Our philosophy is don't go any faster than you absolutely have to

Last week saw the end of the line for Lalo Salamanca, as Gus Fring managed to get the better of him by taking out the lights in their confrontation. But before that could happen, Lalo gave Jimmy a murderous mission that he deferred to Kim: go to a building and shoot one of Fring's men.

Jimmy, then said Kim should be the person to deliver the hit. Those following at home were mightily shocked by this option. Was Jimmy being a coward? Did he think Lalo would kill whomever stayed back? We assume Jimmy and Kim will talk about this at least for a little bit this week.

Better Call Saul is also gaining three guest stars this half-season, who we haven't seen yet. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul will reprise their Breaking Bad roles of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Carol Burnett is also joining the series, as a new guest star character named Marion. Burnett is quoted in the press release announcement as saying "I'm thrilled to be a part of my favorite show."

Better Call Saul star Bob Odenkirk has confirmed that it was while filming next week's episode of the Breaking Bad spinoff that he had a heart attack.

Back in July 2021, Odenkirk suffered a heart attack after collapsing on set while filming the final season, before the actor later assured everyone on social media that he was on the mend and would return to set soon. But at one point the showrunners considered scrapping the season entirely.

"I feel very good. I'm in great shape," Odenkirk said. "I didn't go back to shoot for five weeks. I had a five-week break to recover. And then when I went back, we limited our shooting to 12-hour days. And so they took care of me and I was able to do it, and hopefully you can't tell when I had the heart attack and when I didn't.

"Next week is the scene where I have the heart attack. And probably about three-quarters of the scene was shot before I had the heart attack, the day of the heart attack, and then the other quarter scene was after."

He also revealed he feels strange watching the episode back, because he has no memory of the day it all happened.

"The strangest thing about it is that I really have no memory of that day," he said. "I'm really watching something that I don't have any memory of acting in, which is a rare thing. I mean, usually you watch some, and you have some recall of that even if it was shot months ago. But in this case, it's such a complete blank.

"It's very strange. I gotta tell you, it's a weird thing to have lost basically about a week and a half. Clean, just clean, clean nothing. That's a strange experience, anyway. Otherwise, I'm fine."

One idea was to make it a 30-minute sitcom. "It would have taken place in Saul's office and you'd basically have a bunch of crazy people come in," explains Gould. But it didn't feel right. Nothing felt right. And after a while they both came to "the very scary conclusion", says Gilligan, that Saul Goodman is not a guy to build a show around. "He's too happy-go-lucky," he adds, "too comfortable in his own skin", anathema to drama. Instead, they had to work backwards from Saul – who, as revealed in Breaking Bad, is really called Jimmy McGill. Who is Saul Goodman? Who did he used to be? Yet the most important question, the one that would unlock the entire show, came from Gould. "He went quiet for a while," recalls Gilligan. "Then he said, 'What problem does becoming Saul Goodman solve?'"

Better Call Saul has taken its time to explore that question. As of the sixth and final season, which was split into two parts and will conclude with a run of six episodes starting today, the answer is still taking shape. Hapless con man Jimmy has adopted the Saul Goodman persona in name, but has not quite yet sold his soul. "When we started this," says Gould, who originally created the character of Saul in 2009 while writing on Breaking Bad season two, "we thought he'd be Saul Goodman with the crazy office by the end of season one. But it was only when we started digging into this character that we realised he had a long journey to go before he was the kind of bastard that would advocate murder as a business expedience."

To adequately portray Jimmy's transformation, Gilligan and Gould decided to slow down the hyper-real world of Breaking Bad – with its planes falling out of the sky, its exploding wheelchairs, its meth Nazis – and concentrate instead on constructing a subtler and more considered character study. "Every show has its own internal clock," says Gilligan, "its own metronome" – and Better Call Saul burns at a pace unlike anything else on TV.

Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 9

Watch Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 9 Online

"It never seemed slow to us," says Gould, "But looking back, at the end of the pilot of Breaking Bad, Walt has apparently killed two people, and he's gone from being a high school chemistry teacher to someone who cooks meth." To compare, one episode of Better Call Saul features a scene in which Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), the grizzled enforcer of Breaking Bad, spends 10 mesmerising minutes taking apart his car.

"Coming off a hit show like Breaking Bad gave us the confidence to let the characters take their time," says Gould.

"Our philosophy is don't go any faster than you absolutely have to," adds Gilligan. "That way you don't rush past any potential drama, no matter how small it may initially seem."

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