‘Better Call Saul’ Character Deaths: Why Vince Gilligan Doesn’t Get Emotional

Better Call Saul Season 6 featured the deaths of many beloved, and feared characters. The Better Call Saul series finale could have meant even more, although at the time this interview was done the finale had not aired yet. Nevertheless, whichever Better Call Saul character deaths occurred in the series finale or earlier didn’t bother co-creator Vince Gilligan much. 

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Better Call Saul Season 6.] 

'Better Call Saul': Vince Gilligan puts his arm around Rhea Seehorn and Alvin Cowan
L-R: Alvin Cowan, Rhea Seehorn, and Vince Gilligan | Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Gilligan and Peter Gould were on a Television Critics Association panel on Aug. 10. Even with the characters Better Call Saul killed off already, they had a pragmatic reaction to the needs of the story. 

Vince Gilligan doesn’t have to say goodbye to anyone 

Better Call Saul Season 6 said goodbye to Nacho Varga (Michael Mando), Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) and Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton). As tough as those deaths may have been on the show, Gilligan gets to keep in touch with the actors. 

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“It helps that we know they’re not really dead,” Gilligan said. “I’m kinda being goofy and I’m kinda not. When you’re looking at it from the other end of the telescope, so to speak, we’re looking at it through the wrong end of the telescope because we were there making it.”

Gould agreed. 

“No, I think it’s a great answer because, you know, Michael Mando is still with us,” Gould said.

Vince Gilligan loves when people have big reactions to ‘Better Call Saul’ character deaths

As a co-creator of Better Call Saul, Gilligan has lots of time to prepare for a character death. Still, when the episodes go out over the air, he’s gratified when those character deaths make a big impact. 

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“It just makes me so happy when people have a reaction like you do, like feeling gutted,” Gilligan said. “The good news is we’re still in touch with one another. We’re still friends with one another, get together as often as we can, and I just don’t think of it that way. I think of it as I just I’m so delighted when people get emotional about it. I tend not to. Maybe that’s a bad answer, but that’s the [answer].

The ‘Better Call Saul’ series finale means no one is coming back 

Gould acknowledged that closing the door on the Better Call Saul series finale gave the deaths a bit more finality than they had before. There will be no more flashbacks for anyone. 

“The thing that’s been great up to now is that even the characters who die on the show can come back,” Gould said. “And that’s always a thrill when we have an actor who’s left and comes back. That’s a great trapdoor for me when I say goodbye to folks but that trapdoor is now closed because we’re coming up on the last episode. So all I can say is I hope we get to work together. I want to work with everybody who worked on the show again, and I really hope it happens.”

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