Better Call Saul’s series one finale saw Bob Odenkirk’s lawyer Jimmy McGill driving off in his car, vowing to turn his back on morality, and in the process seemingly putting him on the path to becoming immoral alter-ego Saul Goodman as seen in Breaking Bad.
But the first episode of season two quickly back-pedals on this idea, with Jimmy deciding (after some exhortation from his friend Kim, played by Rhea Seehorn) to instead take a job at prestigious law firm Davis and Main.
“It was a surprise,” lead actor Odenkirk says now. “It conflicts a little bit. But, in season one Jimmy is really trying to win the respect and appreciation of his brother, and then that goes terribly wrong. In season two the only person he is connected to in an aspirational way is Kim.
“In Kim’s world view, Davis and Main and [fellow law firm] HHM is the world she’s living. So if he wants to stay connected to her and make her proud, make her like him, he should try to be in that world.”
The move will be a surprise to many fans as well – but as co-creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould recently told RadioTimes.com and other journalists, they simply changed their minds about where the series was going.
Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) talks to Kim (Rhea Seehorn)
“We started this season assuming he was gonna instantly become Saul Goodman, but then we’re saying to ourselves, ‘Aint that too quick?’” Gilligan says. “Once he’s Saul Goodman, what more story is there to tell, as we’ve seen him be Saul Goodman [in Breaking Bad]?
“I thought he was gonna wind up getting a lot further down that path to rascallity that he wanted to be, so then we doubled back and had him go to Davis and Main,” he says.
Gloud adds, “We’d thought, the first thing he does is he pulls over and buys the Cadillac [as driven by Odenkirk in Breaking Bad].
“But we realised that’s not our guy. That’s maybe the Saul Goodman we are anticipating in the future, but that’s not James McGill. That’s not the guy who just got his heartbroken because his friend died. That’s not the guy who cares so much about his brother even though his brother’s broken his heart.
“We realised maybe the character had more emotional depth I think than we even anticipated.”
In other words, we shouldn’t be expecting a call from Saul any time soon – for now, it’s Jimmy time.
Better Call Saul episode 1 is streaming on Netflix now