‘Better Call Saul’ Boss Recalls Bob Odenkirk’s Tragic Heart Attack

by Alex Falls

Better Call Saul fans are in the midst of the show’s final run of episodes. So far only one episode has aired on TV, but viewers have already been treated to some epic storytelling en route to the big finale.

However, this final run came very close to not happening at all. While on set filming the final episodes, star Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack and had to be rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, the actor pulled through and eventually returned to set to complete the highly anticipated series finale.

Fans are still reeling from the events of the mid-season premiere. “Point and Shoot” aired to great critical acclaim. The episode was written by longtime Better Call Saul writer Gordon Smith. He’s written several of the show’s most beloved episodes and been involved with the character since his introduction in Breaking Bad.

Smith sat down with The Hollywood Reporter in the aftermath of “Point and Shoot” airing to discuss the events of the episodes. During the conversation, he spoke about the experience of being on set when Odenkirk suffered his heart attack.

“We were in turnaround, as you say. We’d done a setup, we were in turnaround, and then I heard people calling out. There was a scattering of folks, and then Vince and I went over to Bob, which was where our set medic and [Health and Safety Supervisor] Rosa Estrada were congregating.”

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Smith went on to say it was an incredibly traumatic day for everyone involved. He said the experience was a “real wake-up call.” He described Odenkirk as someone who was in “great shape” despite the incident. Above all, he was relieved to see Bob pull through and that the situation led to positive change.

“Almost immediately after we got back, Sony actually offered us a CPR training course,” Smith said. “So several of us who were there and our post team all took that CPR training course. And on the other side of that CPR training course, I got an AED, which is an automated external defibrillator… They save lives including Bob’s life. Rosa saved his life by using her AED. There were a lot of other people involved in saving Bob’s life, but it was an intense day.”

Smith is glad his friend and co-worker overcame the traumatic event. He also looks back on the whole situation as a learning experience to be grateful for. If it wasn’t for his team, the tragic event would have taken an even darker turn.

“You never know when things are gonna happen or how much time you have in life,” Smith said. “Bob has spoken about it, but we were all really lucky that it happened while he was on stage. That meant there were hundreds of people around. When we go out on location, the crew kind of divides, but everyone, the entire crew, was right there and right in it. So we were able to draw upon our resources.”