It’s been almost seven years since TV juggernaut Breaking Bad aired its final episode – but the world of morally dubious characters that Vince Gilligan expertly crafted across five lauded seasons has been kept well and truly alive.
First came spin-off series Better Call Saul, focusing on the scheming lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and the moral downward spiral that led to him becoming the Saul Goodman we know from Breaking Bad, and then last year came El Camino, a feature length sequel that picks up on Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) after the events of the final episode.
And with a fifth season of Better Call Saul now streaming on Netflix, some fans are asking how last year’s films connects to the ongoing series.
Does Better Call Saul tie in with the event of El Camino?
Well the short answer is no, for the most part the two spin-offs don’t really tie in with each other. Whereas El Camino takes place after the events of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is primarily a prequel and so there isn’t an overlap in terms of time period. Saul didn’t appear in the Netflix film, while Jesse is not quite as involved in the drugs trade at the time of Better Call Saul – he’s presumably still operating at a fairly low level.
Meanwhile other key characters from Better Call Saul who also appeared in Breaking Bad, notably Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), are long dead by the events of El Camino.
But what about Gene?
Now, this is where things get slightly complicated. At the start of every season premiere of Better Call Saul so far, we’ve been treated to a black and white cold opening set after the events of Breaking Bad.
In these sequences we see Saul living a solitary life as a Cinnabon employee in Nebraska, under the name Gene Takovic. This is as a result of the escape he was handed towards the end of Breaking Bad, when he takes up an offer from Ed (Robert Forster) – a man who specialises in a kind of illegal witness protection programme.
Now although this version of Saul also doesn’t appear in El Camino, Ed does – and when speaking to Jesse he included a reference to Saul, telling him “From where I see it, you made your own luck. As did your former partner. As did your lawyer.”
Now, some fans have suggested that this remark could indicate that Saul is set to meet a sticky end, and given that the season five cold opening sees Gene recognised by a former acquaintance from Albuquerque, there may be something in this.
We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out…
El Camino is streaming now on Netflix, with new seasons of Better Call Saul season 5 dropping every Monday