‘Better Call Saul’ Boss on What Sidelined a Key Cast Member During Season 4, and Why the Show Is Closer to the End

Co-creator Peter Gould also told IndieWire why he thinks Kim Wexler is “Saul’s” version of Jesse Pinkman.

[Editor’s note: The following contains spoilers for “Better Call Saul” Season 4 Episode 10, “Winner.”]

One of the best achievements of “Better Call Saul” Season 4 was tricking viewers into believing that Gus Fring could run. The reason this wasn’t easy was that Giancarlo Esposito — who has played the ruthless and enigmatic crime boss since Season 3 of “Breaking Bad” — broke multiple weight-bearing bones in his ankle halfway through the production of Season 4, rendering the actor incapable of walking for several episodes.

“It was a hurdle,” co-creator Peter Gould told IndieWire. “Most of all, it was a hurdle for Giancarlo, because he’s a wonderful guy and he should never be injured.”

Esposito is fine now, Gould said, but when the injury occurred several months ago, “once we knew that he was going to be okay, the question was how can we shoot the scenes with Gus Fring, when Giancarlo was really unable to walk at that point in his recovery?”

It didn’t require too much in the way of rewriting. Instead, some creative staging was involved. “There’s one scene in Episode 9 where we had him walking through Los Pollos Hermanos and, as aired, he sort of goes from one position to the other,” Gould said. “Our directors were very, very clever about using body doubles for a few moments.”

That included what Gould called “a Texas swap” in the season finale, which was a source of pride for the production team, because “on camera, without cutting, you switch between a double and the actual actor. The scene between Giancarlo and David Costabile in the super lab, it looks as if he’s walked from point A to point B, but he never did. You start off on Giancarlo, and then you pan over with David Costabile, and then Giancarlo appears in the foreground but in fact it’s actually not Giancarlo, it’s Giancarlo’s double. It’s pretty terrific.”

Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo "Gus" Fring - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Giancarlo Esposito in “Better Call Saul.”

Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures

Another moment faked on camera: Lalo (Tony Dalton) is stalking Gus’s operation, and through the Salamanca operative’s binoculars, you see Gus running to an SUV. “Of course that’s not Giancarlo,” Gould said. He praised Esposito for his “great attitude. He is such a trooper. His performance is wonderful and layered, as always. He just didn’t do as much walking.”

On a meta level, it makes sense that this sort of smoke and mirrors would be happening behind the scenes, given the character at the center of the story: “Better Call Saul” continues to track the evolution (or devolution) of Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) into the ever-scheming Saul Goodwin of “Breaking Bad.”

Season 4 brings us ever closer to the full-blown existence of Saul, as Jimmy declares, immediately after getting back his license to practice law, that he’ll no longer be using his real name. “It’s Saul Goodman!” he declares with a smile, stunning his long-time partner Kim (Rhea Seehorn), who’s just come face to face with the extent of his ability to inveigle, and doesn’t like it.

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Rhea Seehorn in “Better Call Saul”

Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures

“I’m very excited to see what he’s going to do next,” Gould said of what’s coming for the character, “because he has this burst of energy and it’s almost a little bit manic and whenever he’s like that, really interesting things happen very soon. But at the same time, I’m also a little bit sad because he’s going to a place that I don’t think is good for him, as a person, and I think he’s losing, or at least hiding some of his humanity.” He also expressed concern about Kim Wexler’s character. “I don’t think Kim is through with Jimmy at this point,” Gould said, “but I’m worried about what happens to her if she sticks with him as he goes down the path that he’s headed.”

Kim has become a fan favorite (one who fans are very worried about), which makes Gould happy to hear. “Kim is a character who didn’t exist on ‘Breaking Bad,’ and when we started off, everything we did and everything we still do is in relation to ‘Breaking Bad,'” he said. “We started off in the shadow of ‘Breaking Bad.’ Now we’re an extension or a variation, but it’s in the same universe. So the fact that people are so attached to Kim is really meaningful.”

He recalled a recent moment in the writers room for the show. “I said, ‘In some ways, Kim Wexler is this show’s Jesse Pinkman,'” he said. “In that Jesse, for all his faults, never lost his humanity, and as the show went on I think a lot of us felt more worried about Jesse than Walt. Walt, at certain points, felt like a lost cause as a human being. I mean, he was fascinating, you could not take your eyes off him and you were always wondering how far he was going to go to next. But mostly I was worried about Jesse and I think… in some ways the dynamic is very different, obviously. But I think there’s a little bit of that in this show.”

Speaking of innocents who suffer within this universe, Gould did promise that fans can expect to see more of Gayle (David Costabile), seen in the Season 4 finale excited about the possibilities of cooking in Gus’s half-finished lab.

Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo "Gus" Fring, David Costabile as Gale Boetticher - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Giancarlo Esposito and David Costabile in “Better Call Saul.”

Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures

“Usually when we approach things, we try to think about what should happen in the story, and then find out if the performer’s available,” Gould said about the process of reuniting former cast members. “David has gone far out of his way to be a part of this show, and it’s so flattering that he does because he is a brilliant performer. And he and Giancarlo together are magic. Boy, I think we should see some more Gale, I really do.”

It’s a given that Jimmy will be back, of course, albeit using his new name in at least a professional capacity. What’s in a name, though? In 2017, as Season 3 was airing, IndieWire asked Gould what name the writers used in the writers’ room when referring to the main character of the show. “I remember in Season 1, when we were carding out the first few episodes, [co-creator Vince Gilligan] would write the cards,” he said at the time, “and at that point, the first episode or so, he was Saul.”

But that changed quickly over the course of Season 1, to the point where, during Season 3, Gould said that “I’m going to think of him as Jimmy for a long, long time.”

Now, as the writers’ room currently works to develop Season 5, that hasn’t changed — the name they use is still “Jimmy.” But after the events of Season 4, Gould said, “we have to do a lot of serious thinking in the writers’ room about what it means to be Saul Goodman. What is the essence of saying that this man is now Saul Goodman?”

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Bob Odenkirk in “Better Call Saul.”

Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures

For Gould, what he thinks it means connects to “what he’s willing to do. Is he willing to hurt people and have people injured in various ways for his own well being and wealth? That’s the question, and I think the question is how far is Jimmy McGill willing to go to get what he wants? And if he’s willing to go to certain dark places, maybe that’s what makes him Saul Goodman.”

Gould admitted that when he and Gilligan began making the show, “we’ve been assuming that we would get to this point a lot sooner,” he said. “We knew, starting the show, that Jimmy McGill was eventually going to become Saul Goodman. I really didn’t think it was gonna take 35 episodes before he started using the name continuously, and then in Episode 40 he would say ‘I’m gonna practice law under this name.’ I would not have believed it would’ve taken so long, but the truth is the character just wasn’t ready. We had to experience all that we experienced to take Jimmy McGill up to this point.”

Here’s what matters, about Jimmy now being — at least in name — Saul Goodman: “I think it means we’re closer to the end of the story,” Gould said, “than we are to the beginning.”

“Better Call Saul” has been renewed for a fifth season by AMC.

‘Better Call Saul’ Team on the Season Finale: ‘It’s Either a Break or a Breakthrough’ (SPOILERS)

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the final episode of season four of “Better Call Saul,” titled “Winner.” “It’s all good, man.” With those four words, the transformation of Jimmy McGill (Bo…

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the final episode of season four of “Better Call Saul,” titled “Winner.” “It’s all good, man.” With those four words, the transformation of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) into Saul Goodman was finally complete. Jubilant over getting his law license back, Jimmy celebrated by asking the clerk for […]

‘Better Call Saul’ Co-Showrunner Breaks Down That Long-Awaited Moment in the Season Finale

(Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season finale of AMC’s “Better Call Saul”)

Exit Jimmy McGill. And finally, after four seasons, enter Saul Goodman.

The “Breaking Bad” spinoff wrapped its fourth season on Monday with a moment that viewers had been anticipating ever since we first met Bob Odenkirk’s lovable-but-flawed Jimmy McGill.

“I’m so thankful that everyone stuck with us this long,” Peter Gould, “Better Call Saul’s” co-showrunner tells TheWrap.

After delivering a heartfelt, tearful story about his late brother Chuck (Michael McKean) and winning his appeal to the New Mexico State Bar committee to be reinstated as a lawyer, as they walk out Jimmy does an about-face to Kim (Rhea Seehorn): He was faking the whole thing in an attempt to get a sympathy vote.

