walter White and Saul Goodman into hiding, and while the former returned to face his destiny, the latter followed his plan and lives in regretful anonymity. Each time we’ve seen this so far has served as a taste of Jimmy’s season arc, as much about explaining feelings for the past as it is filling in the future. That is a sentiment Gilligan reflects, saying the decision to keep returning to Gene thus far – something the writers have debated heavily – was entirely dependent on its relevance to the show.
The writer’s later comments do point towards a desire for more and, crucially, a moving away from the “consistency” of it being the opening. Whether that means a full episode detailing a major plot event involving Gene, or just a more subversive use of the narrative trick – perhaps a random appearance mid-episode to really keep audiences on their toes and draw real attention to the relevance to Jimmy’s current story – will have to wait until the show returns in September.
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