Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for the Better Call Saul series finale.Better Call Saul’s series finale not only concluded Jimmy McGill’s story but also wrapped up the Breaking Bad universe, and it did so with a perfect Marie Schrader cameo. While Better Call Saul has featured several Breaking Bad characters throughout its six-season run, it was only after “Point and Shoot” that the prequel timeline finally caught up with the events of Breaking Bad. This prompted Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul to cameo as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman during flashbacks of Saul Goodman’s life, but it was really in the Gene timeline that Better Call Saul’s most significant Breaking Bad cameo happened.
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While the black and white cold open in Better Call Saul’s first episode seemed like just a narrative trick to introduce Jimmy McGill’s backstory throughout Saul’s memories, the following Better Call Saul seasons proved that the Gene timeline was as important as the prequel part of the show. Outside of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, the Gene scenes in Better Call Saul were the audiences’ only chance at taking a look at a post-Breaking Bad world. Despite Breaking Bad’s perfect finale, the idea of going back to that world after Walter White’s death always felt exciting, especially if it meant revisiting characters and locations audiences had followed for so long in the original show.
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Despite taking place after Heisenberg’s death, the Gene scenes in Better Call Saul were never meant to be a Breaking Bad epilogue. Instead, they focused entirely on Saul’s new life – always connecting whatever was happening with Gene’s black and white days to Jimmy McGill’s colorful memories. That said, it was impossible for Better Call Saul’s present-day timeline not to acknowledge the aftermath of Breaking Bad as that was directly tied to Gene’s current situation and, most importantly, to his future. Saul Goodman was arrested in the Better Call Saul finale, which allowed the show to bring Breaking Bad’s Marie Schrader – Hank Schrader’s wife and Skyler White’s sister – as a victim of the Heisenberg empire who wanted to confront Walter White’s partner. Viewers hadn’t seen Marie ever since her phone call to Skyler in the Breaking Bad finale, “Felina,” and Betsy Brandt’s character was the only main Breaking Bad character outside of Saul to appear in the present-day Better Call Saul timeline.
Why Marie Schrader Returned In Better Call Saul (& Why It Was Perfect)
As Hank’s widow and a victim of Walter White herself, it made a lot of sense for Marie Schrader to return in the Better Call Saul finale during Saul Goodman’s prosecution. Until Saul Goodman’s arrest in the Better Call Saul finale, the state had not made any significant arrests in the Heisenberg case as Walter White had died and Jesse Pinkman escaped. Therefore, Saul was the only one of three major Breaking Bad players to actually be brought to justice to face his actions, which included being indirectly involved in the death of several people, including Hank Schrader. Saul Goodman had gotten away with many heinous things, which is why it was so important to have Marie, Hank’s widow, confront him for his actions. Marie was one of the biggest victims of Walter White’s empire, as she had to see her entire family destroyed. With Walter dead and Jesse missing, Marie had never been given any sort of justice, which explains why Betsy Brandt’s scene in the Better Call Saul finale had such a strong emotional impact.
In a way, Marie Schrader represented every person Saul Goodman somehow hurt during his days as Walter White’s partner in Breaking Bad. An important element of Better Call Saul’s ending was Jimmy finally confessing in front of a judge that he helped create the Heisenberg empire of which Hank and the White and Schrader families were victims. Walt and Jesse’s cameos in Better Call Saul season 6 had been previously announced, which made Marie’s surprise appearance in the Better Call Saul finale even better.