The show opens with a long shot of the New Mexico landscape. It’s late December and there’s snow on the ground and covering the distant mountains. Panning to a deserted road, we see a line of slurred footsteps retreating into the distance. Barely discernible is the soft huffing of a labored breathing. The camera stays stationary then slowly pans back to a figure hobbling away from it on the side of the road.
Zooming in from the back, it’s a man clutching his side. He’s wearing an oddly familiar hat worn slightly askew. His breath comes out in cloudy exhalations. A new long shot from the front of the man reveals blood on his shirt and jacket. An unkempt beard, bloodshot eyes, glasses, one lens now broken, and it’s Walter White. He lives.
Cue music – “White Christmas.”
Up come titles and theme music. It’s the new Breaking Bad – the Christmas Special. With special appearances by: Giancarlo Esposito, Dean Norris, and of course Bryan Cranston. Special uncredited appearance by Claire Danes reprising her role as Carrie Matheson, unhinged as usual, searching for Brody.
First scene has a miserable, little Christmas tree, leaning against a wall with a pitifully small amount of cheap ornaments on it. It’s a rundown office inhabited by one Saul Goodman. He is Jewish but he panders to just about anybody, hence the tree. There is also a menorah on a bookshelf, proof of his broad-mindedness. He is as usual on the phone trying to work some deal. The background music is once again Tommy James and the Shondell’s Crystal Blue Persuasion. Saul is not happy and is drinking heavily. He hangs up the phone and falls into an alcoholic stupor.
He’s awoken by a pounding on the door. It’s Gustavo Fring from Los Pollos. Saul thinks maybe he’s brought over a Christmas time chicken dinner until he realizes Gus is dead. He panics and looks for a way out to avoid Gus. It doesn’t matter – Gus walks in, right through the wall, with a chain of styrofoam plates over his shoulders and legs, smelling not so much of death as of left-over fried chicken. “Saul, you need to come with me. There’s not much time.”
Saul sweats. “You’re dead. You should be with all the fried chicken you ate. What are you doing here?”
Gus speaks no more, instead pointing to a vaporous hole in the wall and beckoning Saul to follow. Following, Saul is instantly transported to a Toys’R'Us store where a very young Jesse Pinkman is buying a children’s chemistry set.
“What is he doing? Is that how he started? Why?,” Saul bleats.
Gus responds, “His father was the school crossing guard who was hit by a hit and run driver that you so-called defended and lost big time. He was left with a chronic whiplash and prostate problems that Jesse is trying, with his chemistry set, to medicate its pain. You were the cause of his eventual downfall. Saul. Everything has consequences.” And with that, Gus is gone and Saul is back in his crappy, faux-roman office, sweating and cursing.
But Saul refuses to believe he had a hand in what was to follow. It was just too incredible.
He sits back in his Unclaimed Freight recliner chair, downing large amounts of Richards Wild Irish Rose. He once again falls asleep.
This scene sees Saul awakening to a very rude shaking of his shoulder by one Hank Schrader. Hank looks pissed as he usually does. We see him as he was in mid-physical therapy condition. Saul sees him as one more nightmare. “Saul, get the hell up off your fat butt! We’ve got somewhere to go.”
“Go away, you’re not real,” Saul whimpers. “You’re just a bad dream caused by a lousy empanada I had for dinner.”
“You’re right, Saul. I am a bad dream that’s about to get worse. Come with me.”
Saul resists and Hank smacks him on the back of his head. “OK, OK, I’m coming. But why me?”
“Saul… you were the root of so much trouble, I don’t even know where to begin. But here’s a start.” And with that they’re standing in the parking lot of used RV’s. “Starting to make sense yet, Saul?”
“WHAT?!” What does this have to do with anything?”
Hank grimaces, as if just the act of standing there gives him pain. “Saul, did you or did you not sell an RV to a very young Walter White?”
“Oh, c’mon! You’re gonna put that on me? How was I to know? I did that when I was in law school. I needed the money.”
Hank echoes a previous refrain, “Don’t even try and convince me that was a law school, Saul. DeVry doesn’t offer law. But, as you know, everything has consequences, Saul. Everything.” Hank disappears as did Gus leaving Saul alone.
Saul shudders, he couldn’t believe this was happening. He wondered if there was any of that Richards Wild Irish Rose left. There is, he’s pour it out and starts drinking it quickly. But then… and once again, he passes out.
The following scene finds Saul as he realizes he is sitting in his car, drenched and getting wetter. What the hell? He looks out the car window and it is pouring harder than he ever saw before. Hell, it’s even coming in horizontally and then Saul realizes he’s in a car wash. Specifically, Walter White’s car wash. He turns around and sees sitting next to him, covered in suds, wheel bright, carnauba wax, and Rain-x, Walter White with a rather evil, foamy grin on his face. “Hi Saul.”
“Nonononono! You’re just a dream! I thought you were dead. I know that much!”
Walter reaches out and smears some suds all over Saul’s face. “Still think this is a dream? Think I’m a dream? No, Saul. I was and still am, your worst nightmare. After all, nobody really dies in syndication.”
Saul blanches, even through the suds. “What is happening to me? Why is this happening?”
“Saul, Saul… you don’t get it, do you? You have to change. You can’t go on as before. You know too much and have been behind most of the bad crap that’s gone on for five years. We have plans for you.”
The car comes out of the car wash, damp but very clean, into a bright, sunny New Mexico morning. Walter leans over to Saul and instructs him to drive to his office.
Saul is besides himself. He looks terrified and is on the verge of crying. “What are we doing here? I’m supposed to be far away from all this.”
Walter gleefully grins at Saul. “You still don’t get it, Saul. I said we have plans for you. Let’s go in your office and it will all be clear.”
They get out of the car and walk into Saul’s office, only to find it is a large sound stage. Saul whimpers again, “What is this? Who ARE you?”
“Saul, I really thought you would have guessed it by now. I’m the Development Director from AMC. Your contract with us is in perpetuity. Welcome to your new series. Between this and syndication of the old show, we own you. Your life is now as we write it! Remember, everything has consequences.”
Walter walks off the sound stage into darkness. The Carpenter’s song “We’ve Only Just Begun” comes up, screen fades to blackness over Saul’s wails of “Why me? Why me?”
Out and titles, “Coming to AMC, 2014.”
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Happy Russki Novi Rok to all!