When Better Call Saul debuted more than a year after its iconic predecessor Breaking Bad ended, fans were itchy to see prankster Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) morph into Bad’s shameless shyster Saul Goodman — pronto. Then something unexpected happened. We all fell for Jimmy — loving, loyal, funny, fumbling Jimmy — and his kooky (and sometimes genius) resourcefulness and joie de vivre.
And yet, we knew the honeymoon couldn’t last.
Both shows’ producers, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, confirmed that this is, indeed, the season that Jimmy begins to break Goodman, as an angrier-than-ever Chuck (Michael McKean) seeks revenge for Mesa Verde (and perhaps their mother’s dying words) and Jimmy’s beloved Kim (Rhea Seehorn) seems a little, well, over it. “This is what we signed up for,” Odenkirk laments. “I understand it and I know it has to happen and it all makes sense, but I feel like it’s saying goodbye to a friend, slowly. To compensate, then the bad guys come around more, and that’s a lot of fun.”
To that end, Odenkirk says Jimmy will share more screen time with Jonathan Banks’ hitman-for-hire Mike Ehrmantraut, after the pair were largely caught up in their own dramas in Season 2. “That’s happening in the third season — and will happen even more as we proceed,” Odenkirk says. “It’s so much fun, because it’s a great Laurel-and-Hardy duo with Mike getting frustrated with Jimmy’s inspirations and crazy-pants style. I can’t be onscreen enough with Jonathan Banks.”
And while Odenkirk says it will be a while before Jimmy spends much screen time with Bad favorite and new Saul arrival restaurateur-cum-meth-king Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), he’ll factor heavily into Season 3 storytelling as Mike becomes more entangled in the Salamancas’ world.
“What the writers and creators have done with Gus and with Mark Margolis as Hector Salamanca is they don’t just bring them back for the fun of bringing them back — they add to their story. In this new season, you’re going to get to learn more about them and what went on between them and it will all make Breaking Bad even more impactful. Because you start to understand the backstory of the characters — not just Saul, but these other characters — and how it affects the world of Breaking Bad. It’s stuff that you don’t see coming, but when you see it, it makes perfect sense.
“And I just want to reiterate — characters come back from Breaking Bad and I identified two of them but there’s more than that this season,” Odenkirk teases (could Saul be turning a little Pink-man?). “At some point, these two shows are going to be like The Godfather I and II, where you could just marry them up and it’ll be an amazing, powerful, massive epic. I wouldn’t be surprised if these writers take the story even past Breaking Bad.”
Better Call Saul Season 3 airs Mondays beginning April 10 at 10/9c on AMC