AMC’s Better Call Saul has concluded its sixth and final season, wrapping up the prequel series to Breaking Bad while failing to solve one huge Gus Fring mystery. The show explored the backstories of a number of Breaking Bad characters including Saul Goodman, Mike Ehrmantraut, Hector Salamanca, Tuco Salamanca, and many more key figures in the previous story of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. However, while Better Call Saul expanded on Breaking Bad‘s Albuquerque-centered mythology, there’s still a major mystery that the creators left unsolved: what happened to Gus Fring in Santiago?
Better Call Saul provides a much deeper look into Gus’ origins, including the story behind the construction of his underground meth lab. However, what happened in Santiago, an event referenced in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul ,has been left to the audience’s imagination. We first hear about Santiago in Breaking Bad season 4, episode 8, “Hermanos,” the episode establishing the rivalry between Gus and cartel leader Don Eladio after the murder of Gus’ partner Max. More clues are provided in Better Call Saul when both Peter Schuler, Gus’s associate, and Lalo, Gus’s eventual enemy, hint of the event. However, it has been established that there is no official record of Fring’s time in Chile, and apart from brief conversations with the likes of Schuler, it’s clear that Gus has done his best to protect his past identity.
Why Better Call Saul Never Fully Explained Gus Fring’s Backstory
What is known for certain is that, in Santiago, Gus helped Max get out of the slums and eventually fled Chile for Mexico. The fact that Better Call Saul’s creators, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, have continued building the mystery of Gus’ time in Santiago possibly implies that they have bigger plans for his story. Some viewers have speculated that further character building could implicate Fring in real historical events involving Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, considering that Pinochet left Chile in 1986 when there was an assassination attempt on the leader. The continuation of the story in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul has made it clear that, while Gus’ backstory remains a mystery, something significant happened that has yet to be revealed. Many suspect that obscuring Gus’ backstory was a deliberate choice to later reveal it in, say, a separate spinoff series or even a follow-up movie akin to Breaking Bad‘s El Camino.
Could A Gus Fring Spinoff Explain What Happened in Santiago?
Actor Giancarlo Esposito and creator Vince Gilligan have both hinted at the possibility of a Gus Fring spinoff in the Breaking Bad universe. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Esposito noted, “[Gould and Gilligan] have exactly said that — it’s not over till it’s over, and you never know.” While this isn’t exactly official confirmation of a Gus-centered spinoff show, it does suggest that the show creators have kept the possibility alive.
The word Santiago has been featured enough that some acknowledgment of and continuation of the story can be expected in the future. To many, Gus Fring has arguably become Breaking Bad’s most notable character. The question of how he came to establish a massive drug empire has haunted fans even more after Better Call Saul. However, should the stars so align to present Fring with his own spinoff series, the mystery of what happened in Santiago may finally be solved.
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