Did ‘Better Call Saul’ impact ‘Breaking Bad’ finale plans? Vince Gilligan explains

Better Call Saul season 1For most of the time following the end of “Breaking Bad,” Vince Gilligan did what many good showrunners would: He didn’t say anything. You want to give viewers time to come up with their own interpretation of how the show would end; heck, we feel like most of the “Dexter” creative team is still in hiding over the reaction to that one.

Gilligan luckily crafted an ending that was by and large stellar. The majority of viewers embraced it, and it goes down as one of the finest endings of a long-running drama to date. It’s with all this in mind that the idea of a spin-off playing a part in how the story ended comes to us as a surprise.

Granted, Gilligan tells Entertainment Weekly that he did not solely craft the ending for Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad” with this new series in mind; however, he also admits that keeping the character alive for potential “Better Call Saul” possibilities (and really not giving him a role at all in the last episode) were small factors in why he went in the direction he did:

“If I’m being really honest, I have to admit that it probably was a factor. I don’t think it was a defining factor. And, as I say, if we had come up with an ending that included Saul’s death and it was an idea that all of us looked to each other and we had chills running down our spines and we all said, ‘Oh my god, that could be so completely awesome!’ then we would have gone ahead and done it. I guarantee you that. But having said that, since a) there was no really wonderful reason to kill him off and since admittedly b) he did have a spin-off series in the offing, we figured, ‘Why bother?’ But I would also offer the thought that the character of Mike, played by the wonderful Jonathan Banks, is going to be a series regular on Better Call Saul. And we’re not letting the fact that at a certain future date, fictionally speaking, his character will have ceased to exist. At a certain point everybody dies, so what the hell?”

While “Better Call Saul” may at its core be a prequel, we’re still not ruling out the possibility that the show decides to have the occasional flash-forward. This is not confirmed, and is more of a crazy fan dream that we have since we want to see how Saul functions with a new identity.

We’ll hopefully find out more related to the show when we get closer to “Better Call Saul” premiering later this year.

Photo: AMC

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