“Better Call Saul” Season 3 now has an official premiere date — Monday, April 10 at 10 p.m. — and more importantly we’ve gotten our first real look at footage from the the show’s return. In the clip below, Kim is still helping out Jimmy with his legal practice, following the rules of their unconventional business relationship, but remains wary of him following the revelations of Season 2.
The clip was released at the TCA winter press tour, which also featured a panel including creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, as well as stars Bob Odenkirk, Michael McKean, Jonathan Banks, Patrick Fabien and Rhea Seehorn. Also on stage: Giancarlo Esposito, who we last saw terrorizing Walter White as Gus Fring on “Breaking Bad,” and is indeed confirmed to now be a part of the “Better Call Saul” action.
We already knew that Gus would likely be involved with Season 3, originally thanks to an Easter egg buried in the episode titles of Season 2, then even more clearly thanks to the new video released this week, a commercial for Los Pollos Hermanos. At the end of the commercial, the owner of everyone’s favorite chicken joint/drug front appears, sending fans into a tizzy.
The TCA panel began with the above Jimmy and Kim clip, followed by Esposito making a surprise entrance into the panel — along with a special delivery of Los Pollos Hermanos chicken for the assembled reporters. “It’s really great to be back with this really great family of filmmakers,” he said.
Gilligan directed the first two episodes of Season 3, and he told reporters after the panel that it’s likely that Gus will make his first significant appearance in Episode 2. He also gave Esposito full credit for the idea to reintroduce Gus to viewers via the chicken commercial, which AMC greenlit soon after — and even aired on actual late night television.
When it came to planting the clue with Season 2, Gilligan noted that “we felt we were so clever, coming up that anagram — like the Enigma code,” only to have fans figure out the secret meaning almost instantly. “We always knew the audience was smarter than us,” he said. “But we were never knew just how much.”
Gould admitted that he and Gilligan had had no back-up plan when it came to reintroducing Gus, if Esposito hadn’t been interested in returning to the part. “We’ve always kind of jumped and figured out the consequences afterwards — we’ve never really come up with Plan Bs. Maybe we should start,” he said.
“How much did you hold their feet to the fire?” Banks asked Esposito with a laugh. “How much are you getting paid?”
“I have an answer,” Esposito said to the two-time Emmy nominee. “Not as much as you.”
The energy on the panel general was jovial, especially thanks to Banks teasing his cast mates. At one point, Banks called out Esposito for never arriving to set on time, to which Esposito had another snappy reply: “The difference between me and you is that I have hair, and it needs to get done when I get there.”
Ultimately, Gould said that the journey of the show remained relatively similar to seasons past, with the endgame of transforming Jimmy into Saul still in play. “It takes a lot of pressure to turn a lump of coal into a diamond,” he said, “And it takes a lot of pressure to turn a decent man into Saul Goodman.”
Or, as Odenkirk quipped, “to turn a diamond into a lump of coal.”
Check out the teasers above and below, and get ready for April 10.