Prior to the premiere of Better Call Saul season five, the official trailer revealed that one of the most iconic characters from Breaking Bad — DEA Agent Hank Schrader — would be returning along with his partner Steve Gomez.
Considering it was just a trailer, Hank and Gomez’s relative involvement in the upcoming season with naturally unclear. But now, three episodes into the ten-episode fifth season, the DEA duo have made their debut and it looks like they’re going to be involved in more than just a cameo capacity.
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Better Call Saul co-creator and showrunner Peter Gould explained the thought process behind resurrecting the beloved Breaking Bad crimefighting pair and why now was the time to do so.
“Look, we love Dean [Norris]. We love Steven [Quezada]. But those characters had a perfect, devastating end on Breaking Bad. So when we were talking about this season, we didn’t say, “Oh, let’s bring this character and that character back.” But once we started thinking about episode 3, it seemed obvious that Jimmy would be facing off against two DEA agents. And as soon as you say the letters D-E-A in our world, that means Hank Schrader,” Gould said about the process that led to Hank’s inclusion.
As for Norris, he relished the chance to return as Schrader, as it allowed him the chance to revisit the earlier, cocksure version of the character — the one we knew prior to his life being destroyed by Walter White.
“That was a fun thing, I thought, because I said, “Hey, you know, it’d be nice for the fans to see him back in his prime again [laughs], before the PTSD and all that stuff.” And they were like, “Yeah, he’s prime Hank swagger at this point.” Even more so than Breaking Bad, because [Better Call Saul is set] a little bit before, but certainly consistent with the first season of Breaking Bad, he’s his loudmouth, boisterous, over-the-top, macho self. I thought, “Well, that’s great to get to go back and play that,” because it was such a change for him in the second and third season of Breaking Bad. He became such a depressed and dour guy [laughs] that it was great to go back to the original fun Hank and play him that way,” Norris told EW.
With both Hank and Gomez appearing in the teaser for next week’s episode, it appears that the duo may be a legitimate part of the season five narrative going forward, and that is a win for all Breaking Bad fans.
‘Better Call Saul’ airs on Monday nights on AMC at 9 p.m. EST.
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