One of the more aggravating effects of Better Call Saul‘s critical success and modest popularity is that a certain portion of the audience is simply waiting for this all to tie back into the Breaking Bad storyline. In fact, I’ve spoken to more than one person who gave up on AMC’s wise, melancholic spin-off due to nothing more than lack of Walter White and Mr. Pinkman. These are rare instances, of course, but they speak to the issue that sinks most spin-offs: people just want more of the same. That’s not necessarily an ignorant opinion – a crucial element of 98% of TV programs is a comfortable familiarity in either the characters, the scenarios, or the structure of the series on the whole. It just means that adventurous appetites for great TV are, as ever, dwindling.
That being said, there is simply no getting over the fact that the appearance of Giancarlo Esposito‘s near-mythic Gus Fring in the latest promo for Better Call Saul Season 3 sends chills down your spine. The clever tactic here is turning the promo into a simple commercial for Fring’s Los Pollos Hermanos, the local New Mexican fast food chain that operates as the front for his vast drug-dealing empire. You can watch the short clip below, but what’s actually in the promo is not nearly as interesting as what it suggests. As was hinted at by the end of Better Call Saul Season 2, Slipping Jimmy will likely soon meet with Fring, who will eventually have some run-ins with the lawyer in the Breaking Bad storyline. And that, yes, paves a clear path toward his first meetings with Bryan Cranston‘s iconic Walter White, which has been hinted at on several occasions before by Vince Gilligan and his creative team.
Like any Breaking Bad fan, I’ll be interested to see how they inevitably handle their meeting and the fallout of their work together, but it should not take away from how unique Gilligan and star Bob Odenkirk‘s work on Better Call Saul is, at the end of the day. I’m not sure if it will ever be allowed to stand on its own two feet in the public eye – the Walter White cult is massive and ever-growing – but it certainly deserves to at this point.
Here’s the Los Pollos Hermanos commercial: