As a spin-off from Breaking Bad — one of the most critically and commercially successful television shows in history — there was a lot of pressure on Better Call Saul before its debut earlier this month. The first two episodes were highly praised, however, making series star Bob Odenkirk a highly sought after man on the promotional trail.
Set a full seven years before the events that kickstarted Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul finds the brash lawyer down on his luck — working from a cramped boiler room behind a beauty salon and representing reprehensible clientele. The series is essentially an origin story for the man that would be known as Saul Goodman, but this is his previous incarnation — Jimmy McGill — as yet unsullied by any association with Walter White and his fellow meth-maker, Jesse Pinkman.
Speaking to the press as the show’s first episodes were released on Netflix, Odenkirk addressed the question that every fan is asking: Will Breaking Bad’s Walter White and Jesse Pinkman appear on the show?
As reported by the Independent, Odenkirk feels that, despite the denials of the show’s esteemed creator, Vince Gilligan, the two iconic Breaking Bad characters will make appearance.
“I’m sceptical of Vince’s denials. He does know where he’s going to use those guys or have them appear. He just doesn’t want to say it yet. [Vince] is eager for it to do the hard work of living and dying on its own terms.
“I think it can happen in season two. And, if you ask me, Bob Odenkirk, taking a wild guess — remember, I’m not a writer on the show — I think one of those guys will appear in season two or three. But probably later.”
Audiences have already noted the appearance of Breaking Bad alumni Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut and Raymond Cruz as Tuco Salamanca, but for the time being, emphasis is on Odenkirk and his new co-stars, Michael McKean and Rhea Seehorn. Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Odenkirk explained just how long Better Call Saul has been planned.
“People joked about the Saul spin-off during ‘Breaking Bad.’ It was a joke among the crew and cast because the character was so big and brash. ‘Save it for the spin-off’, they’d yell. ‘Oi, don’t damaged the set, we need it for the spin-off’. That kind of thing.
“When ‘Breaking Bad’ ended, I didn’t think it would happen. I didn’t once count on it. He asked me several times over the years, ‘Do you think there’s a show in this?’ And I would say, ‘If you write it, I’ll do it.’
“I don’t revere anything — except my kids — the way some people revere TV. But the day Vince came to me and said ‘I do want to do the show,’ I knew I had to, and that nobody would be more protective of ‘Breaking Bad’ than Vince.”
Better Call Saul airs Monday nights on AMC, with each episode uploaded to Netflix weekly thereafter.
[Image: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]