Despite being a prequel series, Better Call Saul has been so filled with twists, strange hints, and intentional easter eggs that people have been coming up with fan theories as to what the future holds for the show since its inception, but especially in the wake of the shocking third season finale. We've been mulling them over a lot lately with the 4th season premiere right around the corner - and these are the ones that we find the most exciting:
One of the big problems with doing ANY sort of prequel is that the 'ending' is preordained - since this happens in the past, we know EXACTLY where this is all leading....and once it catches up with the original, the prequel HAS to end. But Better Call Saul thought ahead, and began its trojan horse plot from the very outset...
See, Better Call Saul only takes place in the past 99% of the time - but for a tiny moment at the start of each season, we see the grim, tragic future of Saul Goodman / Jimmy McGill. After the events of Breaking Bad, Saul Goodman had the good fortune of escaping with his life intact, albeit now as a wanted associate of one of the most devious criminal drug empires in the American Southwest. As part of his attempt to flee law enforcement and retain what little freedom he could muster, he started life anew as an EXTREMELY lowkey mall Cinnabon manager in Omaha, Nebraska, under the pseudonym "Gene." It's a far cry from the outlandish, over-the-top Saul Goodman persona we once knew him as - a new reality so depressing and meaningless, it's even filmed in black & white.
But these scenes are the key to BCS and it's ultimate purpose - yes, eventually Jimmy McGill will abandon all morality (as well as Kim) and turn into Saul Goodman. The journey there has proven thrilling, but we know exactly what to expect on that front. But BCS has never been about simply delivering on expectations, but subverting them in incredible ways. The theory goes like this: by the end of season 4 and with the loss of Chuck, Jimmy's transformation into Saul Goodman will be complete. We've already seen Gus begin to set up his drug empire (with the purchase of the laundromat that will serve as the front for the superlab) with Mike in his employ. In other words, there's not a TON of history left for BCS to explore. But what if season 4 not only BEGINS with a visit into the future of Gene, but also ENDS with one?
The implication being, of course, that season 5 (and possibly beyond that) will take place ENTIRELY in a POST-Breaking Bad world. After the fall of Walter White and the destruction of Saul Goodman - where we find Gene, the latest false persona inhabited by Jimmy McGill. And something pulls him back into that world that he left behind - something pulls him back into the sordid world of the Albuquerque drug scene. And that something is...Jesse Pinkman.
Jesse is - like Saul - one of the few notable survivors of Breaking Bad, and really the only person with any real connection to Saul who might seek him out for any reason. But to keep the series tied together, the reason would be...Kim. Kim needs Jimmy/Saul's help, desperately - and it has to be him. She found Jesse because he was the only one she knew might be able to find him, and Jesse is the only other person with the contact info to Saul's "cleaner" who relocated him. Is it a little far-fetched? Maybe. But do we want to see Jimmy re-emerge triumphant from the miserable Limbo he's trapped in in Omaha's dullest Cinnabon? ABSOLUTELY.
For BCS to unexpectedly transform itself from a prequel series and into a legitimate SEQUEL series would be an incredible sight to behold - from out of nowhere, it goes from the most expected ending possible to something entirely new and unpredictable. It would be a VERY Vince Gilligan move - pulling the rug out from underneath us, but in the most satisfying way imaginable.
Okay, okay - I know the whole "he was dead the whole time!" genre of fan theory may feel a little rote at this point, but this one ACTUALLY HOLDS A LOT OF WATER, so just hear us out...
Here's an odd detail that popped up in the VERY opening moments of Better Call Saul - we are introduced to a balding, mustachioed, depressed looking manager who is very clearly Saul Goodman. Strangely enough, he has wound up in the EXACT PLACE he theorized as his "best case scenario" while going on the run at the end of Breaking Bad - managing a Cinnabon in Omaha. That alone would be a curious enough wrinkle as to the true nature of this black & white world Saul finds himself in, but then we get to that strange little detail:
See that? It's the city seal of Omaha, celebrating its bicentennial anniversary....but something's VERY WRONG WITH THAT. Omaha was incorporated in 1857 (after being founded a few years earlier in 1854) - so for it to be celebrating its 200th birthday, that means these flashforward Gene scenes are actually taking place in...2057?
