Why Gene Isn’t In Better Call Saul Season 6, Episode 1

Why Gene Isn't In Better Call Saul Season 6, Episode 1

Better Call Saul’s season premieres traditionally include a scene from the future “Gene” timeline. Why doesn’t Gene feature in season 6’s opener?

Why doesn’t Better Call Saul’s season 6 premiere feature any scenes with Gene? It’s said that death and taxes are life’s only certainties, but until recently, you could add Better Call Saul season premieres containing Gene timeline scenes to that list. Though predominantly a prequel, Better Call Saul dares dig into Jimmy McGill’s post-Breaking Bad life, covering the period after he paid vast sums of money to a vacuum cleaner salesman to make him disappear. Jimmy is now hiding in Omaha under the alias “Gene Takavic,” and across the past 5 seasons, he’s been locked inside a garbage area, suspected of suffering a heart attack, and followed by a suspicious taxi driver who knows his real identity. Halcyon days, these are not.

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Previously, Better Call Saul’s Gene sequences – denoted by their black-and-white coloring – have only taken place during the premiere episodes of each and every season, forming something of a show tradition. Better Call Saul season 6 wantonly breaks that tradition by not featuring any Gene or black-and-white scenes whatsoever in its opening two episodes. Why does Better Call Saul omit Gene from season 6’s premiere, and why only break such a long-established pattern in this very final season?

Related: Better Call Saul: Why Nacho Dying Is Much More Likely Than Kim

Because Gene has thus far been restricted to only a scant few scenes per season, Better Call Saul’s future timeline hasn’t moved very far since the prequel first began airing in 2015. As many have pointed out, Better Call Saul season 6 needs an awful lot more than just a few minutes in the premiere to fully resolve Jimmy’s future. The break from tradition may indicate that instead of front-loading its Gene scenes like previous seasons, Better Call Saul season 6 will spotlight the future timeline more prominently further down the line. In narrative terms, it makes absolutely no sense for Jimmy’s chronological ending to happen so early. Gene’s premiere absence can be taken as a sure sign of his importance in later episodes.

Another possibility is that Better Call Saul season 6 will progress its prequel timeline into Breaking Bad’s era, overlapping with the adventures of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (who are both confirmed to cameo). Rather than using the traditional device of premiere flashforwards, Better Call Saul’s final outing might converge timelines, bringing the prequel narrative up to where we last saw Gene. A merging has already been teased by Better Call Saul’s season 6 marketing, which shows black-and-white Gene slipping on Saul Goodman’s bright red coat. Could everyone’s favorite Cinnabon employee soon switch from greyscale to full color?

While Better Call Saul season 6’s premiere plainly doesn’t feature Gene himself, that’s not to say the episode doesn’t include scenes from Gene’s timeline. The final season opens with Saul Goodman’s house being cleared of belongings, which would only make sense after the lawyer’s departure from Breaking Bad. Since the house-clearance scene is in color, it hides in plain sight as regular Better Call Saul prequel material, maybe a little way ahead of Jimmy and Kim’s current position. Considering the context, however, Jimmy is more likely in Omaha pretending to be Gene while Saul Goodman’s house gets emptied.

Expecting Gene content in Better Call Saul season 6’s opening and emerging empty-handed is certainly a strange sensation, but should be taken as a positive omen. Jimmy McGill’s story needs a bigger ending than the usual season premiere tradition can accommodate. Gene’s opening episode absence proves Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould came to same conclusion.

More: Better Call Saul’s Jimmy McGill Seeds Were Planted In A Classic SNL Character

Better Call Saul continues Monday on AMC.

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Craig first began contributing to Screen Rant in 2016, several years after graduating college, and has been ranting ever since, mostly to himself in a darkened room. Having previously written for various sports and music outlets, Craig’s interest soon turned to TV and film, where a steady upbringing of science fiction and comic books finally came into its own.
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