Spoiler alert: Please do not read if you haven’t yet watched Monday night’s finale.
James McGill went from a more-or-less good guy to a dude with bad intentions by the end of “Better Call Saul’s” first season — sound familiar, fans of Vince Gilligan‘s New Mexican AMC universe?
“Without a doubt, he … broke bad,” co-creator Peter Gould told TheWrap in an interview on Monday. “Jimmy McGill … reverted to his old life as Slippin’ Jimmy.”
The Bob Odenkirk character’s brother Chuck (Michael McKean) backstabbing the protagonist was the catalyst that “really changed
That said, the future of Saul Goodman is still being written — or at least the up-for-grabs one that exists between now and “Breaking Bad.”
“We are just trying to figure out our story for Season 2,” Gould said. “We’re very excited about the ideas we have.”
Season 1 of “Better Call Saul” was set in 2002, so about six years before McGill (as Goodman) pops up on “Breaking Bad.” The hit Bryan Cranston-series ran six seasons, but took place over just two Albuquerque TV years — which leaves plenty of room for many seasons of the prequel.
That timing for the currently running show wasn’t chosen solely for its fun flip phone era — Gould and Gilligan had one question to set up their calendar: “How long would it take this guy to become Saul Goodman as we know him?”
Apparently, that answer was the aforementioned half-dozen years.
The very nature of a prequel allows for Easter egg moments, like when a young, scheming McGill casually used the name “Saul Goodman” as an alias, quickly copping on-screen to the motivation behind the joke name. The real-life explanation behind the faux name had never come up publicly before, but Gould and Gilligan had it in their back pockets the whole time.
“I remember on ‘Breaking Bad,’ Vince walked in and he thought about having this character named ‘Saul Good,’ like ‘It’s-all good,'” and that evolved into ‘S’aul Good-Man,'” Gould recalled.
The writer/director said he was surprised that viewers didn’t catch on to the moniker before the recent revelation, but was happy to have it at his disposal.
If Jimmy started out as the good guy in “Better Call Saul,” just as Walter White was the hero in “Breaking Bad’s” early days (which Gould reminded us is truly a decision in the eyes of the viewer), mutual enemy Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) has undoubtedly played the villain for both.
While a fun (if not terrifying) surprise for “Breaking Bad” fans when Tuco popped up early on “Saul,” don’t expect to see a ton more of him. At least not for a while.
“Tuco is a very, very powerful character,” Gould said. “But when you think about it, he is a powder keg. And Jimmy, for the foreseeable future would probably run the other way rather than having to deal with that guy.”
His fellow-criminal cousin, however, is a totally different story.
“The intention was to introduce a character that — he is a tough guy, he is in that drug world — but he’s a little bit more thoughtful,” Gould said of Season 1’s Nacho Varga (Michael Mando) storyline. “He’s the bad guy you can talk to.”
So, who else might show up on the forthcoming sophomore season? Naturally, TheWrap had to ask if there has been any movement on getting Aaron Paul and/or Bryan Cranston to reprise their respective roles. Unfortunately for fans, the answer is still an unsatisfying “maybe.”
“I’ll be honest, we don’t know,” Gould admitted. “We certainly would love to find a way to bring them into the story, but it depends more on whether it makes sense for the story.”
“And also … Aaron and Bryan are very, very popular, brilliant performers,” he added. “Working it out schedule-wise is also an issue.”
“We would love to have them on,” he concluded.