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‘Breaking Bad’ character Gale returns in ‘Better Call Saul’



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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
  • 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

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

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

“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

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