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Of all the big weapons Better Call Saul has at its disposal, star Rhea Seehorn is arguably the most under-appreciated, though thankfully not the most under-utilized. All eyes will be on Seehorn's Kim Wexler when Season 5 kicks off, particularly her chosen hairstyle, which has previously offered viewers clues to Kim's mental and emotional states. Just don't expect Seehorn to be able to talk about such hairstyles.
Rhea Seehorn revealed in a recent interview that she can no longer talk about Kim's hair ahead of Season 5, with Better Call Saul's powers-that-be ramping up on spoiler-thwarting tactics while filming the next batch of episodes. Here's how Seehorn put it.
I am not allowed to talk about hair. We’re not allowed to do any photos. I feel bad — we run into fans when we’re shooting but we can’t be photographed in costume at all. But it’s funny that now, because of the ponytail, people will clock what’s going on if I were to post a photo of my hairdo. I can tell you that a lot of decision-making goes into my hairdo.
AMC is no stranger to fighting off potential production leaks, having dealt with a cottage industry of spoilers due to The Walking Dead and its spinoff. (Not to mention the still-shrouded-in-mystery Breaking Bad follow-up movie,) The procedure in limiting leaked info is obviously quite different from one show to the next, but hiding character appearances is usually the first step. Especially when something as overtly visual as a hairstyle can reveal so much all on its own.
For instance, remember how wild it was when Walter White had a full head of hair and a big bushy beard in Season 5 of Breaking Bad? Speculation ran rampant ahead of those episodes as fans obsessed over time jumps, family relationships and every other element that could have possibly been influenced by the generally precise Walt letting himself go in such an unkempt way. Sounds like producers want to nip such conjecture in the bud.
Here, Rhea Seehorn gave some of her insight to Vulture concerning the importance of hair and makeup for distinguishing a character's temperament and social standing.
Oh yeah, it’s all deeply thought out. It was important to us, like, certain women don’t change their hair or their makeup or their jewelry very often. They wear separates from Marshall’s until they can afford the suit. Even the bruising from Kim’s car accident that went on for episodes and episodes and episodes, it’s like, “In this scene, she’s going to the office, so she’ll put makeup on it. What does it look like if you put makeup on a bruise that’s four days old?”
Naturally, it didn't take too long for Better Call Saul fans to figure out the basic connections between how Kim wears her hair and where her stress levels are at. When Rhea Seehorn's attorney is in court and/or handling important affairs, her long blonde locks tend to be pulled back in a tight, no-nonsense ponytail that hangs precisely so.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is her at-home look, in which Kim's hair flows as freely as a river, though still without ever looking like a hot mess. Though Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy McGill has done much to jostle Kim from her organizationally motivated path, she has kept at least two wheels firmly on the track at all times. Which is what makes Kim and Jimmy partnership all the more important in Season 5.
With Better Call Saul quickly approaching the point in the timeline where Breaking Bad's narrative kicks off in earnest, the writers seemingly need to end Kim and Jimmy's relationship in such a way that her name will never cross his lips during his official stint as Saul Goodman. Will they split up amicably? Will the breakup be hellfire and damnation? Could Kim's survival be at stake, what with Tony Dalton's Lalo Salamanca taking over the family business in Hector's stead?
It doesn't sound like fans will need to worry about Season 5 being a meandering and slow journey for any of the characters. Though Rhea Seehorn couldn't say much about Kim's particular details, she did share her overall impressions for how well the storytelling is working for her.
I can tell you that I am still surprised by the scripts. They are constantly evolving, these characters, mine included, and none of them ever feel stuck. When they grapple with something, it just feels like, ‘Oh right, this thing that’s been bubbling is there.’ It’s like, ‘How far can a character be stretched before something snaps?’ The scripts continue to be page-turners and nail-biters. It still makes my heart beat out of my chest because I’m just like, ‘What is happening? What is she thinking? How do you process all of that?’
Naturally, one wants to immediately list all of the things that could possibly make Rhea Seehorn's heart beat out of her chest, because clearly she's not just talking about a conversational scene between Jonathan Banks' Mike and Giancarlo Esposito's Gus. It sounds like Kim will be witnessing some major drama throughout Season 5. The question now, of course, is how much that drama will derail her life and her ponytail.
Of course, Better Call Saul's creative team could technically slow-burn the bejesus out of its upcoming storyline to provide as much time as possible between Jimmy's initial Saul Goodman transition and his quasi-allegiance to Walt and Jesse in Breaking Bad. In that way, fans could get to see as much of these character as humanly possible, even if the plot might not hit as hard.
But Bob Odenkirk, for one, doesn't want to see Better Call Saul eclipse Breaking Bad's episode count, even if it does end up getting more seasons. (BCS' episode orders have been far more static than those of Breaking Bad.) Combine that with previous rumors that Saul is ending with Season 6, and the potential issues related to Kim Wexler's hair can get all the more suffocating.
For those who can't wait to rewatch Season 4 of Better Call Saul, your best bet will be to pick up the set on Blu-ray, DVD, or via digital downloads, with everything going up for purchase in May. At this time, there's no telling when the AMC drama will hit Netflix streaming.