There were a ton of fun Breaking Bad nods in the Better Call Saul premiere, but the best might have been the reaveal of Saul's fate post-Breaking Bad. Simultaneously depressed about his lot in life and paranoid about being found out, the once-infamous bilboard lawyer had taken on a new identity and a new mustache. Saul was now Gene, the manager of a Cinnabon in Omaha, Nebraska.
The cruel irony of it all? Saul predicted this is just what would happen, as an offhand joke in the second-to-last episode of BB, after everything went rotten.
Apparently, Saul's "Best Case Scenario" involved rolling up slabs coma bread in the local mall's diabetes dispensary. Could be worse, I guess. He could be dead, or stuck in a drab hotel room forever.
We'll never forget you, Huell.
Saul feels like a mainstay of Breaking Bad, but it's easy to forget he was only introduced in the middle of the second season. It was in that episode that Badger got busted for dealing; after Saul refused to help, he was kidnapped by a disguised Walt and Jesse. Between his blubbers for mercy and what had to have been a strain for bladder control, Saul mistook the pair for cartel goons. To sate the bloodthirst of his oblivious captors, Saul spat out a name: Ignacio.
Who the hell is Ignacio?
You probably remember Nacho, the steely gangster/Far Cry 3 villain who menaces Saul on multiple occasions. As noted by Mike in a later episode, Nacho is short for Ignacio. Looking back (or forward) now, it appears as though Saul will have further dealings with Nacho on the show, and they might not all end so nice. Imagine that; something terrible happening to someone in the Breaking Bad universe.
Okay, I know that's kind of graphic, but that's probably the way you remember No-Doze, one of Tuco's henchmen. During Walt's very first sale of the blue meth in season two of Breaking Bad, No-Doze was the flunkie that spoke out of turn, earning a fatal beating from Tuco "Grill Master" Salamanca. His silent giant friend Gonzo was tasked with the disposal of his comrade's body.
Judging from the second episode of Better Call Saul, No-Doze and Gonzo had been with their boss for a while. At some point during deliberations over the fate of the scamming skateboarders, Tuco and No-Doze butt heads once more. You can even see Gonzo looming in the background.
This is one of those neat wrinkles that adds depth to a world, as we see evidence that this rivalry had been brewing for years.
But that was more of a direct nod. There are lots of subtle cameos that you might've missed. Remember that guy who Saul "saves" from falling off the billboard?
Besides having a two-second stint in an earlier episode of Better Call Saul, Billboard Guy was actually in an episode of Breaking Bad as a hired gun.
Nobody can really blame you for not recognizing him -- he didn't stick around long. Mike made sure of that.
But the walk-ons get even more obscure. There's a really short beat when Saul is talking in the bathroom, as he gets nudged by a large gentleman.
Sir Overalls McBeardsley here actually showed up in the first episode of Breaking Bad's fifth season. Specifically he was one of the junkyard workers that helped Walt build his magnet truck.
For a city that holds over half a million people, Albuquerque seems like a pretty small place.