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The Boys Drops An Obscure Breaking Bad Reference

The Seven in The Boys and Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring in Breaking Bad Better Call Saul

Season 1 of The Boys includes a brief appearance by Giancarlo Esposito, formerly known as Breaking Bad's Gus Fring, and the actor drops a brilliantly obscure reference to his former character. Introduced in Breaking Bad's second season, Fring was established as the reigning drug kingpin when it came to high quality meth and his calm, calculated demeanor meant that the villain shared more in common with Bryan Cranston's Walter White than with the show's other, more stereotypical, gangsters. Largely thanks to Esposito's performance, Gus Fring became Walt's arch nemesis in Breaking Bad, as well as one of the most iconic villains in TV history, and the character has since returned in Better Call Saul.

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Amazon Prime Video's The Boys is set in a world where superheroes are a dime a dozen, but the most famous vigilantes are controlled by the Vought corporation. For most of The Boys' first season, Elisabeth Shue's Madelyn Stillwell acts as the leading face of Vought, manipulating the world-famous heroes at her disposal and taking every opportunity to increase her company's profits and reputation. As the story progresses, however, Stillwell regularly refers to "Floor 82" and it becomes clear that the buck does not stop at her own office, but with a shady, unseen group of executives that dwell at the top level of Vought HQ.

Related: Better Call Saul: How Jimmy's Arc Mirrors Breaking Bad's Walter White

In the season finale episode, The Boys finally introduces the man at the very top of the Vought chain: Giancarlo Esposito's Mr. Edgar. Oozing a charismatic control not dissimilar to that displayed by Esposito's Breaking Bad character, Edgar offers Stillwell a sizable bonus for finally winning a lucrative contract that allows superheroes to fight in the U.S. military. Edgar also asks that Stillwell move to level 82 and shadow him during top meetings, effectively naming her as his successor. The Breaking Bad reference comes when Edgar tempers Madelyn's expectations that his retirement is imminent, as he jokes, "Hey, don't go planning my retirement yet. Just saying, someone needs to run this sh*t show when I move to Belize."

Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring on Breaking Bad

In the context of The Boys, this reference to Belize is simply meant to act as a nod towards Edgar's retirement plans, however, the name will have very different connotations for Breaking Bad fans. The Central American country is first mentioned by Saul Goodman as a euphemism for killing someone off and, since then, the phrase "send him to Belize" has become somewhat of an ominous threat of impending doom among those familiar with Breaking Bad's rich mythology. It's no coincidence that, despite only a minute or so of screen time, Esposito's character in The Boys namechecks this particular location as a retirement destination.

On a deeper level, it's highly likely that Edgar's Breaking Bad reference is more than just a neat tie-in to an actor's former role, and actually foreshadows Edgar's fate in The Boys season 2. Vought are a ruthless bunch and several of its employees have expressed dissatisfaction with the company's leadership, most notably the world's top hero, Homelander. While Edgar may be planning a quiet retirement in a secluded, warm-weather vacation spot, his reference to Belize may have just indicated a more violent fate awaits for the Vought CEO.

More: Breaking Bad: What The Show's Title Really Means

The Boys season 1 is currently available on Amazon Prime. Season 2 is without a release date.

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