Also Read: AMC Renews Paul Giamatti-Produced ‘Lodge 49’ for Season 2

“Did you see those suckers? That one a—— was crying,” he excitedly tells Kim, who looks on horror as she is unwittingly witnessing the “birth” of his “Breaking Bad” alter-ego. Upon being reinstated, he asks for a DBA, or “Doing Business As,” form so he can practice law under a different name. And if there was still any doubt what that name would be, the final words of the season made it crystal clear: He’s finally Saul Goodman, Attorney at Law.

“It’s one of those things that emerged, sort of organically, as we broke the season,” Gould said of the four-years-in-the-making moment.

The introduction (or re-introduction) of Saul Goodman was something that took far longer than Gould had anticipated, as it’s well known that he and co-creator Vince Gilligan had originally planned to have Jimmy become Saul at the end of the first season. But the tragic descent of Jimmy into the sleazy lawyer from “Breaking Bad” ending up being too interesting to speed through.

But all throughout the fourth season, it felt like the clock was counting down to midnight on Jimmy. He was already using the “Saul Goodman” moniker when he was selling his cell phones to criminals and in the penultimate episode he laments to Kim that, while he sees those same criminals as potential new business (after all, criminals tend to need lawyers), they only know him under his pseudonym.

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Boss Peter Gould Wrote a Clinton-Lewinsky Movie – With Shadow Puppets (Podcast)

“Jimmy has this very specific problem, which is that his former business of doing wills for the elders is closed off to him,” says Gould. “Even when he’s a lawyer again, he’s ruined his reputation, so what kind of law is he going to practice next?”

Gould said that around midseason they figured out how they were going to get Jimmy to that point where he decides it’s more advantageous to him to practice law under a different name. “All season long we’ve been kind of teasing out and going step by step to try and figure out how he comes to the conclusion that he comes to.” And as Gould explains, to Jimmy, it makes perfect sense. “This crazy decision of calling himself Saul Goodman is, in his eyes, logical.”

But Gould teases, is it also a way for Jimmy to put on a mask and shut himself off to anybody that still cares for him?

All throughout “Better Call Saul” the writers have presented Jimmy McGill as this down-on-his-luck screw up, always looking to cut corners, and always failing to earn the respect of Chuck. Despite Jimmy’s insistence to Kim at the end that his statement about his late brother in front of the committee was an act, Gould argues there was probably some truth to those words, where Jimmy talks about his desire to make his big brother proud.

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’: Nacho Is a ‘Samurai Without a Master’ Stuck Between Fring and the Salamancas (Video)

“He uses the death of his brother to evoke an emotional reaction from the panel to win the day. But, it feels very real,” said Gould. “Has he just become a much better actor? There’s a lot of ways to interpret that [scene].”

Gould said the writers are just starting to plan out the fifth season, which will see Odenkirk have to essentially play two characters.

“The big question for us is what does it mean to be Saul?” he asks. “It’s the Bruce Wayne/Batman question. Which one is the real guy?”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Better Call Saul’ Boss Peter Gould: ‘Not Every Story Has to Have a Baby Tied to the Railroad Tracks’ (Podcast)

‘Better Call Saul’: Rhea Seehorn Is Terrified of Kim’s Fate, Checks Every Script to See If She Dies (Video)

‘Better Call Saul’: Nacho Is a ‘Samurai Without a Master’ Stuck Between Fring and the Salamancas (Video)

(Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season finale of AMC’s “Better Call Saul”)

Exit Jimmy McGill. And finally, after four seasons, enter Saul Goodman.

The “Breaking Bad” spinoff wrapped its fourth season on Monday with a moment that viewers had been anticipating ever since we first met Bob Odenkirk’s lovable-but-flawed Jimmy McGill.

“I’m so thankful that everyone stuck with us this long,” Peter Gould, “Better Call Saul’s” co-showrunner tells TheWrap.

After delivering a heartfelt, tearful story about his late brother Chuck (Michael McKean) and winning his appeal to the New Mexico State Bar committee to be reinstated as a lawyer, as they walk out Jimmy does an about-face to Kim (Rhea Seehorn): He was faking the whole thing in an attempt to get a sympathy vote.

“Did you see those suckers? That one a—— was crying,” he excitedly tells Kim, who looks on horror as she is unwittingly witnessing the “birth” of his “Breaking Bad” alter-ego. Upon being reinstated, he asks for a DBA, or “Doing Business As,” form so he can practice law under a different name. And if there was still any doubt what that name would be, the final words of the season made it crystal clear: He’s finally Saul Goodman, Attorney at Law.

“It’s one of those things that emerged, sort of organically, as we broke the season,” Gould said of the four-years-in-the-making moment.

The introduction (or re-introduction) of Saul Goodman was something that took far longer than Gould had anticipated, as it’s well known that he and co-creator Vince Gilligan had originally planned to have Jimmy become Saul at the end of the first season. But the tragic descent of Jimmy into the sleazy lawyer from “Breaking Bad” ending up being too interesting to speed through.

But all throughout the fourth season, it felt like the clock was counting down to midnight on Jimmy. He was already using the “Saul Goodman” moniker when he was selling his cell phones to criminals and in the penultimate episode he laments to Kim that, while he sees those same criminals as potential new business (after all, criminals tend to need lawyers), they only know him under his pseudonym.

“Jimmy has this very specific problem, which is that his former business of doing wills for the elders is closed off to him,” says Gould. “Even when he’s a lawyer again, he’s ruined his reputation, so what kind of law is he going to practice next?”

Gould said that around midseason they figured out how they were going to get Jimmy to that point where he decides it’s more advantageous to him to practice law under a different name. “All season long we’ve been kind of teasing out and going step by step to try and figure out how he comes to the conclusion that he comes to.” And as Gould explains, to Jimmy, it makes perfect sense. “This crazy decision of calling himself Saul Goodman is, in his eyes, logical.”

But Gould teases, is it also a way for Jimmy to put on a mask and shut himself off to anybody that still cares for him?

All throughout “Better Call Saul” the writers have presented Jimmy McGill as this down-on-his-luck screw up, always looking to cut corners, and always failing to earn the respect of Chuck. Despite Jimmy’s insistence to Kim at the end that his statement about his late brother in front of the committee was an act, Gould argues there was probably some truth to those words, where Jimmy talks about his desire to make his big brother proud.

“He uses the death of his brother to evoke an emotional reaction from the panel to win the day. But, it feels very real,” said Gould. “Has he just become a much better actor? There’s a lot of ways to interpret that [scene].”

Gould said the writers are just starting to plan out the fifth season, which will see Odenkirk have to essentially play two characters.

“The big question for us is what does it mean to be Saul?” he asks. “It’s the Bruce Wayne/Batman question. Which one is the real guy?”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Better Call Saul' Boss Peter Gould: 'Not Every Story Has to Have a Baby Tied to the Railroad Tracks' (Podcast)

'Better Call Saul': Rhea Seehorn Is Terrified of Kim's Fate, Checks Every Script to See If She Dies (Video)

'Better Call Saul': Nacho Is a 'Samurai Without a Master' Stuck Between Fring and the Salamancas (Video)

‘Better Call Saul’ Boss Peter Gould Wrote a Clinton-Lewinsky Movie – With Shadow Puppets (Podcast)

“Better Call Saul” co-creator and “Breaking Bad” veteran Peter Gould is one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, but it wasn’t always so. In the early 2000s, he tried unsuccessfully to get HBO to make his project a…

“Better Call Saul” co-creator and “Breaking Bad” veteran Peter Gould is one of the most successful writers in Hollywood, but it wasn’t always so. In the early 2000s, he tried unsuccessfully to get HBO to make his project about the Clinton-Lewinsky saga — with shadow puppets.

Listen to Gould explain the project — and offer some excellent writing advice — in our new “Shoot This Now” podcast. You can listen on Apple or right here.

Gould told us that before he was hired on “Breaking Bad” — where he created criminal lawyer Saul Goodman, aka Jimmy McGill, the antihero of “Breaking Bad” spinoff “Better Call Saul” — he spent years writing projects that never got made. One of them was a Pam Grier story he also describes on the podcast. Another was the Clinton-Lewinsky story, which Gould wrote in both movie and miniseries form in the hopes that HBO would air it. The network unfortunately passed.

The scandal was still all-too-fresh in people’s minds in the early 2000s, and Gould was looking for a way to illustrate certain graphic details. That’s when he hit on the idea of shadow puppets — figures placed between a light and a screen to act out the drama.

Ever make a dog with your hands when your teacher turned on a film projector? Congratulations: You understand the basics of shadow puppets. Masters of the art form cut figures from paper and other materials to create characters who can walk, dance, and… do other stuff, as Gould explains.

