‘Better Call Saul’ Showrunner Explains Why Jimmy and Kim’s Relationship Was Hard To Figure Out

by Chris Piner

Within the Breaking Bad universe, writer and director Vince Gilligan created rich characters thrown into extraordinary situations. From Walter White to Saul Goodman, fans watched as the show quickly gained stardom with the series winning 16 Primetime Emmys. And given the commitment to storytelling, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, those Emmys were just for Breaking Bad. The spin-off series, Better Call Saul, has been nominated a staggering 238 times with 36 wins. But while Vince Gilligan is the man behind the series, writer Peter Gould happened to be the driving force behind everybody’s favorite lawyer, Jimmy McGill. 

Recently, Peter Gould sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to discuss the Better Call Saul series and the ending of an era. Although fans already know the path Jimmy McGill takes, the writer admitted, “we have a little trapdoor where the story can go into unknown territory, and that’s exciting.”

Molding Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler

As for the driving force of the series, both Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk, and Kim Wexler, portrayed by Rhea Seehorn, create on-screen chemistry that nicely contrasts the situations they often find themselves in. Explaining the difficulties the writers found themselves in when exploring Kim and Jimmy’s relationship, Peter Gould said, “It’s all a tremendous challenge. Jimmy and Kim’s relationship is so deep and fascinating to all of us who work on the show that it’s tough to figure them out, but it’s really an interesting pursuit. All of us — Bob and Rhea, me and all the writers — brought a lot of our own experiences and relationships to these two, thinking about what it’s like when two people love each other but they also have pursuits that ignite them. And some of those pursuits are not good for them and not good for the world.”

Peter Gould also noted how creating compelling characters allows them to make their own opportunities. “The great moments, for me, are when the character does something that I’m not expecting, but it seems completely logical once I’ve seen it. We’ve had a few of those inspiring moments through the series. The moment that the whole show really turns on is the moment that Kim discovers from Mike [Jonathan Banks] that Lalo Salamanca [Tony Dalton] is actually alive and she makes a choice not to tell Jimmy that she knows this. In the moment, you wonder why she didn’t tell Jimmy, but it’s understandable, and we soon find out her logic and it’s painful.”

Still Processing The Success Of Better Call Saul

First announced back in 2013, Peter Gould still can’t comprehend what they were able to accomplish with Jimmy McGill. “When Vince and I first started talking about this, we didn’t really know what we wanted to do with it. In fact, the first thing we pitched to AMC and Sony was more of a half-hour that would be very funny. It would be mostly Saul in his office giving advice to wacky clients. That quickly went away, and I was very relieved, because real honest-to-God comedy is an art form that I respect and do not feel that I can indulge in. I’m much more comfortable with the comedy that comes from drama.”