SPOILER ALERT: This article contains details from tonight Better call Saul 6 A finale.
EXCLUSIVE: “I mean, we lived together for most of the season, and he’s absolutely my big brother.” Better call Saul‘s Rhea Seehorn opens up about co-star Patrick Fabian after his Howard Hamlin character met an abrupt end in today’s conclusion of the first installment breaking Bad final season of the prequel.
“We’re very close and I love him and it was just another side of oh right the show actually ends,” the acclaimed actress, who portrayed self-destructive attorney Kim Wexler in the film, created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould represents series. “How real. As if they wouldn’t take that back. It’s happening right now.”
After Kim and the perennial con artist snap Jimmy McGill’s revenge trap against the arrogant Hamlin in his shame and embarrassment, the HHM partner is almost accidentally shot in the Thomas Schnauz-directed and written episode “Plan and Execution” because he was in the wrong place to wrong time by bloodless drug lord Lalo Salamanca (Tony Dalton). For a show that prides itself on the chaos of the seemingly tiny, tonight’s seventh episode of the sixth and final 13-episode season eschews the traditional mid-season cliffhanger. Among other things, the episode rotates instead Better call Saul what many suspect is a tragic consequence for Wexler as she falls into a precipice – or not.
Because we know that the New Mexico set, Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks and Giancarlo Esposito co-stars will end with the start of Walter White’s rise in the Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul-led series BB, how UCS gets us there remains a mystery. Well, except for those like Seehorn from the inner circle, but they don’t talk.
A busy FYC Seehorn stressed how to keep the Saul secrets and spoke to me about what may or may be next and Fabian’s abrupt departure from Season 6A Better call Saul closer. Seehorn laid out how “tragic, disturbing, incredibly thought-provoking” it will all end up being, and generously revealed what a fan she is of her own show and the power of interpretation.
MEETING: That Howard was killed by Lalo at the end was a real shock, not at all where I thought this mid-season finale was going after Kim and Jimmy’s cheating was successfully pulled through. How do you view Howard’s death from a very close and personal perspective?
SEHHORN: I just thought Patrick played it beautifully and it wasn’t easy. Patrick did a wonderful job of managing this very complicated journey that his character has to go through in this episode and the one before that, where… you know, that place we’ve all been when you’re trying to deny your innocence. I’m not on drugs. I’m not. Everyone says yes, that’s what people on drugs say.
MEETING: How did you find out about the death?
SEHHORN: It wasn’t until we got this script and I audibly gasped as I read the script.
SEHHORN: because I was just kind of like, oh, this is dangerous. Oh my God. This is going to be bad. Oh my God. Oh. Which is going to happen, and then it’s written in the same language that you witnessed it in, as far as it’s a normal sentence, and then it just gets cut off, you know, so pfft and you’re like, wait, what. Then he falls and hits his head. It’s brutal.
We’ve rehearsed it extensively as we do on the show and it’s tremendously sad about it because it’s my friend Patrick Fabian, my brother at this point. So once you’re done with that, you know you have to do your job. I had to start figuring out how Kim would feel in that moment and she’s so in control even when things are out of her control. She’s repressing and compartmentalizing and all that, but as you rightly saw, there’s this book end about how she reacted when Lalo came here last time and how she rose to the occasion and what she’s doing this time.
MEETING: What was it like saying goodbye to Patrick after all these years of working together?
SEHHORN: I was sad.
I mean we lived together for most of the season and he’s absolutely my big brother. We’re very close and I love him, and it was just another side of oh right, the show actually ends. How real. As if they wouldn’t take that back. It’s happening right now. It was sad.
Even when it comes to Patrick, I liked having him around. I like his work. I like his contribution to the show. But I was thrilled that they gave him so much to do in those last few moments because I think he’s a great actor and I knew he would not only rise to the occasion, but surpass it. So that’s the part we need to celebrate. It’s like okay, if you have to go, at least you’ll go into fashion.
MEETING: In terms of the show, Howard’s death is another consequence of Kim and Jimmy’s actions, do you have any real understanding of that? From the explosion radius of death and destruction around them?
SEHHORN: I mean, that’s the embodiment of what Kim and Jimmy pretend all season long isn’t true — that their actions have no consequences. That they’re not really harming anyone, and now a person is dying at their feet, and I think that’s a seismic shift that would happen in someone if that went down. It remains to be seen where Kim will go with it, what she will do with it. It’s traumatic.
