A few things are true here, and it will help to get them out of the way as quickly as possible, just to get to the good stuff. Here we go:
- Better Call Saul is over, bringing an end to a 14-year journey that started way back in 2008 when Walter White learned he had cancer in the pilot of Breaking Bad
- Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have said they are now done with this universe and do not, at present, have any plans to revisit any of it at any point going forward
- I am going to make up some additional potential spinoffs anyway
I’m sorry. I can’t help it. There are a lot of reasons this is about to happen. One is that this crew already took a thinly-drawn goof from one all-time great show and built an entire new series around him that might have surpassed the original, so there is precedent here. Another is that we have all spent those 14 years in this universe and it has yet to disappoint and I am not ready to say goodbye. Another is that… well, it’s just fun to play in these kinds of sandboxes for a while. Building little castles and knocking them over, all of it. We can have fun. There’s nothing stopping us. It’s harmless.
And so, here we go, ten pitches for additional spinoff series that could extend the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul universe a tiny bit longer. Or ruin it completely. There’s a reason these people made these shows and I do lunatic posts like this. We all have our own little parts to play in life.
Home Sweet Supermax
We saw about five total minutes of Saul/Jimmy moving around in the prison system in the finale and it was enough to send my brain on a rollercoaster. There were hardened criminals chanting his catchphrase on a bus. He was using his Cinnabon skills to make dough in the kitchen. He seemed to be massively popular with everyone, just based on the number of times people said “Hey, Saul” as he was walking past them. We can work with this.
The thing to remember is that Jimmy and Saul and Gene all had the same brain and they all could not help themselves from running schemes and scams of varying complexity. Do you really think he is just going to stop doing that? Do you think he could if he wanted to? No and no, this man is absolutely running grifts in that Supermax, schmoozing guards into double desserts, playing peacemaker between rival prison gangs, all of it. He’s already been sentenced to 86 years in prison. There’s really nothing to lose by dancing around whatever gray areas he can find.
I picture him, after about five years in there, with a recliner and a big-screen television and a mini-fridge full of mint chocolate chip ice cream all in his cell, all thanks to various trades and favors he’s been a part of in his time there. Do not tell me you can’t see this either.
The Sprinkler Wars
Quick thoughts, rough version:
- Kim at the sprinkler office in Florida
- Doing sprinkler things
- A rival sprinkler company tries to move in on their territory
- She gets the itch and gets tempted with shenanigans again and has to fight the urge to take it too far
- Tammy the Receptionist gets way into the schemes to distract her from the doofus she’s with, the one who got her an exercise bike for her birthday
The season one finale takes place at a big sprinkler convention where Kim and her lunch ladies replace their rivals’ slideshow presentation with pictures of animals going to the bathroom. Or something. Chaos in a ballroom is the point.
The Rise of Don Eladio
I love Don Eladio. I love him so much. The man just sits around by his pool with a cigar in his hand and a fire raging in the fire pit and he plans international drug crimes with a huge smile on his face. I get happy every time he shows up. I must know more about him. I must know everything. As soon as possible.
We can go as far back as they want. Or we can just run it all simultaneously to the action in the other two shows, solely from Don Eladio’s perspective, if we want to keep Steven Bauer in the role, which we do. Show me what he’s up to on a daily basis, between those meetings at the fire pit. Let me into his life. Give me a five-minute montage of him buying loud shirts at an upscale outdoor mall. I am begging you. I need this.
The Big Easy
This one is pretty straightforward and based on the thing where we know Huell left for his home in Louisiana after things went sideways for him in New Mexico. What we have here:
- In New Orleans
- Picking pockets on Bourbon Street
- Getting looped into some other underworld hijinks after picking the wrong pocket
- Maybe he has a dog now. A dog named Sazerac.
No need to complicate this one.
Lalo Salamanca was the most fascinating character on television from the moment he burst through the roof of that Los Pollos all the way up through to his last moments on screen. The man was a walking charisma bomb, a violent killer who cloaked it all in smiles and floral print shirts, a guy who was probably a blast to be around when he wasn’t trying to murder you. And even then, I mean, there are worse ways to go, right?
And so, we go back in time. Way back. Show me Lalo as a teenager. Show me him in school. Show me him laying the groundwork for the charming demon he later became. Or always was. I have no clue how we cast this, though. I don’t know how we can possibly improve on Tony Dalton’s performance. Right now, my best solution is “let Tony Dalton play a teenage Lalo Salamanca and have all the other characters pretend it’s normal.” Something to consider.
Untitled Shopping Mall Project
This one is pretty straightforward: A half-hour comedy, set in the mall in Omaha where Gene worked at the Cinnabon, and it follows all the other employees as they go about their days at work, folding clothes and selling cell phones at kiosks and meeting each other for slushies in the food court and falling in/out of love in a large suburban shopping center, but we pick up the action the morning after the news breaks that the manager of the Cinnabon was actually a notorious drug-adjacent fugitive who is about to stare down 86 years in a Supermax prison.
I worked in a mall when I was a teenager. The ladies who work in the department stores would have lived off of this information. For months. “I knew something seemed off about him,” etc etc etc. Great shows have been made with less.
THE PITCH: A show that follows the man and/or team behind Best Quality Vacuum Repair, the service Saul used to disappear into Omaha and almost used from a dumpster to disappear again, as they go about the business of making people vanish. Hopping on planes, inventing new identities, dealing with other issues related to the people-hiding business, all of it. It’s fascinating to me. I either need to know nothing more about it or every single thing there is to know.
THE COMPLICATION: In El Camino, the film tie-in to this whole universe, we learned that the vacuum business was run by a man named Ed Galbraith, who was played by Robert Forster, who a) never once disappointed on-screen, and b) passed away in 2019.
THE SOLUTION: His son takes over the business. And is played by… oh, let’s say Anthony Carrigan from Barry. No reason to pull back on any of these moonshots now.
Another simple one we can knock out with bullet points:
- As we learned in the last few episodes, Francesca, Saul’s one-time legal secretary, is now a landlord with a bunch of goofus tenants who smoke weed and flush things down the toilet
- I love her and would watch this show every week
- I really wanted an excuse to use that GIF again
Days at Los Pollos
I could spell this whole thing out for you in borderline unsettling detail because I’ve been thinking about it for months but the short version looks something like this: It’s a mockumentary about the employees of Los Pollos Hermanos, where the staff makes chicken and hums the theme song and slowly — over the course of a few seasons — begins to notice that their boss, mild-mannered Gustavo Fring, seems to have a lot of secrets. They never put it together all the way, not fully at least, but they know something is up and they sure do love to speculate.
The complicating factor here is that, like, why would Gus, a notoriously private man who is running a restaurant as a cover for a multimillion-dollar methamphetamine business, willingly allow cameras anywhere near anything he is doing, ever? Which kind of tanks the mockumentary thing. I do really like the idea of a documentary crew walking into his office to film him and just getting stared at with ice-cold eyes until they back out of the room, though.
We can workshop this one.
What we know for certain here is that Mike used to be a cop in Philly and he took his first bribe in 1984 and yuuuup that’s enough for a television show. For me, at least, which is important here because I’m the one making the list. Mike running around Philly breaking bad, Mike eating cheesesteaks, Mike moonlighting as a security guard at Veterans Stadium for Eagles games. All of it. I’m ready whenever we can convince Gilligan and Gould to break down and do it.
Keep Jonathan Banks in the role, too. See what I care. Just have him keep playing younger versions of Mike Ehrmantraut as he very obviously ages until we have an 80-year-old man playing a 22-year-old police academy cadet. I am barely joking here.