As Better Call Saul approaches season 6, the show seems to be moving closer and closer to its predecessor, Breaking Bad — and not just chronologically. The spin-off show is expected to ramp up its pacing and become more reminiscent of the seminal series before it as it enters its final season.
Filming for season 6 of Better Call Saul is expected to begin in March, and star Bob Odenkirk has promised plenty of “fireworks” in the show’s final season. Odenkirk was recently nominated for Best Actor-Drama at the Golden Globes, although the show was shockingly snubbed from the 2021 Golden Globes Best Television Series-Drama category. Rhea Seehorn was similarly snubbed, failing to receive a nomination for her work as Kim Wexler. Of course, if the show’s final season is as shocking as Odenkirk and series creator Vince Gilligan are billing it to be, a slew of awards may be on the horizon.
Better Call Saul has been consistently regarded as one of the best shows on television since its debut in 2015, drawing inevitable comparisons to Breaking Bad. However, Better Call Saul has remained vastly different from its predecessor, adopting a slower, more methodical approach in its storytelling. The show undoubtedly offers plenty of its own surprises, but it doesn’t feature the same kind of high intensity or breakneck pacing that characterized Breaking Bad over the years. With only one season remaining, Better Call Saul has a lot left to accomplish and is going to look a lot more like Breaking Bad as a result.
Better Call Saul has always been in a unique position as a television series, as its ending has been a foregone conclusion from the get-go. For this reason, the series has been a slow burn, carefully crawling towards the events of Breaking Bad. By the end of Better Call Saul season 5, Jimmy McGill has all but transformed into Saul Goodman entirely. Jimmy’s adoption of his new persona will likely come full circle in season 6, but a lot of time remains between the events of Better Call Saul and the events of Breaking Bad. Characters like Kim and Nacho, both of whom are not present during Breaking Bad, continue to play a vital role in Better Call Saul as well. The timeline between the two series suggests that Jessie Pinkman is likely a student in Walter White’s chemistry class at the moment, which still leaves at least a couple of years before Walt and Jesse begin to cook crystal meth together. If Better Call Saul is to catch up with the events of Breaking Bad, its pacing will have to pick up considerably.
Vince Gilligan has demonstrated a knack for narrative gymnastics over the years, and Better Call Saul has been no exception. Saul remains slippery and cunning, as does Gus Fring. Mike remains a killer in the series, even if his hits in Breaking Bad exceed those in Better Call Saul. With these kinds of characters in play, Gilligan has infinite directions in which he can go. The surprises in Better Call Saul have been mostly quiet or subtle, but as the show nears its end, Gilligan and Odenkirk have already promised the kind of intensity so often associated with Breaking Bad.