The Better Call Saul Fan Theory That Explains Everything About Gus’s Family
“Breaking Bad,” created by Vince Gilligan, is easily one of the best shows of the era, if not of all time. And with “Breaking Bad” came one of the greatest villains in recent television history as well: Gus Fring, played by Giancarlo Esposito. Gus proved to be a vicious adversary to Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and was integral to some of the most memorable moments of the show. Namely, there’s Gus’s iconic death scene — something that was a long time coming but still managed to shock viewers in how it played out.
As such a prominent character of the “Breaking Bad” world, it was a major deal when Gus Fring showed up in the prequel series, “Better Call Saul,” in 2017 during the second episode of Season 3, titled “Witness.” From there, Esposito has been credited in the show’s main cast, with Gus frequently showing up — and giving viewers a glimpse into Gus’s business prior to meeting Walt and Jesse.
There’s one question about Gus, however, stemming from his “Breaking Bad” time that fans continue to speculate about. If Gus has a family, as he claims to Walt, why do we never see them, in “Breaking Bad” or “Better Call Saul”? Well, fans on Reddit have a solid theory to explain this.
What if Gus made up his family?
One fan asked the members of the “Better Call Saul” subreddit, “What happened to Gus’s family?” The poster, u/charlie721, brought up the “Breaking Bad” episode, “Abiquiu,” in which Gus invites Walt over for dinner and notes that he doesn’t make his favorite dish frequently because “the kids” don’t like it. Yet, the kids are never seen and nothing is heard about them after Gus’s death — nor do we see them pop up in any “Better Call Saul” scenes.
Well, a lot of fans have the same idea as to why this could be. The first comment under the post reads, “They probably never existed. I think Gus was trying to make himself seem more relatable, pretending to be a family man so Walt would feel more comfortable [and] trusting of him.” Many other fans agreed with this idea, given how calculating Gus proved to be.
In another Reddit post posing a similar question, a user brings up a valid point about why he may have avoided building a family. User u/Defiant-Canary-2716 wrote, “I think the loss of Max was the inflection point that proved you can’t have anyone you care about. It gives your enemies an angle in which they can come at you.” After all, the flashback in which Gus’s business partner — and potential romantic partner, many fans have interpreted — Max (Maximino Arciniega) is killed right in front of him by Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) is heartbreaking despite knowing how ruthlessly brutal Gus is.
Fans point to more evidence
Under one of the posts, user u/DrPogo2488 lays out some visual clues that indicate the theory of Gus making up a family to connect with — and sway — Walt may be correct. They pointed out that when Walt is at Gus’s home, you can see kids’ items and toys in the background of Gus’s home right before he makes a comment about his kids’ eating habits.
However, they wrote, “Fast forward to when Jessie gets invited over, and the exact same shot from the side is used, and it lingers just long enough for the viewer to see the absence of that table/any trace of children.” They continued that they believed Gus was playing “the ‘much larger game’ by appealing to Walt’s family man side, as an attempt to show his similarities to Walt” — but that the family man idea doesn’t apply to Jesse, so Gus doesn’t use it.
Another fan doesn’t even see this as a far-out theory, but as what viewers were intended to see. User, u/himdedemk, wrote definitively, “Gus does not have a family. I thought this was obvious? After he was murdered, that would have been the perfect time for them to appear in the show … to show the human cost of Walt’s actions, but they are nowhere to be seen. It was all an act by Gus, to make Walt feel a connection to him.”
If the fans are correct and Gus never had kids, we can probably all agree it was for the best — Gus was not exactly fit to be a father. We’ll have to stay tuned to “Better Call Saul” to be sure, though.