It’s been 10 years since the premiere of “Breaking Bad,” and we’re three seasons into “Better Call Saul,” so let’s face it: At this point, pretty much all lingering questions have been answered.
We know the mysterious reason Walt (Bryan Cranston) left Gray Matter. We know that Jesse (Aaron Paul) ends up OK. We know that, yes, Huell (Lavell Crawford) made it out of the safe house.
And we know all of this because Vince Gilligan, the creator of both shows, has repeatedly told us so.
But there is one question that remains, and it’s got people simultaneously scratching their heads and reaching for barf bags.
Why would someone ever drink chamomile tea with soy milk and stevia?
“Chamomile tea with soy milk, please, and I’ll need more stevia.”
Walter White’s business-associate-turned-enemy Lydia (Laura Fraser) uttered those haunting words in the penultimate “Breaking Bad” episode, “Granite State.”
The forbidden combination eventually led to her death, when Walter White switched out her stevia for ricin. Perhaps she could’ve survived, had her beverage order not been so unusually gross. Even nowadays, fans continue to talk about how it’s just so … so gross.
So, yeah, all we’re left with is a question about “Breaking Bad” beverage choice. Is this a fandom high? Or is it a (Sweet’n) low?
Reporters have repeatedly asked the actor behind it all, Laura Fraser, about Lydia’s unholy concoction. Vulture said soy and chamomile “sounds awful,” GQ called it “really gross,” and The Guardian just outright asked, “What sort of monster drinks chamomile tea with soy milk”?
Fraser repeatedly claimed she didn’t know why Lydia made the order, admitting to Vulture that the writers “tell you nothing” and to GQ that “that should have been clue #1 there, of how deranged she was going to get.” Lydia is clearly “a monster,” she told The Guardian.
Well, Lydia made her return to the “Breaking Bad” universe in Season 3 of “Better Call Saul.” So, during a recent chat with Gilligan, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to finally ask, “What’s up with the soy, chamomile and stevia combo?”
The “Breaking Bad” creator spilled the tea. All these years later, it turns out Lydia isn’t the monster. Gilligan is.
“Oh, I actually put milk in chamomile tea. A lot of people don’t, though, I guess. I guess you’re right. No, I don’t think there was any hidden message there,” he said, before adding something even more heinous. “You know my mom, when I was a kid, used to toast our Pop-Tarts and then melt butter on top of them. I thought everyone did that, and then I would tell people, ‘Oh yeah, hot buttered Pop-Tarts.’ People looked at me like I was insane. My tastes are all just screwed up.”
Hot buttered Pop-Tarts.
Gilligan went on to explain that the soy milk decision came down to the fact that he thought it “sounded healthy.”
“I don’t know about soy milk because I’m not a big soy milk person,” he said. “That sounded kind of healthy, like health-medy, but I actually put milk in any kind of tea, including mint tea and chamomile tea. I guess you’re right. I guess most people are not into that.”
He immediately regretted dispelling the ungodly soy milk mystery.
“People used to think, probably, ’Man, there’s a hidden message there,′ and now they’re just sort of making faces, ‘Ah, that guy. Ugh, who would do that? That sounds disgusting.’ I don’t know. That’s just me, I guess.”
To cleanse our palate, we asked Gilligan the obligatory, “Blah, blah, blah, when is Walter White coming to ‘Better Call Saul’? Blah, blah.” Except the wording was more like: “How many seasons do you think ‘Saul’ can go before you’d have to bring Walter White back?”
“I greedily want to see that happen, so every year I’m kind of looking for that possibility, and as viewers of the show have seen in the first three seasons, he’s nowhere in sight, nor is Jesse Pinkman. I think we’re always kind of open, definitely — not to speak for co-creator Peter Gould and the writers — I think it’s fairly safe to say they’re always open to the idea. I am as well,” he said, “I think it would be a real shame if the show ran its entire course without us ever seeing Walter White, maybe Jesse Pinkman, too.”
That’s not a promise that we’ll get to see either of those characters, he added.
Of course it’s not.
“Better Call Saul” Season 3 is now on Blu-ray/DVD.