Great Gus! Giancarlo Esposito Talks ‘Better Call Saul’ and This Season’s Wrap-Up

Better call saul, Giancarlo Esposito, highlights
Michele K. Short/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo "Gus" Fring in Better Call Saul

Throughout Season 3 of Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul, we’ve seen Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) battle brother Chuck (Michael McKean) over taping him confessing to tampering with legal documents; get suspended from practicing law; and finally bring his Bad alter ego, Saul Goodman, to life in a local commercial. As the season winds down (the finale airs June 19), can the McGill brothers get their relationship back on track, or is the damage permanent? “There’s always hope [for reconciliation], especially between family,” says executive producer Gennifer Hutchison, who wrote the season ender. Still, don’t be surprised at how many lines Jimmy crosses. “Any time we think Jimmy’s going to zig,” Hutchison teases, “he zags.”

But the brothers aren’t the only ones squabbling. The other big conflict leading up to the finale is the one between Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito, above) and competing drug runner Hector “Tio” Salamanca (Mark Margolis). “There’ll be some interesting developments in the last episode,” Esposito teases. “You’re going to be surprised by what Gus does.”

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The biggest challenge for Gus will be keeping his eyes on the prize. “Gus has formulated his vision [for gaining control] and is starting to implement it, and he’s learning the ins and outs of the political ramifications of the drug cartel,” Esposito says. Still, viewers should remember that these are pre-Bad years for the drug lord, says Hutchison. “He’s obviously capable and he’s already playing this long game, but there’s an element of not being fully formed just yet. He’s still finding his way a little bit.”

Not all of Fring’s relationships float in treacherous waters, however, as he and former cop/fixer Mike (Jonathan Banks) find that their objectives complement each other—a professional union that Bad fans know continues for some time. “Mike is looking for security and for someone to tell him what to do—a partner in some ways,” Esposito says. “You will start to see the allegiance formulating. Gus knows that if Mike works for him, he will be able to trust him, and that, ultimately, is paramount to their relationship.”

Better Call Saul, Sundays, 10/9c, AMC