Warning: Contains SPOILERS for “Better call Saul.”
Better Call Saul was a simple solution to reproduce Walter White’s baldness in Bryan Cranston’s long-awaited cameo. Walter and Jesse return in the 11th episode of the 6th season “Better Call Saul”, which has the appropriate title “Breaking Bad”. This is an allusion to the parent show of the spin-off, but also a reference to the 8th episode of the 2nd season of Breaking Bad, “Better Call Saul,” the events of which form the essence of Walter and Jesse’s cameo in flashbacks. The last time viewers saw Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in the 2019 Breaking Bad spin-off El Camino.
El Camino followed Jesse when he tried to escape from Albuquerque right after the series “Breaking Bad”. He combined this story with memories of invisible moments from the chronology of “Breaking Bad”. In one of these memories, Walter and Jesse had a rare heart-to-heart conversation over breakfast. Due to Bryan Cranston’s busy schedule, he didn’t have time to shave his head to reprise his role as Walter, and had to use a slightly unconvincing bald spot. Better Call Saul avoids this problem with one very simple trick.
Walter and Jesse’s flashback “Better Call Saul” takes place during their first meeting when they kidnap Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) while trying to silence their imprisoned Badger dealer. To scare Saul Goodman, Walter and Jesse put on ski masks and drive him into an open grave in the desert. Returning to this particular moment during the “Better Call Saul” episode of Breaking Bad, the show saves Bryan Cranston from having to wear an unconvincing bald cap. All he has to do is roll up his ski mask and put it on like a hat, essentially covering his real hair.
Why was Walter White Bryan Cranston’s Comeback So Good
Both Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are returning to their roles as Walter and Jesse in “Better Call Saul.” Their arguments about the name of the van and how best to operate the so-called “Crystal Ship” are funny and take viewers to more comical moments from earlier episodes of Breaking Bad. As actors, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul must have had a hard time getting back to Walter and Jesse at an earlier point in their character, before the traumatic events of the last episodes of Breaking Bad. None of these difficulties carry over to the screen, however, and the performances of Cranston, Paul, and Bob Odenkirk help better call Saul the perfect return of Walt and Jesse.
The return of the clumsy amateur protagonists from the early “Breaking Bad” forms a neat continuity with the amateur scammers Jeff and Buddy in the chronology of “Better Call Saul,” Gene. It also confirms how perfectly matched Bryan Cranston is for the role of Walter White. Like Bob Odenkirk, Cranston worked in television comedies, and he used his professional experience perfectly to enhance the black humor of Breaking Bad. A quick comedy in a flashback, “Better Call Saul” is a reminder of what a gifted comedian Cranston is, ideally playing a straight man for both Jesse Pinkman and Saul Goodman.
The absence of a distracting bald cap puts the emphasis on Cranston’s performance as Walter White. Walter and Jesse’s return to “Better Call Saul” is not an empty fanservice, it helps to develop the overall story of Jimmy McGill. This narrative importance is reinforced by the dedicated performance of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in reproducing their iconic characters. Cheapening these performances with Internet memes about Bryan Cranston’s unconvincing baldness would be an insulting distraction from the latest episodes of “Better Call Saul.”
New episodes of the series “Better Call Saul” are broadcast on Mondays on the AMC channel.