It was traumatic to think about it and play it and then deal with it, kind of like you say you just have to deal with that kind of violence to take that out of the blue and out of context, and yet I play Kim who’s smart enough and confident enough that I don’t think she’d get it out of the blue, but it all happens so quickly. It’s about how quickly you can process something like that. I think it’s a complete shock at first. Yes. That is much.
MEETING: This episode and final season has planted so many stakes in the ground so far, especially for Kim. You know, there’s always a rumor that there’s going to be a spinoff with you because we all want there to be a spinoff with you…
SEHHORN: Thanks. That is very nice. Thanks.
MEETING: So let me ask you this with no spoilers, is Kim done when Saul the show is done?
SEHHORN: You know, Peter and Vince have said publicly that while they feel there are stories, including mine, that are worth keeping telling, they want to step back from this franchise for a moment. So, that’s all I can say about it. In addition, you would have to ask them for details. No one is shy, but I’m also very grateful that she and the fans feel like there’s an ellipse of who Kim is and who Kim was.
MEETING: How hard is it, with a spin-off or no spin-off where it all ends, Howard’s death and the ethos of Better Call Saul, to keep everything that’s about to happen a secret?
SEHHORN: Not difficult at all.
MEETING: For real?
SEHHORN: My fiancé has no idea what’s happening and because we shot some things out of order and did some reshoots and stuff like that, he doesn’t even know exactly how long or how many episodes we have. I can absolutely keep a secret because I’m so fortunate that the people in my life who watch this show don’t see it just because I’m there with what sometimes happens with loved ones. They are big fans.
Even the person at the grocery store, whenever they’re like, oh my god, what’s happening to Kim. you have to tell me I can’t even begin to tell them I can’t before they say I mean can’t. Do not tell me. I do not want to know. I do not want to know. I wouldn’t ruin your investment for the world. I wish I could see every single one looking at it.
MEETING: With all the speculation as to what is happening to Kim given her apparent lack of presence in breaking Bad, that U-turn on last week’s episode to return to Albuquerque to reignite the plot against Howard, was seminal to Kim’s complete descent into her own brand of evil. Big reaction to this, but I want to get to the source – who do you think Kim Wexler is at this point?
SEHHORN: This reversal is foretold by another glimpse of the bifurcation that is taking place with her. That lockdown, which I think went too far, and then Francesca congratulates her on her marriage and asks where they’re registered and there’s this lovely little moment where Kim never forgets that she’s in love with Jimmy, except in this kind of more traditional way of celebrating their union and walking among the living and being a normal human being. Anyway, I’m not sure if Kim ever dreamed of a life like that.
So, I don’t know if it’s a loss for her, but what was it that she thought she wanted to be or do, or how she envisioned her life? I’m not going to answer those things because one of the things I love about the show is that they’re brave enough to leave things open to interpretation.
MEETING: What do you mean?
SEHHORN: I always agreed with Peter when I asked him how do you do a lot of flashbacks or do you answer this or that question? He said part of Kim’s appeal is that she can be unfathomable and enigmatic at times, and she’s as complex as we think she is. She’s everything we think it is, and if you answer too many of those questions, you kind of shatter that.
That’s why I’m talking in circles, so to speak, because I don’t really want to tell people exactly what I’m thinking. I make very specific choices when I play her, but in my opinion, this is someone who was once closed off and repressed and taking care of herself as a superpower, and it became a character flaw because she genuinely believes she can do it all administer.
MEETING: How are you feeling during this period of suspended animation as we wait for the final episodes to launch on July 11, months before it’s all over?
SEHHORN: In this case, this suspension has a positive effect, namely that we can gradually mourn a little. Because it’s like it hasn’t quite gotten to us, the cast, that we’re not coming back next season because we always do. We take a break and you take a break, and then it airs. So, I don’t think until we watch these final few episodes it’s really, really going to go down. It was a very tearful farewell for each of us as we left the set in our own timelines.
It’s hard, and yet at the same time, I was very excited about critics like you, who have been like that with us the whole journey and got the subtext and gotten really subtle, difficult things that we were trying to play and just carried on with the journey . I feel like what they’ve written for this season is so respectful of that kind of intelligent watching. Where we go from here to the end is not cheap. It was tragic, disturbing, incredibly thought-provoking.
I’m both a fan of the show and a fan of the series and you know the spelling of these guys. There’s nothing quite like it and it was very, very difficult to shoot this season because it’s so awesome.
— Better Call Saul (@BetterCallSaul) May 24, 2022