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'Better Call Saul': Bob Odenkirk's theory about Michael McKean's Emmy snub

·Writer, Yahoo Entertainment
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For those of us who watched the incredible third season of Better Call Saul, there is no sense to be made of the fact that Michael McKean’s spectacular performance as Chuck McGill was not acknowledged with a thoroughly deserved Emmy nomination.

But Bob Odenkirk, who earned his third straight Lead Actor Emmy nod for portraying McKean’s onscreen little brother, has an idea of how this TV-award injustice may have happened.

“I just am dumbfounded,” Odenkirk said during a Build Series NYC interview Tuesday. “Michael McKean — it just doesn’t get better than what he did this season. And I kinda think [he was snubbed] because a certain amount of the audience only sees the show on streaming. So, literally, next year, they’ll be like, ‘Well, better give it to Michael McKean,’ and it’ll be like, ‘Yeah, that was a year ago, a year and a half ago.’

“But it’s just the way it goes. Many people wait to stream shows. Well, if you haven’t seen Season 3 of Better Call Saul, wait ‘til you see Michael McKean in Season 3. It’s worth the price of admission and everything.”

Odenkirk also discussed why he chose the Season 3 episode “Expenses” as his Emmy submission. As a refresher, it’s the one that ends with Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill telling a legal malpractice insurance agent about his lawyer brother Chuck’s mental issues, and then leaving the office with a satisfied smile on his face. It’s just one flake in the snowball that ends up toppling Chuck’s very fragile and meticulously organized world, and leads to a tragic season finale.

“Every episode I watch, I’m like, ‘I’m pretty good in that,’ but … if I show this damn episode to anyone, they’re gonna give the Emmy to Michael McKean,” Odenkirk said, laughing. “Joking, but telling the truth. I just couldn’t see my own work past his amazing brilliance in the season. I think you see it in [‘Expenses’]. … There’s a really great scene at the end. … What’s so great about the scene is that [Jimmy] genuinely cracks. He just can’t win. It’s an episode where he’s just getting beaten down, and it comes on the heels of numerous episodes where nothing is working for him … and he realizes, it comes to him, that this emotional sharing, that’s inappropriate, can kinda be used as a weapon to hurt his brother, to strike back. And it’s such a wild thing to play, this genuine letting go, that then becomes this plan, all takes place in the moment. It was just a wonderful thing to be offered as an actor.”

Check out the complete Build Series NYC chat below for his thoughts on how his work on the cult classic Mr. Show With Bob and David helped him land the role of Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad; his fellow nominees in this year’s Emmy race; and how Jimmy’s devolution into Saul will certainly, and understandably, speed up in Season 4.

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