How Better Call Saul Season 6 turns Heisenberg into Saul’s Frankenstein’s monster

Better call Saul Season 6 delivers on what few prequels have ever achieved; It dramatically lifts the series that came before it. Considering that this series was Breaking Bad – one of the biggest TV shows of all time – it’s not an easy task. But with every nod to its predecessor, every cameo, and every loose end that ties the two series together, it completes Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad universe in a way no one expected.

When word got out that Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) were returning to the series, excitement was mixed with a hint of fear that Better Call Saul might end up with a greatest hits tour. The Walt and Jesse stories were rounded off in both Breaking Bad and El Camino. So what could Better Call Saul do with the characters we hadn’t seen yet? As we’ve now learned from Season 6 Episode 11, the answer was ambitious: recontextualize the entire story of Walter White, taking him from Frankenstein’s Monster to Saul’s Dr. make Frankenstein.

Better Call Saul’s Frankenstein connection explained

Better call Saul Walt Jesse season 6

Image: AMC

Better Call Saul’s connection to the Frankenstein story was made clear in episode 11 (aptly titled “Breaking Bad”). Most obviously, Saul refers to Jesse as Igor in the RV flashback scene. There’s also Saul’s name when he performs his cons – Viktor with a K, a specific choice that reflects the name of Viktor Frankenstein, the monster’s creator. Saul mentions Frankenstein in his conversation with Mike, referring to the older killer shuffling around with his movement. Then there’s Saul’s reference to “James Whale’s Traveling Roadshow” while in the RV with Walt and Jesse – James Whale was the director of the 1931 Frankenstein film.

The comparisons to Frankenstein were first spotted on Reddit, which lifts the lid on a whole host of other specifics that tie Better Call Saul into the Frankenstein story. Chuck’s fear of electricity? Frankenstein’s monster was created with lightning. The critically acclaimed Breaking Bad episode “Ozymandias?” Its title is based on a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, husband of Mary Shelley, author of the classic Frankenstein novel. There are too many similarities for this connection to be a coincidence.

But what does that mean for the Jimmy McGill story? In episode 11 we experience flashbacks of his first interactions with Walter White. In Breaking Bad, Saul always seemed to be behind in his interactions with Walt. Yes, he was clearly smart, but he also came across as a coward and scared of what Walt might do. Episode 11, however, recontextualized that relationship and implied that Walt was the by-product of what instead Saul could do.

We see Mike beg Saul not to commit to Walt by expressing that the man known as “Heisenberg” is an “amateur” who would cause trouble – advice Saul overlooks and Walt as ” 170 pounds of clay, ready to be molded.” Based on that statement, Better Call Saul offers viewers a shocking twist – Heisenberg is Saul’s creation.

The evidence has been there since Breaking Bad. Saul’s gaudy style and over-the-top personality may have made him the comic relief of the series, but his knowledge of the law and how to wrap it around his little finger routinely pushed Walter White down a deeper, darker path. While Saul wasn’t solely responsible for Walt’s actions, he was certainly the one who pointed him in the wrong direction. Without Saul’s involvement, Walter will likely be discovered and arrested or killed a few seasons later.

Up to this point, Saul seemed like a corrupt lawyer who was nonetheless one of many whose lives were turned upside down knowing Walt. After episode 11, it becomes clear that Heisenberg is the manifestation of Saul’s worst impulses. The latest episode ends with Saul breaking into the home of the suyobject of a scam gone wrong and unable to contain himself after being given some sensible, better advice to leave the victim alone. Parallels are drawn to his first meeting with Walter White, who enters his lab at school after Mike begs him to forget the meth-dealing chemistry teacher. As Kim said, “We are bad for everyone around us.”

Vince Gilligan pulled a Star Wars on us. We spent five seasons with Breaking Bad thinking Walter White was the chosen one of our story, only for Better Call Saul to rush in and reveal Saul to be his Anakin. Much like Frankenstein’s monster is often mistakenly referred to simply as Frankenstein, with Better Call Saul we were shown that we were looking at the wrong villain the entire time.

Viewers may still find Saul a likable character – just as they did with Walt before him – but Better Call Saul shows us that he was the one who put the pieces together to create Heisenberg. What was once a story about a chemistry teacher who went broke and became a criminal overlord is now a story about how an “amateur” criminal was catapulted into shame by the fool of the story. There’s only one true mastermind in the Breaking Bad universe – and that’s not Walter White. How Better Call Saul Season 6 turns Heisenberg into Saul’s Frankenstein’s monster

Emma Bowman

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