There's nothing like earning his fourth Golden Globe nomination for his turn as Jimmy McGill aka Saul Goodman in Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould's Better Call Saul to get Bob Odenkirk to open about production on the sixth and final season of AMC's "Breaking Bad" prequel series. And that's exactly what happened on Wednesday morning, with Odenkirk giving Deadline Hollywood the heads-up that filming is set to start in March. And when you read the line, "though initially slated to premiere sometime this year," you can't help but think that we might be looking at a 2022 return. But when it does return, don't be looking for Saul to making side-deals on COVID masks. The actor says he prefers "the idea that Jimmy won't be living in a pandemic world" and not deal with the extra pressures of the pandemic. As for what to expect, Odenkirk says that the final season will offer viewers a payoff to what the series has been building towards- and it won't be a quiet build by any stretch of the imagination. "I can't wait for the fireworks, really," Odenkirk said regarding the final season. "Our show is a bit of a slow burn over the past few years and [Gilligan and Gould] build up. There's certainly exciting moments throughout, but towards the end it gets super supremely intense."
During an interview with The A.V. Club in September, Gould was asked what the biggest surprise or change he feels the Breaking Bad spinoff has gone through over its previous five seasons. "I don't think we expected it to be nearly as dramatic as it is. I think in the back of our minds, we always felt that Saul Goodman is a funny, lighthearted character who's kind of at peace with himself, and the show has turned out to be much more emotional, more passionate—and actually, maybe the biggest surprise of all, more romantic—than we would have ever expected," Gould explained. "And Jimmy, played by Bob, most of all had depth that I just, I don't think we ever suspected this character would have. And likewise Chuck, well-played by Michael McKean for three seasons, also turned out to be much more complex than we thought. Also, we thought we were making the story of Jimmy McGill and Mike Ehrmantraut. Turns out yes, it's their story, but it's also Gustavo Fring's story. And maybe most surprising of all, Kim Wexler's story. So those things all surprised us."
Even though it was known from the start that the series would have to do a narrative hand-off to Breaking Bad, Gould realizes as work moves forward on the sixth season that Better Call Saul will be more ingrained with the original series than even he realized. "And as we're working on season six—I don't wanna say too much—but the show has more of a relationship with Breaking Bad than I would have expected when we started," Gould revealed.
For Gould, it was always important that Better Call Saul maintain its own independence and not just be seen as Breaking Bad 2. "It was very important to me personally, and I think to all of us, that it's all its own thing. It's independent of Breaking Bad. As much as we obviously wouldn't be making the show without Breaking Bad. Nobody would have watched a show about a crooked lawyer who hadn't previously appeared. And the fact that it's a spinoff has given us tremendous creative freedom in a lot of ways. But I think we were trying to keep the two as separate as we could, or at least I was. And what I'm finding is, as we go through the work that we're doing on this show, I think it's going to change the way people look at Breaking Bad. I know it's changed the way I look at the story of Breaking Bad."
Gould was also asked which character(s) he most connects with and feels invested in, and to be honest? His answer just added to our fears about Kim and Jimmy's future together and has us itching to know what happens to Kim post-Better Call Saul. "It goes back and forth between Jimmy and Kim. I'm so worried about both of them, about their fates—not just their physical fates, but their emotional fates," said Gould. "And I'm worried about this relationship that they have, which has been getting deeper and deeper. I think that's where the heart of it is."