‘Better Call Saul’: Latest progress report on ‘Breaking Bad’ spin-off from Peter Gould

Big news -What is probably being somewhat lost in last night’s excellent “Breaking Bad” episode “Granite State” is the potential bookend of a character that has become a classic one in the mythology of the show: Saul Goodman. He was around at the beginning of the episode, only to be ultimately shuttled off to Nebraska to create a new life for himself.

What makes this particularly interesting is that if the spin-off series “Better Call Saul” is indeed a prequel, as has been reported, this means we know the full extent of Saul’s journey through the Walter White years. We know that he doesn’t die, and he eventually finds a way to escape his predicament and, in the words of Bob Odenkirk’s character, is probably going to go help run a chain restaurant somewhere. It’s really the only course of action unless you want to risk being recognized, which is hard to do when you have billboards all over town. (We still are skeptical that Saul will be able to live without recognition, though this is probably the only way he could be transported without being detected.)

So now that we have this all out of the way, is there anything new that can be said on the story? Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Peter Gould, the writer / director of “Granite State” who will serve as the “Better Call Saul” showrunner, said the following about the creative process that could come with the show if it does make it to series successfully:

“Everything is still up for grabs. We have a lot of ideas. I’m really excited about working with Bob and with Vince Gilligan again. I love the character. There’s so much more to say about Saul Goodman. But it’s not a done deal. We still have a lot of work ahead of us to figure it out.”

Really, the major concern that we have about it being a prequel is simple: How far back do you go to where you can make Bob Odenkirk look like the right age still to play Saul, but is still far back enough that you have a story left to tell? You wouldn’t want to give yourself a story that is only eight episodes long, after all, but “Breaking Bad” has shown that you can spend multiple seasons talking about a story that lasts only a reasonably short amount of time.

There is still so much worth talking about here with “Breaking Bad,” but click here for now if you want to take a quick look at “Felina,” the epic series finale to air on Sunday night.

Photo: AMC

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