When Better Call Saul Season 5 finally arrives in 2020, it will include an episode that actually matches what co-creator Peter Gould thought the Breaking Bad spinoff would be about from the start. So keep that in mind as you're watching, to see if you can pick out said episode before Gould explains it more himself.
Peter Gould and Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan are showrunners of the AMC prequel series, which is apparently constantly surprising them with new directions. You might not think that would be the case, since Better Call Saul follows Saul Goodman's story, and we've already seen at least the middle of that story in Breaking Bad. We're now seeing the beginning of Jimmy's story in Better Call Saul, but also what happens next through Cinnabon Gene.
Peter Gould talked to Variety about working as a showrunner on Better Call Saul, and being pleasantly surprised by how wrong he's been about where the story is going to go.
And the greatest thing is when the characters surprise you — when you go, 'Wait a minute!' This season, Jimmy’s lost his brother, he’s pulled into himself and is almost affect-less, but then what gets him going is a job interview, is conflict, and you start to dig in, but we didn’t know that. We have ideas about where things are going but 99% of the time we’re wrong. Right now we’re towards the end of shooting Season 5, and we have an episode which is pretty much what I pictured the show to be before we started, and it took us more than 40 some-odd episodes to get there. I think the great thing is you have to have faith in the characters. I personally save the fear for after the thing is done, so that’s why the screening is scary to me, but actually, when we’re writing and we’re on the set, that feels right and that feels good.
I love hearing about how the sausage is made, and it's good to know that at least when this interview was done, they were almost done shooting Better Call Saul Season 5. I'm curious about the episode matching what he thought the show would be. And it's just one episode? Do you think it's Saul Goodman being classic Saul in his office? Setting up his life as a criminal lawyer? Officially getting started in his career -- which has taken five seasons?
The Season 4 finale gave fans chills with Jimmy's final line, "S'all good, man!" After four seasons and 40 episodes, has Saul finally arrived? Well, yes and no. It sounds like Bob Odenkirk is retaining at least some part of Jimmy until Kim "goes away." Jimmy already lost Chuck, as Peter Gould noted, but hopefully we don't lose Kim in a similar way.
Speaking of Jimmy, Chuck, and Kim, Peter Gould also talked about how it wasn't in the original plan for the first three seasons to follow Jimmy and his brother. But since that did end up the case, losing Chuck left them with a lot of questions. Here's more from him on all of that:
I think the scariest thing about Season 4 for me was that the first three seasons — and this was not our plan initially — centered on Jimmy McGill’s relationship with his brother Chuck, played by Michael McKean. And we made this really difficult choice that Chuck would die at the end of Season 3, which left us, first of all, with how do you do the show without someone who is so important to Jimmy? And Jimmy really only has two people who are important to him: Kim Wexler, played by Rhea Seehorn, and Chuck McGill. And one of them is gone. What’s going to happen? How is Jimmy going to deal with this?
We saw how Jimmy -- and Kim -- dealt with Chuck's death in Better Call Saul Season 4. We do know at some point Kim exits the Saul Goodman story, since she's not in Breaking Bad. But since they already killed Chuck, would they also kill Kim? This exit could play out in any number of ways, and no one is suggesting it has to play out in Better Call Saul Season 5.
Peter Gould shared a solid Better Call Saul Season 5 tease a while back, so make sure you're caught up on that while you wait for AMC to announce a return date. The first two seasons premiered in February, so maybe we can hope for February 2020?