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What Bob Odenkirk Wanted From Better Call Saul If His Heart Attack Forced Him To Exit

When Bob Odenkirk suffered a serious and unexpected heart attack in July 2021 (via Reuters), production of the final season of the hit drama "Better Call Saul" went into a temporary standstill. While Odenkirk was saved by the quick thinking of his colleagues and intervention by the show's on-set medical staff, no one had any idea at the time when he might be healthy enough to return to the mentally and emotionally taxing business of being Jimmy McGill. There was some worry that the antics of his crooked lawyer — the center of the show's dramatics — might come to a sudden and unsatisfying conclusion, leaving millions of loyal viewers emotionally stranded.

Odenkirk eventually made a speedy physical recovery after having stents inserted into his heart (via The Hollywood Reporter). He returned to the set and completed filming the show early in 2022, and the show's final season played out on AMC over the course of 2022. As it turns out, the actor was fully prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice if he had been unable to return to his role in a timely manner — or at all.

Odenkirk was okay with producers recasting the role if need be

In an exclusive clip from the Season 6 DVD release of "Better Call Saul" posted by @getFANDOM on Twitter, Bob Odenkirk says he would not have objected had the producers of "Better Call Saul" recast his role had he died or been physically incapable of carrying on, ensuring that the rest of Jimmy McGill's tale would see the light of day. "It wouldn't have been great but it would have been better than nothing," he declared. 

The actor added that he didn't think it was likely that the show would've continued had he passed away from his heart attack. "They would have just stopped the show if I wasn't capable of doing it. They wouldn't have tried to go on." However, he added that the notion of leaving Jimmy's story incomplete made him feel terrible and would have been a disservice to the show's writers, directors, and crew. "I would have liked it if they got some actor to play him, just to tell the story that they had written."

Thankfully, producers never had to face that possibility down. But it's interesting to imagine someone new taking over the role of Jimmy McGill, especially at such a late point in the show's run.