- This article is about the Better Call Saul episode. For the television series, see Breaking Bad.
- For the first volume of the original score, see Breaking Bad: Original Score From The Television Series, Vol. 1.
- For the second volume of the original score, see Breaking Bad: Original Score From The Television Series, Vol. 2.
In 2008, Saul Goodman, bound and with a sack covering his head, is transported into the desert in the back of an RV. The two men driving eventually take Saul out of the vehicle, . When the sack is removed from his head, Saul turns around to insist to his captors that they are looking for Ignacio.
On November 12, 2010, Francesca confronts her two stoner tenants over a clogged sink. Remembering her with Saul, and eager to duck out of her argument with the tenants, she gets into her car and drives through downtown. Along the way, she diverts her route to shake off what she suspects to be a police tail. Francesca soon finds herself at an abandoned gas station in the middle of the desert, idling near some payphones. Just as she is about to leave, one of the phones begins to ring.
On the other end of the line is "Gene Takavic", calling from a diner in Nebraska. He gives Francesca instructions on how to find a hidden pouch containing several thousand dollars in cash. Afterward, she updates Gene on what has happened since : the feds seized all of Saul's assets and shell companies, Skyler White took a plea deal, Huell returned to New Orleans after being released from DEA custody, and Bill Oakley has become a defense attorney. Finally, she divulges that Kim called to check on her after , and that she asked about Gene as well. Gene is affected by this last bit of news. He tries to bid Francesca goodbye, but she unceremoniously hangs up on him.
Driving back to Omaha, Gene reaches an intersection. Emotionally torn after hearing about Kim, he finds another phone booth and makes a collect call to a business called Palm Coast Sprinklers in Titusville, Florida, where Kim works. The following conversation is barely heard, but apparently devolves into a heated argument. The call ends with Gene slamming the phone down on the receiver and kicking in one of the glass panels of the phone booth.
Gene returns to Omaha and works a shift at the Cinnabon, contemplating his next move. The following morning, he visits Jeff's house and is greeted by Marion, who shows him a new laptop computer that Jeff has given her using his proceeds from the . Jeff returns home to find them together in the kitchen. Gene excuses Jeff and himself from the kitchen, perturbing Marion. In the garage, he asks Jeff to take the night shift at the cab company and to acquire barbiturates. Jeff is confused, as Gene had previously warned him against trying to contact him again. Gene nonverbally tells him that they are "back in business". The two men share a toast.
That night, Gene — using the pseudonym — performs at a karaoke bar. The mark in his latest scam is Alfred, an obnoxious patron who coaxes Gene into a series of bets. At one point, Alfred orders a drink on Gene's tab, which Gene dispenses with using a tube hidden in his sleeve. Outside, Jeff picks up Alfred in his cab, leaving Gene behind. Gene disposes of the drink from a hot water bottle hidden under his shirt. Meanwhile, Jeff gives Alfred a bottled water spiked with barbiturates and sends a signal to Buddy to begin the next phase of the scam.
Jeff drives Alfred to his home, a large house in an affluent neighborhood. As Alfred opens his front door, Jeff covers his lock with a strip of duct tape. When he drives away, Buddy and his dog enter the house. Leaving the dog at the foyer, Buddy finds Alfred asleep on the living room sofa. He removes Alfred's wallet from his jacket and takes out all of his state, credit, and banking cards, snapping photos of their front and back. He then goes into Alfred's office and snaps photos of his checkbook, his bank and tax forms, and his passwords. Buddy quietly leaves the house with the dog, almost forgetting to remove the duct tape from the lock.
Back in 2008, after they pay him for his services, Saul steps back into the RV with his would-be kidnappers, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Saul takes note of the duo's chemistry equipment, realizing that they make the "blue stuff" and that Walt is the man known as "Heisenberg". Walt tries to turn the RV's ignition, but it stalls out; to avoid overheating the fuel pump, he switches the vehicle off. After an awkward moment of silence, Jesse asks Saul who "Lalo" is; he uneasily replies, . Walt manages to restart the RV and the trio drive off into the night.
The shot segues to Gene lying in bed in 2010, hearing a knock at his front door. He goes downstairs in his residence and collects a package, which contains a Swing Master machine. With the aid of Jeff and Buddy, Gene starts a new routine: he accosts well-off bar patrons, sends them home in Jeff's cab, and has Buddy enter their homes to steal their financial information. Jeff sells the information to identity thieves in exchange for money and payments in whiskey; Gene stockpiles his money on top of his hidden shoebox. Gene indulges in some of his other old habits as Saul Goodman, going to strip clubs with Jeff and Buddy and having one-night stands with the strippers.
One night, Gene targets a bespectacled bar patron. After they engage in conversation about the moral consequences of white-collar criminals, the mark's beeper goes off and he begins taking pills; he admits to Gene that he has cancer. Gene initially seems hesitant to go through with the scam and asks the mark if he should still be drinking in his condition; the mark responds, "You only go around once." Gene takes the mark outside and lets him be driven away in Jeff's cab.
