Warning: This post contains spoilers for this week’s episode of “Better Call Saul.”
- David Costabile reprised his “Breaking Bad” role as Gale in this week’s episode of “Better Call Saul.”
- “Breaking Bad” fans will remember that Gale was shot and killed by Jesse in the season three finale of “Breaking Bad.”
- Costabile told Business Insider that “Saul” co-creator Peter Gould had discussed Gale returning as far back as the first season.
- Costabile said he didn’t have to be sold on the idea of coming back, and that Gale “died too soon.”
- But he wasn’t told he’d have to sing a Periodic Table song, and he said it took him weeks to memorize it.
If you thought Gale Boetticher died too soon on “Breaking Bad,” the actor behind the character agrees with you.
Fortunately for Gale, and actor David Costabile, the creators behind the “Breaking Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul” weren’t done with Gale either. Costabile reprised his role as the chemist on Monday’s episode of “Better Call Saul,” called “Something Beautiful,” in a brief but satisfying cameo.
“There was not much of a sell,” Costabile told Business Insider of when he was asked to return as Gale. “Because he died too soon, there was definitely more to say and it was a fun challenge to go back and say it.”
The idea of returning had actually been planted in Costabile’s head since the first season of “Better Call Saul” (season four is now airing). Costabile said he ran into “Saul” co-creator Peter Gould at a breakfast place in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where “Breaking Bad” and “Saul” are set, as the first season of “Saul” was wrapping up filming.
“I was in Albuquerque shooting something else,” Costabile said. “I ran into Peter and we sat down and had breakfast. At that point even, he was like ‘I think it would be really fun to have you on the show’ and I said ‘I think that would be really fun, too.'”
Fans of “Breaking Bad” who watched Monday’s “Better Call Saul” episode probably instantly recognized him as the chemist who gets caught in the middle of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Gus Fring’s (Giancarlo Esposito) drug conflict. He pays the ultimate price, as he’s killed by Jesse (Aaron Paul) in the season three finale after Gus orders Gale, who had been Walt’s lab assistant, to learn Walt’s meth formula.
In analyzing Gale’s “Saul” cameo, Costabile described his character as “earnest.” Indeed, he seems to be in high spirits in the episode, obviously completely unaware of the fate that awaits him later in life. In the episode, Gus meets Gale in a chemistry lab where Gale is singing a Periodic Table song, reciting all of the elements. Gale hands over meth samples he’s tested for Gus and offers to cook a better batch himself, which Gus declines – a slight nod to his future.
Costabile said that it was easy to get back into the character of Gale as soon as he was back in Albuquerque, and he looked forward to playing someone who was “just so vastly different in tone from most everyone else on the show.” But the song he had to sing was a different story.
“They did not tell me that I was going to have to sing this tune that I have to sing [when they asked me to return],” Costabile said.
He added that it took him weeks to memorize it: “I think from the moment they told me I just started memorizing it. I should have suspected that that was going to happen to me at some point and memorized it [previously] but I had not. I knew any number of elements in the Periodic Table but I didn’t know them all and I didn’t know them in that sequence particularly at that tempo. But it’s in there now and it’s not coming out. It’s on the ‘hard drive.'”
As for viewers seeing more of Gale in “Better Call Saul?” He was less open about that.
“Did you think that you were going to see him ever again?” he asked. “That same feeling should continue for you.”
“Better Call Saul” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on AMC.