A few months ago, I wrote that my ideal scenario for Better Call Saul would see it run for three more seasons. One would explore Jimmy McGill’s life after the death of Chuck; one season would revisit the Breaking Bad years and show it from the perspective of Jimmy; and the final season would follow Jimmy as Gene, after the events of Breaking Bad and, ideally, see him reunite with Kim Wexler.
The degree of difficulty would be high — and fitting it around Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul’s schedule would be difficult — but I think it’s imperative to tell Jimmy’s side of the story on Breaking Bad because we need to understand his point of view. We love Jimmy McGill in Breaking Bad, and I think it’s very possible that Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould might be able to explain Jimmy McGill’s motivations in the Breaking Bad years in a way that would allow us to continue to sympathize with the character in spite of the many immoral choices he makes.
That possibility is apparently on the table, according to Bob Odenkirk, who told The Hollywood Reporter that the opportunity to revisit the Breaking Bad years from McGill’s perspective definitely exists:
He’s already become so much more dimensional, and while there’s going to be, I think, aspects hidden away as he chooses to present himself as Saul to the world and to try to steal and take from the world as much as he can, [showrunners] Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan and the writing is going to get me there into that place. I wouldn’t be surprised if they show us a few more dimensions of Saul himself. In Breaking Bad, we only saw Saul at work, which makes sense because he was working for Walter and that was his value and purpose in the story of Breaking Bad. But if we’re going to get to know him as well as we have in Saul, perhaps some of those sequences in Breaking Bad, we might get to see behind Saul’s story a little more. His side of the story that might make him a different character in the course of seeing that — [a side] even I haven’t seen yet.
I would not be surprised to learn that Kim is still behind Saul’s motivations during the Breaking Bad years. As Odenkirk joked on the Better Call Saul Insider podcast, maybe Kim and Jimmy are married during events of Breaking Bad “and she’s up in Santa Fe. Maybe they have two wonderful kids. Dad goes to Albuquerque and is a sleaze ball and Mom goes to Santa Fe and runs one of top law offices in the state.” Maybe Jimmy just got himself in too deep and couldn’t dig his way out, and now as Gene, Jimmy is just trying to find his way back to Kim and the kids.
However, we shouldn’t expect Gene to continue to bottle up his inner Jimmy forever, as Odenkirk explained to THR:
Gene is completely shut down. He is hiding his name and his identity, but he’s also hiding his personality and that’s what’s killing him. That’s what’s suffocating him. He can’t let go of the Saul Goodman side of him, the side that likes to be talkative and active — and he has to swallow all of that and that’s why he faints I believe in that scene in season three. He’s just not breathing. He’s completely submerged and some part of him can’t take it anymore. We’ll see what happens. But I don’t think he can live that way entirely.
I am confident that Gene is going to break out of his shell, and that someday, he’s going to own his own Cinnabon franchise. Maybe the ghost of Chuck will finally be proud of him.
The fourth season of Better Call Saul will return with 10 more episodes sometime in 2018.