In 2008, Saul is lying on his office floor with the Swing Master and takes a call from Francesca about his upcoming schedule. Mike, now Saul's private investigator, steps into the office to update him on several ongoing cases the two are handling. Upon Saul's query, Mike divulges the full names and occupations of Walt and Jesse, and the fact that Walt has terminal lung cancer. Knowing about the chemical purity of Walt's product, Saul is eager to go into business with him. Mike advises against it, telling him that Walt is an amateur who will get himself either caught or killed if the cancer doesn't get him first. Mike continues talking about an unrelated matter, but Saul has zoned out of the conversation.
In 2010, after settling in to watch TV, Gene receives a call on his old earphone from a frantic Jeff. He, Jeff and Buddy reconvene in Jeff's garage, which is seen by Marion from her bedroom. Inside, Buddy tells Gene that he can't go through with the scam on the cancer-stricken mark, explaining that his own father had cancer. When Buddy says that he removed the duct tape from the mark's lock, Gene angrily fires him and warns him to not talk about what they've been doing. He quickly enlists Jeff to drive him to the mark's house so that he can commit the break-in himself, dismissing Jeff's own misgivings. As Gene exits the cab, there is a brief scene of Saul entering the science wing of J. P. Wynne High School, walking past Walt's Pontiac Aztek. The episode ends as Gene breaks through a glass panel to unlock the mark's front door.
- The title of this episode, "Breaking Bad", is a reference to Better Call Saul's predecessor of the same name, in which Saul Goodman was introduced.
- This title is also a nod to how Breaking Bad had an episode named "". The two shows have episode names sharing the name of the opposite show.
- At the end of the episode, Gene breaks a glass pane in the mark's door to enter. This is the first time he or his co-conspirators have left evidence at the scene of their scams; "Breaking [is] Bad".
- This is the first episode in Better Call Saul to feature a cameo appearance from Breaking Bad characters Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
- The events in the Gene timeline begin on November 12, 2010 and end on December 5, 2010.
- Ironically the flashbacks to the RV take place on December 4, 2008, while the scene with Mike and Saul visiting J. P. Wynne High School takes place on December 5, 2008. This means the episode's flashbacks take place exactly two years before the end of the episode.
- The opening title sequence again mostly features a blue background with the title and creator credits, but flashes twice to new images that were previously unseen:
- Gene's recliner chair rocking back and forth with a drink in the cupholder, with a distorted and out of tune theme song playing.
- A crossroads in a Nebraska cornfield that Gene drives through during the episode, which briefly flashes after the title and creator credits.
- This episode intercuts the events of "" with the Gene timeline, with the events in the flashbacks being in color and the Gene scenes being in black and white.
- The 1986 Fleetwood Bounder appears in the flashbacks which begins with Jimmy's abduction to the desert. It reveals more of what happened following Jimmy making a deal with Jesse and Walt. It breaks down for a short time, ironically referencing the next episode, "". While he was obviously transported in the RV in "Better Call Saul", this marks the first and only time Saul is physically shown in the vehicle.
- Jesse is revealed to have never heard Lalo's name on the streets before Jimmy mentioned him, when Jesse and Walt kidnapped Saul.
- Walt's 2004 Pontiac Aztek and J. P. Wynne High School both appear in the flashbacks as well.
- The phone call mentioned in the flashforward in "" that Francesca is supposed to answer is revealed to be from Jimmy himself.
- The fate of several characters post Breaking Bad is revealed by Francesca:
- Walter White's death didn't change anything and, in fact, made it worse for the remaining low-level players connected to his drug empire.
- Skyler White reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors as Walt had intended in "". This likely means that Hank Schrader and Steven Gomez's bodies were recovered, as Walt had given his wife their location as leverage for the deal.
- Jesse Pinkman's car was found near the border as intended by Badger and Skinny Pete in El Camino, which was helpful in Jesse's successful escape to Alaska. The police are still looking for Jesse, as he and Jimmy are the last of Walt's accomplices left to pursue.
- All of Jimmy's assets have been seized, leaving him with only the belongings that he took with him to Omaha.
- Huell Babineaux has apparently returned to New Orleans after the DEA were forced to release him, due to .
- Lydia Rodarte-Quayle is not mentioned, but is implied to be dead as Francesca says that Jesse and Saul are the DEA's only remaining targets, particularly as a news report in "" mentioned that she was not expected to survive her poisoning.
- Bill Oakley has entered private practice as a defense attorney. His picture on a park bench proclaims him to now be a part of "William Oakley & Associates."
- Lastly, Francesca herself is still being targeted by the authorities, albeit in an effort to find Jimmy in Francesca's case.
- The whereabouts of some characters, namely Patrick Kuby and Ira, are left unknown with Francesca not knowing about Kuby and only giving a sarcastic response to Gene asking about Ira.
- Kim Wexler is revealed to have moved to Titusville, Florida, after leaving Jimmy in "". In "", Jimmy suggests Florida as a destination for Jesse’s new life. Kim now works at a business called Palm Coast Sprinklers.