Could the Clinton-Lewinsky story still work today? We think so. Earlier this year, Ryan Murphy abandoned plans for a season of “American Crime Story” that would have focused on the star-crossed relationship between President Bill Clinton’s relationship and White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

But interest in the case remains high: Donald Trump tried to make it an issue during the 2016 presidential campaign, when he ran against Clinton’s wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And the scandal is the new subject of the captivating “Slow Burn” podcast.

Gould also tells us about his interesting job interview for “Breaking Bad,” how he beats writer’s block, and what’s in store for “Better Call Saul” leads Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn). Things are about to get shadowy.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Better Call Saul' Boss Peter Gould: 'Not Every Story Has to Have a Baby Tied to the Railroad Tracks' (Podcast)

'Better Call Saul': Rhea Seehorn Is Terrified of Kim's Fate, Checks Every Script to See If She Dies (Video)

'Better Call Saul' Writers: Walter White May Still Be Alive During Gene's Omaha Cinnabon Scenes

15 ‘Breaking Bad’ Characters We’ve Already Spotted in ‘Better Call Saul’ (Photos)

“Better Call Saul” inhabits the same Albuquerque underground as “Breaking Bad,” so it’s only natural that characters in the AMC shows would overlap. Ready to see how? (Spoiler warning: This gallery contains lots of details…

“Better Call Saul” inhabits the same Albuquerque underground as “Breaking Bad,” so it’s only natural that characters in the AMC shows would overlap. Ready to see how? (Spoiler warning: This gallery contains lots of details about both shows.)

A few “Better Call Saul” faces are obvious, but others are deep pulls by showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould.

Sure, you knew about Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz). But what about Jim Beaver’s weapons dealer? Or Ken (Kyle Bornheimer), the ever-boasting stockbroker who annoys Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) over the course of two different TV series?

Lots of people have terrible things happen to them on both shows. But honestly? We’re most worried about people who turn up on “Better Call Saul” but not “Breaking Bad.” Does that mean they went straight and avoided grim “Breaking Bad” fates? Or that they didn’t survive to interact with Walt and Jesse (Aaron Paul).

And, elephant in the room: Will Walt and Jesse somehow turn up on “Better Call Saul”? Will DEA agent Hank (Dean Norris)? Hey, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) made it.

Warning: This gallery contains lots of spoilers for “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad.”

‘Better Call Saul’ Writers: Walter White May Still Be Alive During Gene’s Omaha Cinnabon Scenes

“Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk and masterminds Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould just changed everything we thought we knew about Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman’s life in Omaha: It turns out the black-and-white sequences on “Saul” may take place when Walter White is still alive.

Wait, we hear you saying. What? We had the same reaction. The Omaha sequences on “Saul” — brief segments that hint at Saul’s sad life after he fled Albuquerque to live undercover — suggest Gene is still living in fear because of his life as Saul. (The Season 4 premiere spelled this out more explicitly than any episode before.) On the “Better Call Saul Insider” podcast released this week, Odenkirk, Gilligan and Gould raised the possibility that Saul might be living in fear of Walter.

Remember that in the penultimate episode of “Breaking Bad,” titled “Granite State,” Saul was eager to part ways with Walt. Walt wanted Saul to stay with him, and help him get revenge on the neo-Nazis who robbed him of barrels of money. Saul went off to Nebraska, and we never saw him again on “Breaking Bad.” Walter spent months in New Hampshire, before finally returning to Albuquerque to make his last stand.

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Asked If Bruce Lee Could Beat Muhammad Ali. We Asked Their Biographers

When we met Saul again in “Better Call Saul,” in Omaha, no one told us how much time had passed since his split with Walt. Yes, we saw Walt die in the finale of “Breaking Bad” — but we don’t know when the Omaha scenes take place in relation to “Breaking Bad.” They might occur during the stretch of “Granite State” when Walt is hiding out in Nebraska.

Odenkirk pondered on the podcast whether Walt’s death could free Jimmy/Saul/Gill from his monk-like existence in Omaha.

“Speaking as a fan, if Walter White dies… and that’s on the news in some capacity, I don’t know. Does that make him think, ‘I can come out from hiding?’”

Also Read: Bob Odenkirk on Why Saul Goodman Would Represent Donald Trump (Video)

Odenkirk, Gould and Gilligan then speculated about whether Gene/Saul/Jimmy would be in less trouble if Walter White died, or more trouble if he died. Gilligan noted that prosecutors might come down even harder on Gene/Saul/Jimmy for being Walter White’s lawyer if they couldn’t capture White. But Odenkirk noted that Saul/Jimmy is a shrewd negotiator who might be able to strike a deal.

“Do we even know in our Omaha sequences, our Gene sequences, Do we know… I mean, has it happened yet?” Gilligan said, referring to Walt’s demise.

“Oh s—!” declared podcast host Kelly Dixon, speaking for everyone listening.

“We haven’t defined that. We haven’t said how long Gene has been… in Omaha,” Gould responded.

Also Read: Bob Odenkirk Shows Off His New ‘Better Call Saul’ Ass Tattoo (Photo)

“It’s a good question,” added Gilligan. “We don’t know yet. It’s a good question. Has it happened yet, has it not? As you say, Peter, we have not defined it.”

“It’s an open question,” Gould replied.

“And a good question,” Gilligan said. “It’s one that will have to be answered at some point, like a lot of these things.”

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 to Have Scenes Set During ‘Breaking Bad’ Timeline, Co-Creator Says

Gilligan has said he is “desperate” to find a way to get Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) onto “Better Call Saul.” Maybe this gives him a window.

Look at a map of the United States. If Walter White decided to stop in Omaha on his drive from New Hampshire to Albuquerque, he wouldn’t have to take too much of a detour to stop in Omaha for a Cinnabon.

How would he know where Saul was? Well. As “Granite State” showed us, he spent several days rooming with Saul before they parted ways — but after Saul took a photo for his fake Nebraska driver’s license. And Saul told Walt, right before they parted, “If I’m lucky, a month from now, best case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.”

Saul and Walt’s last moments together in “Granite State”

Also Read: Should You Call Saul? A Lawyer Explains the Legal Accuracy of ‘Better Call Saul’ (Video)

It seems likely that Saul didn’t pull this possibility out of thin air — and extremely unlikely that if he did, his random possibility would come true precisely.

It seems more likely that at some point, Ed the disappearer (Robert Forster) tipped off Saul about the identity he would take on undercover. Perhaps Saul discussed his Nebraska plans with Walter more specifically off-screen.

Whatever happened, the interview with Gould, Gilligan and Odenkirk opens up a lot of possibilities. We can imagine worse endings for “Better Call Saul” than Walter White showing up unexpectedly in an Omaha sequence to resolve some old business with Saul/Gene.

Everyone involved in “Better Call Saul” has said it will eventually overlap with “Breaking Bad.” But if Walt is still alive when Saul is in Omaha, it already has.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Better Call Saul’ Asked If Bruce Lee Could Beat Muhammad Ali. We Asked Their Biographers

‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 to Have Scenes Set During ‘Breaking Bad’ Timeline, Co-Creator Says

Bob Odenkirk Dreads Jimmy’s ‘Better Call Saul’ Transformation

“Better Call Saul” star Bob Odenkirk and masterminds Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould just changed everything we thought we knew about Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman’s life in Omaha: It turns out the black-and-white sequences on “Saul” may take place when Walter White is still alive.

Wait, we hear you saying. What? We had the same reaction. The Omaha sequences on “Saul” — brief segments that hint at Saul’s sad life after he fled Albuquerque to live undercover — suggest Gene is still living in fear because of his life as Saul. (The Season 4 premiere spelled this out more explicitly than any episode before.) On the “Better Call Saul Insider” podcast released this week, Odenkirk, Gilligan and Gould raised the possibility that Saul might be living in fear of Walter.

Remember that in the penultimate episode of “Breaking Bad,” titled “Granite State,” Saul was eager to part ways with Walt. Walt wanted Saul to stay with him, and help him get revenge on the neo-Nazis who robbed him of barrels of money. Saul went off to Nebraska, and we never saw him again on “Breaking Bad.” Walter spent months in New Hampshire, before finally returning to Albuquerque to make his last stand.

When we met Saul again in “Better Call Saul,” in Omaha, no one told us how much time had passed since his split with Walt. Yes, we saw Walt die in the finale of “Breaking Bad” — but we don’t know when the Omaha scenes take place in relation to “Breaking Bad.” They might occur during the stretch of “Granite State” when Walt is hiding out in Nebraska.

