Why ‘Better Call Saul’ finale left Bob Odenkirk ‘shattered’

Bob Odenkirk.

(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Occasions)

The next story accommodates main spoilers for the collection finale of “Better Call Saul.”

Bob Odenkirk has all the time been keenly conscious that “Better Call Saul,” the prequel to “Breaking Bad” through which he performs shady attorney-in-the-making Saul Goodman, would finish when it merged with that landmark drama.

The day arrived Monday with the collection finale, titled “Saul Gone.” Odenkirk is wrestling together with his feelings because the curtain descends on the character he has performed for six seasons because the lead of “Better Call Saul” and a further 4 as a recurring participant on “Breaking Bad.”

“I’m a little shattered about it,” he stated, a hint of melancholy creeping into his voice as he regarded down at a desk. “It’s going to be hard. I’ve been asked many times over the last month what it’s like with the show ending. It’s not something I’ve really thought about because I’m protecting myself emotionally. Compartmentalization is a real mechanism. The truth is, I’m trying to let myself feel it. And it’s going to hit me.”

However when requested how he feels in regards to the remaining episode, which was written and directed by co-creator and showrunner Peter Gould, his face brightened.

“I love the finale and where it goes,” Odenkirk stated. “You see a guy who thinks he’s running toward something, but he’s actually been running away. And he’s going to stop running.”

The fugitive lawyer, who has been hiding with a brand new identification as Cinnabon supervisor Gene Takavic, ends up behind bars, however he finds redemption in his punishment for a number of crimes, together with accent to homicide and cash laundering. And he has a short however poignant reconciliation together with his ex-wife — and occasional partner-in-crime — Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn). Amongst its many shifts in tone, together with explosions of brutal violence, “Better Call Saul” is at its core a tragic love story.

Stated Odenkirk: “People who are dialed into the show like I am will feel the same way I did when I first read it. There’s a degree of self-awareness this character gains that I always knew he was capable of. It was almost frustrating for me that he hadn’t shown it. But in the final episode, he surrenders to the self-awareness he’s always had. It’s pretty cool and very satisfying to me.”

A lot of “Better Call Saul” depicted occasions that happened earlier than the motion of “Breaking Bad, which ended its five-season run in 2013. That drama followed Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a meek high-school chemistry teacher stricken with cancer, as he gradually morphed into a ruthless drug kingpin known as Heisenberg.

“Better Call Saul” had a parallel idea, depicting how mild-mannered lawyer and semi-reformed con artist Jimmy McGill developed into the crooked Saul Goodman who entered right into a harmful alliance with Heisenberg within the unique collection.

Among the many highlights of “Saul’s” remaining episode have been scenes that includes White; McGill’s extra completed however troubled lawyer brother, Chuck (Michael McKean); and Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt), the widow of slain DEA agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris).

One of many most important set items within the finale is a courtroom scene through which Goodman, who has cannily negotiated a plea deal that can tremendously scale back his jail sentence, switches gears and confesses to all his crimes — and the motivations behind them — as Wexler and Schrader look on.

“The courtroom scene was hard,” Odenkirk stated. “We did it over the course of three days. And then I asked to re-shoot it even after we got it. It’s a huge scene. It’s the biggest journey the character makes in the whole series.”

A black-and-white image of a man in winter hat, glasses and moustache.

Bob Odenkirk as Gene Takovic within the collection finale of “Better Call Saul.”

(Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Footage Tv)

He additionally pointed to his remaining two scenes with Seehorn: one the place they’re sharing a cigarette collectively in a holding cell, and one other the place they take one final take a look at one another as she exits the jail.

Stated Odenkirk: “The scene in the holding room was a big deal for us, and it felt incredibly organic and natural, the feelings of acceptance and love at a level they’ve never shared before. Rhea and I have always felt these characters were very emotionally intelligent. They were bigger people than they had shown themselves to be, and that scene grants them that intelligence as well as the bravery to do that — to own their shortcomings.”

Followers are prone to really feel as emotional as Odenkirk in regards to the ending, which the actor identified is markedly completely different from that of “Breaking Bad,” which concluded with a hail of gunfire and a excessive physique depend: “The ending of ‘Breaking Bad’ was utterly perfect. But this was more psychological and quieter and slower. It’s deeply about character.”

