As far as TV spin-offs go, Better Call Saul has always retained a respectful distance from its parent series, Breaking Bad. Sure, the Bob Odenkirk-starring crime thriller has been happy, over the years, to introduce characters and plotlines from the original series, fulfilling its prequel duties—but showrunners Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan have always made it clear that, if the show needed a bunch of scenes of Walter White being the guy who knocks to justify its existence, it wouldn’t really be the show they wanted to make.
That being said, we should probably prepare ourselves: Next week’s episode of Better Call Saul—the third-to-last of the entire series, airing August 1—is titled “Breaking Bad,” and we have to assume that all hell (and continuity) is about to start breaking loose.
(The episode title, and description, comes from Canadian TV listings site TVPassport, but haven’t popped up on the official AMC site yet; AMC press confirmed the title when we reached out.)
One of the questions hanging over the back half of BCS’s final season has, after all, been when Gould and Gilligan might deploy the appearances by Breaking Bad stars Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston that they promised fans back in April. And, sure: Better Call Saul is a show that loves a little clever misdirection, and “Breaking Bad” might turn out to be another episode about the high-stakes drama of Gene The Cinnabon Man. (Press images for the episode suggest it’ll at least partially take place in monochrOmaha.) But at the very least, that title—and the released synopsis, “The partners escalate their enterprise to new levels”—is clearly angling to make us think we might be back in ABQ, possibly at the height of Heisenberg’s reign.
Also—as more than one person has pointed out—the episode title works as a long-delayed joke: The character of Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman was, after all, introduced in an episode of Breaking Bad titled “Better Call Saul,” more than 13 years ago at this point. Gould and Gilligan are apparently repaying the favor, creating a reciprocal relationship between the two shows. (And if it gets a few more wayward BB fans to check in on the excellent Better Call Saul, so much the better.)