Odenkirk pondered on the podcast whether Walt’s death could free Jimmy/Saul/Gill from his monk-like existence in Omaha.

“Speaking as a fan, if Walter White dies… and that’s on the news in some capacity, I don’t know. Does that make him think, ‘I can come out from hiding?'”

Odenkirk, Gould and Gilligan then speculated about whether Gene/Saul/Jimmy would be in less trouble if Walter White died, or more trouble if he died. Gilligan noted that prosecutors might come down even harder on Gene/Saul/Jimmy for being Walter White’s lawyer if they couldn’t capture White. But Odenkirk noted that Saul/Jimmy is a shrewd negotiator who might be able to strike a deal.

“Do we even know in our Omaha sequences, our Gene sequences, Do we know… I mean, has it happened yet?” Gilligan said, referring to Walt’s demise.

“Oh s—!” declared podcast host Kelly Dixon, speaking for everyone listening.

“We haven’t defined that. We haven’t said how long Gene has been… in Omaha,” Gould responded.

“It’s a good question,” added Gilligan. “We don’t know yet. It’s a good question. Has it happened yet, has it not? As you say, Peter, we have not defined it.”

“It’s an open question,” Gould replied.

“And a good question,” Gilligan said. “It’s one that will have to be answered at some point, like a lot of these things.”

Gilligan has said he is “desperate” to find a way to get Walter White and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) onto “Better Call Saul.” Maybe this gives him a window.

Look at a map of the United States. If Walter White decided to stop in Omaha on his drive from New Hampshire to Albuquerque, he wouldn’t have to take too much of a detour to stop in Omaha for a Cinnabon.

How would he know where Saul was? Well. As “Granite State” showed us, he spent several days rooming with Saul before they parted ways — but after Saul took a photo for his fake Nebraska driver’s license. And Saul told Walt, right before they parted, “If I’m lucky, a month from now, best case scenario, I’m managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.”

Saul and Walt’s last moments together in “Granite State”

It seems likely that Saul didn’t pull this possibility out of thin air — and extremely unlikely that if he did, his random possibility would come true precisely.

It seems more likely that at some point, Ed the disappearer (Robert Forster) tipped off Saul about the identity he would take on undercover. Perhaps Saul discussed his Nebraska plans with Walter more specifically off-screen.

Whatever happened, the interview with Gould, Gilligan and Odenkirk opens up a lot of possibilities. We can imagine worse endings for “Better Call Saul” than Walter White showing up unexpectedly in an Omaha sequence to resolve some old business with Saul/Gene.

Everyone involved in “Better Call Saul” has said it will eventually overlap with “Breaking Bad.” But if Walt is still alive when Saul is in Omaha, it already has.

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Will ‘Better Call Saul’ Go Full ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’? Maybe, Showrunners say

We already know “Better Call Saul” is going catch up to the timeline of its predecessor “Breaking Bad” in some way during the upcoming fourth season, but does that mean Easter eggs, or will the stories become parallel narratives?

Showrunners Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan wouldn’t say for sure, but they did indicate that they’re considering the latter possibility at the “Better Call Saul” panel Thursday afternoon in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con.

In response to a fan asking if “Better Call Saul” will ever catch up to “Breaking Bad” and run in a parallel timeline, a la “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” — which is set in the background of “Hamlet” — Gould said “I’d like to see that. We’ll see.”

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 to Have Scenes Set During ‘Breaking Bad’ Timeline, Co-Creator Says

Although Gould and Gilligan didn’t confirm whether that’s something they’ve got cooking already, their responses definitely made it seem like the idea isn’t brand-new to them.

“I’m not gonna say yes and I’m not gonna say no,” Gilligan said. “But we’ve mentioned ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,’ have we not?”

“We have, we have,” Gould added.

Also Read: ‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan Staying at Sony TV With New Three-Year Deal

Gilligan previously divulged that the upcoming Season 4 will have some scenes that take place in the “Breaking Bad” timeline.

“We have a subplot that very squarely gets into ‘Breaking Bad’ territory and brings us into the world — or at least points us on a path toward the world — of Walter White,” Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly. “I can’t wait for folks to see that.” He added in that interview that the scenes would at least involve Saul (having by then taken on the pseudonym over his birth name, Jimmy McGill). Saul Goodman first appeared in “Breaking Bad” midway through the second season, in an episode aptly titled, “Better Call Saul.”

But whether or not the entire show will get to that point remains to be seen.

“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Gould said at Thursday’s panel.

“Better Call Saul” Season 4 premieres on AMC on August 6. 

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Bob Odenkirk Dreads Jimmy’s ‘Better Call Saul’ Transformation

We already know “Better Call Saul” is going catch up to the timeline of its predecessor “Breaking Bad” in some way during the upcoming fourth season, but does that mean Easter eggs, or will the stories become parallel narratives?

Showrunners Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan wouldn’t say for sure, but they did indicate that they’re considering the latter possibility at the “Better Call Saul” panel Thursday afternoon in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con.

In response to a fan asking if “Better Call Saul” will ever catch up to “Breaking Bad” and run in a parallel timeline, a la “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” — which is set in the background of “Hamlet” — Gould said “I’d like to see that. We’ll see.”

Although Gould and Gilligan didn’t confirm whether that’s something they’ve got cooking already, their responses definitely made it seem like the idea isn’t brand-new to them.

“I’m not gonna say yes and I’m not gonna say no,” Gilligan said. “But we’ve mentioned ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern,’ have we not?”

“We have, we have,” Gould added.

Gilligan previously divulged that the upcoming Season 4 will have some scenes that take place in the “Breaking Bad” timeline.

“We have a subplot that very squarely gets into ‘Breaking Bad’ territory and brings us into the world — or at least points us on a path toward the world — of Walter White,” Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly. “I can’t wait for folks to see that.” He added in that interview that the scenes would at least involve Saul (having by then taken on the pseudonym over his birth name, Jimmy McGill). Saul Goodman first appeared in “Breaking Bad” midway through the second season, in an episode aptly titled, “Better Call Saul.”

But whether or not the entire show will get to that point remains to be seen.

“We’re still trying to figure it out,” Gould said at Thursday’s panel.

“Better Call Saul” Season 4 premieres on AMC on August 6. 

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‘Better Call Saul’ Teases ‘Breaking Bad’ “Overlap” In Season 4 – Comic-Con

“This is the best season yet,” Vince Gilligan told Comic-Con today of Better Call Saul’s fourth season that starts next month. “The overlap between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad gets closer and closer,” added the creator of the Bryan Cranston-Aaron…

"This is the best season yet," Vince Gilligan told Comic-Con today of Better Call Saul's fourth season that starts next month. "The overlap between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad gets closer and closer," added the creator of the Bryan Cranston-Aaron Paul Emmy winner and co-creator of its prequel of sorts, driving the cavernous Hall H crazy with anticipation. Of course, with a Breaking Bad reunion panel to directly follow the BCS shindig on Thursday, Gilligan and fellow…

‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Vince Gilligan Staying at Sony TV With New Three-Year Deal

Vince Gilligan has signed a new three-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, where his High Bridge Production company has been set up for the past 11 years.

Gilligan is the mastermind behind AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and co-created its spinoff, “Better Call Saul” with Peter Gould. He will continue to serve as co-showrunner on “Saul,” which returns for season 4 on Aug. 6.

Along with “Mad Men,” Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad” helped AMC make its mark as a place for prestige television.

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 Trailer: Jimmy Is Up to No Good, Gus Has Scores to Settle (Video)

“Vince is a cornerstone of the success of Sony Pictures Television and could not be a more important member of the Sony family. He is a phenomenal talent and a true friend,” SPT president Jeff Frost and co-presidents, Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter said in a joint statement Monday.

Gilligan’s renewal comes as tech giants including Netflix, Amazon and even Apple, are paying big dollars for high-profile TV talent, including Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Jordan Peele and Oprah Winfrey.

“Sony has been a great home for us for 11 years and we are thrilled for it to continue for many more years,” said Gilligan. “Tony, Mike, Jeff, Chris, Jason and the entire Sony team have been amazing to work with. That collaborative partnership has a great deal to do with the success we have enjoyed together.”

Vince Gilligan and High Bridge Productions are represented by ICM Partners. 

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Vince Gilligan has signed a new three-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television, where his High Bridge Production company has been set up for the past 11 years.

Gilligan is the mastermind behind AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and co-created its spinoff, “Better Call Saul” with Peter Gould. He will continue to serve as co-showrunner on “Saul,” which returns for season 4 on Aug. 6.

