Better Call Saul season 6 will mark the end of the show, but it’ll need a significant time jump if it’s to reach the timeline of Breaking Bad. The prequel, which debuted back in 2015, has been fleshing out the life of Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) before viewers got to meet him in Breaking Bad, showing the character back when he was known as Jimmy McGill. For all that journey has been an incredible one, however, it’s also always had something of a pre-determined end point, since it can’t continue into the territory of the parent show (though it could go beyond it).
That end point has been confirmed, with Better Call Saul season 6 previously announced as the last of the series. That’s not a bad thing, for while Better Call Saul has been one of the best shows on TV the past five years or so, it does also feel like its story is nearing a natural conclusion, and that it can go out on a real high note. The stage is nicely set for season 6 to bring all of its elements together – Jimmy, Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), Gus Fring (Giancarlo Espositio), Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton), and Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) will be closer than ever before – but one of the big question marks is how it’ll connect its story to Breaking Bad.
When Better Call Saul started, it was a long way off Breaking Bad‘s timeline. Season 1 takes place around 2002, which is six years before the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) begins. Like with its parent show, though, Better Call Saul has told an expansive story in a relatively short time period – while five seasons have gone by, that’s only translated to a couple of years in-universe (including one long montage to bring things forward back in season 4), so as it heads in season 6 it is set in 2004. That means it’s still four years away from Breaking Bad, leaving a huge gap to be covered, and perhaps necessitating a time jump.
It’s not impossible that Better Call Saul can end so far away from Breaking Bad, but it would feel like a missed opportunity to not bring the two closer together, especially given the prequel’s purpose of showing Jimmy’s transformation into Saul. It can be assumed he’d been that way for some time before Walt and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) knocked on his door, but four years leaves a lot unexplored. As mentioned, Saul has already proven adept at quickly covering a lengthy time period without taking up too much narrative space, and so it’s possible that such montages could be utilized again. Alternatively, it may be that there’s more of a jump nearer the end of the season, once some of the main storylines, such as that of Lalo, have been dealt with (though that wouldn’t explain why Saul mentions Lalo and Nacho so many years later).
The Lalo line has become a key part of Better Call Saul, despite being something quite throwaway when it was first used, and means a time jump would make even more sense. If Saul is still fearing him, then it’d be more logical if it was something that’d happened more recently, rather than several years ago. Better Call Saul doesn’t need to go all the way up to Breaking Bad season 2 and include Walt and Jesse cameos (though it’d likely be a real fan-pleaser), but bridging the timeline gap further would help in ending the story of Jimmy, and it can still go past the show with Gene’s arc in the future. Luckily, Better Call Saul season 6 has an extended 13 episode order, meaning even more chance of bringing everything to a satisfying close.