As Breaking Bad fans await the release of Better Call Saul, an in-universe prequel centering around the sometimes show stealing Saul Goodman (in turn played by Bob Odenkirk, wonderfully) a new billboard has appeared offering some recognizable clues to the character’s history.
In the overall Breaking Bad narrative, Goodman was a crucial support character to Jesse Pinkman and Walter White, an attorney introduced early on (quite accurately) by Jesse as not just a criminal lawyer, but a criminal lawyer.
The billboard is a far earlier throwback, but when we meet Saul for keeps, he’s in a high-stress, open-grave type situation… and he manages to quite ballsily tell Walt and Jesse that they need his help to manage their fledging criminal empire. He memorably tells the pair that they “suck at peddling meth,” and promises Walt in a tense workplace visit that he can manage the legal challenges the duo will inevitably face.
Throughout Breaking Bad‘s many plot twists and turns, Saul time and again extricates Jesse and Walt from the long arm of the law, and only hints at his own interesting life. Briefly, he admits that his real name is McGill, and he is of Irish descent — adding that he changed it to market himself:
“My real name’s McGill. The Jew thing I just do for the homeboys. They all want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe, so to speak.”
It seems that backstory will remain consistent, as per the new sly billboard spotted in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the show and its predecessor are/were set.
To non-fans, it looks like a standard local lawyer advertisement, with a phone number to call and a picture of a younger Bob Odenkirk. If you call the number, the following message plays:
Can’t call Saul? This is what callers hear, in a clearly fake Irish accent:
“Hello! You’ve reached the law office of James M. McGill esquire, a lawyer you can trust. Kindly leave your information at the tone and Mr. McGill will phone you promptly.”
Saul Goodman’s “Jewish lawyer” comment is one with pop-culture grounding — as the following clip (with possibly NSFW language) is a supercut with a ton of rap music references to Jewish lawyers:
As for managing a Cinnabon, Breaking Bad creators say that the show bounces around in the timeline, so we can expect to see many different aspects of the character’s evolution — Vince Gilligan explained:
“I think the best way to answer this and not get yelled at is you saw from Breaking Bad that we like non-linear storytelling and jumping around in time… I would point you in the that direction, that anything that’s possible in Breaking Bad is possible in Better Call Saul.”
Better Call Saul won’t be out until 2015, but it looks to be a formidable follow up to its well-rated source show.