‘Better Call Saul’: Bob Odenkirk on Jimmy’s Scheme With Kim, That Big Return & What’s Next
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episodes 1 & 2 of Better Call Saul, “Wine and Roses” & “Carrot and Stick.”]
Picking up where Season 5 left off, Jimmy and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) began their plan to sabotage Howard Hamlin’s (Patrick Fabian) career by framing him for misconduct. All the while, Lalo (Tony Dalton) is on the loose as the cartel grapples with his presumed death after mercenaries hired by Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) opened fire on his compound in Mexico.
Unaware of the looming threat of Lalo, Jimmy and Kim go about executing their scheme against Howard with some success, which brings them face-to-face with some people from their past, and Betsy (Julie Ann Emery) and Craig Kettleman (Jeremy Shamos) become part of the plan.
Below, Odenkirk opens up about the opening moments of Season 6, and hints about where the story is headed. Plus, he talks about reuniting with the Kettlemans, concerns about Kim, and much more.
This season’s premiere opened with a new kind of scene. Instead of being black and white and featuring Jimmy’s alias, Gene, the opener revealed Saul Goodman’s house. There were quite a few details featured from his copy of The Time Machine and beanie babies to gaudy decor, a safe room, Kim’s bottle topper, and much more. Should viewers be reading into these details as clues for the season?
Bob Odenkirk: Absolutely, you should. I don’t want to spoil anything. But if you’re trying to figure out where we are in the timeframe, I think we had a lot of questions as to who was Saul Goodman during Breaking Bad? Everyone’s very curious about that, and we’ll get a chance to see a glimpse of him in his life during Breaking Bad. Throughout this whole final season, Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul are more intertwined than ever in this final season.
Considering the house’s interior and Jimmy’s apparent lifestyle as the Saul Goodman we knew from Breaking Bad, is Kim responsible for that version of him? In the premiere, she mentions what kind of car Saul would drive and where his office might be. Is Saul based more on Kim’s vision versus Jimmy’s own?
Yeah, I mean, without a doubt. The duality of Kim is one of the things that provokes Jimmy, leads him on, frustrates him, but helps him [with a] vision of being Saul. And in a strange way, he probably feels closer to her when he’s playing that role because he knows how titillated she is by it. So in a way, in his desire to be close to her, he wants to be that guy that she is delighted by.
It’s a weird contradiction, because Kim is a straight-laced character, as we’ve gotten to know her, and she’s trying like hell to fly right. And she’s perfectly capable of flying right, whereas Jimmy is not capable of it. She’s more compromised in a way than he is because he’s just himself. She is giving in to the side of herself that pushes against the persona she’s been working very, very hard to live in.
Kim and Jimmy cook up a special scheme to frame Howard for misconduct and get the Kettlemans involved. Are they just one small piece in a long line of dominoes or will they play a bigger role?
I can’t give that away… They’re not a little domino. They’re a big domino. But it’s really all about Howard and what Howard represents to Jimmy and to Kim. It’s the way in which the two of them are oil and flame, kind of just keeping each other going and raising the temperature. Howard is collateral damage in all of it. He may be a focal point for them, but it’s not really about Howard.
When Jimmy drives up to the Kettlemans’ office, they have an interesting lawn ornament. Is that Statue of Liberty balloon the same one that ends up at Saul’s office?
Oh, yeah. It is. It’s the same exact one.
Well, it will be exciting to see how that winds up in his possession. What was it like reuniting with the Kettlemans, played by Jeremy Shamos and Julie Ann Emery? They haven’t appeared since Season 1.
Jeremy and Julie Ann are a joy to work with. I’m so glad they came back to life. And they’re a tribute to what our writers do so well, which is they don’t create anything as a throwaway. Nothing and nobody is a throwaway character or moment. If somebody gets hurt in Breaking Bad or Better Call Saul, with very few exceptions, there’s resonance. The person just doesn’t disappear off the face of the earth. The bad thing that happened to them comes back to haunt the person who did it.
I think it’s one of the beautiful things about [the show] and one of the things that makes it very different from most movies and TV shows, where characters are used as a story point or a bit of a diversion, and then they just disappear. With Vince [Gilligan] and Peter [Gould] and the writers of Better Call Saul, the Kettlemans are still out there in the world.
On the cartel side of things, should Jimmy and Kim be looking over their shoulders for Lalo? A car was following them in the final moments of the second episode.
Jimmy, for sure. But… it’s probably equally Jimmy and Kim, because [Lalo]’s ID’d both of them. Lalo’s a pretty devious guy, so maybe Kim is in even more danger. They’re both in real danger.
Better Call Saul, Season 6, Mondays, 10/9c, AMC and AMC+