Welcome back to our weekly breakdown of the minutia of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s Better Call Saul. While Brian Grubb provides his always excellent coverage of the series (here’s his write-up of the most recent episode), here we will look at some of the details viewers may have missed, callbacks to Breaking Bad, references to other shows or movies, and theories on the direction the series is heading. We scour Reddit threads, Twitter, listen each week to the phenomenal Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, and attempt to curate the best intel about each episode.
In this week’s episode, Jimmy goes full Saul Goodman.
1. This week’s episode of Better Call Saul, “Winner,” was the longest episode of Saul to date. In fact, it was the longest episode of either Saul or Breaking Bad, and they struggled to get in under one hour (it’s six seconds under an hour, without commercials). In fact, it took an entire weekend to remove two minutes from the runtime, which might have included pulling a few frames here and there. There are a few things left on the cutting room floor, including an extended karaoke sequence with Michael McKean that may ultimately make it onto the Blu-Ray. I believe there may have also been a scene with Nacho that got cut. Funny thing is: As long as the episode was, the pace was so brisk, and the story so absorbing, that it didn’t feel any longer than a typical episode.
2. When they thought to bring Michael McKean back, they figured they might be able to convince him to come back with a song, because McKean loves to sing. They also thought it was fun to have a guy in McKean known for singing (he was the lead singer in Spinal Tap) with Bob Odenkirk, who is known for his comedically bad singing from his improv days (reminder, Odenkirk’s bad singing was on full display when he sang during the 7th inning stretch of a Cubs game). Speaking of Odenkirk, this has nothing to do with Saul, but I found it amusing that he got drunk for the first time in 30 years in order to do his Drunk History episode.