Television’s Better Call Saul is a bit of a unique beast when compared to most spinoffs. While most take place directly after the series they spin off from, Better Call Saul takes place, at least so far, mostly prior to the events in Breaking Bad. No doubt this has most fans assuming that we already have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Jimmy McGill (aka Saul Goodman) and his character arc for the entire series. We’ve already seen what happens to him on Breaking Bad and therefore assume we understand the direction his character will end up — at least until the story catches up with where Breaking Bad left off.
In a recent interview in Variety’s “Actor on Actor” segment (via Call Saul Now), however, Bob Odenkirk brings to light that it may not be so nearly cut and dry as that. During his conversation with fellow actor Michael Sheen (Masters of Sex), Odenkirk flat-out admitted that he doesn’t totally understand the character of Saul Goodman, and he hopes he never will. Odenkirk’s comments on the subject begin about 7:30 into the video.
“I don’t feel like I know this guy. I don’t know where it’s going. And I still think that people are like, ‘Well he’s going to be Saul Goodman. He’s going to end up being that guy.’ And I’m like, not really. Saul Goodman was a front, and he even told Walter White when he met him, ‘It’s not my name.’ And you look at his office. It’s a set that he built inside of a mini-mall. So we don’t really know who he was during Breaking Bad. So I don’t feel like I know him. I hope I never feel like I completely know him, and that he’s always discovering new things about himself and changing, and that’s how I’ll get through doing hopefully years of the character.”
This bit of news may surprise some Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fans. After all, when going into a story, it’s always comforting to know that the people portraying the characters on screen have an extra bit of insight that helps motivate the characters, but ultimately, Odenkirk’s comments do bring up some interesting ideas.
Even now, when watching Better Call Saul’s “sad as hell” opening scene, it’s very clear that it takes place directly after Breaking Bad. It’s natural to think of that scene as something of a goal — a place where Saul Goodman will eventually end up, but that doesn’t have to be the case. It can be just a small stepping stone to where he goes by the end of the series. Plus, if Goodman’s character was a front during Breaking Bad, once we have an underlying idea of his real personality, his motivations in Breaking Bad may be completely different from what we’ve originally thought.
What are your thoughts on Bob Odenkirk’s comments? Do you think it’s a good thing that he doesn’t fully understand his character? Let us know in the comments down below!
[Image Credits: Breaking Bad Wikia]