MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW for Season 1 of Amazon's new series The Boys, so be warned.
Without a doubt, The Boys delivers the kind of superheroic pomp and circumstance that hasn't quite been seen before on TV. What's more, it's probably the only live-action comic book adaptation out there that features a Breaking Bad reference delivered by a former Breaking Bad actor.
In its Season 1 finale, The Boys finally showed audience who was actually atop Vought International's food chain instead of Elizabeth Shue's Madelyn Stillwell, who'd served as the face of the organization for most of the season. It's here when The Boys at last revealed Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul vet Giancarlo Esposito as the crime boss Stan Edgar.
Because Madelyn won that contract allowing superheroes to fight for the military, with the Pentagon shelling out billions per year, Edgar made his presence known so that he could give her a raise and promotion of sorts. He tells her that he wants her to move down into his office, and then says:
And I’m gonna want you to start riding shotgun on my meetings. Hey, don’t go planning my retirement yet. I’m just saying, someone needs to run this shit show when I move to Belize.
It's the last part of that line that should have perked the ears of Breaking Bad fans. To "send someone to Belize" in that universe is to "take care" of a problematic enemy in a way that permanently takes them out of the equation. Basically to kill them off with no questions asked.
The phrase was introduced into Breaking Bad's lexicon during the tenth episode of its fifth and final season. Knowing that Hank was putting all of his efforts into taking down Walt, Bob Odenkirk's questionable legal advisor Saul Goodman offered up this suggestion:
Have you given any thought to, um, sending him on a trip to...Belize?
At which point, Bryan Cranston's Walt says he'll send Saul to Belize, and Saul's eyes widen. Those are threatening words, Walt!
Having Giancarlo Esposito make the Belize comment was almost certainly a pointed move on the creative team's part to wink at Breaking Bad fans. Of course, in saying he's moving to Belize, Stan Edgar probably isn't saying that he's going to be killed soon. (Although that would make for an interesting start to The Boys Season 2, which Amazon ordered up just prior to Season 1's release.) It can be assumed that Edgar actually does plan on moving to Belize, which likely means big things for Stillwell, though not so much for fans hoping to see Esposito on a more regular basis.
More connective tissue can be found between The Boys and Breaking Bad, if one is looking for such things. The Boys gets part of its unique flavor from because it comes from creator Eric Kripke and executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who both co-created one of the wildest shows on AMC, Preacher, with Sam Catlin. Catlin, in turn, was a writer and co-executive producer on AMC's Breaking Bad from Season 2 through its final year, and penned one of the greatest eps of the series, "Crawl Space."
There's probably another way to get Six Degrees of Breaking Bad from The Boys, but I like using this one, since it pinpoints just how fucked up and brutal both Preacher and The Boys are. Just imagine if Steve Dillon would write a comic set within the Breaking Bad universe. Shit, now I need that to happen yesterday.
The Boys Season 1 is currently available to stream in full for Amazon Prime customers, with Season 2 already lined up for the future. There probably won't be another show like this coming around for the rest of the summer, or even in the fall (except for Preacher Season 4), so treasure every moment.