Along with “Mad Men,” Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad” helped AMC make its mark as a place for prestige television.

“Vince is a cornerstone of the success of Sony Pictures Television and could not be a more important member of the Sony family. He is a phenomenal talent and a true friend,” SPT president Jeff Frost and co-presidents, Chris Parnell and Jason Clodfelter said in a joint statement Monday.

Gilligan’s renewal comes as tech giants including Netflix, Amazon and even Apple, are paying big dollars for high-profile TV talent, including Ryan Murphy, Shonda Rhimes, Jordan Peele and Oprah Winfrey.

“Sony has been a great home for us for 11 years and we are thrilled for it to continue for many more years,” said Gilligan. “Tony, Mike, Jeff, Chris, Jason and the entire Sony team have been amazing to work with. That collaborative partnership has a great deal to do with the success we have enjoyed together.”

Vince Gilligan and High Bridge Productions are represented by ICM Partners. 

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‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 Preview (Exclusive Photos)

Here is the official description for the upcoming fourth season of “Better Call Saul,” per AMC:
In “Better Call Saul”s fourth season, Chuck’s death catalyzes Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman. In the wa…

Here is the official description for the upcoming fourth season of “Better Call Saul,” per AMC:

In “Better Call Saul”s fourth season, Chuck’s death catalyzes Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman. In the wake of his loss, Jimmy takes steps into the criminal world that will put his future as a lawyer – and his relationship with Kim (Rhea Seehorn) – in jeopardy. Chuck’s (Michael McKean) death deeply affects former colleagues Howard (Patrick Fabian) and Kim as well, putting the two of them once again on opposite sides of a battle sparked by the Brothers McGill.

Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut takes a more active role as Madrigal Electromotive’s newest (and most thorough) security consultant. It’s a volatile time to be in Gus Fring’s (Giancarlo Esposito) employ, as Hector’s collapse sends shock waves throughout the Albuquerque underworld and throws the cartel into chaos — tearing apart both Gus and Nacho’s (Michael Mando) well-laid plans. While Gus changes course, Nacho finds himself in the crosshairs of deadly forces.

‘Breaking Bad’ Creator Is ‘Desperately’ Trying to Figure Out How to Get Walt and Jesse on ‘Better Call Saul’

It’s OK, you can say their names.”Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan said that he wants Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) to appear on “Better Call Saul” just as badly as you do. Actually, maybe more.

“I desperately want to see both of them on ‘Better Call Saul,’” Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly when the “Breaking Bad” cast recently reunited for an interview in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. “[‘Better Call Saul’ co-creator] Peter [Gould] wants it, the writers do, the actors do.”

Both Heisenberg and the world’s sweetest fictional meth dealer said they would be happy to drop by.

Also Read: Another ‘Breaking Bad’ Character Is Coming to ‘Better Call Saul,’ Vince Gilligan Teases

“My attitude towards it is the same I had from when Better Call Saul first started,” Paul told EW. “If Vince decided to put Jesse in ‘Better Call Saul,’ it’s going to be for a reason, and that reason’s going to be very satisfying for me. I trust in Vince. I don’t think he would just do that to satisfy the fans. It would have a purpose, and whether or not he decides to find that purpose or searches for the purpose, I don’t know. But if he does find that purpose, I’m happy to jump on board.”

“If he asked, I would just say yes,” Cranston, who says he has a “couple of ideas” to pitch too, added. “[Vince] takes such meticulous care of his characters and the story, and he changed our lives. ‘Yes’ is the answer. Even if it’s just a brush-by. A quick little something.”

“We’ve come to know people who we’ve seen before but we don’t know that we’ve seen them before, because we were in the store and we just passed by them,” he continued. Or we might even have a word or two. ‘Oh no, please go ahead.’ ‘Thank you for holding the door.’ And then five years later, you would never remember that. So something as minuscule as that could be very interesting in the fabric of the whole thing.”

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’ Was Originally Just a Joke in the ‘Breaking Bad’ Writers’ Room – and a Sitcom

“We have those kind of encounters every day, and I think that would be fun for the audience — and the most honest,” Cranston added.

However, Gilligan doesn’t think a quick appearance on camera is what fans — or he and Gould — are looking for at this point.

“[I]t wouldn’t feel as satisfying if it was just a cameo or an Alfred Hitchcock walkthrough,” he says. “I think we’ve waited long enough. We damn well better have a good reason for them to show up. I just hope we figure it out because I’ve got to hear, ‘Yeah, bitch!’ one more time.”

Also Read: AMC Finally Reveals ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 Premiere Date

Though Gilligan already admitted one more “Breaking Bad” character is coming to “Better Call Saul” in the upcoming fourth season, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be Walt or Jesse — this season, that is.

“Better Call Saul” Season 4 premieres August 6 at 9/8c on AMC.

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It’s OK, you can say their names.”Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan said that he wants Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) to appear on “Better Call Saul” just as badly as you do. Actually, maybe more.

“I desperately want to see both of them on ‘Better Call Saul,'” Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly when the “Breaking Bad” cast recently reunited for an interview in honor of the show’s 10th anniversary. “[‘Better Call Saul’ co-creator] Peter [Gould] wants it, the writers do, the actors do.”

Both Heisenberg and the world’s sweetest fictional meth dealer said they would be happy to drop by.

“My attitude towards it is the same I had from when Better Call Saul first started,” Paul told EW. “If Vince decided to put Jesse in ‘Better Call Saul,’ it’s going to be for a reason, and that reason’s going to be very satisfying for me. I trust in Vince. I don’t think he would just do that to satisfy the fans. It would have a purpose, and whether or not he decides to find that purpose or searches for the purpose, I don’t know. But if he does find that purpose, I’m happy to jump on board.”

“If he asked, I would just say yes,” Cranston, who says he has a “couple of ideas” to pitch too, added. “[Vince] takes such meticulous care of his characters and the story, and he changed our lives. ‘Yes’ is the answer. Even if it’s just a brush-by. A quick little something.”

“We’ve come to know people who we’ve seen before but we don’t know that we’ve seen them before, because we were in the store and we just passed by them,” he continued. Or we might even have a word or two. ‘Oh no, please go ahead.’ ‘Thank you for holding the door.’ And then five years later, you would never remember that. So something as minuscule as that could be very interesting in the fabric of the whole thing.”

“We have those kind of encounters every day, and I think that would be fun for the audience — and the most honest,” Cranston added.

However, Gilligan doesn’t think a quick appearance on camera is what fans — or he and Gould — are looking for at this point.

“[I]t wouldn’t feel as satisfying if it was just a cameo or an Alfred Hitchcock walkthrough,” he says. “I think we’ve waited long enough. We damn well better have a good reason for them to show up. I just hope we figure it out because I’ve got to hear, ‘Yeah, bitch!’ one more time.”

Though Gilligan already admitted one more “Breaking Bad” character is coming to “Better Call Saul” in the upcoming fourth season, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be Walt or Jesse — this season, that is.

“Better Call Saul” Season 4 premieres August 6 at 9/8c on AMC.

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‘Breaking Bad’ 10th Anniversary: Writers Reunite to Reflect on What They Learned and That Final Season

“Breaking Bad” had a low-key debut on Jan. 20, 2008, but within a few years, the AMC drama had practically taken over the conversation about quality television. Cinematic, suspenseful and divinely acted, the show told the story of the doomed criminal partnership between Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a man who embraced the darkness that lurked […]

“Breaking Bad” had a low-key debut on Jan. 20, 2008, but within a few years, the AMC drama had practically taken over the conversation about quality television. Cinematic, suspenseful and divinely acted, the show told the story of the doomed criminal partnership between Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a man who embraced the darkness that lurked […]

‘Better Call Saul’: Bob Odenkirk, Peter Gould & Gordon Smith Share Updates & Hopes For Season 4 & Beyond

“We’re breaking story and we’re in episode two-ish,” revealed Emmy-nominated writer-producer Gordon Smith tonight about the status of season 4 for Better Call Saul
Smith, who received his second Emmy nomination for the AMC/Sony TV series this year sat down with Deadline Senior Editor Dominic Patten as well as Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk and co-creator Peter Gould tonight at Awardsline’s Emmy panel for the show. It was Gould who first introduced the character of…

“We’re breaking story and we’re in episode two-ish,” revealed Emmy-nominated writer-producer Gordon Smith tonight about the status of season 4 for Better Call Saul Smith, who received his second Emmy nomination for the AMC/Sony TV series this year sat down with Deadline Senior Editor Dominic Patten as well as Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk and co-creator Peter Gould tonight at Awardsline’s Emmy panel for the show. It was Gould who first introduced the character of…

‘Better Call Saul’: Bob Odenkirk On How ‘Accidentally Being The Right Guy’ Brought Him From Comedy to Drama

The three-time Emmy nominee, who just filmed a role in Steven Spielberg’s “The Papers,” reveals why he was so surprised by that initial call to join “Breaking Bad.”