- There is a reference to both the poem Ozymandias and the episode "" in the scene where Jimmy says to Walt: "Hey, are you gonna try that again, cause--or they gonna find us, you know, buried in a sandstorm a thousand years from now?"
- When Jesse asks Saul about Lalo, Saul says "It's nobody...". Using the word "Nobody" was a recurring theme with Lalo, like in "", where Lalo refers to Jimmy as a nobody, or in "" when he said he himself was a nobody.
- After Saul becomes officially the lawyer of Walt and Jesse in the desert and he reenters the RV, he starts messing with a round bottom boiling flask. The same kind that Walt presented to Jesse as the 'pièce de résistance', the big one to which heat is applied, when they started their partnership in "". This maybe symbolizes Saul officially initiating his own partnership with them.
- The scam Gene set up is designed so that none of the victims will be aware they were robbed until it is too late to identify the robbers or even know when or where they operated. Just like the heist Jesse, Walter and Mike set up in "". Just like the robbery he orchestrated in "".
- Thomas Schnauz has a brief cameo, appearing on one of the stolen IDs in the episode's crime montage.
- Before being fully revealed in "", the conversation between Kim and Jimmy was audible in the German dubbed version. Warning, spoiler (hover to reveal): Jimmy manages to reach Kim, but she advises him to turn himself in. The translation of the conversation would be: "Hey, why don't YOU turn yourself in? You don't have to take me into consideration, I can only be hanged once! Okay, listen Kim... why are we even talking about this, we are both too smart."
- During the flashbacks, while stranded briefly in the RV with Saul, Walt takes the keys out of the ignition and an indicator light goes out. This is a reference to "" when Jesse left the keys in the ignition, causing the indicator light to drain the battery and strand Walt and Jesse in the desert.
- The phone call with Francesca takes place on November 12, 2010, Jimmy McGill's 50th birthday. The Breaking Bad series "", sometimes also titled "Breaking Bad," takes place partially on Walter White's 50th birthday. Both men "break bad" out of restless mundanity at the same life milestone.
- This is the first episode to show Albuquerque, New Mexico in black and white.
- "Tapioca Tundra" by The Monkees (Mike Nesmith acoustic cover)
- Gene: "Ok. Well. Tell me... how hot?"
- Francesca: "How hot?"
- Gene: "Yeah."
- Francesca: "Well, I still get followed. Not as often as when the shit first hit the fan, but I still see them. My mail gets opened. My phone at home clicks whenever I use it."
- Gene: "So the Mastro buying the farm didn't change anything?"
- Francesca: "No, if anything, it made it worse. Skyler White got her deal. So, the only ones left to go after are you and Pinkman. And I heard they found his car down by the border so, adios dopehead."
- Gene: "Oh, so they're still into me."
- ―Francesca Liddy updates Gene on the situation following Walt's death.
- Francesca: "Remember Bill Oakley? He switched sides."
- Gene: "He came out, huh?"
- Francesca: "No, he's not gay. He's a defence attorney now."
- ―Francesca Liddy tells Gene about how Bill Oakley is doing.
- "Oh. Another good one. Oh, hey, Jeffie! Look what the cat dragged in! (...) Yeah, well, he... he got it for me, and I didn't know what the hell to do with it, but, uh, look, Gene showed me. You... You go to the box up here... And then you type in "funny cat videos." I mean, that's it, just "funny cat videos." These funny cat videos just pop up! Look at this one. Look, look. Cat eating an ice cream. Can you believe it?"
- ―Marion discussing the funny cat videos with Gene Takavic and Jeff.
- "Alright, we're done. We're done with the questions. We ask the questions. So, you have a job, one job... and I still don't understand how you're gonna pull it off."
- ―Walt telling Saul Goodman not to ask any further questions.
- "Look, nothing would be different in this moment except you panicking and flooding the engine. (...) We just need to sit a moment, that's all! When it idles too long, the fuel pump overheats, and so we just need to let it cool down."
- ―Walt telling Jesse Pinkman and Saul not to overheat the fuel pump.
- Mike: "Now listen, even if this guy was gonna live, I wouldn't go near him. He's a complete amateur."
- Saul: "Well, you see an amateur, I see a hundred and seventy pounds of clay ready to be molded."
- Mike: "Well if the cancer doesn't get him, it'll be the cops, or a bullet to the head."
- Saul: "Is that your appraisal or is that what "He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named" says about him?"
- Mike: "He doesn't say anything. The guy's small potatoes."
- Saul: "Yeah, okay. I hear you. I just... I got a feeling about this. This Heisenberg guy's got something. It's top of the line product, that's the buzz on the street, and I just think, with the right management..."
- Mike: "You know, years ago, I bought a Betamax. Good product. "Top of the line." Experts said it was better than a VHS. Turned out to be a complete waste of time and money."
- ―Mike warns Saul about doing business with Walt and Jesse.[src]