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Bob Odenkirk‘s criminally talented lawyer Saul Goodman has provided some much needed comic relief for the notoriously dark Breaking Bad. Now that AMC is officially calling Saul up to the big leagues with his own spinoff series, it’s time to look back at what makes him so great.
Odenkirk often has credited the fantastic writing on Breaking Bad for his character’s success. At August’s Breaking Bad premiere, he also offered another explanation to reporters, saying fans like him because he’s actually very good at his job — which is helping bad guys get away with what they do. We agree. We love the moments in which he helps Walt out of a jam as much as his wisecracks.
Below, we count down Saul’s five greatest moments. Needless to say, spoilers ahead.
1. “Better Call Saul” (Season 2, Episode 8)
We are introduced to Saul in the episode aptly titled “Better Call Saul” – also the working title of the spinoff series. We first see him through his uber-cheesy commercial in which the lawyer didn’t try to hide his sleaziness. The ads would be referred to repeatedly throughout the rest of the series.
2. “Put a dollar in my pocket” (Season 2, Episode 8)
After Badger (Matt Jones) gets busted, Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) hire Saul (“a criminal lawyer,” as Jesse says) – but panic when Saul plans on helping Badger cut a deal with the DEA. In order to dissuade him from this, they take Saul out to the desert to scare him, but he soon turns the situation to his advantage, recognizing Walt from his cough and getting the men to employee him as their lawyer.
Odenkirk told THR at last month’s Breaking Bad premiere this is among his favorite Saul moments.
“[Being] in the desert in a sandstorm at 2 a.m., kneeling over a freshly dug grave was a really, really great scene to play and be a part of,” he said.
3. “The right amount of dirty” (Season 3, Episode 9)
Saul’s charms are totally lost on Skyler (Anna Gun) and his attempt to flirt fell flat in “Abiquiu.”
“Clearly his taste in women is the same as his taste in lawyers: only the very best… with just a right amount of dirty!” he tells her. Skyler is not amused.
4. Helping Walt disappear (Season 4, Episode 11)
When things go bad for Walt, Saul attempts to hook his client up with a man who can help him disappear. It shows his deep connections to the underworld. We particularly like Saul’s nonchalant response when Walt says, “Gus is going to murder my whole family.”
Walt simply responds, “Christ.”
Last month, Odenkirk explained that “Christ” comment to NPR’s Terry Gross.
“When he met Walt, he thought, ‘This is my golden calf here. I’m going to be rich off this. This is what I’ve been waiting for,’ and he’s going to handle himself and he’s not going to do anything crazy and it’s going to be great,” Odenkirk said on NPR’s Fresh Air. “And so that’s the, ‘Oh, Christ,’ too, is Saul’s realizing like this is just like every other thing he’s tried; this guy can’t keep it together.”
5. “You poisoned Brock” (Season 5, episode 11)
“Confessions” brings another fantastic scene showing Saul fearing for his life. After Jesse realizes Saul’s role in Brock’s poisoning, he busts in and beats the lawyer to a pulp.
“I love doing fake fighting. I’m incredibly, deeply amused by pretending to have a physical confrontation and fake blood on your face,” Odenkirk recently told THR. “I’m 50 years old, and it’s my job. And it’s just wonderful that that’s where I find myself occasionally.”
He said working with Paul on the scene was icing on the cake.
“The capper of it is to act in a scene with a person as good as Aaron Paul and be that close to a person who is so good and doing such a wonderful job,” Odenkirk said. “You’re in it with them, and also some part of you is watching this amazing, amazing performance. Those are some of the greatest moments of being in this business — being that close to something so great.”
Honorable mention: “We’re done when I say we’re done” (Season 5, episode 1)
We’re counting this as an honorable mention, because it’s really a Walt moment. But it’s also one of Odenkirk’s favorites. In “Live Free or Die,” Walt goes full-on Heisenberg on Saul, who attempts to get out of business with Walt. “We’re done when I say we’re done,” Walt says, menacingly.
“I love at the beginning of the fifth season when Bryan attacks Saul and threatens him,” Odenkirk said, reveling in Cranston’s intimidating acting.
What did we miss? Share your favorite Saul moments in the comments.
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