Bob Odenkirk still thinks that Vince Gilligan may have “accidentally got the wrong guy.”

“I mean, maybe he accidentally got the right guy, is the way to put it,” he told IndieWire. “I got this invitation to play the part, and I was like, ‘But why? I’m very thankful for the opportunity, but what have I done to deserve it?'”

After all, Odenkirk was best known as a comedy guy with very little dramatic experience when he first got the call from the “Breaking Bad” creator to play Saul Goodman, a shifty lawyer hired to get one of Walter White’s associates out of jail.

Read More ‘Better Call Saul’: Bob Odenkirk Pitches Himself as an Emmy Campaign Guru to Fellow Nominees — Watch

Odenkirk’s comedy credits, including the iconic HBO series “Mr. Show,” were bonafide, but when it came to that first appearance on “Breaking Bad,” “I actually would not have been surprised if I showed up in Albuquerque and had a producer tell me, ‘Turn around, you’re the wrong Bob Odenkirk. We wanted the one who attended Juilliard,'” he said. “But there is no Bob Odenkirk that attended Juilliard. There’s only the Bob Odenkirk who attended Southern Illinois University.”

Ten years later, that same Bob Odenkirk is nominated for his third Emmy as Lead Actor in a Drama. When IndieWire spoke with him, he’d just gotten back from New York, shooting the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed drama “The Papers,” which he called “one of the best things I’ve ever been a part of.”

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 3, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Notably, he had scenes with fellow Emmy nominee Matthew Rhys in the drama, which covers the events surrounding the Washington Post’s publication of the Pentagon Papers. “[Rhys and I] got along great. In fact, the day we were both nominated, we had a scene together that night, and we had such a good time laughing about it,” Odenkirk said. “He is a very funny guy. He’s very silly, sillier than I am, I think, which is quite something.”

He’s also currently writing a book about his journey from sketch comedy to serious drama, in which “Mr. Show” does play an instrumental role. According to Odenkirk, the series (a collaboration with David Cross) was what initially inspired both Gilligan and “Better Call Saul” co-creator Peter Gould to choose Odenkirk for the role.

It was Odenkirk’s first big “Breaking Bad” scene, though, that led to the idea of Saul beyond a one-off character — it’s something Gould told IndieWire about in 2015, calling out a very specific moment in the action:

There was a moment that told me that there was more to Saul, and basically what happens in the scene is he walks in and there’s a cop interviewing his client. And he more or less chases the cop out, ‘You can’t talk to my client without me! Go get a juicebox, baby face!’ And then the cop leaves, and Bob added this little moment where he takes this little breath like ‘Whew, I’m glad I got away with that,’ and then he gets down to business with Badger. At that moment I knew, well, there’s more to this guy than I thought. He is not just a slickster, there is an inner life to him. 

Two years later, Odenkirk’s reaction to that observation was a bit stunned. “What a neat thing to notice,” he said. “That’s pretty cool. I guess if there was any way to characterize that, potentially — I don’t want to speak for Peter, but it suggests that Saul’s bravado is a front, and he has to make an effort to put that front on, and as a result it means he’s a person making a choice that isn’t entirely organic to his entirety of his being.”

Odenkirk also remembered another moment that indicated there was more potential to Saul’s character, beyond that one second season episode. “It was literally after that first episode on ‘Breaking Bad’ that somebody in the crew made a joke, ‘Can I get a job on the sequel?'” he said. “I don’t know who, because there were too many bright lights in my face, and everyone laughed. But everybody sort of sensed that there was more to this guy than the clown on display.”

Rhea Seehorn and Bob Odenkirk in "Better Call Saul"

Four seasons of “Breaking Bad” and three seasons of “Better Call Saul” later, Saul, AKA Jimmy McGill, has become, in Odenkirk’s words, “a very multi-dimensional character with a lot of empathetic sides to his story. Things you can sympathize with, and feel for, and connect to. His striving to win his brother’s love, and respect from the people around him. His desire to take his gifts, whatever they are, and make something, generate something positive with them, and participate in the flow of life. That’s all he wants to do, and he keeps getting pushed down, and he can’t seem to find his place.”

His brother Chuck’s love is a major factor here, especially given the events of the Season 3 finale, “Lantern.” [Spoilers follow.] The final scene, in which a mentally broken Chuck (Michael McKean) accidentally starts a house fire, is perhaps the show’s biggest cliffhanger to date, with Chuck’s actual fate left in limbo.

Odenkirk believes Chuck is definitely dead. That has him musing on bigger questions, given that Jimmy and Chuck had severed their relationship earlier that episode, following many instances of sabotage and backstabbing between the two.

“How does Chuck’s death affect [Jimmy]? … If Chuck is dead, and I believe he is, I don’t think it’s possible to not think you had something to do with that. The way Chuck was booted from his company, which meant everything to him — his status as a lawyer, that was his entire self,” Odenkirk said. “His pride and self image was completely wrapped up in that. Because Jimmy was a part of the many things that happened that got Chuck booted, I don’t know how he doesn’t feel some weight and responsibility for Chuck expiring.”

That said, Odenkirk can’t confirm that Chuck is dead, as the writers “keep their options open. But my gut is that he killed himself, and I’m excited to see what happens next.”

Michael McKean as Chuck McGill, Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 3, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

While much has changed for Jimmy since the beginning of the series, for Odenkirk the biggest difference behind the scenes has been the increase in confidence from the writers. “I sense a stronger voice in every single direction of the show,” he said. “Every character got stronger, and the dynamics of the show increased. Just the shift from a comedy scene to a dramatic scene, from a very private interior moment to a humorously public interaction. I feel like they feel, they know the different places the show can go, and it can go to so many different places, and they don’t hesitate to go and change up the tone.”

As an example, Odenkirk cited the seventh episode of Season 3, “Expenses,” which was what he submitted for Emmys consideration. The episode features some broadly comedic moments for Jimmy early on, but “then it goes to a place where he’s in an insurance adjuster’s office, and he’s breaking down, honestly, truly breaking down because he’s just failed over and over again, and getting pushed and pressured on every corner of his life. Then he turns that around and uses it to manipulate the insurance adjuster.”

It’s a microcosm of Odenkirk’s own journey as an actor, moving from the hilarious to the dramatic, real, and brutal. And it’s also quintessentially “Better Call Saul,” a show that continues to push its own definitions.

“In that first season,” Odenkirk said, “[the writers] were trying to figure out what this thing was going to be, and I think it moved slowly, and it was probably less comic. Now it’s gotten so that the mix is wilder, and more intense. I really love it.”

Remote Controlled: ‘Better Call Saul’ EPs on Making ‘Big’ Moves, ‘Breaking Bad’ Crossovers, and Gene’s Future

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In today’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, executive producers of AMC’s hit drama “Better Call Saul,” which recently wrapped its third season…. Read more »

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In today’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, executive producers of AMC’s hit drama “Better Call Saul,” which recently wrapped its third season.... Read more »

‘Better Call Saul’: Why Saul Goodman, According to Bob Odenkirk, Is More Than ‘Just A Name’

Right now, co-creator Peter Gould says it’s all “Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy” in the writers’ room. But that may change, and soon. 

In the final scene from last night’s “Better Call Saul,” Kim (Rhea Seehorn) gets confronted by the future — specifically, the future of her current paramour, real name Jimmy McGill… but known first by “Breaking Bad” fans as Saul Goodman.

Kim doesn’t really know what she’s seeing in Season 3, Episode 6, “Off Brand,” but the audience does, thanks to years of history with the many-named character played by Bob Odenkirk. Since his introduction in “Breaking Bad” Season 2, and the resulting prequel series, Jimmy or Saul or (eventually) Gene has been a fascinating figure. “It’s just a name,” Jimmy tells Kim when she questions the Saul Goodman persona. But in conversations with Odenkirk and series co-creator Peter Gould, it’s clear that it means so much more.

READ MORE: ‘Better Call Saul’ Review: Watch Out, World, Because Saul Goodman is Coming

“I don’t think we had a clue that Jimmy would start using the name Saul Goodman professionally this season, when we started,” Gould recently told IndieWire during a recording of Mike Schneider’s Turn It On podcast. “We just followed the logic of the situation — in Episode 5 and 6 Jimmy’s legal license is suspended and we thought, okay, what are the implications of that?”

