When it comes to spinoffs and prequels, it’s hard to match the magic of the original series. Better Call Saul is one of the few shows that has surpassed expectations and become just as beloved as Breaking Bad, which also aired on AMC. After a brief hiatus, Better Call Saul season 6 filming is officially underway again.
Bob Odenkirk is back on set filming again following his hospitalization after collapsing on the set of the show, which films in New Mexico. He posted a photo of himself on September 8 and admitted he was “excited” to be back. HollywoodLife has everything you need to know about the final season, including updates on the premiere date, the cast, and more.
The Show So Far
Better Call Saul chronicles Jimmy McGill’s transformation into the one and only Saul Goodman. Jimmy is a former con artist trying to be a decent lawyer at the beginning of Better Call Saul. He slowly but surely metamorphosis into the ethically challenged criminal attorney we were first introduced to on Breaking Bad. The show takes place in the 6 years before Breaking Bad.
Season 5 featured Jimmy practicing law under the name Saul Goodman for the first time. Better Call Saul has always had a fixed endgame, so there’s no wondering what will happen to Jimmy/Saul in the end. But the road to Breaking Bad is a little unclear.
In the season 5 finale, Howard brings up Kim’s moral compass right to her face. Howard tells Kim that Jimmy isn’t good for her, and she had to leave her law firm because of him. Kim goes on the defense. When Kim comes up with a con to destroy Howard, get the Sandpiper case settled, and get her hands on some serious cash, even Jimmy starts questioning her. He doesn’t think she would ultimately be okay with this, not in the “cold light of day.” She replies, “Wouldn’t I?”
Kim gets up and walks away from Jimmy. When he calls for her and she turns around, Kim begins shooting finger guns at Jimmy. This scene mirrored the season 4 finale when Jimmy transformed into Saul Goodman and said to her, “It’s all good, man!”
Meanwhile, Lalo escaped his assassination attempt. He’s going to be out for blood in season 6. Whatever happens in season 6, Lalo may survive it, given what Saul says to Walt and Jesse when he first appears on Breaking Bad. “Who sent you? Was it Lalo?” Saul asked.
‘Better Call Saul’ Season 6
Better Call Saul was renewed for a sixth and final season by AMC back in January 2020. The news was revealed at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. The announcement was made before season 5 even premiered. The fifth season kicked off in February 2020. The prequel was greenlit for a 13-episode final season that was initially set to go into production in 2020 and premiere in 2021. The first 5 seasons are currently available to watch on Netflix.
“From day one of Better Call Saul my dream was to tell the complete story of our complicated and compromised hero, Jimmy McGill – now AMC and Sony are making that dream come true,” showrunner and executive producer Peter Gould said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more grateful to the fans and critics who are making this journey possible. Next month we start work on the sixth and final season — we’re going to do our damnedest to stick the landing.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the premiere of Better Call Saul’s final season has been delayed. Like most productions, Better Call Saul faced challenges with filming because of the pandemic. In February 2021, AMC Networks chief Josh Sapan said that it was “likely” Better Call Saul season 6’s release date would “move into the first quarter of 2022,” according to TVLine.
The season finale of Better Call Saul season 5 aired in April 2020. If the sixth and final season doesn’t air until 2022, it will be two years or more since new episodes debuted.
As of August 2021, season 6 is currently still in the midst of production. Season 6 filming was more than halfway done when Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack on the set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Production was halted to allow Bob time to recover.
When it comes to plot points regarding the final season, Bob likes to be just as surprised as the fans. “I like being surprised just like a viewer of the story. I have my own theories, but they’re just basically fan theories,” he told The Guardian in June 2021. He even revealed his Kim Wexler theory. “I don’t think she dies,” he continued. “I think she’s in Albuquerque, and she’s still practicing law. He’s still crossing paths with her. To me, that would fuel his desire to be on billboards everywhere, because he wants her to see him.”
Bob Odenkirk’s Health
Bob Odenkirk, who plays the beloved Saul Goodman, was rushed to the hospital on July 27 after collapsing on the set of Better Call Saul in Albuquerque. A day after his hospitalization, his representatives gave an update on Bob’s condition.
“We can confirm Bob is in stable condition after experiencing a heart-related incident,” his representatives said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “He and his family would like to express gratitude for the incredible doctors and nurses looking after him, as well as his cast, crew and producers who have stayed by his side. The Odenkirks would also like to thank everyone for the outpouring of well wishes and ask for their privacy at this time as Bob works on his recovery.”
AMC also released the following statement: “Bob is someone we have known and been lucky enough to work with for a long time. The immediate outpouring of affection and concern from fans around the world is a clear reflection of his immense talents and ability to both move and entertain people. Like everyone else, we are so grateful to know he is in stable condition and receiving excellent care. We are holding him close in our thoughts and wishing for a fast and full recovery.”
Sony Pictures Television added, “Bob has been a part of our Sony Pictures family for many years and we are fortunate to be able to work with such a uniquely talented, incredible human being. Along with the millions of fans and supporters around the world, we are keeping him and his family in our thoughts and wishing him all the best in his recovery.”
He's going to be okay.
