With more and more people appearing from the Breaking Bad universe on Better Call Saul, fans are wondering just how close Better Call Saul is getting to the beginning of Breaking Bad. We’ve actually been given exact dates for when things are happening on Season 4 of Better Call Saul. And since we know that Breaking Bad started in 2008, we know that we’re still more than four years away from the beginning of Breaking Bad. Here are some of the clues we’ve learned that reveal the timeline.
It’s been confirmed that Season 3 of Better Call Saul took place in 2003, and Season 2 took place from late 2002 to 2003. Season 4, which picked up in 2003, is currently taking place in 2004.
Breaking Bad, meanwhile, started on September 7, 2008 (Walt’s birthday), and takes place just six years after Better Call Saul‘s first season began. So even now, as of Episode 8 of Season 4, we’re still four years away from Breaking Bad.
Here’s how we know this:
Jimmy’s case number when he was given bail in Season 3 Episode 3 began with 003, indicating he was in 2003.
When Kim tries to give a check to Hamlin in Season 3 Episode 8, the check reads March 4, 2003.
Jimmy refers to Kim’s recovery as Relaxathon 2003 in Season 3 Episode 10.
Mike’s paycheck envelope that he receives in Season 4 Episode 1 still reads 2003.
In the episode Something Stupid, we see Jimmy’s PPD report completed on January 12, 2004. So we’re now in 2004. But we’re still four years from Breaking Bad, which started in 2008.
The Oscars pool Jimmy was collecting bets for in a flashback of Season 4 Episode 6 was in 1993, Reddit pointed out here. So that means Kim was still in law school about 10 years before “present day” in Better Call Saul, and Jimmy hadn’t quite started law school yet.
Fans have pointed out some inconsistencies and minor errors that might have caused you to guess a different year. These include an in-depth post from Redditor ThumberFresh, who determined that the baseball game Mike was watching in Season 4 Episode 1 had to be April 13, 2004. However, the paycheck Mike received was stamped 2003, so the game had to be a production error.
Others pointed out that the car owned by the floor supervisor from Season 4 Episode 1 didn’t go into production until September 7, 2004, which is later than the baseball game Mike watched in the same episode. That’s another production error, and doesn’t indicate the show’s timeline.
Despite the inconsistencies, it looks like we’re still at least four years away from the start of Breaking Bad. As another fun fact, Wal celebrated his 50th birthday in 2008, which would make him about 46 right now during the Better Call Saul timeline.