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VIFF TALK: Emmy-Nominated BETTER CALL SAUL Writer Gordon Smith


Better Call Saul writer Gordon Smith screened his Emmy-nominated episode Five-O  at VIFF Talks tonight in VanCity Theatre.  It was Smith’s first-ever produced script after working on Breaking Bad as a writers’ assistant.


Better Call Saul is a prequel telling the origin stories of secondary Breaking Bad characters — corrupt criminal lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odendirk) who starts off life as lawyer Jimmy McGill and hitman and cleaner Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Bank) who used to be a police officer.

In Gordon Smith’s Five-O season one episode, we learn about Mike (Bank)’s past. How he persuaded his police officer son to “go along to get along” and take kickbacks, only to see him betrayed and killed by the officers behind the kickback scheme. Mike falls into drunkenness until he avenges his son’s death by executing his murderers.


He confesses what happened to his daughter-in-law.


Jonathon Bank , nominated for a supporting actor Emmy for this episode, did the above soliloquy in two takes for the medium close-up. “The crew started applauding,” said Smith, who was  on set in Albuquerque to see the filming of Five-O.

After five seasons of Breaking Bad and two seasons of Better Call Saul, “we’re like a tick dug into Alberquerque”, Smith said with a laugh.




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