Famously, Breaking Bad was about the transformation of a mild-mannered high-school teacher named Walter White into his alter-ego, a murderous meth kingpin known as Heisenberg. It was also on Breaking Bad where we met Jimmy McGill, who had already begun to inhabit his alter-ego, Saul Goodman. Better Call Saul, in fact, is essentially a show that reverse-engineers the transformation of Jimmy, a low-level grifter, into a sleazy defense lawyer for powerful criminal figures.
But Walter White and Jimmy McGill aren’t the only characters who have gone through drastic character transformations. Back when Saul began, Rhea Seehorn’s Kim Wexler was an entry-level attorney with a too-tight ponytail and a boyfriend she often disapproved of. By the time the fifth season came to an end, however, Kim Wexler had decided to sabotage the livelihood of her former boss, Howard Hamlin, in order to enrich herself (so that she can pursue her career in pro bono work). By the end of the episode, Kim was pointing finger guns at people and embarking on a scheme that will likely explain where Kim Wexler is during the Breaking Bad timeline. Dead? In prison? On the run? Or running her own pro bono firm using the proceeds from the Sandpiper deal?
“Do you see a very dark side of her there? Yes, you do,” Seehorn explained to Deadline after a recent virtual screening for the fifth season finale. “He brought Saul Goodman into our relationship; she’s bringing in this other person,” Seehorn says. “There’s this seething, self-righteous martyrdom going on.”
She may not get an official name for her alter ego, but it’s clear that another version of Kim Wexler is about to enter the fray, and like the audience, Saul Goodman is “mystified” by her transformation, Bob Odenkirk added.
Will the final season see the official return of Giselle Saint Claire, the alter-ego of Kim Wexler introduced back in the second season? We probably won’t find out until late in 2021, at the earliest, although there will at least be more episodes this season to keep us glued to our screens.
Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould also told Deadline that they’re nearly finished writing the season (last we heard, they had written about half), and they hope to “begin shooting early next year,” although when the show airs will be up to “the fates and to Sony.”
“We are in a zoom room every day. We got to meet for two weeks at the beginning,” Gould explains. “For the season — it’s like trying to dance in quicksand. It’s a handicap in my book to be working remotely, but I love what we came up with.” I’m sure that audiences will love what he came up with, too.