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This article is about the TV series. For other uses, see Better Call Saul.
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Better Call Saul is an American crime and legal drama television series created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. It is a spin-off, as well as both a prequel and a sequel, to Gilligan's previous series, Breaking Bad. Set primarily in the early to middle part of the first decade of the 2000s in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the series develops Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk), an earnest lawyer and former con artist, into a greedy criminal defense attorney known as Saul Goodman. Also shown is the moral decline of former police officer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), who becomes a violent fixer for drug traffickers to support his granddaughter and her widowed mother. The show premiered on AMC on February 8, 2015. The sixth and final season consisting of 13 episodes premiered on April 18, 2022, and concluded on August 15, 2022, after six seasons for a total of 63 episodes.

At the start of the series, Jimmy struggles financially while he mostly works on court-appointed cases as a public defender. His romantic interest and former colleague, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), is an attorney at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM), a law firm co-owned by Jimmy's brilliant but unwell brother, Chuck McGill (Michael McKean) and Chuck's law partner, Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian). After hiring Jimmy as legal representation, Mike provides advice and security for Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), an intelligent drug dealer who later becomes a mole for Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), a drug lord and legitimate businessman as owner of the Los Pollos Hermanos fast food establishment. Their operations are disrupted by members of the murderous Salamanca family, including Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton). Odenkirk, Banks, and Esposito reprise their roles from Breaking Bad, as do many others who make guest appearances.

Better Call Saul has received critical acclaim, with particular praise for its acting, characters, writing, direction, and cinematography; many critics have called it a worthy successor to Breaking Bad and one of the greatest television series of all time, with some deeming it superior to its predecessor. It has garnered many award nominations, including a Peabody Award, 46 Primetime Emmy Awards, 15 Writers Guild of America Awards, 14 Critics' Choice Television Awards, six Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. At the time of its airing, the series premiere held the record for the highest-rated scripted series premiere in basic cable history. Better Call Saul has its own set of official multimedia spin-offs and related media within Breaking Bad franchise. This includes a talk show, several web series and digital shorts, comic books, and an insider podcast.



Saul S4

Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), who originally appeared as a main character in Breaking Bad, was chosen as the protagonist of the spin-off series due to showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould wanting to explore the character further.

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould began considering a television spinoff of Breaking Bad as early as 2009. While filming the Breaking Bad episode "Full Measure", Gilligan asked Bob Odenkirk his thoughts on a Saul Goodman spinoff. In July 2012, Gilligan publicly hinted at a Saul Goodman spinoff, stating that he liked "the idea of a lawyer show in which the main lawyer will do anything it takes to stay out of court", including settling on the courthouse steps. During his appearance on Talking Bad, Odenkirk noted that Saul was one of the most popular characters on the show, speculating that the audience likes the character because he is "the program's least hypocritical figure", and "is good at his job".

Gilligan noted that over the course of Breaking Bad, there were a lot of "what ifs” their team considered, such as if the show won a Primetime Emmy Award, or if people would buy "Los Pollos Hermanos" T-shirts. The staff did not expect these events to come to fruition, but after they did, they started considering a spin-off featuring Saul as a thought experiment. Furthermore, Saul's character on Breaking Bad became much more developed than the staff had planned, as he was originally slated to appear in only three episodes. With the growth of Saul's character, Gilligan saw ways to explore the character further.


"Better Call Saul tells the story of mall-based super lawyer Saul Goodman in the years before he became Walter White's attorney. From parking tickets to mass murder, from slip-and-fall to bond fraud, Saul handles it all. "
―Press release[1]
Better Call Saul - first publicity photo

First publicly released photo from the set of Better Call Saul.

In April 2013, Better Call Saul was confirmed to be in development by Gilligan and Gould; the latter wrote the Breaking Bad episode that introduced the character. In July 2013, before the second half of Breaking Bad's final season aired, Gilligan said he and Gould were still working out ideas for the spin-off, but a deal had not yet been made. Netflix was one of many interested distributors, but ultimately a deal was made between AMC and Breaking Bad production company Sony Pictures Television. Gilligan and Gould began as co-showrunners, and Gilligan directed the pilot. Former Breaking Bad writers Thomas Schnauz and Gennifer Hutchison joined the writing staff, with Schnauz serving as co-executive producer and Hutchison as supervising producer. Also joining the initial writing staff were Bradley Paul and former Breaking Bad writer's assistant Gordon Smith.

