Better Call Saul has taken a balanced approach regarding its ties to Breaking Bad continuity, with occasional character cameos and Easter egg references that only eagle-eyed fans can spot. However, the imminent arrival of Better Call Saul Season 3 signals a fall from grace (generously using that term) of Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill Esq. and his metamorphosis into seedy strip mall lawyer Saul Goodman. Now, a viral promo for an all-too-familiar chicken joint signals a spinoff debut for one of Breaking Bad’s biggest players.
A newly-released quasi-commercial for fictional Albuquerque chicken chain Los Pollos Hermanos immediately evokes memories of Gustavo “Gus” Fring, a ruthless drug kingpin (with an amazing backstory) who uses the fast food endeavor as a grandiose laundering front for his crystal meth empire. However, the clip quickly goes from evoking memories to physically reviving them as actor Giancarlo Esposito himself walks into the shot of the family-friendly atmosphere, sporting the signature smiley facade of an affable business owner and paradigm of the American Dream. Yet, for Better Call Saul viewers, the message is clear: Gus is set to arrive in Season 3!
The arrival of Gus into the Saul storyline was all but inevitable, specifically when it comes to the character arc of the series’ deuteragonist Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), who made his debut on Breaking Bad as a hard, but honorable enforcer and right-hand-man of Saul’s who secretly worked for Gus, later overseeing the meth-cooking employment of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Interestingly, on Breaking Bad, while Jimmy/”Saul” served as Walter’s initial connection to the mysterious local drug lord, he was unaware of his secret identity as the television-pitching chicken restaurant proprietor. Thus, there should be an intriguing layer regarding Gus’s role in the prequel series.
Better Call Saul will be ready to pull Season 3 out of the proverbial deep fat fryer on AMC sometime this spring.