Warning: This post contains spoilers from Monday’s Better Call Saul.
If you spent this week’s Better Call Saul shouting “No! Don’t do it!” at the screen, well, you’re not alone.
Monday’s penultimate episode saw Gene press his luck way too far, first by lingering too long while ripping off a rich cancer patient and almost getting caught by the cops, and then by threatening to strangle poor old Marion when she exposed his Saul Goodman alter ego. (Read our full recap here.) There were so many times where Gene could’ve just walked away and gotten away with these scams — so why does he keep pushing like this?
“He really is doing this whole scam just to burn up his life,” star Bob Odenkirk explained on AMC’s Talking Saul aftershow. “He’s trying to destroy himself.” He likened Gene’s downward spiral to Nicolas Cage’s self-destructive character in Leaving Las Vegas: “I’m gonna do these scams until you catch me and I go down… I’m just gonna burn this down.”
Gene has reached the point of no return with his life in Omaha: “He’s not enjoying the Cinnabon job,” Odenkirk added with a laugh. “He’s not enjoying being hidden away… to be utterly mute, as effusive as his character is. He can’t handle it.”
But it was Marion telling Gene “I trusted you” that broke the spell, he pointed out: “The sweetness of her face and the hurt in her heart that hurt so much in that moment melts his steely anger, and he remembers that he’s human again, briefly, and he can’t do it.” But “he gets close, which is crazy!… It’s the furthest length that he’s gone.”
Read on for more insights from the Talking Saul aftershow: