Here are the various Breaking Bad characters who popped up in Better Call Saul season 5, some more obvious than others. With only one final season now remaining, Better Call Saul is rapidly catching up to its famous predecessor, which starred Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman as an unlikely meth-cooking duo. Better Call Saul focuses on Walt and Jesse’s colorful lawyer, Saul Goodman, mostly tracking his backstory, but also diving a little into the character’s post-Walt existence.
Where the prequel series was once quite far-removed from the world of Breaking Bad, the parallels are now coming thick and fast, and the amount of characters from the original series appearing in Better Call Saul is increasing rapidly. By the end of season 5, Saul (real name Jimmy McGill) has become firmly embroiled in the feud between Gus Fring and the Salamanca family, and Kim Wexler, now Jimmy’s wife, is willingly joining him down that path. Meanwhile Mike, has gone all-in with Gus, but the chicken shop owner now finds himself exposed after a botched assassination attempt on Lalo.
From main cast members to surprise cameos, Better Call Saul season 5 had more recognizable legacy characters from Breaking Bad than one might’ve guessed at the start of the season.
Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman
The lead protagonist of Better Call Saul, there’s far more of Saul on show than Jimmy in season 5, but aspects of both are still very much present in Bob Odenkirk’s character. Jimmy has seemingly resigned himself to a criminal legal career and managed to break his shootout virginity while trekking across the desert with Lalo’s bail money. While he had nothing to do with the plot itself, Jimmy has also lied to the Salamancas to protect Gus Fring, and now wrongly assumes he’s home free after Lalo was supposedly killed in Mexico. Jimmy’s arc is arguably now on-par with Walter White’s.
Better Call Saul‘s secondary lead finds himself in a similar boat to Jimmy, now officially working as Fring’s right-hand man and leaving behind any semblance of legitimacy. Mike has been instrumental in Lalo’s non-murder and acted as a handler to Nacho, advocating for the release his young friend when the job is done. Mike remains committed to his family, but keeps them far away from his professional life, and in a moment of rare vulnerability, reveals to a urine-guzzling Jimmy that Kaylee and Stacey are his sole motivation. Mike will have hell to pay in Better Call Saul season 6 when Lalo’s survival is discovered.
So used to being in control during Breaking Bad, Gus’ fortunes weren’t so bright in season 5 of Better Call Saul. The would-be head of the New Mexico meth industry is conspiring to become Don Eladio’s sole operative by destroying the Salamancas, but this comes at great sacrifice, with Gus even blowing-up one of his own restaurants to maintain an advantage. Better Call Saul season 5 reveals Gus has built a village in his former partner’s honor. Gus still has a way to ago to attain his dominant status from Breaking Bad, and it remains to be seen how he handles Lalo and Nacho in season 6.
A number of Gus’ assistants and heavies will be familiar to Breaking Bad viewers. Tyrus (played by Ray Campbell) will be the most familiar of these, but fans might also remember Dr. Goodman (JB Blanc) and Nick (Eric Steinig).
Hank Schrader & Steven Gomez
The big pre-announced additions to Better Call Saul season 5 were Dean Norris as Hank and Steven Quezada as Gomez – the DEA duo that tenaciously pursued Heisenberg in Breaking Bad. While Hank and Gomey’s appearances were beyond simple cameos, their time was more brief than most fans would’ve liked. With that said, Better Call Saul season 5 did give fans a verbal sparring match between Hank and Saul, as well as a gloriously tense stake-out that saw Hank unknowingly playing to Gus Fring’s tune. Significantly, both agents have now started down a road that will end with their deaths, and could feature further next season.
One of Walter White’s first victims in Breaking Bad has a surprisingly important role in Better Call Saul‘s latest season. Fans learned the origins of Domingo’s surname, which came from Lalo Salamanca during a card game, but it’s Krazy-8’s arrest (indirectly caused by Jimmy’s legal flash-sale) that first brings the lawyer under the cartel’s influence. As “Saul Goodman” is hired to represent Krazy-8, Jimmy finds himself forced to play Lalo’s game, and start bending the law even more than usual. At the same time, the seeds of Krazy-8 being a DEA informant are sown.
