'Better Call Saul' Stars Reveal Alternate Ending and Series Finale Secrets

Better Call Saul may have ended on Monday, August 15, but the creative team still has some secrets left to share.

Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn and co-creator Peter Gould spoke at a press conference about the show's series finale, revealing how things could have been different for Odenkirk and Seehorn's characters.

'Better Call Saul' Stars Reveal Alternate Ending

Better Call Saul
Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn as Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman and Kim Wexler in the "Better Call Saul" finale. The actors and co-creator Peter Gould spoke at a press conference about the show's ending and how it could have been different. Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Better Call Saul ended with Odenkirk's Jimmy McGill, aka Saul Goodman, aka Gene Takovic, getting caught by police in the post-Breaking Bad era.

At first, it seemed like Saul might use his skills as a lawyer to get himself the deal of a lifetime, but the old Jimmy was still in there, even after all the years as Saul Goodman, and did the right thing: He confessed to his crimes.

In the end, Jimmy was sent to prison for 87 years, and the show ended with his ex-wife Kim Wexler (Seehorn) visiting him in jail where they smoke in the visitation room and later look at each other over the prison yard as Kim heads home.

But, Gould revealed that their meeting was originally going to be quite different: "When we first broke the episode this [scene] was the two of them were meeting in Albuquerque before he went to prison, and the last scene was him in prison by himself, thinking. And I liked that a lot, but it seemed a little cold.

"I think ultimately, we all felt like ending with the two of them felt like the strongest way to go. And, also, in the in the original version he was fearful about what was going to happen to him in prison.

"It was a lot about the fear. And this is a very different scene. It's a scene that has connection. It's mostly about connection and wistful connection, it seems to me."

He added: "There was a version that ended with the two of them smoking, and I went back and forth on that for a while. Then ultimately, having watched them both, I felt like it was right, and it felt more honest to end with the two of them apart rather than the two of them together."

Odenkirk said his scene with Seehorn in the visitation room was "the easiest scene we ever shot," adding: "It's one of the few times that one of them isn't trying to manipulate the moment [or] push some argument in some direction."

Seehorn concurred with her co-star, saying: "It was the last scene we shot, the very last scene we shot on the series... but I totally agree with Bob as well, as far as the characters, if we understood that this is them at their best, horrible place.

"But they are without artifice, and without armour and sort of maskless to each other, which is the best part of their relationship, is that that they were able to be that for each other.

"I was very struck coming into the scene the way Bob was playing his side was very, very caretaking, steadying her hand and even the way he's making the joke.

"It's such a perfectly written scene, that he tries to make her laugh a little bit even somehow letting her know it's okay because he can see that she's scared for him."

Betsy Brandt Almost Didn't Appear in the Finale

Better Call Saul
Betsy Brandt as Marie Schrader in the "Better Call Saul" finale. Peter Gould said at a press conference that he brought back Marie to represent the voices of Saul Goodman's victims. Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Breaking Bad fans were also given a nice surprise in the finale when Betsy Brandt returned to reprise her role as Hank Schrader's widow Marie, who confronted Saul about his support of Walter White (Bryan Cranston).

Gould admitted Marie's appearance in the episode was brought up "pretty late in the game," as he said: "I think we wanted very much someone to be the voice of the victims... Cheryl [Howard Hamlin's wife, played by Sandrine Holt] certainly is a victim but she's a victim of everything that Jimmy and Kim did together.

"We wanted there to be the voice of the victims of what Saul did during the years he was Saul Goodman, and we felt like the most credible character [was Marie]."

Referencing the penultimate episode when Kim reveals to Cheryl how Howard died, Gould added: "Kim does, I think, the best she could possibly do and Jimmy, in that moment [with Marie], or Saul, is maybe his worst possible self.

"To look into a widow's eyes and to say, 'well, I'm as much of a victim as you are,' I mean it just takes the air out of my lungs, to win every time he's such a horrible person, he's such an a*****e.

"I don't know what he's ever done that's quite as bad as that, and so I'm really delighted when he turns things around later in the episode."

Jesse Could Have Ended Up Like Jimmy

One thing fans might not expect is how similar Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad sequel spin-off El Camino almost ended up being.

El Camino follows Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) immediately after the events of Breaking Bad, with the loveable character getting a new identity, escaping police custody and finding peace after his experiences in the flagship show.

But originally, creator Vince Gilligan had different plans for Jesse, as Gould said of Better Call Saul's ending: "We had an image in the writers room sometime in Season four or five, that he would end up in jail. And in fact, at that point, Vince was out of the room, he was working on El Camino, and he came into the room to pitch us potential endings for El Camino.

"And one of the endings was very similar to this except for Jesse, and of course it was beautifully pitched and beautifully thought through, like everything that Vince did, and I got a little cold breeze on my back.

"I felt a little sweaty because I just felt so strongly that the right ending for Saul was to be in the system, the system that he's made light of and that he's twisted around for his own purposes."

In the end, Gilligan changed his ending at Gould and the writers' suggestion, and the showrunner added: "I think the ending he came up with for Jesse is exactly the right one.

"It felt in terms of the, if you want to call it a trilogy of the three shows, it just feels very elegant to me that Walt dies, really on his own weird twisted terms.

"Jesse suffers greatly, and he is in a prison of his own for quite a while, and then he gets away, and then starts this healing.

"And of the three of them, Jimmy gets his soul back, but he's going to be incarcerated for some amount of time and that just felt right."

On Saul and Walt's Final Scene Together

The finale featured one last cameo from Bryan Cranston as Walter White, the chemistry teacher turned drugs kingpin, in a flashback scene with Saul from Breaking Bad's final episodes.

It finds Saul and Walt back in the underground bunker they were holed up in after police were finally on their trail, with Walt berating Saul when he asked what the other would do if he had a time machine.

Gould said of the scene: "This felt like these two guys, in a weird way, are on parallel tracks. It just the sense that neither one of them is really owning up to what's really going on inside them, and that just felt like the right time for that."

Odenkirk also said of the scene: "For me, that was a very impactful scene. For me that was about, in my case, looking at it through Saul's eyes.

"Jimmy finds himself in a f**king room with a guy who's just like his brother Chuck, and he realizes he's done it yet again. He's put himself in a relationship with an older, smarter guy who treats him like s**t, and who he can't gain any respect from.

"And isn't that the way of people in real life, where they re-enact these relationships they have as a child, and they think they're moving on, and then they look around and go, 'I just did it again'? You know, this might as well be Chuck standing here yelling at me calling me an a**hole. And why do I want this guy's f**king love?

"I love that aspect of it. I know there's more to that scene than that but, for me, [it was about] Jimmy realizing he's rebuilt that relationship with Walter White and hating himself for it and wondering how he could ever get out."

Better Call Saul is available to watch in full on AMC+ now.

Better Call Saul
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in the "Better Call Saul" finale. The actor reprised his role for one final scene with Bob Odenkirk, who spoke about how he felt about the moment. Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television