Odenkirk’s filming the ultimate season was unexpectedly halted in July 2021 when he collapsed on the collection’ New Mexico set after struggling a coronary heart assault. He returned to work in September after a hospital keep and restoration at dwelling.

That ordeal modified his perspective on the expertise of taking part in his less-than-reputable persona on “Better Call Saul.”

“The most surprising thing about this journey is the love I felt from the public,” Odenkirk stated. “I play a character, who, while he reveals earnest sides of himself and can be very likable, most of the time he’s doing unethical, unjustified stuff. He’s not a great guy in a lot of the actions he takes. He’s vindictive, resentful and careless a lot of times. The fact that I had a heart attack and people responded with love and concern, after knowing me through this character? I’m still flabbergasted.”

The collection finale concluded a two-part season that after once more captured the qualities which have elevated “Better Call Saul” to the elite ranks of tv dramas, with many followers and critics saying it’s simply nearly as good as, if not higher than, “Breaking Bad.”

Taking up the lead position was life-changing for Odenkirk, who was beforehand recognized for his success within the comedy world — he’s a former “Saturday Night Live” author and co-creator with David Cross of the “Mr. Show” sketch comedy collection.

A lawyer in a pink suit sits at a wooden desk holding paperwork. An image of the Constitution fills the wall behind him.

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman in “Better Call Saul.”

(Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Footage Tv)

He known as the expertise “a scary adventure” whereas sipping a drink at a boutique West Hollywood resort a number of days earlier than the published of the finale.

“You know how lucky I was to get this role,” stated Odenkirk. “I didn’t audition for Saul for ‘Breaking Bad.’ I didn’t expect to do more than three episodes. Then I had a great time doing more. He was a joker and fun to play. There was this chatter about him having his own series, but I didn’t put any stock in that. I didn’t hope for that. Then we went out and made the show.”

The actor-writer grew more and more anxious because the undertaking gained momentum.

Stated Odenkirk: “I got scared on a deep, existential level when I started to play this guy, and he got deeper and deeper. I worried about being a public figure, because I know that everyone who loved ‘Breaking Bad’ — which is everyone — was going to watch this, or at least sample it. There was this great show that people were going to judge me against. That was really hard. I don’t think I shared that with people, how much that took out of me.”

Taking part in McGill, whose eager-to-please method and good intentions have been usually derailed by a versatile ethical compass, was significantly tough.

“He’s a guy who is showing the audience his need, his hunger for love and respect from his brother Chuck. His heart is open to Chuck, and Chuck crushes him. So that makes me, as a beginning actor, really have to dig up a lot of stuff and feel a lot of feelings from my own life in a visceral way that left me feeling pretty shagged out and ragged.”

Digging deep wound up revealing Odenkirk’s prowess as a dramatic actor, stunning many who had recognized him just for his comedic work.

“One of the things I learned in playing this role is that acting can be hard,” he stated. “You have to play with some heavy emotions in yourself. But it’s the most rewarding on the days you really have to show yourself. Those are the days when you go home and think, ‘Boy, I did something unique today, and that was a journey inside myself.’ The hardest days are the best days.”

Gould and Vince Gilligan, the forces behind “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul,” have indicated that they don’t have any plans to develop one other collection contained in the “Breaking Bad” universe, which additionally consists of the Netflix movie “El Camino,” targeted on Aaron Paul’s Jesse Pinkman. However Odenkirk stated he sees a chance for one more collection, this one targeted on Wexler.

“The mystery of Jimmy and who Saul is is answered very well in the first three seasons, but the real mystery is, ‘Who’s Kim?’ I still don’t know. She’s a person with a stronger sense of herself and a stronger mettle than Jimmy. She has a greater desire to be good, but there’s something wrong with her. We don’t know what that is.”

For his half, Odenkirk is shifting on. He’ll quickly begin filming his new collection, AMC’s “Straight Man,” based mostly on the novel by Richard Russo, through which he performs William Henry Devereaux, the unlikely chairman of the English division at Railton School within the Pennsylvania Rust Belt.

He’s already bracing himself.

Stated Odenkirk: “The craziest thing is, all of these feelings I’m going through now — saying goodbye to this great thing — are going to be really helpful in this next role. I will go through feeling abandoned and going away. So it’s lucky I have that to do, although I’m going to become more shattered and emotional in the next four weeks.”