‘Better Call Saul’ Showrunner Peter Gould Reveals the 1 Most Surprising Thing About the Show
Before Better Call Saul premiered in 2015, no one was sure exactly what it would be.
Would the show try to mimic the massive success of its predecessor, Breaking Bad, or would it forge its own path? Even the showrunner Peter Gould wasn’t sure what was going to happen while telling Saul Goodman’s backstory. He certainly never expected the series would potentially surpass the original.
Gould recently sat down for an interview to explain how much the show has surprised him and why.
Peter Gould can’t believe how tragic Jimmy McGill’s story turned out
When Breaking Bad showrunner Vince Gilligan and Gould were hashing out the plan for Better Call Saul, they almost made it into a comedy. Saul Goodman was created as a joke character and during most of Breaking Bad, he didn’t seem to have much depth beyond being a morally compromised criminal lawyer. But Better Call Saul proved he was more than that.
“If you were to put a gun to my head about what surprised me most, it would be how tragic [the series] feels” Gould said about Saul’s backstory.
“The thing that surprised me is how deep Jimmy McGill turned out to be. Saul Goodman, when we saw him on Breaking Bad, didn’t seem to have a lot of different levels. The longer we work on the show the more we’ve found. A lot of that has to do with Bob Odenkirk’s amazing performance.”
Jimmy McGill still hasn’t fully transformed into Saul Goodman
As we’ve seen over the course of the series, Jimmy McGill becoming Saul Goodman isn’t a moment — it’s a process.
There is a pivotal scene at the conclusion of season 4 when Jimmy gets his law license restored and immediately goes to file a name change form to become Saul Goodman. But even after doing business under his new name, the Saul we see in the most recent seasons is a far cry from the smarmy con man in Breaking Bad.
Fans assume a major event will force the transition sometime during the final season.
Peter Gould assumed Jimmy would be more like Saul by now
Even Gould didn’t expect the transition to take this long. “We all thought he’d be Saul Goodman complete by the end of the first season,” the showrunner told Goldderby.
“During the first season we realized that is the story of the show: How this guy that has so much heart and humanity becomes somebody who has the inner coldness that Saul does. The more we got to know Jimmy the better we liked him and the harder stretch it seemed that he would ever become Saul Goodman.”
But because it was a prequel, the story always had a very specific destination. Changing who Jimmy became wasn’t an option.
“It was this season  that the fog cleared about how this happens. It saddened me a lot, but it’s an exciting and tough journey,” Gould continued.
Fans are looking forward to seeing the last chapter of Jimmy/Saul’s journey when the final season 6 of Better Call Saul premieres sometime in 2021.