The answer, of course, is that Jimmy has to find buyers for the television advertising he’d pre-purchased, but he can’t do so using his real name. Hence, a new persona. “I hate to say everything happens organically, but I will say also that we’re just delighted when we see that option,” Gould said. “Sometimes it seems too good to be true.”

We first heard Jimmy refer to himself as Saul Goodman in “Saul” Season 1, but that was more a joke, couched in a con. By introducing, for real, the idea of Saul Goodman as an alternate identity for Jimmy, we now enter new territory for the show — one that invites the question: Are Jimmy and Saul the same man?

Odenkirk, when asked by IndieWire if he thinks of Jimmy and Saul as two different people, said yes. “Obviously they’re tied together at their core, but I think Saul is Jimmy with about three-quarters of his humanity constricted and sucked in,” he said during a phone interview.

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 3, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Michele K.Short/AMC/Sony Picture

Gould (who wrote the “Breaking Bad” episode initially introducing Saul Goodman) doesn’t disagree, but has a slightly different take. “I think what we’ve learned is that Saul is a mask that Jimmy dons. Bob talks about this sometimes — that if you wear a mask long enough, sometimes your face kind of molds itself to the mask.

“And the question is, is Jimmy gone?” Gould added. “And I don’t think so. I think Jimmy’s still around.”

That said, the two do share some differences. “He’s a guy who’s really shut himself down in a lot of ways,” Odenkirk said. “And I feel sorry that Jimmy has to become a less dimensional character in Saul.”

Of course, when “Better Call Saul” first began, the distinction between Saul and Jimmy wasn’t so formalized, to the point where when Gould and the other writers, including co-creator Vince Gilligan, were developing Season 1 on index cards, “Vince would write the cards at that point, and for the first episode or so he was Saul.”

Now, that is no longer the case. “Now I’m going to think of him as Jimmy for a long long time,” Gould said.

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, Hayley Homles as Drama Girl, Josh Fadem as Camera Guy - Better Call Saul _ Season 3, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

That could change at some point, though. “I’ll get back to you in Season 4 and beyond, when we start talking about ‘Saul does this, Saul does that,’ in the writers’ room,” Gould added. “Because right now in the writers’ room, it’s all Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy.”

In discussing Jimmy’s many personas, we can’t leave out Gene, the Cinnabon manager in Omaha who represents Jimmy’s ultimate future. “Yeah, we don’t really know who he’s going to become,” Odenkirk said. “I’d like to see him come out of his cocoon there and see who he can be.”

When it comes to Gene, Gould noted that “This is a story about a survivor, and I am fascinated by all the compromises that the man who was Slippin’ Jimmy and James McGill, Esquire, and then eventually Saul Goodman and Gene — I’m fascinated by all the compromises this guy’s made. I love it any time we go to Omaha.”

Given the fluid nature of James McGill’s identity, in many ways the closing scene of “Off Brand” wasn’t a seismic game-changer. Instead, the casual reintroduction of Slippin’ Jimmy’s one-time alias — a name that will come to have far greater meaning down the line — is evocative of the show’s general ethos.

After all, “Better Call Saul” is not about cliffhangers. “Better Call Saul” is about the slippery slope. Thanks to this scene, we’re well aware that the descent is real.

“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on AMC. 

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How Dave Porter Merges the Music of ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ (Audio)

It’s hard enough creating music for one show. But for almost every theme Dave Porter creates for “Better Call Saul,” he has to think about how it fits in with the musical world he already created for “Breaking Bad.”

Porter ambitiously created individual pieces for key characters on “Breaking Bad,” and gets to use some of them again for “Saul.” But because “Saul” is mostly set years before “Breaking Bad,” Porter needs the music to reflect those characters earlier in their lives. (The title character, for example, isn’t yet the smooth criminal lawyer Saul Goodman of “Breaking Bad” — he’s still struggling attorney Jimmy McGill.)

If that’s not complicated enough, sometimes “Saul” takes place after “Breaking Bad.” And Porter says that sometime soon — ready for a huge spoiler? — the two shows might even overlap. Season 3 begins tonight.

Also Read: Inside ‘Better Call Saul’ and Cinnabon’s Craziest Sponsorship Ever

TheWrap: Can you walk us through the musical genesis of going from “Breaking Bad” to “Better Call Saul”?

Dave Porter: When we began to work on “Better Call Saul,” Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould were adamant that the show would be very different than “Breaking Bad,” which meant reevaluating everything and creating a whole new musical vocabulary for the show. At first I had a hard time with that, admittedly. I had gone in expecting to do a lighter variation of what we had done so successfully for “Breaking Bad.”

“Better Call Saul” End Credits Music (story continues after):

And since “Better Call Saul” takes place in the same universe and features some of the same characters, and we know that at some point at the end of Jimmy/Saul’s journey, we’re going to catch up to the beginning of “Breaking Bad,” wouldn’t we want to start out with something that already relates? But I’m so glad we invested all of the hard work to make “Better Call Saul” stand on its own from the start, because it really helped guide us in our exploration of Jimmy in a way that wouldn’t have been the same if we started out with any preconceived connections to “Breaking Bad.”

One important stroke of good fortune for me was that we almost never used score for Saul during “Breaking Bad.” He was comic foil interjected in between moments of tension, and as such never needed it. This freed me up at the beginning of “Better Call Saul” because it meant that when it came to establishing a sound for Jimmy/Saul I could start from scratch. Compared to the “Breaking Bad” score, I’m utilizing far fewer synthesizers and sound design, instead relying on a palette of instruments that feels a bit more spontaneous and intimate. This includes alto flute, old organs, guitar, vibraphone, mellotron, and other instruments that I lean on much more heavily in “Better Call Saul” than I did for “Breaking Bad.”

Also Read: ‘Better Call Saul’: Don’t Work for Gus Fring After This Los Pollos Hermanos Training Video

So with the exception, of course, of the flash forward to Saul’s post-“Breaking Bad” life in the pilot, the score in the “Better Call Saul” pilot and throughout most of the first season is purposefully very different.

In terms of certain characters from “Breaking Bad” that have shown up in “Better Call Saul,” how have you approached giving them unique musical identities?

This year in season two we followed two major arcs as they moved towards the characters that we know from “Breaking Bad”: Jimmy McGill and Mike Ehrmantraut. Musically, both are evolving, but at their own pace. Jimmy’s score has changed a little — it’s a bit more reflective this year, a little less carefree, as his actions are now leading to consequences that are potentially more damaging in the long run. Mike, however, seems to be moving at a much quicker pace toward the Mike we know from “Breaking Bad.” The music I’ve written for him reflects each step that brings him closer to involvement with the ABQ underworld. It still isn’t as dire as it becomes in “Breaking Bad,” however, as Mike is still a free man making his own decisions and fighting his own battles. In time we know that Mike’s skills become co-opted by more powerful forces.

Also Read: Emmy Quickie: ‘Better Call Saul’ Star Rhea Seehorn Exclusive StudioWrap Portraits (Photos)

Unlike our major players in “Better Call Saul,” when previous characters well known to “Breaking Bad” viewers have returned, I’ve gone right to the music we’ve always associated with them. That’s been true for Tuco Salamanca, Hector “Tio” Salamanca, and most recently The Cousins.

For the most part, these characters have the same looming presence they had in “Breaking Bad.” This is particularly true for The Cousins, as they are largely silent characters.

The Cousins’ Theme (story continues after):

Did their music change from “Breaking Bad” to “Better Call Saul”?

Since introducing them in the third season opener of “Breaking Bad,” we’ve told their story through music — and we continue to do so, even when they first appear looking down on Mike in the episode 206, “Bali Ha’i” of season 2 of “Better Call Saul.”

We experimented briefly with a tamer musical version for that first sighting on the rooftop, but quickly realized that they are just as ominous now as they ever will be in “Breaking Bad.” Mike immediately recognizes this, so there was no reason to hold back. The distinctive score we created for them in “Breaking Bad” — with its brushed Mexican drums, low pump organ, hand percussion, and traditional Aztec war whistles — felt very satisfying to revisit since it has always been part and parcel of who The Cousins are.

Also Read: TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch Right Now, From ‘OITNB’ to ‘Better Call Saul’ (Photos)

When it comes to the storytelling element in general, are you encountering any musical similarities or overlapping themes between “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”?

