'Better Call Saul's' Vince Gilligan Teases Return of 'Breaking Bad' Character

A screening of the next 'Better Call Saul' episode before the PaleyFest panel revealed the return of a 'Breaking Bad’ baddie with more cameos to come.
Austin Hargrave
Vince Gilligan

Better Call Saul's Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould joined series stars Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian and Michael McKean to kick off day two of the 2016 PaleyFest at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The panel was introduced by moderator Debra Birnbaum with a screening of the next episode, set to air this Monday, which reintroduced audiences to a familiar face. “I told you that was a good episode,” Birnbaum said. 

Since the second season premiere Feb. 15, Better Call Saul has continued the establishment of Jimmy McGill, the down on his luck, would-be lawyer who eventually becomes the infamous Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad. With the theme of cameos and character arcs buzzing during the panel, the players of Better Call Saul gave their own predictions of what to expect from the remainder of the season. The fresh question on viewers minds was: When does Jimmy become Saul?

"Jimmy wasn't ready to become Saul Goodman. We don't want to see Jimmy McGill become Saul Goodman because we as writers like Jimmy better,” Gilligan said. 

Creating a viable and engaging follow-up to Breaking Bad is no easy task according to the creative team behind the series, but they engaged fan interest in incorporating characters from the Breaking Bad universe.

"One step at a time. I hate to say it, there's no master plan,” Gould said of how they plan out the seemingly masterminded plot arcs and cameos. "Sometimes we talk about it being a transcontinental railroad that began on Breaking Bad and possibly ends with Better Call Saul.”

For a series that touts itself as a prequel, the creators also teased the possibility of more plot after the events of Breaking Bad. "People say this is a prequel, which it is, but it's also a sequel. All bets are off when you get to Omaha,” said Gould.

As for the new characters that inhabit the world of Jimmy McGill, the deepening of his relationship with Kim Wexler, played by powerhouse actress Rhea Seehorn, has brought fans to the question of why she doesn’t appear in the Breaking Bad storyline. "Just because we didn't see her doesn't mean she's not there,” said Seehorn. 

Gilligan and Gould revealed that many moments from both series originally written for the screen never made it to the final cut. Michael Mando, who continues his role as Nacho, quipped that there was a special scene locked away. “Is that the one of Patrick coming out of the shower in slow motion,” said Mando. “You wish,” Fabian said with a laugh. 

The fan questions brought an added layer to the panel as a longtime Breaking Bad fan pleaded for a chance to pitch his invention. "I left my job and made a board game about Breaking Bad,” said the fan. "Can someone take a look at it?”

Exchanging anxious glances, Odenkirk and McKean positioned each other as the lawyer to head the game. Gilligan stepped in to offer a guiding hand to the bold game maker, “We’ll connect you with the right person,” said Gilligan. 

Closing the panel with what to expect from the remainder of the season, Gilligan teased the possibility of a Breaking Bad favorite entering the series during the finale. "We had a perfect opportunity for someone from our Breaking Bad universe to show up.” 

He quickly backed away, explaining that the return ultimately won’t pan out. Gould, on a final note, expressed his feelings on the decision against it. "It killed me though. That would've been fun."