Episode 1 spoiler after the jump.

If you liked Breaking Bad, but you're on the fence about giving the spin-off a shot, this should convince you that the producers have spent even more attention to the cars than they did in Breaking Bad.

If you've already watched the first episode, and you have a good eye, you might already know where this is headed. No, I'm not going to talk further about Saul/Jimmy's Suzuki Esteem, with its obvious "ESTEEM" decal added to the steering wheel.


Rather, I'm going to discuss the brown wagon (of course it's a brown wagon)shown above.


The car itself is used as a plot device, so here begins the spoiler:

Saul (known at this time by his real name, Jimmy) has roped twin brothers and vehicle-injury scam artists Cal and Lars into helping him win over a particular client who drives a Jalopnik Special. Together, they case the car from a distance:

Jimmy: "Forget the boat. Look at the car. You know what that is?

Cal: "I dunno. Station wagon?"

Jimmy: "It's a Mercury. A 1988 Mercury Sable wagon. Remember it. Burn it into your brains, you got it?"

Lars: "It's a Mercury Sable wagon. Sure."

Jimmy: "Close your eyes. What color is it?"

Cal & Lars: "Brown"

Jimmy: "No, it's medium sandalwood. Keep your eyes closed. How does the license plate start?"

Cal & Lars: "4."

Jimmy: "Give those gentlemen a gold star."


Now, if you're an Opponaut, you'll likely agree this is indeed a 1986-1991 Mercury Sable wagon. You might even be happy that so much dialogue was spent on the sort of car trivia that the general public finds dull.

Given such attention to detail, it surprised me when in the next scene featuring the car, it wasn't quite the same. It was now a facelifted 1992-1995 model. In fact, it wasn't even a Sable, it was its twin, the Ford Taurus.



In many shows and movies, this isn't unusual. Multiple prop cars are often portrayed as the being the same vehicle, even if they are dissimilar enough for car geeks to notice. Tires change from shot to shot, engine sounds are totally wrong, green Beetles multiply like rabbits, etc., etc. I've come to expect such mistakes from most films. But, Better Call Saul, not long after the "1988 Mercury Sable wagon" speech, lingered on this newer Ford grille for four or five seconds:


By the end of the episode, we learn that it was indeed a different car, driven by someone totally unrelated to the owner of the Sable. Cal & Lars didn't notice the little differences that car geeks would, and the mistake would set Saul's underworld affiliation in motion.

The show's producers purposely used similar-yet-different cars, and I love them for it.