Better Call Saul keeps playing around the timeline while teasing the definitive end of Saul Goodman’s story (Bob Odenkirk), long after the events of Breaking Bad. While the series has worked as a prequel so far, the last episode took us to the future, showing how Saul, now under the name Gene Takavic, returned to a life of crime after spending years hidden as the manager of a Cinnabon store in Omaha, Nebraska. This week’s episode, “Breaking Bad,” continues to follow Gene’s criminal life while also taking us back to a time when Saul was the best crooked lawyer dirty money could buy.
Episode 11 also brings back Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman, as we get to see some of the most memorable moments of the original series from a new perspective. There are still two episodes to go, and we are all wondering what the future holds. But, for the moment, let’s recap everything that happened in Better Call Saul’s Season 6, Episode 11.
A Leap of Faith
Episode 11 returns us to the moment when Saul meets Jesse and Walter long before they become vicious crime lords. During their first encounter, the duo hired Saul to represent Badger (Matt L. Jones), one of Jesse’s friends who works dealing meth on the streets. The DEA is holding Badger, and Saul recommends the criminal buy his freedom by giving up “Heisenberg,” who’s actually Walter. To change Saul’s mind, Jesse and Walter kidnap the lawyer, take him to the desert, and threaten to kill him. Saul doesn’t take long to figure out the duo’s identity and agrees to work outside the law to keep Heisenberg safe and Badger outside prison. That first encounter also makes Saul realize the two have true potential, as they can cook high-quality meth in a trailer that’s falling to pieces.
Episode 11 shows an extended version of Saul’s kidnapping and what happened behind the scenes after the event. Saul hires Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) to find out Heisenberg’s true identity and finds out he’s a schoolteacher with cancer and no experience in crime. Mike warns Saul that he shouldn’t get involved with an amateur, but Saul feels there’s something special about Heisenberg. So, against Mike’s council, Saul decides to take a leap of faith and meet Walter at the school where he teaches. The rest is Breaking Bad history.
While these scenes don’t add much to the story we already know from watching Breaking Bad, it’s interesting to revisit the moment after learning everything we did about Saul’s past. Just as he came from the streets and became a pro player in the criminal game, Heisenberg also has the potential to dominate the drug business in Albuquerque — and Saul not only wants a piece of this very lucrative cake, but he also knows he can help Heisenberg develop his potential. The last two episodes of Better Call Saul should take us further into Breaking Bad territory, connecting the original series with Saul Goodman’s final demise.
A New Kind of Game
In between the short scenes focused on Saul meeting Walter and Jesse, we get to explore the future of the crooked lawyer. After the mall robbery that he put together, Gene wants to get his criminal empire back, so he decides to contact Francesca Liddy (Tina Parker), his former secretary. After the events of Breaking Bad, Francesca remained in Albuquerque and now works as a landlord. However, she doesn’t have a peaceful life, as federal agents check her mail, hear her phone calls, and even follow her around. They want to catch Saul, the last big member of Heisenberg’s drug scheme, and believe Francesca might be the key to doing so.
Gene gives Francesca some money to make her agree to pick up a call from a public phone booth. During their brief talk, Gene discovers that Jesse escaped to Alaska, as we learned in the spinoff movie El Camino. All the criminals under Saul’s employment also scattered after Breaking Bad and there’s no one left to help him. Finally, the feds found every secret account and shell enterprise Saul created to keep money hidden. There’s nothing for Gene to recover. However, during the call, Francesca also reveals that Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) reached out after the events of Breaking Bad to know if she was okay and if Saul was alive. There we have it, the information we all wanted: Kim is alive during Breaking Bad!
Fueled by hope, Gene decided to contact Kim. He calls her work, but we never hear what the two of them discuss on the phone. It can’t be anything good because Gene is furious after the call, breaking the phone booth in his anger. After the call, Gene is also determined to build a new crime empire for himself, so we can assume Kim still wants to stay as far away as possible from her ex-husband.
After pushing Jeff (Pat Healy) away in Episode 10, Gene reaches out to the taxi driver and enlists him in a new kind of scheme. Gene chooses rich and proud men who work in finances and follows them to a bar, where he pretends to be a naive and ignorant pair of ears. Feeding their ego as much as he can, Gene pushes these men to get completely drunk while he uses a pump hidden in his sleeve to empty his own glasses and stay sober. When the men are so drunk they won’t remember much of the evening, Gene escorts them to a taxi driven by Jeff.
In the taxi, Jeff offers a bottle of water filled with barbiturates. Once they get home, the men are escorted by Jeff, who uses duct tape to stop their doors from locking. Then, it’s time for Jeff’s friend, Buddy (Max Bickelhaup), to move in quietly, using his dog as a cover to walk in the streets at night without calling attention. Buddy uses a camera to photograph the victims’ IDs, insurance policies, bank account numbers, credit card information, and basically anything that can be used to rip them off completely. Finally, the trio sells all these photos for a lot of money, while the victims won’t even know they were robbed until they find their bank accounts empty many months later.
The new scheme goes well enough until Gene discovers his next mark has terminal cancer. Gene feels bad for the target but decides to proceed with the robbery. Buddy, however, doesn’t feel comfortable stealing from a sick man and doesn’t carry out his part of the plan. Gene is furious with Buddy and decides to take matters into his own hands. Jeff drives Gene to the target’s home, underlining how, after more than three hours, the drug’s effects might be wearing off. Gene still doesn’t want to miss the opportunity and breaks into the victim’s home. Roll credits. Yes, Episode 11 ends with a sadistic cliffhanger that will only be resolved next week.
With only two remaining episodes, it’s clear that Better Call Saul is not satisfied with being a prequel and wants to let fans know exactly what will happen to Saul after the events of Breaking Bad — and by the looks of it, he won’t get a happy ending by Kim’s side.
New episodes of Better Call Saul premiere on AMC every Monday.