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Spoiler warning for anyone who hasn't yet watched the most recent episode of Better Call Saul.
One of the most delightful surprises of Better Call Saul's entire run came in the episode "Something Beautiful," when Gus Fring paid a visit to a chemical lab where fans got to reconnect with David Costabile's Gale Boetticher for the first time since his flashback scene in Breaking Bad's Season 4 premiere. It was quite the fun scene, and when CinemaBlend spoke with star Giancarlo Esposito after the episode's airing, I had to ask if viewers will be getting more Gale in Season 4. Here's his mildly cryptic answer:
Well, I think that because we just made his acquaintance and we're so happy to have him back, that I think it's highly possible. [laughs] I don't want to give away too much, because I want you guys to be surprised, and certainly I think you will be.
For all intents and purposes, Giancarlo Esposito wasn't trying to introduce spoiler subterfuge to the conversation, and seemed just fine with tipping his hat to a more positive outcome for Gale fanatics. So unless the actor was merely teasing things from future Better Call Saul seasons, I would put good money on more Gale showing up in Season 4. Even if we have to wait for Gus to get his empire shaped up to make room for the future meth cook.
We knew that Better Call Saul's fourth season was going to go hard on bridging the gap to Breaking Bad, and that we would be getting introductions for the mentioned-by-name-only character Lalo, and possibly other familiar faces. But somehow David Costabile's cameo as Gale remained completely under the spoiler radar, allowing him to learn and perform Tom Lehrer's "The Elements Song" in peace without agog onlookers interrupting the process. So Gale may very well end up returning to enter into a bigger narrative arc by the season's end, which would be fantastic.
During our talk, Giancarlo Esposito actually dropped hints about Gus and Gale's relationship getting strained in the near-ish future. When I mentioned how refreshing it was to see someone in Gus' presence to be smiling and enjoying his company, as opposed to being frightened and ordered around, here's what the actor told me.
This is why I love the writing in this show, because they're really able to mine the humanity. And Gale has no fear of Gus. Gus is a business man who's offered him a great opportunity, and he sees that [Gale] doesn't feel that Gus is nefarious, so Gus feels like, 'Oh, there could be a friendship now.' Certainly you see a bit later on, when you'll see Gus get a little bit short, and Gale might eventually start to see that he's a little more intense than Gale had planned on. But right now, he's really honored to be a part of something that's like sending a rocket to the moon. 'I'm a part of the moon team! I'm a part of NASA!' [laughs] This is a big deal for him, and certainly Gus understands that and realizes that, but also respects Gale on so many levels.
Knowing how things play out in Breaking Bad, fans already had a clue that Gus and Gale weren't always super-besties, but this fairly simple Better Call Saul scene offers a much deeper look into their unique relationship. Gus is a known manipulator of young scientists who show promise with meth-growing duties, so he certainly wasn't exclusively seeking out friendship with Gale, but the younger scientist's talent, eagerness and lack of fear had Gus in the mindset that another equally fruitful result could come from their time together. Even if, naturally, that friendship starts dissolving due to that whole "one person is manufacturing an illegal drug for a crime lord" thing. Let's just hope we can see that dissolve start to take place on the show itself, like in 6 episodes or so.
With the arrivals of Gale, Ira and the continued development of the Fring and Salamanca crews, Better Call Saul is looking more and more like its predecessor. It's not clear yet when we'll get to see Saul scenes that actually come from the Breaking Bad timeline, although there is speculation that the black-and-white Gene sequences are taking place before Walter White had even been killed. If only Gale would also still be alive to show up in those moments, possibly working in a Sharper Image store in Gene's mall.
Keep a lookout for more Gale in Season 4 when Better Call Saul airs on AMC every Monday night at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other high-quality dramas and comedies are on the way, head to our fall TV premiere schedule.