beautiful title sequence

Highlights of the Better Call Saul Insider Podcast, Ep. 103 “Nacho”

Guests this episode are Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, music supervisor Thomas Golubić, and writer/co-executive producer Thomas Schnauz.

  • All of this season’s episode titles end with –o.
  • The scene after the teaser, in which Jimmy calls Kim in the middle of the night, was Rhea Seehorn’s audition scene.
  • Some of the other audition scenes for Better Call Saul were fake scenes written by junior writers or writers’ assistants to avoid leaks. This practice was carried over from Breaking Bad; for example, Jesse Plemons’s audition scene for the character of Todd involved being in the Army in Fallujah, which never happened on the show.
  • The teaser with Jimmy in jail in Chicago is set in 1992. Chuck’s chunky old cell phone is the same model as one used in an episode of The X-Files. The location is the same one used for the jail parts of the courthouse montage in the previous episode, “Mijo.”
  • The director of this episode, the Brit Terry McDonough, is beloved by the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul crew for working quickly and getting them home early; hence his nickname “Ten-Hour Terry.”
  • As I suspected, Nacho is indeed the Ignacio mentioned by Saul in Breaking Bad episode 208, “Better Call Saul.”
  • In the original script, Mike was supposed to read For Whom the Bell Tolls in his booth rather than doing the crossword puzzle, but the producers couldn’t get the rights to the title.
  • Better Call Saul’s title music, by an English trio called Little Barrie, was meant to fit Jimmy’s personality, which has a streak of melancholy, as well as reflecting the fact that he often improvises and makes things up as he goes along.
  • The titles themselves are meant to look like something from cheap, early-to-mid 80s home video or public access TV, “artfully shitty” in contrast to the beautiful, sophisticated title sequences on so many modern shows.  The music was deliberately clipped at the end to add to the low-budget feel.
  • A different video is underneath the titles every episode. They’re always images from Saul’s world, not Jimmy’s, which parallels Dave Porter’s intent in creating the title music for Breaking Bad, to reflect where Walt ends up, not where he is now.
  • Nacho slapping the table in the jail was improvised by Michael Mando.
  • The window where Jimmy gets paid is in the same hallway where Hank got Walt out of trouble after he got arrested in Breaking Bad 302, “Caballo Sin Nombre.”
  • SPOILER for those who haven’t seen Breaking Bad: the location in the photo above is the same location where Mike died.