What’s Next For “Cinnabon Gene?”

When Better Call Saul premiered over two years ago the series opened with a surprise. Breaking Bad’s prequel opened with a scene that took place in the aftermath of the original show’s events.

Gene (Bob Odenkirk) in Season 3. Photo by Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

The scene gave viewers a glimpse of the reality that Saul Goodman teased in his final Breaking Bad scene, “best case scenario I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.” After seeing Saul (now gene) working this low profile job, he returns home, pours himself a drink, and reminisces on his life as a lawyer. Then, after popping in a VHS of a commercial from his Saul days, we didn’t see Gene for the next 9.9 episodes. This left me viewing the cold open as a one-off scene by season’s end; viewers could treat the scene as closure to the Saul Goodman character, allowing them to focus on Jimmy McGill’s story.

This wouldn’t be the case however, as season two’s premiere opened with yet another “Cinnabon Gene” scene. This time, we see our aged forward protagonist closing down the Cinnabon before locking himself in the mall’s garbage room. Unable to use the emergency exit which would summon the police, Gene spends hours waiting to be freed. The scene concludes with a slow zoom on a carving Gene made while waiting, “SG was here.” As was the case with season one, this was the only post-Breaking Bad scene of the year. The scene also echoes the message of season one’s: while very cautious, Gene misses his life as Saul Goodman.

What’s next for Gene.

Where season one’s scene initially felt like fan service, this scene illustrates that there is a post-Breaking Bad narrative to be told. Now, after taking a look at the season three images that AMC has released, it’s clear that we will be seeing a third chapter in Gene’s story. The image file is tagged with “301” which implies that the stills were taken from the season’s first episode. This certainly fits with the pattern that they’ve followed the first two seasons. What will the scene depict though? What do you think?

Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) in Episode 1 Photo by Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/AMC

I’m excited to see what lies ahead in season three for Jimmy, Chuck, and Kim, but I can’t stop thinking of what the show’s plans for Gene are. Specifically, if these plans tie into the story being told in Better Call Saul. If the objective is to tell a story with these scenes, they’ll be hard pressed to do it in increments of two minutes per season. Perhaps the show will opt for multiple Gene scenes per season or possibly devote an entire episode to the subject.

Comment below on where you think the post-Breaking Bad story will lead and how it will be told. Gene, Jimmy and Better Call Saul will all return on April 10th.