How would you sum up the relationship that is Jimmy and Kim this season?
They have a relationship where they get along wonderfully as friends, and they even get into some of Jimmy’s capers. She just absolutely loves going on. So they’re married up and matched up. But she has these aspirations, and he has these natural inclinations that will not fit with those aspirations. When I think of Kim, I think her future cannot be with this guy. Some part of her knows it.
Here’s the amazing thing about this season, with Kim and Jimmy. There are two points where they have this really mature interaction. That’s really unlike anything you see on TV. It’s more like you’d see in a Cassavetes film or something, where you think Jimmy is going to lie to her, and he doesn’t lie to her. And then she doesn’t get mad. In her mind, she does the math and says, “I could get mad and have a screaming fit, but he just told me the truth and I appreciate that. And I’m just going to accept it.” What do we do with that now? And those are amazing moments. When a character and another character have this deep relationship and one of them goes, “I just need to tell you the truth. I lied to you before, and I’m sorry that I did that.” That’s a real couple. That’s going to last. And when the other person in that couple goes, “Wow, I wish you’d follow through,” or “Maybe there can be a different way we can go with this,” there are these moments in the season where you go, “Well, that’s a great f—in’ relationship.” That’s not some pull the trigger and release the gun, this is how I get my reward from you, and this is how I get my anger.
It’s not about the way they get off on each other. It’s about a real relationship that could work. Because two people share the real hardest truth with the other one, and the other one hears it. And, wow. That’s just an amazing thing to get to play. They slip back into their shells and who they kind of are, but that we even have a few moments like that is kind of stunning to me. I think, more than anything, those moments [are] a real mislead. That’s where you go, “Well, s—, yes, I guess they could be married for 50 years.”
How will Jimmy spend this year that he’s suspended from practicing law?
Well, this character can’t help himself but cook up plots and plans that are outside the lines of what he’s supposed to be doing. He finds himself in the milieu of the type of criminals he serves in Breaking Bad. He’s in that world now. Not Mike’s world yet, but the world of low-rank bad guys becomes Jimmy’s world. Over that time period, he has this business he sets up, and he does well with it, and it’s interacting with that level of criminal.
Do you feel like the worlds of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad are starting to merge in season 4?
The show swings faster between comedy and violence; there’s a lot more Breaking Bad. It’s to the point where it’s not just like, “Oh here’s one [scene], here’s one.” They’re still telling the story of Jimmy and Kim and all that, but the show is probably half the story of Breaking Bad. That’s just Mike’s story — the story of what made the world of Breaking Bad. Like an origin story of Breaking Bad. Half the show, that’s a lot. In the past, I would call that a quarter of the season, or less.
The Breaking Bad world within our world is growing. It’s going to swallow us, and that’s okay with me. There’s a scene that takes place during the time period of Breaking Bad. And that’s the first time we’ve done that. It was so much fun. And Jimmy’s story is really its own thing. But the truth is, for Breaking Bad fans, when this fourth season comes on — and I’m not talking about Saul now, I’m talking about the bad guys — it’s almost like, if you want to claim you’ve watched all of Breaking Bad, now you have to watch all of Better Call Saul. Because that’s how much of Breaking Bad‘s story is in Better Call Saul. Obviously, I’m thrilled about the notion that there’s just so many Breaking Bad fans that will really want to watch the show who haven’t tried it yet because it’s really overlapped. And learning about who these guys were that you met in Breaking Bad and what happened to them and how they became kingpins or not. It’s so much fun. We’re talking about Gus’s story. How Gus [Giancarlo Esposito] became the Gus you see in Breaking Bad.
You will get to meet Lalo [Tony Dalton], and Huell [Lavell Crawford] is back in a big way. We’re a heck of a team. And Nacho [Michael Mando], we get to know his story more. All the bad guys, that world grows massively in this season. There’s a lot that needs to build the world of Breaking Bad. It’s still Better Call Saul, but it’s maybe half Breaking Bad world — stuff that I don’t have anything to do [with]. But if you love Breaking Bad and you want to know who Gus is, and what happened to Hector [Mark Margolis], we’re doing it this year. It’s amazing. Some real intense, dark stuff. And then there’s me, being a clown.
Speaking of worlds to explore, fans want to see more of Gene and that post-Breaking Bad universe.
There is more Gene. Gene’s been sucking it up for so long, however many months or a year or so since Breaking Bad ended, and it’s coming out of him, it’s exploding out of him. He can’t keep himself under wraps. Sort of by circumstance, but he’s just going crazy. And he starts to fall apart. What will emerge, I do not know. I would love to see this guy put his life back together, maybe with some wisdom.
What’s one cryptic hint you can offer about Gene in season 4?
Gene is on the run, and he can smell the lights chasing him, shining on him. That’s how close they are.