Breaking Bad

The Throwaway ‘Breaking Bad’ Line That Has Caused Headaches For ‘Better Call Saul’ Writers

With Breaking Bad celebrating its 10th anniversary earlier this month, creator Vince Gilligan has been doing the rounds and discussing the impact of his critically-acclaimed crime drama. Of course, the Breaking Bad universe is still alive and well thanks to Gilligan’s successful prequel series, Better Call Saul, which is expected to begin its fourth season this April. Better Call Saul is arguably one of the best spin-offs in television history but as you’d expect, being a prequel with direct ties to Breaking Bad comes with a number of challenges.

Warning: some minor SPOILERS for Better Call Saul below.

One of the biggest writing challenges for Gilligan and his team has been finding ways to keep Better Call Saul’s protagonist Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) away from Breaking Bad villain Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), as Gus figures heavily into the prequel’s plot, but can’t actually meet Jimmy. However, Breaking Bad also created a writing roadblock that you may not have even noticed and in a recent interview with Screen Rant, Gilligan revealed that it all stems from a throwaway line from the show’s third season.

“I’ll tell you a tricky one,” Gilligan explained. “Off the top of my head, there was some casual reference Saul Goodman made way back in Breaking Bad about being married twice or three times or something like that. That one has bedeviled us for sure. It was just a goofy throwaway line in an episode of BB where Saul Goodman talked about his second wife or some such and that has bedeviled us. We’re trying to figure that one out. When did he have a wife? And who was the second wife? Who was his first wife? Blah blah blah. That was a tricky one.”

The specific line Gilligan is referencing comes from “Green Light,” the fourth episode of Breaking Bad’s third season. In that episode, Saul says to Walter White, “I caught my second wife screwing my stepdad. OK? It’s a cruel world, Walt. Grow up,” which, if we take him at face value, establishes that Saul has been married at least twice. Interestingly, the first wife was actually referenced in the Better Call Saul episode “Chicago Sunroof,” but there has yet to be any mention of a second wife, nor any reference to Jimmy McGill having a stepdad.

Some have speculated that Jimmy’s on-again, off-again love interest Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) is the second wife or that Saul Goodman was just exaggerating or outright lying to Walt in order to manipulate him. Whatever the case, the Better Call Saul’s writing woes from this seemingly throwaway line only further highlight how reconfirm the Gilligan’s previous comments regarding how difficult it is to do a prequel:

“Prequels are really damned hard to write. I thought they were going to be easy. I thought — Peter Gould and I — ah hell, it’s a prequel, we know where it all winds up, this will be easy. There’s so much we don’t have to make up. And we were deluding ourselves. Prequels are actually harder because the sky is not the limit. You can’t do anything and everything with the storytelling because there’s so much set in stone later.”

For more on Better Call Saul, check out our list of Breaking Bad Easter eggs you may have missed.

(Via: Screen Rant)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)