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Why Better Call Saul's Parking Garage Scene Has More Meaning Than You Realized

Contains spoilers for Better Call Saul season 5, episode 6, "Wexler vs. Goodman"

The creative team behind Better Call Saul is at it again, offering viewers with a keen eye for detail yet another momentary flash of insight.

The Breaking Bad prequel has become notorious for dropping Easter eggs to reward careful viewing. At least twice this season, the series' team has used brief glimpses of photographs to reveal critical details about character and plot. The first came during a scene featuring Mike Ehrmentraut (Jonathan Banks) falling off the wagon at a bar. During that sequence, a triggering postcard featuring the Sydney Opera House offered viewers an important look into the state of mind of everyone's favorite hitman. Two episodes later, an inchoate glance at a set of stolen photos provided Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) with important evidence in her case against Mesa Verde and boss Kevin Wachtell (Rex Linn).

While the visual reference on the March 23 episode of Better Call Saul wasn't quite as integral to the plot, it was an interesting moment for viewers with a literary bent. It came when Kevin Wachtell went down into an parking garage to make his proverbial deal with the devil. As one savvy Redditor, posting under the handle u/gracefulfailure, pointed out, the paint on the wall at the center of this shot clearly reads "Level 8." Why so important? Well, that particular level comes with some weighty historical significance.

A nod to where Kevin Wachtell (and Jimmy) may be headed

"Level 8" is, in fact, a visual homage to Dante Alighieri's epic Italian poem The Divine Comedy. The most famous section of this poem, entitled Inferno, contains a notorious accounting of the different layers of Hell and their various contents. The first layer, for example, is reserved for virtuous non-Christians and unbaptized pagans (Dante was writing in the 14th century, so his sense of propriety is kind of medieval). The second layer is the holding place for people overcome by lust (think: Cleopatra, Tristan, Helen of Troy, etc.). Dante goes on like this, categorizing humanity's foibles and populating Hell's nine layers in the process. 

But who goes to the eighth layer? According to Dante, this particular zip code in Hell is reserved for fraudsters. Level 8 of the parking garage on Better Call Saul is a reference to the eighth circle of hell in The Divine Comedy

Level 8 seems like an especially apt location for this scene to take place, considering "fraud" is often the sin-of-choice for heroes and villains both on Better Call Saul, including Kevin Wachtell and Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy McGill. At least they're not down in Level 9 with the Devil.

Although this isn't a major story reveal, Better Call Saul once again proves it's one of the most carefully plotted and hyper-literate TV shows currently on the air.