As Sony and AMC began to commit to a spinoff, Gilligan and Gould worked on what it would be about. They initially considered making it a half-hour show where Saul would see various clients – celebrities in guest roles – in his strip mall office, a format similar to Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, but they had no idea how to write for this type of format, and fell back to planning for hour-long episodes. Since they had used this format with Breaking Bad, which Gilligan said was "25-percent humor, 75-percent drama", the two considered reversing that for Better Call Saul. While the intent was to add more humor, the show remained heavy with dramatic elements, with Odenkirk calling the first season "85 percent drama, 15 percent comedy." Additionally, while several of the characters are lawyers in the show, Gilligan and Gould did not want to write a legal show, but instead a crime show, but one that would necessitate some legal elements. To help in these areas, the writers spoke to real lawyers and spent time observing cases at Los Angeles Superior Court, observing that the bulk of the activity in these cases was downtime while waiting for others to complete actions.

Gilligan and Gould found that the character of Saul Goodman was insufficient to carry the show by himself, with Gilligan calling the character of Saul "great flavoring" for a show but not the substance. They came to realize that Saul, in the Breaking Bad timeframe, was a man that had come to accept himself, and recognized the potential of telling the story of how Saul got to be that person. Gilligan and Gould had already committed to the Better Call Saul title, so that in following this route, they believed they had to quickly get from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman, or they would otherwise disappoint their audience. However, as they wrote the show, they realized "we don't want to get to Saul Goodman … and that's the tragedy". Gilligan and Gould had learned several lessons related to foreshadowing without writing the foresight for it from Breaking Bad, and so with Better Call Saul, gave themselves more flexibility in how the show's plot would develop over its run, and had no firm idea where it will end up outside the connection to Breaking Bad. For example, Rhea Seehorn's performance as Kim Wexler during the first season significantly altered how the writers used her character in later seasons as well as slowing down the pacing of the transition of Jimmy into Saul, as they gave more focus to the Jimmy–Kim relationship. Gilligan compared this to the impact Aaron Paul's acting had on Breaking Bad's ultimate pacing.

In writing for Better Call Saul, Gilligan and Gould recognized they were including overlaps with Breaking Bad, and had ideas of characters they would include, such as Gus Fring, though on no set timetable within the show's development. Gilligan described the writing approach as if developing two separate shows, one that centers on Jimmy/Saul, Kim, Chuck, and Howard, and a second on the more familiar Breaking Bad characters like Mike and Gus with some overlap, as if they were giving the audience two shows for one. Where possible, they had written in minor Breaking Bad characters in smaller parts or as Easter eggs to fans, but Gilligan preferred only to include such major Breaking Bad characters as Walter or Jesse if this seemed unconstrained and satisfactory to both the production team and the audiences. Because of the closeness to the Breaking Bad storyline, one of the writers was tasked at the start of each season to rewatch all 62 episodes of the show and verify that the scripts for the Better Call Saul season introduced no conflicts. As the show continued, the show's "brain trust" consisting of script coordinators Ariel Levine and Kathleen Williams-Foshee reviewed each script to help maintain the continuity with Breaking Bad, including tracking minor character traits and assuring small details from the previous show were kept correct if brought up again.

Gilligan left the Better Call Saul writing staff early in the third season to focus on other projects, resulting in Gould becoming sole showrunner. This transition had been planned since the show's debut, but Gilligan hoped to return to the writers room during the show's final season. He remained involved in the fourth and fifth seasons, but said he had very little to do with developing the show's contents during this period. Instead, Gilligan reduced his role to being a "director for hire" for the episodes "Wiedersehen" and "Bagman", and stated these were the only scripts he read when he was not on the writing staff. He went on to credit Gould for maintaining the series' high quality. Gould would bring Gilligan back to the writers room for the sixth and final season, calling it "wonderful to have him there, so we can finish this show that we started together."


