Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.
In this week’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with Bob Odenkirk and Vince Gilligan, star and executive producer of AMC’s “Breaking Bad” spinoff series, “Better Call Saul,” which will enter its fourth season Aug. 6.
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According to Odenkirk and Gilligan, the fourth season of “Better Call Saul” is more complex and fast-paced than ever, with Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill reeling from the death of his brother Chuck (Michael McKean). But the exit of one character brings the entrance of another: “Better Call Saul” is saying hello to a new face from its parent universe, “Breaking Bad,” they reveal.
“There’s a confidence and certainty from the writers that you feel in the writing, and that’s great fun for us to just keep … getting closer to ‘Breaking Bad’ and the characters of ‘Breaking Bad,’ including a new character who’s from ‘Breaking Bad,’ which is a crazy thing to say,” Odenkirk said. “I won’t try to explain any further.”
The crossover is “an important character,” Odenkirk revealed. “I’m not talking about some guy who wanders in and wanders off. I’m talking about a new dimension in this season.”
Teased Gilligan, “Not necessarily a character people saw on ‘Breaking Bad,’ but who was, if not seen, then spoken about.”
(The creators have since confirmed that the character is Lalo, who was briefly mentioned back in “Breaking Bad” in Odenkirk’s first episode, when Walt and Jesse threaten to kill him. Saul asks whether Lalo sent them, and is relieved to learn it wasn’t.)
Given that that the show is “hurtling even closer, with more rapidity toward the ‘Breaking Bad’ universe,” Jimmy McGill won’t remain Jimmy McGill for long.
“I feel like he’s on the three-yard line of Saul — so close that he’s almost there,” Odenkirk said. “And in some ways, he’s there.”
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This conversation was recorded live at the ATX Television Festival in Austin, TX. (For information on how to attend next year’s festival, please visit atxfestival.com.)