TV

‘Better Call Saul’ plants Easter eggs for TV audience

Bob Odenkirk portrays lawyer Jimmy McGill, before taking on the pseudonym Saul Goodman, in “Better Call Saul.”
Bob Odenkirk portrays lawyer Jimmy McGill, before taking on the pseudonym Saul Goodman, in “Better Call Saul.” AP

When each “Better Call Saul” episode hits the air (10 p.m. Mondays on AMC), a certain segment of its audience answers the call, not just savoring each hour of duplicity by lawyer Jimmy McGill, but also scouring the screen for covert clues.

This pursuit of so-called Easter eggs isn’t unique to “Saul.” Throughout his career as a movie director, Alfred Hitchcock in effect cast himself as an Easter egg, popping up in each of his films in a blink-and-you’d-miss-it cameo appearance.

But since premiering last month, “Saul” has emerged not only as TV’s most beguiling tragicomedy, but also a favorite hunting ground for high-alert Easter eggheads.

Many of its buried clues link “Saul” to “Breaking Bad,” the 2008-13 AMC series that introduced Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) in a time frame six years after the starting point for “Saul.” For instance, in the “Saul” premiere, Jimmy’s car was revealed to be a 1998 Suzuki Esteem rattletrap parked in the Albuquerque courthouse alongside a Cadillac DeVille – a deliberate reference to the make of car he will drive years later on “Breaking Bad” in his alter ego as attorney Saul Goodman.

On another “Saul” occasion, a fleeting close-up of a letter to Jimmy displayed a home address on Juan Tabo Boulevard, which quick-witted viewers recalled, years later, is the residential street of nerdy chemist Gale Boetticher, lab assistant to Walter White (“Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston) in producing his top-notch crystal meth.

“We’re making the show for an audience that’s paying attention,” says co-producer and co-creator Peter Gould, and if it seems like they have fun keeping the audience on its toes, well, they sure do, he declares.

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