Bob Odenkirk confirmed he would reprise Saul Goodman in the starring role when the series was first announced, but his character would be introduced as lawyer Jimmy McGill, the character's birthname In January 2014, it was announced that Jonathan Banks would reprise his Breaking Bad role as Michael "Mike" Ehrmantraut and be a series regular. Banks was previously a starring cast member in Breaking Bad for the same role.


The main cast of the fifth and penultimate season of Better Call Saul.

New cast members included Michael McKean as Jimmy's elder brother Charles "Chuck" McGill. McKean previously guest-starred in an episode of Odenkirk's Mr. Show and Gilligan's X-Files episode "Dreamland". Rhea Seehorn auditioned and got the role of Kimberly "Kim" Wexler in April 2014, her character being described as "prestigious attorney... whose hard life is complicated by her romantic entanglements with somebody else at the firm". In May 2014, Patrick Fabian was cast on the show as Howard Hamlin, a "Kennedy-esque lawyer who's winning at life". After impressing Gilligan and Gould with his audition tape and screen test, Michael Mando was cast as the "smart and calculating criminal" Ignacio "Nacho" Varga. Mando's character had been previously mentioned but not seen in the Breaking Bad episode "Better Call Saul".

Going into Season 3, Giancarlo Esposito was added to the main cast as Gustavo "Gus" Fring, a drug kingpin who previously served as one of Breaking Bad's main antagonists. Esposito was previously a starring cast member in Breaking Bad for the same role. McKean would leave the series at season's end due to his character being written out, but would make appearances in the next season and the series finale. Tony Dalton made his first appearance as Lalo Salamanca in Season 4, and would be promoted to the main cast for Season 5. Similar to Nacho, Lalo had been a character mentioned only by name in the same Breaking Bad episode "Better Call Saul".

Guest appearances from Breaking Bad characters[]

Gus, Jimmy and Mike

Better Call Saul features a total of 44 crossover characters who originally appeared in Breaking Bad. In addition to Saul, two other main characters in Breaking Bad also appear as main characters in Better Call Saul; Mike Ehrmantraut and Gustavo Fring. The other 41 characters appear in guest roles throughout the series.

Before the second season, Gilligan confirmed that more of the prominent characters from Breaking Bad would be making guest appearances on the spin-off, but remained vague on which characters were likely to be seen. By the next season, Gilligan said that the show had been on long enough that any reuse of Breaking Bad characters would require more than "just a cameo or an Alfred Hitchcock walkthrough", and that their appearances would need to be essential to the story. Both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul regularly said throughout the series run that if asked, they would be open to reappearing on the show as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, respectively, believing that Gilligan would have a sufficiently good reason to bring them in. Paul had previously mentioned the possibility of a cameo during Season 1 but this fell through. The two appeared together in the sixth-season episode "Breaking Bad", which was named after the original series. Paul would have a separate cameo in the next episode; Cranston would appear again in the series finale.

Jesse and Walt BCS

Breaking Bad protagonists Jesse Pinkman and Walter White were often speculated to make an appearance in Better Call Saul; they eventually did in the sixth and final season.

Dean Norris, another one of Breaking Bad's cast members, stated he could not be part of the earlier seasons, partly due to his involvement in the CBS series Under the Dome, but was announced as a guest star reprising his role as Hank Schrader by Season 5, where he appeared in the episodes "The Guy For This" and "Namaste", alongside the return of Steven Michael Quezada as Steven Gomez. Plans were initially made to have Betsy Brandt reprise her role as Marie Schrader, Hank's wife, for a cameo appearance in the season 2 finale "Klick", but the writer's room objected, considering the idea to be distracting for audiences. She would eventually appear in the series finale.

