11:51am PT by Aaron Couch
'Better Call Saul' Superfans' Easter Egg Advice: Just Watch 'Breaking Bad' 20 Times
There may be no Walt or Jesse, but Better Call Saul's first season has provided Breaking Bad fans with plenty of familiar shots, locations and faces to obsess over.
Breaking Bad had always included callbacks to previous shots and themes. What makes Saul different is when Bad started airing in 2008, there weren't communities of fans dissecting every episode. From day one on Saul, legions of Bad fans were standing by to analyze every shot.
"We love rewarding the audience that pays strict, close attention," co-creator Vince Gilligan told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the premiere. "We love little Easter eggs."
It began as soon as the Feb. 8 premiere aired, which gave viewers glimpses of Saul Goodman's (Bob Odenkirk) car, Walt's (Bryan Cranston) red key fob and many more Easter eggs. Screengrabs instantly circulated on Reddit and Twitter. On Facebook, a group of Albuquerque locals began mapping the shooting locations they spotted.
"They tend to reuse many of the shots they've used from the past," says Brian Davids, who is among Twitter's most prolific Saul Easter Egg spotters. "Having watched Bad so many times, if there is a location they are using — like the hospital Chuck is taken to in episode five, instantly I see the green tiles on the floor."
Davids, an online business owner in Newport Beach, has watched the entirety of Breaking Bad more than twenty times, viewing it differently each go-round. One time he listened to just the audio. Other times, he focused on the story through the eyes of characters other than Walt or Jesse. That repetition makes it easy for him to spot if an old shot from Bad has been intentionally recycled for Saul.
He warns a false positive can spread like wildfire. Episode seven of Saul featured a bearded man on a wanted poster, and when a different bearded man showed up in a bathroom scene later on, many Easter egg hunters assumed they were the same man. It even got picked up by a number of news outlets as an Easter egg. But the guy in the bathroom was actually Todd Sopher, a teamster on the show who appeared in Breaking Bad as well.
— Brian (@BDF331) March 26, 2015
"I'm very cautious about posting things," says Shayne Bowman, whose spoiler-filled tumblr Heisenberg Chronicles has 36,000 followers. "I'll say this scene with Mike reminds me of this scene of Walt if I don't know for sure."
Bowman has a library of more than 120,000 Breaking Bad screengrabs, which he consults in order to prove or disprove potential Easter eggs. In Monday's episode, he thought a bench Jimmy (Odenkirk) and Chuck (Michael McKean) were sitting on looked like it was across the street from Jesse's (Aaron Paul) house in Breaking Bad. But after consulting his database he proved it wasn't true.
The other issue big time Easter egg hunters contend with is where to draw the line. Not everything viewers spot might have been intentional by the creators.
"If you have to magnify an image 100 times, or translate something from binary code, or perform other kinds of complicated mental handstands to justify what you believe is an Easter egg, you’re probably reading too much into things," says CMelody, a moderators of the Better Call Saul subreddit.
Better Call Saul's season one finale airs at 10 p.m. Monday on AMC.