Better Call Saul season 5 included some fun foreshadowing of the scene that introduces Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) in Breaking Bad season 2. Better Call Saul’s fifth season is closer to Breaking Bad than ever before: Jimmy is now practising law under the name of Saul Goodman, Gus Fring and Mike Ehrmantraut are about to become more involved together, and Hank Schrader is now a part of the show too.
Better Call Saul is very much its own thing and telling a great story around the life of Jimmy before he works with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, respectively), complemented by characters who don’t appear in Breaking Bad, like Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). That said, a big part of the fun for viewers are the connections and references to Breaking Bad. Since Better Call Saul knows exactly where its main character has to end up, and who he might meet along the way, it has a lot of room for Easter eggs and setup of Saul Goodman’s story.
One such instance arrived in Better Call Saul season 5, episode 5, “Dedicado a Max”. Jimmy’s story in the episode revealed around his and Kim’s con against Mesa Verde, with Saul serving as the lawyer for Mr. Acker (Barry Corbin). In an attempt to take down Mesa Verde, who are unrelenting in their desire to build their call center on the land where Mr. Acker lives, Jimmy gets help from Steven Ogg’s Sobchak, a local criminal and Private Investigator. When Sobchak runs through the options they have in order to get dirt on Mesa Verde’s CEO Kevin Wachtell (Rex Linn), he says:
“I get two more guys. Guys who know how to handle themselves. And we roll up to the subject in an unmarked van. We grab him, put him in a bag, and we take him out to the desert. And at the end of the day, the banker’s giving you everything you’re after.”
Jimmy and Kim understandably don’t go along with Sobchak’s plan, since they only want to beat Kevin in a legal sense, and don’t actually want to injure or frighten him. Nonetheless, the idea is a familiar one to fans of Breaking Bad, because it’s exactly what happens to Saul Goodman in his introductory episode, after he first turns down Walt, or “Mr. Mayhew”. Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul, putting a bag over his head, and drive him out to a shallow grave in the desert. Saul ends up giving them everything they want, agreeing to become their lawyer.
Although there’s seemingly no link between Sobchak and Walt & Jesse, his line does show this is fairly standard practice in the Albuquerque criminal underworld, and it’s one Saul Goodman is increasingly used to, since something similar previously happened with Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) and Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) as well. Better Call Saul is still a few years off Breaking Bad, but eventually Jimmy is going to be finding himself as the one being grabbed, stuffed into a van, and taken out to the desert. The only difference is he’s a lawyer, not a banker.