‘Better Call Saul’: Bob Odenkirk & Peter Gould on Fitting Final ‘Breaking Bad’ Cameo

Breaking Bad cast
Spoiler Alert
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[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 6, Episode 13 of Better Call Saul, “Saul Gone.”]

Better Call Saul may have been a prequel to Breaking Bad, but more than a few stars from the original series dropped in over the six-season run and the finale included one of the most shocking to date.

Set post-Breaking Bad, the finale saw Jimmy come face to face with none other than Marie Schrader (Betsy Brandt), the widow of DEA Agent Hank Schrader (Dean Norris), a.k.a. Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) in-law. While she wasn’t the only cameo in the episode as a flashback with Saul (Bob Odenkirk) and Walter was among the mix, it was certainly a surprise to see her after all these years.

“I think that was pretty late in the game,” co-creator and showrunner Peter Gould says of the decision to include the actress. “Betsy Brandt is one of my favorite people in the world and one of my favorite actors. In my dream world, you’d do a Betsy Brandt, Rhea Seehorn TV series, whether it be buddy cops or something,” he muses.

Better Call Saul Season 6 Betsy Brandt

(Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

The main reasoning behind including her, Gould shares, is “we wanted very much for someone to be the voice of the victims. Cheryl certainly is a victim, but she’s a victim of everything that Jimmy and Kim did together,” he adds, acknowledging the widow of Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian).

Ultimately, Gould and the other creatives wanted there to be a “voice of the victims” from the period of time when Jimmy was Saul Goodman. “She felt like that felt like the most credible character,” Gould says. “It’s a little bit of a parallel between the two episodes. We have these two confrontations with two widows, and they go very differently.”

Those two vastly different approaches yield differing results, as well, as Gould notes, “Kim does the best she could possibly do. And [Saul] in that moment [in court] is maybe his worst possible self, to look into a widow’s eyes and to say, ‘Well, I’m as much of a victim as you are.'”

better call saul finale bob odenkirk

(Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television)

“Yeah, at that moment, I think he’s really angry,” Odenkirk explains. “It’s his natural reaction… to strike back when he feels cornered.” When he’s forced to face the things he’s done, Saul can only think of self-preservation, but the part of him that’s Jimmy feels remorse later on when they’re in the courtroom in Albuquerque together for sentencing.

“I do think this is a character who can be very empathetic with other people and has a conscience, but in that moment, it’s still Saul Goodman in charge, and he’s pretty coldblooded in that moment,” Odenkirk says of Saul’s behavior upon meeting Marie.

“I mean, it just takes the air out of my lungs every time I see that,” Gould elaborates. “He’s such a horrible person. He’s such an a**hole. I don’t know what he’s ever done that’s quite as bad as that. And so I’m really delighted when he turns things around later in the episode.”

“I think as he looks at her and thinks about her presence,” Odenkirk says of the court scene, “his feelings, his humanity comes back. He can’t run from it forever.” And for that reason, it’s a touching return for Brandt’s Marie Schrader. What did you think about her appearance? Let us know in the comments below.

Better Call Saul, Streaming now, AMC+ and Netflix