The return of Gus Fring looms over season three of AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”
At the Los Angeles premiere, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks and the show’s creators celebrated the drama’s return at a screening at Arclight Culver City, then segued to a party at the Culver Hotel. AMC and Sundance president and general manager Charlie Collier introduced the screening, thanking the writers, the Albuquerque crew and the cast, including Michael McKean, who was unable to attend.
Co-creator Peter Gould talked about crafting the third season. “It’s the same challenge we always face: where’s Jimmy’s head at?” he said. “Our lead is constantly shifting and changing as a person. His values are changing. Understanding where he is moment to moment is the biggest challenge we have. Once we understand his psychology and where he is as a person, figuring out the story is much, much easier.”
What about the return of Gus Fring? “Gus Fring brings a whole world with him,” said Gould. “He makes the story much bigger in a certain way. It’s been fascinating to see Giancarlo (Esposito) recreate Gus. It’s very subtle and what Giancarlo does is brilliant — he’s not exactly who he was on ‘Breaking Bad.’ Close but not exactly.”
His co-creator, Vince Gilligan, revealed, “Things get quite a bit darker in season three, more ‘Breaking Bad’-like. We didn’t set out for that to happen, it came to us organically.”
Odenkirk confirmed that we’ll see the actual transformation of Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman. “There’s a big movement into the character of Saul Goodman,” Odenkirk said. “This is the first time he presents himself as Saul Goodman, which is actually kind of fun. There’s more of an internal movement of this really sweet character, Jimmy McGill, who kind of shuts himself down and does some very callous things that are very Saul Goodman-like. It’s just sad. It made me feel bad.”
Will we see Saul and Gus Fring interact? Odenkirk teased, “We’re going to see a lot of Gus Fring as he builds his drug empire. Dominoes start to topple at the end of season three. Season four, if there is one, should be a rollercoaster ride.”
Actress Rhea Seehorn also hinted at what’s to come for Kim and Jimmy this season. “The challenges and consequences of things start to weigh heavily on her,” said Seehorn. “There are control issues with Kim that have served her very well. I feel like control is Kim’s wonder cape and kryptonite at the same time.”
Guests enjoyed hits of the ’80s and ’90s at the after-party while dining on a menu that featured the show’s Los Pollos Hermanos fried chicken and curly fries, as well as tri-tip, pasta dishes and crispy kale salad. AMC is also hosting Los Pollos Hermanos pop-up stores in downtown Los Angeles on March 29 and 30.
“Better Call Saul” returns April 10 on AMC.
(Pictured: Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn)