Movie Reviews

Gene & Francesca's Phone Call: Every Breaking Bad Reveal & Easter Egg

Francesca calls Saul in Better Call Saul, but how many Breaking Bad details does Saul’s Better Call Saul phone call recall? Back in Better Call Saul season 4, Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman was shown in his office shredding documents alongside long-suffering assistant Francesca Liddy (played by Tina Parker). This scene falls between Walter White’s Breaking Bad downfall and Saul’s escape from Albuquerque, and the rumbled lawyer impresses upon his assistant the importance of answering a mysterious phone call on November 12, 2010.

Better Call Saul season 6’s “Breaking Bad” episode catches up with still-suffering Francesca on that fateful date. Ignoring the overwhelming urge to walk away, she drives to the location Saul Goodman specified, picks up the ringing phone, and speaks to her former boss (now living as “Gene Takavic” in Omaha, Nebraska) on the other end. The call was apparently arranged so Saul could gauge the situation in New Mexico from afar, learning who got caught, who got away, and whether any stash of money remains untouched by the DEA (spoiler alert: it doesn’t).

Related: What The Ring Gene Puts On Really Means

This phone call marks the very first time Gene has directly heard about the mess he left behind in Breaking Bad, and that means a veritable feast of revelations, confirmations and Easter eggs pour from Francesca’s understandably sour lips. Here are all of the references and reveals from Better Call Saul season 6, episode 11’s phone call.

For starters, Francesca is (relatively speaking) okay! Now working as a landlord to some stereotypical stoners, Francesca remains a free woman after Breaking Bad, but the authorities remain hot on her tail, desperately hoping she’ll lead them to the elusive Saul Goodman. Better Call Saul season 4’s document-shredding flashforward suggested Francesca might hire the Disappearer herself. Instead, she got shook down by the feds and gave up a few of Saul’s shell accounts, but successfully dodged punishment for her small role in Heisenberg’s empire.

When Gene asks Francesca, “The Maestro buying the farm didn’t change anything?” he’s talking about Walter White dying in Breaking Bad‘s final episode. Unfortunately for Cinnabon’s sketchiest store manager, Francesca claims Walt’s demise just made the DEA even more determined to catch Heisenberg’s two biggest accomplices, Jesse Pinkman and Saul Goodman.

In Breaking Bad‘s iconic series finale (“Felina”), Bryan Cranston’s Walter White visited his wife one final time. Handing over a lottery ticket bearing the coordinates of Hank Schrader’s buried corpse, Walt instructed Skyler to phone the DEA, hand over the ticket, and strike a bargain to avoid prosecution. During her phone call to Gene in Better Call Saul season 6, Francesca reveals, “Skyler White got her deal,” confirming Walt’s last marital request was followed through. Breaking Bad viewers will be delighted to learn Skyler walked away a free woman.

Related: Gene’s Saul Goodman Shirt Is Deeper Than You Realize

In El Camino, Jesse Pinkman escaped from Jack’s Nazi compound and reunited with pals Skinny Pete and Badger, who did him a major solid by fooling the DEA. Skinny Pete drove Jesse’s El Camino, which the cops were already onto, and told them he and Jesse traded automobiles. Badger then took Skinny Pete’s T-bird 200 down near the border to give the impression Jesse fled to Mexico. Meanwhile, Jesse jumped into Badger‘s car and eventually hired the Disappearer. According to Francesca’s phone call in Better Call Saul season 6, the illusion worked perfectly. The DEA believes Jesse drove Skinny Pete’s T-bird down to Mexico and ran from there, whereas El Camino ended with Aaron Paul’s character far, far away in Alaska.

After hearing how the heat from Breaking Bad rests squarely upon him, Gene begins questioning Francesca about their secret accounts. Naturally, these were all organized through shell companies, and Saul Goodman’s portfolio of financial hiding places reads like a shopping list of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad Easter eggs. The nail salons refer to Jimmy McGill’s very first office, and the vending machines could be a nod to Wendy. The laser tag business Gene mentions is Breaking Bad‘s Lazer Base, and Tigerfish Corporation is named after the USS Tigerfish from Ice Station Zebra – Kim’s favorite movie, and the namesake of another fake shell company Saul used throughout Breaking Bad.

One of Breaking Bad‘s most popular ending theories has finally been debunked! Huell Babineaux did not wait forever in a safe house! Saul Goodman’s infamously light-fingered assistant ended his Breaking Bad story in DEA custody, but after Hank and Gomez never returned, audiences wondered what became of Mr. Babineaux twiddling his thumbs locked in a safe house. Mercifully, Francesca reveals Huell was released due to being held on false pretenses, since Hank and Gomez lied about Jesse Pinkman getting arrested in the hope their prisoner would spill more beans. Huell’s apparently “back home in New Orleans” during Better Call Saul‘s Gene timeline.

Gene asks Francesca about two other accomplices – Danny and Ira. “Danny” is Daniel Wormald, Nacho’s former supplier from Better Call Saul‘s earlier seasons, and the owner of Lazer Base in Breaking Bad, which Saul Goodman used to launder money. Ira was the burglar Jimmy McGill hired for Better Call Saul season 4’s Hummel figurine theft, and the owner of Vamonos Pest during Breaking Bad. Both were involved in making Walter White’s drug money appear legitimate, but Francesca doesn’t reveal what happened to either crook.

Related: Better Call Saul Confirms Exactly When Gene’s Timeline Is Set

Peter Diseth appears as Bill Oakley in every single season of Better Call Saul. A prosecution lawyer for the district attorney, Bill is typically on the opposite side of the courtroom, but shares a friendly rivalry with Jimmy McGill nonetheless. That is, until the Lalo Salamanca incident comes to light in Better Call Saul season 6. Francesca tells Gene that Bill “switched sides” and now runs a private firm called Bill Oakley & Associates, defending the very criminals he once put away. Since Gene is only hearing about Bill’s defection now, the career change must’ve happened after Saul Goodman left Albuquerque. We can perhaps assume, therefore, that Bill is taking advantage of Saul’s disappearance by setting up a similar practice and stealing his old clients.

Saving the juiciest nugget of news until last, Francesca tells Gene that Kim Wexler phoned her after the Heisenberg case became public knowledge, checking in on her former friend and employee, as well as asking if Jimmy had survived. With this one detail, Better Call Saul confirms Kim is alive during and after Breaking Bad, and that she knows about everything her ex-husband did with Walter White thanks to news stories. Maybe Better Call Saul also lets slip that Kim’s feelings for Jimmy haven’t completely faded, otherwise she wouldn’t have asked Francesca whether he was alive.

More: When Walt & Jesse’s Scenes Take Place In Breaking Bad’s Timeline

Better Call Saul continues Monday on AMC.

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