One thing that remains the same between the two shows is our love of the process of crime, both large and small. While we have never shied away from acknowledging the devastation that crime creates, we still enjoy the details and ingenuity of successful criminals at work…and getting away with it. That was true in Breaking Bad in scenes where Gus Fring’s empire smuggles drugs around the southwest in chicken batter and later when Walter White takes over his business. In “Better Call Saul,” it manifests itself in the little cons that Jimmy pulls off, all the way up to something like the extended teaser in episode 208, “Fifi,” which follows a drug shipment through a border crossing and ultimately all of the way to Hector Salamanca. The score that I wrote for that scene has a bravado that we reserve for those kinds of moments, and in this case was the second-longest piece I’ve written for either show — second only to another example from “Breaking Bad”: the train robbery sequence in, “Dead Freight.”

As we move slowly closer towards a point when “Breaking Bad” possibly overlaps with the “Better Call Saul” timeline, it will be interesting to see if other characters reappear and how we handle them musically. Speaking for myself, I’m not in any hurry. I’m very much enjoying our exploration of Jimmy and his world as well as Mike’s unfortunate entanglements. In due time, both paths will lead to where we know fate must take them.

“Magic Hands”:

“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays on AMC at 10/9c.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Breaking Bad’ Star RJ Mitte Calls for More Disabled Actors on TV

15 AMC Series Premieres Ranked: From ‘Preacher’ to ‘Breaking Bad’ (Photos)

‘Better Call Saul’: Remember Nacho’s ‘Breaking Bad’ Mention? (Video)

It’s hard enough creating music for one show. But for almost every theme Dave Porter creates for “Better Call Saul,” he has to think about how it fits in with the musical world he already created for “Breaking Bad.”

Porter ambitiously created individual pieces for key characters on “Breaking Bad,” and gets to use some of them again for “Saul.” But because “Saul” is mostly set years before “Breaking Bad,” Porter needs the music to reflect those characters earlier in their lives. (The title character, for example, isn’t yet the smooth criminal lawyer Saul Goodman of “Breaking Bad” — he’s still struggling attorney Jimmy McGill.)

If that’s not complicated enough, sometimes “Saul” takes place after “Breaking Bad.” And Porter says that sometime soon — ready for a huge spoiler? — the two shows might even overlap. Season 3 begins tonight.

TheWrap: Can you walk us through the musical genesis of going from “Breaking Bad” to “Better Call Saul”?

Dave Porter: When we began to work on “Better Call Saul,” Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould were adamant that the show would be very different than “Breaking Bad,” which meant reevaluating everything and creating a whole new musical vocabulary for the show. At first I had a hard time with that, admittedly. I had gone in expecting to do a lighter variation of what we had done so successfully for “Breaking Bad.”

“Better Call Saul” End Credits Music (story continues after):

And since “Better Call Saul” takes place in the same universe and features some of the same characters, and we know that at some point at the end of Jimmy/Saul’s journey, we’re going to catch up to the beginning of “Breaking Bad,” wouldn’t we want to start out with something that already relates? But I’m so glad we invested all of the hard work to make “Better Call Saul” stand on its own from the start, because it really helped guide us in our exploration of Jimmy in a way that wouldn’t have been the same if we started out with any preconceived connections to “Breaking Bad.”

One important stroke of good fortune for me was that we almost never used score for Saul during “Breaking Bad.” He was comic foil interjected in between moments of tension, and as such never needed it. This freed me up at the beginning of “Better Call Saul” because it meant that when it came to establishing a sound for Jimmy/Saul I could start from scratch. Compared to the “Breaking Bad” score, I’m utilizing far fewer synthesizers and sound design, instead relying on a palette of instruments that feels a bit more spontaneous and intimate. This includes alto flute, old organs, guitar, vibraphone, mellotron, and other instruments that I lean on much more heavily in “Better Call Saul” than I did for “Breaking Bad.”

So with the exception, of course, of the flash forward to Saul’s post-“Breaking Bad” life in the pilot, the score in the “Better Call Saul” pilot and throughout most of the first season is purposefully very different.

In terms of certain characters from “Breaking Bad” that have shown up in “Better Call Saul,” how have you approached giving them unique musical identities?

This year in season two we followed two major arcs as they moved towards the characters that we know from “Breaking Bad”: Jimmy McGill and Mike Ehrmantraut. Musically, both are evolving, but at their own pace. Jimmy’s score has changed a little — it’s a bit more reflective this year, a little less carefree, as his actions are now leading to consequences that are potentially more damaging in the long run. Mike, however, seems to be moving at a much quicker pace toward the Mike we know from “Breaking Bad.” The music I’ve written for him reflects each step that brings him closer to involvement with the ABQ underworld. It still isn’t as dire as it becomes in “Breaking Bad,” however, as Mike is still a free man making his own decisions and fighting his own battles. In time we know that Mike’s skills become co-opted by more powerful forces.

Unlike our major players in “Better Call Saul,” when previous characters well known to “Breaking Bad” viewers have returned, I’ve gone right to the music we’ve always associated with them. That’s been true for Tuco Salamanca, Hector “Tio” Salamanca, and most recently The Cousins.

For the most part, these characters have the same looming presence they had in “Breaking Bad.” This is particularly true for The Cousins, as they are largely silent characters.

The Cousins’ Theme (story continues after):

Did their music change from “Breaking Bad” to “Better Call Saul”?

Since introducing them in the third season opener of “Breaking Bad,” we’ve told their story through music — and we continue to do so, even when they first appear looking down on Mike in the episode 206, “Bali Ha’i” of season 2 of “Better Call Saul.”

We experimented briefly with a tamer musical version for that first sighting on the rooftop, but quickly realized that they are just as ominous now as they ever will be in “Breaking Bad.” Mike immediately recognizes this, so there was no reason to hold back. The distinctive score we created for them in “Breaking Bad” — with its brushed Mexican drums, low pump organ, hand percussion, and traditional Aztec war whistles — felt very satisfying to revisit since it has always been part and parcel of who The Cousins are.

When it comes to the storytelling element in general, are you encountering any musical similarities or overlapping themes between “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”?

One thing that remains the same between the two shows is our love of the process of crime, both large and small. While we have never shied away from acknowledging the devastation that crime creates, we still enjoy the details and ingenuity of successful criminals at work…and getting away with it. That was true in Breaking Bad in scenes where Gus Fring’s empire smuggles drugs around the southwest in chicken batter and later when Walter White takes over his business. In “Better Call Saul,” it manifests itself in the little cons that Jimmy pulls off, all the way up to something like the extended teaser in episode 208, “Fifi,” which follows a drug shipment through a border crossing and ultimately all of the way to Hector Salamanca. The score that I wrote for that scene has a bravado that we reserve for those kinds of moments, and in this case was the second-longest piece I’ve written for either show — second only to another example from “Breaking Bad”: the train robbery sequence in, “Dead Freight.”

As we move slowly closer towards a point when “Breaking Bad” possibly overlaps with the “Better Call Saul” timeline, it will be interesting to see if other characters reappear and how we handle them musically. Speaking for myself, I’m not in any hurry. I’m very much enjoying our exploration of Jimmy and his world as well as Mike’s unfortunate entanglements. In due time, both paths will lead to where we know fate must take them.

“Magic Hands”:

“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays on AMC at 10/9c.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Breaking Bad' Star RJ Mitte Calls for More Disabled Actors on TV

15 AMC Series Premieres Ranked: From 'Preacher' to 'Breaking Bad' (Photos)

'Better Call Saul': Remember Nacho's 'Breaking Bad' Mention? (Video)

‘Better Call Saul’ Crew Talks New Season As Walter White Crashes Panel – Contenders Emmys

Walter White himself — Bryan Cranston — paid a surprise visit to the Better Call Saul panel at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys on Sunday. “I just couldn’t help myself,” he said. “Know where your wallet is right now,” quipped cast member Jonathan Banks as Cranston greeted his old crew on the eve of Saul‘s Season 3 premiere.
Also on the panel were Saul co-creator and EP Peter Gould, along with cast members Giancarlo Esposito and Rhea Seehorn.
The upcoming season on AMC sees…

Walter White himself — Bryan Cranston — paid a surprise visit to the Better Call Saul panel at Deadline’s The Contenders Emmys on Sunday. “I just couldn’t help myself,” he said. “Know where your wallet is right now,” quipped cast member Jonathan Banks as Cranston greeted his old crew on the eve of Saul‘s Season 3 premiere. Also on the panel were Saul co-creator and EP Peter Gould, along with cast members Giancarlo Esposito and Rhea Seehorn. The upcoming season on AMC sees…