Better Call Saul is already setting up Hank’s Breaking Bad future. With Better Call Saul now officially in its penultimate season, the consistencies with the timeline of its parent series are becoming increasingly obvious. Jimmy McGill is now officially trading under the “Saul Goodman” name, Gus is in the midst of building the superlab Walt and Jesse will populate much of Breaking Bad, and an attempt on Hector Salamanca’s life has left him wheelchair-bound and unable to talk – just how viewers remember him from the original series. Dean Norris’ Hank Schrader is set to make his Better Call Saul debut in season 5, and while the DEA agent hasn’t appeared yet, the groundwork is rapidly being laid.
In “50% off,” Breaking Bad fans learn a great deal about Krazy-8, the gangster Walter White will one day murder in a dingy basement. Aside from the origin of his nickname, the episode also explores Krazy-8’s role in the Salamanca drug operation, with the seldom-speaking character forced to go and deal with a problem on his turf. After a pair of junkies order 10 bags of product, the drop pipe gets clogged and Krazy-8 is forced to attend the scene, where he’s promptly arrested by virtue of being stuck up a ladder when the cops pull up.
Naturally, this earns Krazy-8 a stint in jail, and Lalo expresses concerns that his man will talk to the authorities. It’s interesting that Nacho assures him otherwise when Breaking Bad fans already know that Krazy-8 acts as a key informant to the DEA in the original series, vacuuming up his apprehended rivals’ clients like a hungry, drug dealing hippo. More significantly, it’s very likely that the beginning of Krazy-8’s relationship with the agency is playing out right now in Better Call Saul season 5. Lalo has proven himself to have excellent instincts thus far, and Krazy-8 lacks the resolute strength of his colleagues, meaning he could certainly flip on the Salamanca family in order to make life easier for himself.
And this development directly links to Hank Schrader. As seen in Breaking Bad season 1, Hank and Gomez were using intelligence from Krazy-8 to launch drug busts, and this puts the mineral maniac directly on the path to Jesse and, ultimately, Heisenberg. But it’s Krazy-8’s betrayal that triggers all of those Breaking Bad storylines for Hank, and Better Call Saul has now shown the unlikely set of events that built towards that key moment. The arrest of Krazy-8 will also probably be how Hank is introduced in Better Call Saul. It would be a great addition to see Dean Norris’ character working on turning Krazy-8 himself, knowing that he’ll reap the benefits in Breaking Bad but that, in the end, the case will also result in his death.
The arrest of Krazy-8 will no doubt have huge ramifications for Lalo. Due to the character’s absence in Breaking Bad, viewers already know that Gus will somehow get rid of his Lalo-shaped problem, and that ball might’ve started rolling with the Krazy-8 incident. Nacho has hired Saul to represent his jailed friend, but Michael Mando’s Better Call Saul character is already under Gus’ control. Consequently, Gus, via Nacho, could instruct Saul to push Krazy-8 towards cutting a deal, selling out Lalo for his own freedom. This would explain why Lalo isn’t in Breaking Bad but Krazy-8 is, as well as the now-famous line where Jimmy thinks he’s been abducted by Lalo’s men and tells them to blame Nacho.