Better Call Saul: Bob Odenkirk Says Final Ep "Not Cheap… Not Easy"

With AMC releasing the first mini-teaser for the series return, the spotlight on Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's Bob Odenkirk (aka Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman) & Rhea Seehorn (aka Kim Wexler)-starring Better Call Saul is stronger than it's ever been. And if we're being honest? We would much rather be obsessing over the series than worrying about Odenkirk's health, which was the shocking topic of conversation last summer when Odenkirk suffered a heart attack on the Albuquerque, N.M., set. "I'd known since 2018 that I had this plaque buildup in my heart," Odenkirk revealed in an interview with The New York Times. "I went to two heart doctors at Cedars-Sinai, and I had dye and an M.R.I. and all that stuff, and the doctors disagreed." Odenkirk chose to go with the doctor who advised he could wait on starting medication and everything was fine- until that day when "one of those pieces of plaque broke up" while working on the final season.

better call saul
Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler – Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

"We were shooting a scene, we'd been shooting all day, and luckily I didn't go back to my trailer," Odenkirk explained. "I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike [where he and his co-stars regularly spent downtime], and I just went down. Rhea [Seehorn] said I started turning bluish-gray right away." It would be Seehorn and co-star Patrick Fabian who would alert medics to the situation. As detailed in the interview, the AMC series' health safety supervisor Rosa Estrada & assistant director Angie Meyer arrived a few minutes later to administer CPR and hook him up to an automated defibrillator. The first two zaps couldn't get Odenkirk back to a regular pulse. "The third time, it got me that rhythm back," Odenkirk explained. From there, the actor was transported to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque, where at "around 5 a.m. the next morning they went through right [at my wrist area] and blew up the little balloons and knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places."

That brings us up to speed and back to the present, where we find Odenkirk offering some very interesting thoughts on what folks can expect from the final season ("a challenging way to go, to finish the series"). "It's not flashy. It's substantial, and on some level, it's things I hoped for, for years, in this character's brain," Odenkirk explained of the final episode. "On the other hand, yeah, I have to read it again. But what I like about it is, it's not cheap. It's not easy. It doesn't feel cartoonish. It's pretty great, I think. It's pretty great. I would wanna end with this kind of character-development focus. That's what it's about, instead of something that just has guns in it. I guess there's a few guns, but they're not like in other episodes."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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