In case you weren't aware, the timeline of Breaking Bad was somewhere around two years (starting on Walter's 50th birthday, and ending shortly after his 52nd birthday), starting in real time around 2008 (when the series premiered), and thus ending around 2010. If Saul fled in 2010 and was working in a mall Cinnabon in 2057, that would mean 47 YEARS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE END OF BREAKING BAD.
But while Saul's hairline has faded a bit, he's clearly not 47 years older - that would put Saul in his 90s, and "Gene" looks very similar to Saul when we last saw him (albeit with a mustache). So what's actually going on?
In short - Saul's dead. His cleaner felt letting him live was too great of a risk (likely given Saul's high profile as a prominent area attorney with his face plastered all over billboards and on commercials) and simply eliminated him. And everything we're seeing in these black & white flashforwards are actually snippets of Saul's miserable, endless existence in purgatory.
This WOULD BE Saul's idea of purgatory - an endless, monotonous, anonymous existence, doing the EXACT THING he predicted would be his fate. Managing teenagers in a mall, unable to run cons or practice law, disconnected from anyone and everyone who ever meant anything to him, and constantly ridden with anxiety over being found out. Honestly, this might even be Saul's equivalent idea of Hell.
And when we first see him, he's been in this afterlife nightmare for 47 years - but to Saul, nothing's changed. He hasn't aged a day, he hasn't gotten less nervous about being found out, and he has no actual self-awareness as to his situation. This is what Jimmy McGill's life of compromised morals and cons has earned him - an endless afterlife without anything that could ever bring him joy.
Kim has been one of the few sources of hope in Better Call Saul - mostly acting as a moral center of gravity for Jimmy to cling to when his conman impulses began to get the better of him. The assumption has - for most people - been that Jimmy would continue to descend into a moral abyss (especially after the death of Chuck) and would stray so far from the legitimate law world that he would even burn his bridges with Kim, the one person who ever truly believed in his potential and maybe even loved him for who he was. After all, it's not like Kim would FOLLOW Jimmy into the sewer of sleaze and money laundering that birthed Saul Goodman, right? RIGHT?!
There exists another possibility - that Jimmy does continue to sink deeper into the world of drug distribution and fraud, but instead of ditching Kim in the process, he drags her down with him. Yes, Kim becomes Saul's mysterious "silent partner" for the duration of Breaking Bad, and the person running Ice Station Zebra Associates.
For those of you who don't remember, Ice Station Zebra Associates was Saul's shell company he used for his money laundering operations (which Skyler was notably unimpressed with). But the name has also popped up in Better Call Saul a few times now...and every time in conjunction with Kim. So is the company a way of keeping Kim's memory close to Saul's heart in a future where Kim couldn't stomach his amorality, or is it actually Kim herself joining Saul on the outskirts of the law?
The first hint we see comes early in season 2, where Jimmy and Kim are starting to grow closer together - even having a cuddly movie night at home, watching the film 60s thriller "Ice Station Zebra" on TV, with Kim quoting the film and talking about how much it means to her (and her dad).
But then the connections get clearer: Kim is at something of a lowpoint mid-season 2 of BCS (dealing with Howard's distrust of her and her shaky position at HHM) while Jimmy is in an unusual position of comfort (as part of his then-new job at Davis & Main). While sitting at a bar having a drink, she gets the itch to have some fun with Jimmy - so calls him in and has them run a scam on a businessman sitting nearby, convincing him to write them a check for $10,000 to their new tech start-up...
...called Ice Station Zebra Associates.
Oh, and maybe you want MORE proof, huh?
In Breaking Bad, there is a 2nd desk in Saul Goodman's office - although we never see who inhabits it during the series (likely because Saul would want to protect that person from directly interacting with criminal elements). That desk is covered completely in books and paperwork...
Kim's desk was notorious for constant clutter and mess - because that was Kim's way, to always take on way too much.
We've already seen hints of Kim flirting with "breaking bad" and the thrill of the con - is it possible Jimmy drags her down with him? Honestly, this would perhaps be the most tragic ending for Better Call Saul - not only could Jimmy not save his own soul, but he also corrupted the soul of the one person who ever believed in his potential to do good in the world.
It would also add a new, tragic layer to the flashforwards - when "Gene" is watching the Better Call Saul commercials in his sad little home by himself, he begins to cry. Was he crying over his lost life and the end of everything he had built? Of course. But maybe there was more - maybe he was also crying because he had to leave Kim behind for good, and the BCS commercials were his only way to remember her.