Bob Odenkirk Promises a Pay-Off for ‘Better Call Saul’s’ Gene: ‘I Think He’s Cracking Up’

Actor says his post-“Breaking Bad” character has an “inability to stay undercover”

Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

“Better Call Saul” has a plan for Gene Takovic, and it will likely factor into the “Breaking Bad” prequel’s ending, series lead Bob Odenkirk says.

“I think they intend to take that character somewhere and land it,” Odenkirk told TheWrap.

Each season of “Better Call Saul” begins with a brief, black-and-white vignette following Saul Goodman after the events of “Breaking Bad,” which sees him struggling to live an uneventful life as the manager of an Omaha-area Cinnabon. “It would be something that they would want to resonate through Gene’s life as he comes to terms with his inability to stay undercover.”

At the beginning of Season 4, “Better Call Saul” left Gene heading home from the hospital after collapsing at work due to a panic attack. He further panicked because the hospital asked for his personal information, a typically mundane question but fairly difficult for someone who is hiding from the police under an alias. Odenkirk said that Gene is starting to unravel over since he has to remain incognito.

“I don’t think he can stand it. I think he’s cracking up,” he said.

Though Odenkirk admits he doesn’t know the plan for Gene just yet, he believes it will touch on all three forms — Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene Takovic — of the same character he’s played since the second season of “Breaking Bad.” “It would be a combo aggregation and journey of all of these [characters],” Odenkirk said.

As “Better Call Saul” inches closer to the “Breaking Bad” timeline (Odenkirk figures it’s between a year and a half to two years away), there is still one last obstacle to clear before Jimmy McGill fully inhabits his new Saul Goodman moniker: Rhea Seahorn’s Kim Wexler.

“When Kim goes away that’s probably a kind of a bigger and deeper schism to tie him, where he cannot be Jimmy anymore,” Odenkirk said, adding that he doesn’t know how that will happen. “It will be interesting to see, I don’t know how we get there.”

When TheWrap spoke with Gould after the Season 4 finale, he said that they were “closer to the end” of the series. David Madden, AMC Network’s entertainment president, agreed, though, he assured that the upcoming fifth season would definitely not be the final one.

“Safe to say Season 5 will not be the end. How much longer it goes past Season 5? It’s in Peter and Vince’s hands,” Madden said, adding that he will wait until the two come back for Season 6 to map out the end of the series. “I think only then they will know how much longer it has past Season 6.”