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Better Call Saul fans got sidelined by some interesting news recently when star Giancarlo Esposito voiced claims that the hit AMC drama is planning to end things after Season 6. Considering the timeline complications involved with connecting this show to Breaking Bad, Esposito's info sounded right in line with what some fans were already predicting. To be expected when Jimmy McGill is involved, however, that information might not be as accurate as previously believed.
The wonderful Rhea Seehorn has offered up a revised take on expectations for Better Call Saul's future at AMC. Pointing out that she's been told "no concrete decisions" have been officially made by co-creators Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan, Seehorn continued:
Peter and Vince have said things like, 'Wouldn't it be fun if this had the same number of episodes as Breaking Bad?' But they said that with a grin, because I think sentimentally it's sweet to them to bookend [the shows] that way.
In Rhea Seehorn's mind, Giancarlo Esposito likely caught wind of those conversations or comments and took them at face value. The math adds up as far as that conjecture is concerned.
Across its five seasons, Breaking Bad wowed fans with a total of 62 episodes, with varying numbers of episodes making up each season. Better Call Saul, meanwhile, has stuck with its ten-installments-a-season plan, so it would only be reaching the 60-episode mark by the end of Season 6. But then it probably wouldn't take much to convince AMC to provide a two-ep increase to give the two acclaimed dramas as similar a lifespan as can be.
For all that those numbers work out, however, it sounds like Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan speak of that balance in a more heightened sense. As in, they're not actively writing stories for the series to definitively conclude after 20 more episodes. As someone who would be perfectly happy if Better Call Saul's timeline continued going through and beyond Breaking Bad's narrative, I'm hoping for Gould and Gilligan to keep finding plenty of storytelling inspirations in the meantime.
In any case, Rhea Seehorn pointed out to TV Guide that the two co-creators would probably appreciate meaningful similarities like shared episode counts, but they're not the kinds of writers who want to work under such time and narrative constraints. For them, it's much more rewarding to unfold the plot in more organic ways, which means they'll likely never aim to last a specific number of episodes without first having the story already planned out.
As viewers are aware, there's obviously a limited amount of storytelling room between Season 4's finale, which fully introduced Jimmy's transition into Saul Goodman, and the onset of Breaking Bad's timeline. It was already pretty shocking for Season 4 to have taken a big time jump later in the game, since that would seemingly allow for even less time to craft these stories. But then again, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould could probably successfully spin Season 5 as real-time episodes that only take place during a single afternoon/evening, 24-style.
All this isn't to say that Better Call Saul is now confirmed to continue on for Season 7 and beyond, because there's always the chance that the two co-creators will stumble upon a perfect way to close out Saul's story much sooner than that. I mean, we don't even know if Season 6 is happening. [runs around and screams hysterically]