— Nate Odenkirk (@birthdaynate) July 28, 2021
Bob’s son, Nate Odenkirk, tweeted the following on July 28, “He’s going to be okay.” Two days later, Bob addressed worried fans on Twitter and gave an update on his health.
“Hi. It’s Bob. Thank you. To my family and friends who have surrounded me this week. And for the outpouring of love from everyone who expressed concern and care for me. It’s overwhelming. But I feel the love and it means so much,” his first tweet read.
I had a small heart attack. But I'm going to be ok thanks to Rosa Estrada and the doctors who knew how to fix the blockage without surgery.
Also, AMC and SONYs support and help throughout this has been next-level. I'm going to take a beat to recover but I'll be back soon.
— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) July 30, 2021
He followed up with, “I had a small heart attack. But I’m going to be ok thanks to Rosa Estrada and the doctors who knew how to fix the blockage without surgery. Also, AMC and SONYs support and help throughout this has been next-level. I’m going to take a beat to recover but I’ll be back soon.”
Bob returned to work on September 8, less than two months after suffering a heart attack on set. He posted a photo of himself in the hair and makeup chair. “Back to work on Better Call Saul! So happy to be here and living this specific life surrounded by such good people. BTW this is makeup pro Cheri Montesanto making me not ugly for shooting!” Bob tweeted.
Back to work on Better Call Saul! So happy to be here and living this specific life surrounded by such good people. BTW this is makeup pro Cheri Montesanto making me not ugly for shooting! pic.twitter.com/lTAfPg7dDp
— Mr. Bob Odenkirk (@mrbobodenkirk) September 8, 2021
Season 6 Cast
The season 6 cast will include Bob Odenkirk, who will be returning as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman/Gene Takavic. Other cast members coming back include Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut, Giancarlo Esposito as Gus Fring, Patrick Fabian as Howard Hamlin, Michael Mando as Nacho Varga, and Tony Dalton as Lalo Salamanca.
Better Call Saul hasn’t announced any new cast members for its final season, but there is plenty of talk about more Breaking Bad characters showing up. Dean Norris’ character Hank Schrader and his partner Steve Gomez, played by Steven Michael Quezada, appeared in season 5. They could pop up again in season 6.
Since Better Call Saul leads right into Breaking Bad, many fans have wondered if Breaking Bad fan faves Walter White and Jesse Pinkman will have appearances in the final season. Bryan Cranston is fully onboard with reprising the role of Walter White for an appearance on Better Call Saul.
“I would be in it if Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, who are co-executive producers on it, wanted me to be in it,” Bryan told Collider in August 2020. “I would do it in a second. But it hasn’t happened yet, I can tell you, and we’ll see. I don’t know. There’s one more season to go and we’ll see what happens!”
As for Aaron Paul, he doesn’t think bringing back Jesse as a guest star would work. He viewed the Breaking Bad movie, El Camino, as a goodbye to the character. “I’m such a big fan of that show,” Aaron told Digital Spy. “But in the recent seasons, in the flash-forwards, especially now knowing where Jesse is, there’s just no reason for him to be at that place and at that time. I can’t imagine him showing up in Better Call Saul.”
Robert Forster reprised the role of Ed the Disappearer on Better Call Saul before his death in 2019. Co-creator Peter Gould admitted that he wished they would have gotten more time with Robert. “I think if Vince and I had had our way, we would’ve done a lot more together,” Peter told EW. “It’s a very special thing to have him on the show. And, of course, it’s completely organic because we had no idea it was going to be our last chance.”
‘Better Call Saul’ Cast & Crew Reaction
In June 2021, Bob still wasn’t sure where Saul Goodman would end up by the end of the series. “I have very mixed feelings,” he told Digital Spy. “I don’t think you can watch the show, and I can’t play this guy, without growing to want him to succeed, and liking him, and wanting to be a better version of himself, is really what I want. I’m not sure that’s where he’ll end up, though.”
He added, “I do like him. I think he’s got some good skills. He just doesn’t know where to put them. But also, I’ll be happy to move onto other characters, because I have played him a long time.”
In a separate interview, Bob was able to tease the explosive final season in more detail. “I’m told that the wheels come off in season 6 and it explodes in a million directions,” Bob told Collider in February 2021. “That sounds to me like there’s a fair amount of violence, but I don’t know for a fact. We have a discussion where my point of view is that Walter White became an angry, broken version of himself. I wonder if it would be possible to write — because I like the guy — I wonder if it would be possible to give Jimmy McGill a better ending, a better place to end in than he started in. I don’t know if they’re going to do that though.”
Better Call Saul co-creator Peter Gould noted that when the show is over, you’ll be looking at Breaking Bad in a totally different way. “I think by the time you finish watching Better Call Saul, you’re going to see Breaking Bad in a very different light,” Peter told THR. “I think we’re going to learn things about the characters in Breaking Bad that we didn’t know. We’re going to learn things about the events of Breaking Bad that we didn’t know. And we’re going to learn things about the fates of a lot of these characters that may surprise people or certainly throw them into a different light. I think we started this 2007, so that’s 13 years of work that’s distilled, that all has to fit together. Hopefully like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. I don’t know if all the joints are going to be absolutely even. I’d sure hope so. We’re going to do our best to sand it down.”