In this week’s third episode of Better Call Saul‘s second season, “Amarillo,” we discovered where Saul Goodman got his taste for television commercials and learned more about his fondness for showmanship. It also, unfortunately, pushed forward Saul‘s potential Skyler White problem, though I hope the writers find a way to keep us on Kim’s side.
It was a great episode for Breaking Bad callbacks and Easter eggs, however. The following details were gleaned largely from rewatching “Amarillo” several times and listening to Kelley Dixon’s excellent Better Call Saul Insider podcast with Gilligan and Gould.
The Texas Waltz
Three things about that opening teaser, from the Insider podcast: First of all, the production crew actually painted that Texas mural on the side of a building in Albuquerque to give the impression Jimmy was in Texas. They even managed to age down the newly painted mural to make it appear as though it had been there a long time. It took five days to paint. The owners of the building liked the mural so much that they ended up keeping it on the wall.
Second, it was so hot that day that air conditioning had to be pumped into that bus so the senior citizens wouldn’t melt. They were professional and understanding. However, during Jimmy’s big speech, the phone of one of the old men on the bus began ringing, and while some actors might have gotten irritated, Bob Odenkirk was kind and funny, joking with the senior citizen by asking if he could wait and take the call after he finished his big speech.
Three, the episode’s writer, Jonathan Glatzer (in his first stab at writing for the series), specifically suggested that Jimmy refer to his grandparents and “Nana” and “Bobo.” Exec producer Thomas Schnauz bet him that Gilligan and Gould wouldn’t let that in. Schnauz lost the bet.