Other Breaking Bad actors spoke of the potential of being on Better Call Saul. Before the series began, Anna Gunn mentioned a "talk" with Gilligan over possible guest appearances as Skyler White, though this idea later fell through. Bill Burr was set to return as Patrick Kuby in the season 5 episode "Dedicado a Max", but scheduling fell through due to him needing to attend to a personal matter. After the series ended, Gould mentioned his desire to bring back Gunn, Norris, Esposito and RJ Mitte (Walter White Jr.) for the finale, but he and the writing staff could not find a proper way to include them.



Better Call Saul DVD box set cover

Front cover of the Better Call Saul DVD and Blu-Ray box-set

Better Call Saul follows the transformation of Jimmy McGill, a former con artist who is trying to become a respectable lawyer, into the personality of the flamboyant criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (a play on the phrase "[it]'s all good, man!"), over the six-year period prior to the events of Breaking Bad, spanning from approximately 2002 to 2008.

Jimmy is inspired by his older brother Chuck to leave his Chicago-area conman past, when he was known as "Slippin' Jimmy". He initially works in the mailroom at his brother's Albuquerque law firm, Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM), where managing partner Howard Hamlin becomes his nemesis. While at HHM Jimmy befriends Kim Wexler, a fellow mailroom employee who completes law school and becomes one of the firm's associates, and their friendship later turns romantic. Jimmy is motivated by Chuck's success to finish college and complete a Juris Doctor degree through a correspondence law school, The University of American Samoa.

After attaining admission to the bar but being denied employment at HHM, Jimmy's pursuits focus on low paying clients including working as a public defender. He later begins to build a practice in elder law, which leads to a prolonged lawsuit against a nursing home chain he discovers is defrauding its clients. He and Chuck begin working together on a class-action suit, which Chuck quickly punts to HHM, squeezing Jimmy out. Jimmy begins to unravel due to Chuck's constant belittling, sabotage, and vindictive behavior towards him. Jimmy's life and career begin to intersect with the illegal narcotics trade and feature characters and story arcs that continue into Breaking Bad.

Among these arcs is the uneasy truce between the Salamanca family that serves the Cartel drug interest, led first by Hector Salamanca and later by his nephews Tuco and Lalo, and Gustavo Fring, a fried chicken entrepreneur whose restaurant chain is a front for the drug trade. Those caught up in the ensuing turmoil include Ignacio "Nacho" Varga, a Salamanca associate who wants to protect his father Manuel Varga from harm, and Mike Ehrmantraut, a former Philadelphia police officer who becomes a fixer for Gus. As his interactions with criminals continue, Jimmy takes on the persona of the flamboyant, colorful Saul Goodman, and he starts to draw on his conman past while his work as an attorney goes from questionable to unethical to illegal.

In addition to selected scenes that take place within the Breaking Bad timeline, the show includes flashforwards, shown in black and white, to events following Breaking Bad. These scenes, taking place in 2010, show Jimmy living as a fugitive under the identity Gene Takavic, the manager of a Cinnabon store in Omaha, Nebraska.

Season 1[]

Jimmy McGill 2002

Following the events of Breaking Bad, in a black-and-white sequence, Saul Goodman has fled Albuquerque, New Mexico and hides in Omaha, Nebraska under the name Gene Takavic. He now manages a Cinnabon and occasionally reminisces about his time in Albuquerque.

In the years before Breaking Bad, Saul, going by his original name of Jimmy McGill, encounters psychotic drug lord Tuco Salamanca and his lieutenant Nacho Varga. Afterward, he schemes to represent Betsy Kettleman and her husband Craig, who is accused of embezzlement. Jimmy cares for his brother Chuck, who is housebound with a psychosomatic aversion to electricity and electric devices.

While pursuing elder law and estate planning cases, Jimmy discovers several seniors being defrauded by the Sandpiper Crossing retirement community. As the Sandpiper Crossing class-action lawsuit grows, Chuck suggests giving it to his law firm, Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM). Hoping to become a partner at HHM, Jimmy is devastated when he is well compensated, yet shunned by Chuck and his associate Howard Hamlin, due to his brother's lack of trust. The case is transferred to a second firm, Davis & Main (D&M), one experienced with the complexities of such class-action suits. After the death of his close friend Marco Pasternak, Jimmy seems to find the legitimate success he craves when D&M offers him a position.

