‘Better Call Saul’: Walt and Jesse Scene Explained by Director

SPOILER ALERT: Don’t learn if in case you have not watched the eleventh episode of “Higher Name Saul” Season 6, titled “Breaking Dangerous.”

After their “Higher Name Saul” cameos have been teased by the present’s co-creator Peter Gould earlier than the beginning of the sixth and remaining season, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have been lastly again as Walter White and Jesse Pinkman Monday night time.

The 2 Emmy winners reprised their roles for the primary time on the “Breaking Dangerous” prequel, just some years after they shared the display screen briefly in “El Camino: A Breaking Dangerous Film.” After followers theorized about when Walt and Jesse would present up, they have been launched throughout a flashback to “Breaking Dangerous” Season 2 Episode 8, an episode titled “Higher Name Saul,” which launched Bob Odenkirk’s character.

That 2009 episode of “Breaking Dangerous” was additionally the primary time we heard the names of the characters Lalo and Ignacio, however on the time they have been simply throwaway traces from Saul and by no means addressed once more. Now, these traces have new which means, as “Higher Name Saul” has unraveled the lawyer’s messy involvement within the lives of Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton) and Ignacio “Nacho” Varga (Michael Mando) all through six seasons.

Thomas Schnauz, the author and director of Monday night time’s episode, revealed to Selection that there was by no means a concrete plan for Cranston and Paul to look in “Higher Name Saul,” however their schedules aligned throughout manufacturing for Season 6. He additionally explains why he didn’t have Jesse say “bitch,” teases a brand new persona for Saul within the remaining two episodes and defends why they didn’t do a lot de-aging on Walt and Jesse, who’re reprising a “Breaking Dangerous” episode shot 13 years in the past. (Paul, now 42, jumps again into the position of latest high-schooler Jesse.)

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Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston as Jesse Pinkman and Walter White in “Breaking Dangerous” Season 2 Episode 8
AMC

What was it like having Cranston and Paul again in character within the RV?

It was a loopy, time-warp flashback. All people slipped again into it like we have been doing all of it alongside. Bryan and Aaron received proper again within the roles with little or no course wanted. Earlier than they received to Albuquerque, they requested for a overview of the place the characters’ heads have been on this timeframe. They went by way of a complete vary of feelings over a number of seasons, and that is very particular to Season 2. I instructed them it was set on the earth of Season 2 Episode 8 between the kidnapping and their Jimmy In-‘N-Out (Jimmy Daniels) scheme.

Bryan and Aaron have been solely out there collectively at a sure time. We had this very small window, so regardless that this was Episode 11, I needed to write it manner earlier, and we shot it whereas Vince [Gilligan] was capturing Episode 2. Our workforce recreated the RV set and put it on stage on airbags so it wouldn’t transfer.

Was there all the time a plan for Cranston and Paul to look in “Higher Name Saul”?

We didn’t actually have a plan. We didn’t know for positive if we have been going to deliver again Walt and Jesse. A part of the best way of creating ourselves really feel higher if we hadn’t achieved it was telling ourselves, “Walt got here again in ‘El Camino’ with Jesse. That exists, so if we don’t get to it in ‘Higher Name Saul,’ that’s OK.” However I feel all of us desperately needed them to come back again in some unspecified time in the future for some purpose. We didn’t know the way or why, however lastly after we received speaking about these later episodes, we thought we should always. The parallels between what Saul Goodman was going by way of when he chased after Walter White and when Gene is chasing after these scams he’s doing in Omaha, it felt like time to flashback to these scenes and handle the Lalo query.

Have been there any conversations about de-aging them?

There’s solely a lot you are able to do earlier than it begins trying ridiculous. We don’t do a ton of de-aging on the present. There’s slightly little bit of stuff on the fellows’ faces to take just a few traces out right here and there, however aside from that, Aaron is just not going to appear to be an 18-year-old child or nevertheless outdated Jesse was throughout this time interval. Giancarlo [Esposito] and Jonathan [Banks], as you’re watching “Higher Name Saul” you sort of neglect how they seemed again then, till you begin reducing scenes backwards and forwards and also you notice, “Jonathan, who I’d’ve imagined appears very a lot the identical as he did in ‘Breaking Dangerous,’ appears very completely different within the scenes again to again.” I do type of dread individuals reducing this scene into the world of “Breaking Dangerous” and making an attempt to match the best way they give the impression of being then and now, nevertheless it’s not one thing you’ll be able to fear an excessive amount of about. It’s what it’s. We’re telling a narrative and you may roll with it otherwise you begin choosing at: “He appears a lot older than he did within the unique scene.” We determined to go for it, and I’m glad we did.

We received Jesse calling Walt a “dick” within the episode. Have been there some other basic Jesse traces you needed to incorporate?

The temptation is to get him to say “bitch.” How will we do a Jesse scene with out saying “bitch”? It simply felt like as I used to be writing the scene — it felt compelled. I used to be glad to get “dick” in there, however “bitch” felt like a bridge too far.

Francesca mentioned the DEA discovered Jesse’s automobile close to the border. Was that Todd’s El Camino or Skinny Pete’s Ford Thunderbird?

That was Skinny Pete’s automobile that Badger drove off and left for him to throw the scent off. That’s the automobile they discovered, and [the cops] assume he went to Mexico. Alaska is the place he truly is.

So issues are nonetheless good for Jesse?

Issues are nonetheless good for Jesse as of the episode you’re watching.

Did you shoot any precise dialogue for the scene with Saul calling about Kim within the telephone sales space?

Sure, there’s a scene written. What he truly says, it is going to be addressed in a future episode. We’ll know some extra particulars of what’s spoken about. As a result of we had simply gotten a really lengthy telephone name with Francesca, we determined, “Will we wish to do one other telephone name?” Then we began speaking about the way it’d be fascinating to not hear the main points of no matter information he heard about Kim and depart that for later. One thing upset him — we don’t know precisely what — however we’re going to see how he offers with that ache.

As Gene, Saul actually resembles Walter White with the mustache. How intentional was it to have him channel Walt in that manner?

We didn’t deliberately attempt to attract any visible parallels between how he and Walt seemed. The Gene look was established within the teaser for Episode 1 [of “Better Call Saul”], that’s simply what it was. It’s humorous that he does give a Walt vibe with the best way he appears. Among the traces I used to be writing, they echo Walt making an attempt to remain in management. Two guys struggling to keep up energy after these threats — you couldn’t assist however have parallels between them.

We see so many various variations of Saul all through the present: Jimmy, Gene and now Victor. Will we get a brand new persona of Saul within the remaining episodes?

I’m hopefully not giving something away, however I really feel like we see a complete new character in some unspecified time in the future. There’s a model in a future episode the place Bob walks on display screen and it appears completely different than we’ve ever seen him earlier than — and it’s nice.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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