Better Call Saul seems to be getting better and more captivating every passing season. Spin-offs are tricky, but Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are not really having a problem with that. The series covers everything leading up to the events of Breaking Bad, but of course from Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman's point of view. We often all freak out about Breaking Bad connections and easter eggs featured in every episode, but the reality is, both shows exist in the same universe, so Gilligan and Gould are slowly tying things up with meticulous attention to detail and elaborate origin stories.
There are three timelines and endless opportunities to intertwine stories and even take them further, which Gilligan hinted at during an interview with Den of Geek: "While I think that there is a definite end in sight for the pre-Breaking Bad story, there still seems like there could be a lot in the post-Breaking Bad world. I'm kind of fascinated by that, simply as one of the first fans of the series. What could come out of that? No promises, but it seems to me that there's a little more opportunity for scope there than there even was in Breaking Bad.”
The show is now in its third season, and each one so far has been packed with Breaking Bad references and easter eggs, so here are 15 of them you might have missed.
15 Gene in Omaha
Season 3 of Better Call Saul once again opens with a sad tableau after the events of Breaking Bad: a balding Saul as Gene opening up a Cinnabon that he is a manager of...in Omaha. With his glory days behind him, this is Jimmy's darkest and most depressing time with his awesome porn 'stache, and he had thought this was his best case scenario. Towards the finale of Breaking Bad, the last time we saw Saul, he actually predicted his trans-fat-ridden doom by saying, "If I'm lucky, a month from now, best-case scenario, I'm managing a Cinnabon in Omaha." Talk about foresight!
14 Kaylee's Pig & Mike's Love of Pimento
In the first season of Better Call Saul, Mike shows up for a protection job, and when one of the guys asks what he is packing, he says a pimento sandwich. Mike offers the same type of sandwich to Jesse during their stake-out in the fourth season of Breaking Bad. Besides pimento cheese, there is nothing and no one Mike cares and loves more than his granddaughter Kaylee. If you remember, in the second season of BCS, he gives Kaylee a stuffed pink pig, but this is not the first time this pig makes an appearance in Gilligan's timeline. In the fifth season of Breaking Bad, Mike uses the very same pig to block the keyhole to distract Chris Mara and make his escape.
13 Loyola's & Casa Tranquila
In the first season of Better Call Saul, the diner where Jimmy meets the Kettlemans might look familiar because this is a frequented spot in Breaking Bad. Mike is seen at the diner a few times, takes Jesse to Loyola's, and in the final season, he meets up with Lydia and gets her to-kill list also at at this diner. Mike's a creature of habit, so he is always at Loyola's having a pimento sandwich - the "caviar of the south." Another familiar locale in Better Call Saul is Casa Tranquila, the retirement home Jimmy goes to scoop up new clients. This is the same retirement home Hector ends up in, and consequently where Gus gets blown to pieces in Breaking Bad. Ding, ding, ding!
12 Saul's Assistant: Francesca
Did you remember Francesca when she came into Wexler-McGill for a job interview? Despite not having any paralegal experience, Jimmy thinks anyone who worked at the DMV--MVD in New Mexico--for as long as she did qualifies for the job and convinces Kim that they should hire her. Francesca quickly becomes Jimmy's girl Friday, and we all know Francesca would stay by Jimmy and then Saul's side for many years after she lands the job. The last time we saw Francesca in Breaking Bad was in the third episode of the second installment of season 5. There's a very revealing conversation between the two the first time they ever talk to each other as Jimmy's aligning their logo on the wall:
Jimmy: Does that look straight to you?
Francesca: That side? I think you're a little crooked. The bottom of the M there.
Jimmy: Yeah...A little crooked.
11 Who Is Ignacio?
It doesn't hit you until Mike says that Nacho stands for Ignacio that the name Saul gives Jesse and Walt in Breaking Bad to save his ass when they kidnap him was not just a random name. Isn't Nacho/Ignacio such a reasonable and sensible gangster, though? Considering Nacho was not in Breaking Bad, I theorize that he will eventually meet his demise in Better Call Saul because he is too human for the game, which is probably why Jimmy felt comfortable with putting the blame on him - no blow-back.
10 The JPi Tag
Vince Gilligan pays attention to details and ties things together so masterfully because Better Call Saul is ridden with so many obscure visuals and lines that are references to Breaking Bad. Technically, they are not really references since both shows take place in the same universe and follow the same timelines. But the JPi tag, which mostly likely means Jesse Pinkman, is a good example of one of those references. The tag first appears at Jesse's house in season 4 of Breaking Bad when he is on a guilt-ridden bender. We see the same tag on a telephone booth Jimmy uses to contact Nacho in the first reason.
9 Fring and Lydia Are Back
In season 3, when Mike is trying to figure out who is trying to track him, he calls in a favor and sends Jimmy into the fried chicken joint that he was led to... Los Pollos Hermanos. After an intense few minutes of spotting Gustavo Fring inconspicuously clearing tables in Jimmy's background, they finally make contact after 21 episodes. However, Fring's business is not with Jimmy. In episode 6, the ruthless, stevia-fiend Lydia Rodarte-Quayle also returns for maybe less than a minute, but her short appearance is enough to confirm that she is in cahoots with Fring and will be back. In the episode Lydia returns, Gus also scopes out the laundromat that would later become Walt's meth lab.