Season 2[]

Jimmy McGill infobox

Gene accidentally locks himself in the dumpster room when closing out the Omaha Cinnabon for the night. Rather than alerting the police by using the emergency exit, he opts to wait for hours for a janitor to let him out.

Hired by D&M, Jimmy quits after his creative, ostentatious legal style doesn't quite mesh with their calm corporate demeanour. Kim is demoted because of Jimmy's actions. She secures Mesa Verde Bank and Trust as an HHM client, but Howard marginalises her accomplishment. Kim quits HHM and opens a private practice in an office-space shared with Jimmy. Jimmy surreptitiously creates a clerical error to discredit Chuck and delay a new MVB branch construction; MVB drops HHM and hires Kim's fledgling firm. Nacho, a Mexican drug cartel lieutenant, hires Mike to remove their volatile captain Tuco, who is entrapped and imprisoned, rather than executed by Mike. Cartel elder Hector grows suspicious and confronts Mike, who later attempts to assassinate Hector, but is mysteriously interrupted.

Season 3[]

BCS S3 JimmyMcGill

During a break from managing the Omaha Cinnabon, Gene points mall security guards towards a shoplifter. After returning to work, a stressed Gene suddenly collapses.

Chuck discovers Jimmy's fraud and tricks him into confessing, leading to suspension of Jimmy's law license. Gus stops Mike from killing Hector. Mike attacks Hector's trucks and steals $250,000 from one. Mike asks for help laundering the money. Gus arranges for Mike's hire as a contracted security expert at Madrigal and payment of monthly consulting fees. Hector plans to take over Manuel's business so Nacho attempts to kill Hector by changing his angina medication for a placebo. Hector suffers a stroke and Gus's first aid saves him, though he remains comatose. Jimmy's fraud trial reveals that Chuck's electromagnetic hypersensitivity is not real. That and Chuck's subsequent ouster at HHM leads to his suicide.

Season 4[]

BCS S4 Jimmy McGill

Gene is raced to the hospital but is discharged after doctors confirm he did not suffer a heart attack. He takes a taxi to where his car is parked, but becomes uneasy when he recognizes an Albuquerque Isotopes air freshener on the rearview mirror and sees the driver making eye contact with him.

Jimmy regains his outgoing demeanour after Howard shoulders blame for Chuck's death. Jimmy manages a cell phone store but makes more reselling prepaid phones to low-level criminals. His law license reinstatement request is denied over lack of remorse for Chuck. After faking mourning, he successfully appeals, but reveals he is going to practice as Saul Goodman. Gus learns Nacho attempted to kill Hector and blackmails him into undermining the Salamancas. Mike escorts engineers who evaluate the laundry's potential as a meth lab and Gus hires Werner to oversee construction. Hector recovers mentally and can move his right index finger. Lalo Salamanca arrives to run Hector's business.

Season 5[]

S5 Jimmy

While on lunch break at work at the Omaha Cinnabon, Gene is approached by Jeff, the cab driver who had previously given him a ride from the hospital. Jeff brings his friend Buddy with him, revealing he recognized Gene as Saul Goodman from when he previously lived in Albuquerque.

Jimmy's new business as Saul Goodman draws him into the drug trade within the city of Albuquerque, and he is conflicted when Howard, attempting to make up for his past treatment of Jimmy, offers him a position at HHM. Kim herself balances her Mesa Verde and pro bono work with her own feelings for Jimmy, and finds herself toying with the same conman-style tactics Jimmy employs within her casework. Jimmy and Kim get married to gain spousal privilege. Lalo's presence forces Gus to halt the superlab construction, and both Nacho and Mike become pawns in the ongoing feud between the Salamancas and Gus. After Lalo is arrested for murder, he requests that Jimmy represent him and arrange bail, which nearly leads to Jimmy's murder. After an unsuccessful attempt on Lalo's life by Gus's hired assassins, Lalo discovers Nacho has betrayed him.

Season 6[]

BCS S6 Portrait Jimmy

Nacho attempts to flee from the Salamancas after the attempt on Lalo's life, but after Gus falsely implicates Nacho, Nacho sacrifices himself in exchange for his father's safety. Lalo learns of Gus' superlab. Jimmy and Kim form an elaborate plan to smear Howard's reputation and succeed in forcing a settlement of the Sandpiper case. Howard confronts them, but is murdered by Lalo. After forcing Kim to act as a diversion, Lalo ambushes Gus and forces him to reveal the planned meth lab. Gus kills Lalo with a gun he had earlier hidden in the lab. Mike makes Howard's death appear to be a suicide, and oversees the burial of both Howard and Lalo beneath the lab. A traumatized and guilt-ridden Kim stops being a lawyer, breaks up with Jimmy and divorces him. Kim's departure is too much for Jimmy to handle and he fully transforms into Saul Goodman.

Gene approaches Jeff and his friend with an offer to bring them into one of his scams. After helping them rob a department store, Gene devises a scheme to obtain the personal and financial identification of rich single men at bars to sell for profit. One of the scams leads to Jeff's arrest. Jeff's mother, Marion, discovers Gene's true identity and calls the police, which gets him arrested. Kim leads a mundane life in Florida working at a sprinkler company. After getting a call from Saul, she decides to confess the true circumstances of Howard's death to the DA and Howard's widow. Returning to his legal name, Saul is extradited to Albuquerque for the trial and lies about new testimony involving Kim to get her to appear in court. He confesses to all of his crimes as Walter White's attorney, getting an eighty-six year sentence. Jimmy is recognized as Saul in prison and gains popularity with his fellow inmates. Kim visits him and they share a cigarette before parting again.


Better Call Saul airs on cable network AMC. The series premiere drew in 4.4 million and 4 million in the 18–49 and 25–54 demographics, respectively, and received an overall viewership of 6.9 million. This was the record for the highest-rated scripted series premiere in basic cable history, until it was surpassed later the same year by another AMC series, Fear the Walking Dead.

In December 2013, Netflix announced that the entire first season would be available for streaming in the U.S. after the airing of the first-season finale, and in Latin America and Europe each episode would be available a few days after the episode airs in the U.S. However, the first season was not released on Netflix in the U.S. until February 1, 2016. Internationally, episodes of the second season became available the day after they aired in the U.S.

Netflix is the exclusive video-on-demand provider for the series and makes the content available in all its territories, except for Australia and New Zealand. In Australia, Better Call Saul premiered on the streaming service Stan on February 9, 2015, acting as the service's flagship program. In New Zealand, the show was exclusive to the video-on-demand service Lightbox before moving to Neon in 2020 when both services were merged. The episodes were available for viewing within three days of broadcast in the U.S.

In the United Kingdom and Ireland, the series was acquired by Netflix on December 16, 2013, and the first episode premiered on February 9, 2015, with the second episode released the following day. Every subsequent episode was released each week thereafter. In India, the series was broadcast on Colors Infinity within 24 hours of the U.S. broadcast.

During the final season's run in 2022, each episode would be available to stream the day they premiered on AMC+, AMC's streaming service which first launched in June 2020. The season premiere resulted in the biggest day of new subscriber sign-ups for AMC+, and by the mid-season finale episodic viewership on the streaming service rose by 61%. During the release of the series finale on AMC+, the app experienced an outage, causing many users to be logged out. AMC later reported that first-day viewing numbers for the finale on AMC+ was four times as big as the season premiere, and called the series' final season the highest acquisition driver in the history of the streaming service.

Awards and nominations[]

Better Call Saul cast at the HCA TV Awards
See List of awards and nominations received by Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul has received 46 Emmy Award nominations (seven of which are pending). It has received six nominations for Outstanding Drama Series. Bob Odenkirk has received five nominations for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (one of which is pending). Jonathan Banks and Giancarlo Esposito have each been nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series; four times for Banks and twice for Esposito. Rhea Seehorn has received a pending nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. The series has also received six nominations for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (one of which is pending) and one nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.

Crossover Characters from Breaking Bad[]

See Category:Characters from Breaking Bad in Better Call Saul


See the list of all episodes from all seasons.