‘Better Call Saul’: Showrunner Peter Gould Teases What Lies Ahead in a ‘Really Big’ Final Season

Following the “Better Call Saul” season 5 finale, showrunner and co-creator Peter Gould teased what is coming up in the final season in 2021…

There was always a time limit on “Better Call Saul” as the show moved closer and close to the timeline on “Breaking Bad.”

The season 5 finale came to a close with Jimmy still dealing with PTSD after he was nearly killed in the desert after agreeing to become a “friend of the cartel” while his wife Kim was literally breaking bad in front of his very eyes as she hatched a plot to bring down Howard Hamlin by any means necessary. Meanwhile down in Mexico, Gus Fring sent a hit squad to finish Lalo Salamanca but they missed the mark and he got away.

Now Lalo is headed back for vengeance after learning that Nacho Varga betrayed him.

All of this will lead into the final season of “Better Call Saul,” which is expected to go into production later this year with a 2021 debut date on AMC. Following the finale, co-creator and showrunner Peter Gould talked about the early ideas coming together for the final season, which will bring Saul Goodman full circle after first appearing on “Breaking Bad.”

“We just started working the last few weeks, and it is going to be a really big, big season,” Gould said when speaking to Variety. “There are some things going on in the writers’ room that I’m really excited about. I’m so proud of all the seasons of the show and Season 5 in particular, so we’re hoping for Season 6 not to be an anti-climax. Hanging over everything is the fact that I was so pleased with how “Breaking Bad” ended.
“People can’t help but start drawing comparisons between the two shows, and my fervent hope is that we’re able to stick the landing, the way Vince [Gilligan] led us to stick the landing on “Breaking Bad.” I am happy to say that I twisted Vince’s arm and I got him to return to the writers’ room for a good chunk of the season. It’s wonderful to have him there, so we can finish this show that we started together.”

One key component that has loomed large over “Better Call Saul” for the past five seasons is the fate of Kim Wexler, who has played a major role in Jimmy’s life yet she never appears in “Breaking Bad.” Judging by the events in season 5, many believed that Kim would either not make it out alive or possibly leave Jimmy after he took on the Mexican cartel as a client.

Instead, Kim seemed to double down in her loyalty to Jimmy and by the end of the season she was orchestrating a plot to bring down Howard Hamlin in order to score a seven-figure settlement so she could set up her own pro-bono law practice.

“After everything that’s happened, there’s one version where Kim says, “Enough is enough. I’ve had it with you, Jimmy McGill,” and goes off into the sunset,” Gould explained. “But that doesn’t seem to be the choice she’s making. Kim is not a simple person, she’s a complex individual, and she pulls the rug out from under Jimmy at the end of the season.
“What that is going to mean and what the follow up on that is, is something I guess we’re all going to have to wait and see. There’s no doubt in my mind that she is very attached to Jimmy, and that she loves scamming with him. And in fact, that seems to be their favorite couples’ activity — which could turn out to be a problem.”

As for Lalo Salamanca, he escaped the hit squad sent to kill him and he now knows that he’s been betrayed by just about everybody close to him. He had vengeance in his eyes as he walked away from his home in the “Better Call Saul” season 5 finale but it’s tough to say what will happen with him in the final season. We know during “Breaking Bad” when Walt and Jesse kidnap Saul and hold him at gunpoint, he assumes these are Lalo’s men coming to kill him so he doesn’t know if the Mexican drug lord is dead or not.

Lalo never appears on “Breaking Bad” but his shadow will still loom large during the final season of “Better Call Saul.”

“Lalo can only be fooled so many times. And then he’s caught on to a lot of what’s been going on,” Gould said. “He’s a guy who’s not so easy to kill, and he’s on his home turf. And it looks like the guys that Gus Fring hired weren’t quite up to the job. I also think there’s a certain amount of the devil’s luck involved for Lalo.
“I got to direct this one, and I had not really gotten to work with Tony as a director. He was so much fun and so great. Boy, that look he gives in the last moments of that episode sure makes me worry about what’s going to happen to the rest of our characters.”

That might be a hint about Nacho Varga’s future as another character who never appears in “Breaking Bad” and it almost seems impossible that he survives to the final episode.

“Nervous for Nacho” — that’s a good, that’s a good mug or a T-shirt,” Gould said about Michael Mando’s character.

Of course the biggest question surrounding the final season of “Better Call Saul” will be the possibility that the show will crossover with “Breaking Bad.”. There have been teases about Bryan Cranston or Aaron Paul returning for a cameo ever since the show first started but now time is running out for either Walter White or Jesse Pinkman to actually appear on the show.

“Right now, I don’t have the answer to that,” Gould said in a separate interview with Deadline. “I will say, El Camino took some of the pressure off that. I loved what Vince did with that movie, and I felt that the scene he had with Walt and Jesse felt like such a perfect good-bye to those characters or a postscript to those two characters. You know, we’ll just have to see if it ends up being part of our story.
“The thing that we kind of focus on is, what’s the story we’re telling? The story we’re telling is of Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler and Mike Ehrmantraut and Gustavo Fring, and if having Walt and Jesse turn out to be two that could be pivotal to the story then, absolutely, we would love to have them. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul are two of the busiest guys in show business — that’s the other imponderable, whether they would be able to do it or want to do it.”

More than anything, Gould just wants to finish “Better Call Saul” on a high note, especially after the “Breaking Bad” finale received rave reviews when that show ended back in 2013.

“My fervent hope is that we can stick to the landing the way Vince (Gilligan) led us to stick to the landing on Breaking Bad,” Gould said. “I think a really good story usually has its end, and that’s the thing that you remember. It’s like, we’ve put down our marker, we’ve planted our flag that season 6, when we get to shoot it, is the last season, and it’s going to be a big season, and it’s going to be more episodes than we usually do.
“It’s going to be 13. We’ve never done 13 episodes of Better Call Saul in a season, ever. It’s going to be a big and it’s going to be resolved.”

“Better Call Saul” season 5 is available to watch now with production on season 6 expected to start later this year. As of now there’s no expected but date for the final season on AMC but the show is likely to return in the second half of 2021.

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