Could Better Call Saul Bring Dean Norris' Hank Schrader Into Season 4?

hank breaking bad

For the first time in years, Breaking Bad hit the San Diego Comic-Con celebrate its 10th anniversary with a hilarious and interesting panel. At one point, moderator and series vet Bill Burr asked the popular question of Walt and Jesse's potential to appear on Better Call Saul. After Vince Gilligan disappointingly (and predictably) confirmed that neither will be seen in Season 4, Bob Odenkirk made a curious-in-context mention about Dean Norris' DEA Agent Hank Schrader, and it made me think Hank might be the next big Breaking Bad character to show up in the prequel. Here's the quick exchange:

Bob Odenkirk: Don't forget, uh, Agent Schrader knows Saul. Remember the first time they meet? So...Vince Gilligan: That's right. That's right. These guys seem to have a healthy dislike for each other the very first time they're on camera together.Bob Odenkirk: Something bad happened. I know what it is, but...

To be sure, no one on the stage at that point made any grand declarations confirming that we're going to see Saul and Hank crossing paths in Season 4, or any other season. But Odenkirk knew he would be stoking some fan-theory fires by making that comment, and Gilligan also knew the kinds of speculation that would run rampant. So as far as I'm concerned, it's a legitimate avenue for such theorizing and speculating, and I only wish Bill Burr had spent the next ten minutes trying to get better clarification about it. Kuby would have.

During the Better Call Saul panel just previous, Vince Gilligan did confirm that more Breaking Bad familiars would be crossing over in Season 4 to accompany Jimmy's transition into Saul, including characters who'd only been mentioned on the flagship series. He seemed to be talking more about the show's criminal element over its law enforcement element, which doesn't speak to Hank showing up. But if Bob Odenkirk knows about the "something bad" that happened, then he and Gilligan presumably talked about it, and we'll presumably get to see it at some point. Everybody is with me on that, right? Right?!?

To go from potentially good news to not-so-great news, here's Vince Gilligan's full answer for Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston's chances of appearing on Better Call Saul.

I think there's an excellent chance of any and all these folks showing up. I will say that -- because Peter and I mentioned it on an interview we did earlier in the day -- because we never want to jerk you guys around and play games, you will not see Walt or Jesse in Season 4 of Better Call Saul. Not to be a downer, but just you know, we don't like jerkin' folks around. We don't want people [to think], 'Hey, it could happen!" and wait the whole season and it never does. But I would suspect we would be sorely remiss if these characters didn't appear on the show before it ended.

So if we're all just extremely patient and willing to allow Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould to tell their stories at their preferred pacing, then we'll almost definitely get to see Walter White and/or Jesse Pinkman making at least one appearance on Better Call Saul before it's all said and done. So be patient, people! But also keep clamoring for more Walt and Jesse!

While Breaking Bad won't be returning to audiences in a proper fashion, Better Call Saul is keeping that universe alive, with Season 4 starting up on AMC on Monday, August 6, at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check out the Season 4 trailer that was released during its panel, and while waiting to dip back in full-time, head to our summer premiere schedule to see the new and returning shows coming soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.