It’s curious that while Don Eladio remains the man everyone is trying to impress in Better Call Saul, he appears to have very little idea of the power struggle going on around him. Previously, Eladio seemed to be more favorable of Gus Fring than the Salamanca family, but Lalo’s arrival has moved that pendulum in the opposite direction. Better Call Saul‘s season 5 finale also foreshadowed Eladio’s death scene in Breaking Bad, with the Don giving the same “Salud!” as he drinks down Gus Fring’s poison.
Eladio’s close assistant, Juan Bolsa, is revealed as the man responsible for organizing the desert attack on Jimmy, signalling his own desire to rid their business of the Salamanca name. Not only did Lalo discover Bolsa was the mastermind of the scheme, but Eladio’s faithful assistant also failed to realize Gus was already making his move, meaning the attack on Jimmy managed to frustrate both sides of the equation. Will Lalo seek revenge on Bolsa in Better Call Saul season 6? Almost certainly, but Breaking Bad suggests he won’t come out on top.
Debuting in Better Call Saul‘s second season, Mike Margolis returned as the furious bell-dinger, Hector Salamanca, but portrayed the character before his crippling illness took hold. The spin-off went on to show how Hector become wheelchair-bound and unable to speak, and even revealed that Lalo was the one who gifted his uncle the famous bell. Hector only had a passing role in Better Call Saul season 5, listening to Lalo’s reports and being forced to wear a party hat by an over-enthusiastic nurse.
Robert Forster appeared in Breaking Bad, El Camino and Better Call Saul, but tragically passed away towards the end of 2019, making his return as Ed Galbraith particularly poignant. Ed appears on the other end of a phone call in Better Call Saul‘s future timeline, with Jimmy (now known as Gene) spooked after being recognized and inquiring about making another new identity for himself elsewhere. After being quoted double the price, “Gene” eventually decides against the idea, but Ed may yet have an influence on future events.
Forever a worthy source of entertainment, Lavell Crawford once again returned as Huell in Better Call Saul, first helping Jimmy’s street-scheming hustle and later acting as a witness during the McGill-Wexler nuptials. Huell might not have been the center of an elaborate scheme this season, but his commentary during Jimmy’s wedding was a particular highlight, and the character remains a trusted associate of Saul heading into season 6.
Lydia has appeared in Better Call Saul previously, and had a further cameo in season 5. On this occasion, she sat-in on a meeting between Gus Fring and his secretive sponsor, Peter Schuler of Madrigal Electromotive. Clearly no fan of the Salamanca family, Lydia suggests an old-fashioned prison shanking to deal with the Lalo problem, which foreshadows her future role in a prison slaughter requested by Walter White in Breaking Bad.
Ever silent and ever threatening, Daniel and Luis Moncada returned as Leonel and Marco Salamanca, respectively, in Better Call Saul season 5. Known as “The Cousins,” this twin duo were responsible for collecting the bail money for Lalo and delivering it to Jimmy in the wilderness. The Cousins might’ve wished they’d stuck around a little longer to protect their middle-man from Bolsa’s goons.
Making his Better Call Saul debut, Norbert Weisser reprises his Breaking Bad role as Peter Schuler, a high-ranking executive of the Madrigal company, who has been plotting the rise of Gus Fring from the shadows, despite his own poor health. Schuler expresses doubts about the operation, citing difficulties in building the superlab and the ongoing Salamanca problem as obstacles, but Gus assures him their goals can be achieved. Weisser could be in for a bigger role in Better Call Saul‘s final season.
While Mike is helping to set up Lalo’s arrest and subsequent release, he becomes involved with Detective Roberts, who is investigating the murder of Fred Whalen, the wire transfer guy from Better Call Saul season 4. Through Mike’s manipulations, Roberts connects the killing to Lalo Salamanca, although it’s later ensured that the charges don’t stick. Roberts was a recurring character in Breaking Bad, and one of the Detectives tracking Heisenberg alongside Hank.
Mike’s daughter-in-law and granddaughter had a background presence in Breaking Bad, but Better Call Saul has explored Mike’s relationship with them in more depth. Despite usually presenting himself as the archetypal friendly grandfather, the pressure of Mike’s job finally showed in season 5, as he scared his own precious Kaylee with an uncharacteristic outburst. Both Stacey and Kaylee are played by different actresses than they were in Breaking Bad.