8 Lawson the Arms Dealer
Die-hard Breaking Bad and incidentally also Supernatural fans were probably quick to notice this, but Jim Beaver reprised his role as Lawson the arms dealer in Better Call Saul to show Mike some rifles in a seedy hotel room in Season 2. Since Mike didn't even end up buying a rifle and changed his mind about killing Tuco Salamanca, this was more of a nod to Breaking Bad fans by Vince Gilligan. Lawson first appeared in Breaking Bad in Season 4 as a connection of Saul's to sell Walter a thirty-eight snub handgun. Then in season 5, he provided Walt with a car and an M60.
7 Attorney-Client Privilege
Speaking of the scene in which Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul, that is also when Saul asks them each to give him a dollar so they can be covered by attorney-client privilege. In Better Call Saul, Kim does the exact same thing before discussing what their game plan is going to be when she finds out what Chuck has a recording of Jimmy confessing to falsifying evidence. Though this is technically not the first time this has been done on television, the scene is obviously a throwback to when Saul does the very same thing with Jesse and Walt to ensure confidentiality.
6 Huell Babineaux
Season 3, Episode 5 has been possibly the best episode of Better Call Saul to date. But the episode is extra special because it also features an appearance from a hilarious and menacing Breaking Bad character: Huell Babineaux. If you remember, Huell was Saul's bodyguard and also one hell of a pick-pocket. Saul took advantage of Babineaux's special skill to get the ricin cigarette from Jesse in Breaking Bad as a part of Walt's scheme. In Better Call Saul, Jimmy takes a similar yet oddly more legal approach to show his brother's true colors in court. Bonus: In this same episode, Jimmy asks Chuck whether he would have told his wife about his illness if it were lung cancer, which is probably a sly reference to Walter's condition.
5 Victor & Tyrus
In the same episode in season 3 where we get re-introduced to Los Pollos Hermanos and Gus Fring, we later see a black SUV's window roll down, and it is none other than Gus' faithful right-hand man, Victor, in the car. If you remember, he was responsible for watching Walter and Jesse while they were cooking and then got brutally murdered by his boss in front of the duo. Another henchmen of Gus, Tyrus, who gets killed along with Gus in Breaking Bad also makes his first appearance in the third season. Bonus: Krazy-8, the meth distributor Walter killed in the first season of Bad, also returns in the third season of Better Call Saul.
4 Mike & Jimmy vs. Walt & Hank
This is more of an amazing reference than an easter egg, missed by me and pointed out by Joanna Robinson and Hillary Busis of Vanity Fair. In the episode where Mike asks Jimmy go into Los Pollos Hermanos to watch the guy he is tracking, after the guy leaves, Jimmy shows more interest in helping Mike out in his pursuit, saying "What’s our next move? Are we going to follow this guy? Because you got some real James Bond stuff in here." Of course, to Jimmy's disappointment, Mike tells him they are done. However, the scene is extremely reminiscent of a Breaking Bad one where Hank and Walt are also in the same Los Pollos Hermanos parking lot so Walt can place a tracking device on Gus' car for Hank.
3 Dr. Goodman & His Chickens
In season 3, episode 3, Mike pays a visit to Dr. Goodman to pick up some "medicine" to use it in a clever scheme to hurt Hector more. The same doctor also appears in Breaking Bad after Gus poisons Don Eladio and his men. Dr. Goodman also again has chickens by his clinic just like in Breaking Bad if you remember Mike feeding and talking to some on the doctor's property after he got shot at Don Eladio's house. The same episode also features Jimmy smoking the same fictional brand of cigarettes, Wilmington, Jesse is often seen smoking in Breaking Bad.
2 Slipping Jimmy & Shots of Zafiro Añejo
One of the best moments of the second season of Better Call Saul is when Jimmy slips into his Slipping Jimmy persona with Kim. When he spots the loud-mouth, big-shot stockbroker at a bar and a shot of tequila that costs $50 on the menu called Zafiro Añejo, the wheels start rolling. So he decides to show Kim how much fun he can have, and they pose as siblings who have inherited a large sum of money and are looking for investment opportunities. They down an entire bottle of Zafiro Añejo, and he gets stuck with the bill. This is the same tequila brand Gus gifts to poison Don Eladio and the entire Juarez Cartel.
1 "It's just a name" ("Say my name")
After 25 episodes, Jimmy finally becomes Saul Goodman for the sake of his new commercial business, making commercials for businesses. He reveals that his new name is kind of like 's-all-good-man, and when Kim can't wrap her mind around it, he says, "It's just a name." This is just such a powerful ending to the episode and is almost a nod to the famous line from Breaking Bad, "Say my name." After a certain point, Walter White fully became Heisenberg and left Walt behind, and this episode marks the beginning of Jimmy's real transition from crooked Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman.