Gene’s mustache in Better Call Saul doesn’t just make him look like a real catch, it makes him more like the man he always feared – Walter White.
Warning: SPOILERS for Better Call Saul season 6, episode 11.
When running away from the law, Saul Goodman must adopt a new look as well as a new persona in Better Call Saul; however, his mustache when he’s Gene Takavic actually has a much deeper meaning. Better Call Saul season 6 proves that even when Gene must escape his life as Jimmy McGill and later as Saul Goodman, he still can’t escape who he really is. This is more evident than ever when Gene continues to pull off scams with Jeff and Buddy, even if they’re complete amateurs.
Better Call Saul season 6, episode 11, “Breaking Bad,” juggles separate timelines in order to finally give the audience cameos from Bryan Cranston’s Walter White and Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. Their Better Call Saul scene with Saul actually takes place in Breaking Bad season 2, episode 8. However, most of the episode still takes place in the Gene timeline, after the events of Breaking Bad. While the separate timelines help to connect the events of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, they’re also simultaneously utilized to highlight the similarities between the two main characters.
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Gene’s mustache in Better Call Saul is another way that the prequel show links Gene to Walter White, who sported a mustache in the early seasons of Breaking Bad. With Gene living a normal life in Omaha, Nebraska, as he works as a manager at a Cinnabon, his position echoes Walter White when he was just an everyday chemistry teacher. Both men work in jobs that they’re overqualified for; they’re visually unsuspecting, and as a result, people occasionally walk over them. Walt and Gene are both dissatisfied with this way of life and therefore turn to their talents to pursue amoral goals.
Why Gene Is Just Like Walter White
There’s a very self-aware line from the writers of Better Call Saul in Saul’s previously unseen conversation with Mike about Walter during the events of Breaking Bad season 2. Mike strongly advises Saul not to work with Walter because he’s an “amateur,” with Mike correctly prophesizing Walt’s death and downfall in Breaking Bad. Saul ignores this advice, but to appease Mike, he concurs, saying “Guy with that mustache probably doesn’t make a lot of good life choices.” On both accounts, this line rings true. After Mike’s assessment of Walter, Saul already knows that the writing is on the wall for Walter. Granted, it’s ironic that the line eventually becomes applicable to himself in the Gene timeline. This is yet another self-fulfilling prophecy in Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, with another example being when Saul says towards the end of Breaking Bad, “If I’m lucky, a month from now, best-case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.”
The reason why both these predictions in Better Call Saul about Saul and Walter White come true is that they knowingly act against their better instincts. Walter always knew the risks when entering the drug trade, considering that his brother-in-law Hank Schrader was a DEA agent. Nonetheless, his pride won the day. In Saul’s case, he acts against his better instincts in the Gene timeline. Despite trying to live a life on a low-profile, his mall scam with Jeff and the distraught phone call with Kim made him turn to crime once more. He chooses to do this even when he knows the consequences, having already paid them in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Both Walter and Gene choose to break bad for the same reason: they like it, and they’re good at it.
Next: Gene’s Saul Goodman Shirt Is Deeper Than You Realize
New episodes of Better Call Saul air Mondays on AMC.
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About The Author
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George Lawley is a writer for Screen Rant, specialising in Film and TV.
Based in Manchester, England, George aspires to be a screenwriter and is often distracted by football.
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