The latest episode of Better Call Saul was a long-awaited episode from Gene Takovic – but fans were shocked by a major rewrite
Season 6 of Better Call Saul sped along at a breakneck pace, breaking up storylines involving Lalo, Howard, and Kim in quick succession.
At the end of the ninth episode, a loose thread that fans were still waiting for was the story of Gene Takovic.
The black and white flashforwards showing Jimmy’s life after the events of Breaking Bad were shown at the beginning of seasons 1-5 but were absent from the first episode of season 6.
Episode 10, Nippy, finally gave fans a full Gene Takovic episode – but one of the main characters has been recast.
What happened in Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 10?
As a result, Gene sneaked into an old lady’s house to meet her son Jeff.
Jeff is the cab driver who recognized Gene as Saul Goodman in the black-and-white scenes of seasons four and five, since the character previously lived in Albuquerque.
In Nippy, Gene plans an elaborate heist for Jeff, distracting the security guard at the Cottonwood Mall and allowing Jeff to loot thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.
After Gene set up the scam to involve Jeff stealing a high value of items and participating in a federal crime, Gene blackmails Jeff into silence.
Why was Jeff’s character recast?
Don Harvey played Jeff in seasons four and five of Better Call Saul, but was replaced by Pat Healy in Nippy.
Harvey wasn’t fired from the show when he was supposed to be directing the episode, but filming dates were pushed back when Bob Odenkirk suffered a heart attack on set.
Odenkirk, who plays Saul/Jimmy/Gene, had a heart attack in July 2021 while filming a scene for the ninth episode.
This put Odenkirk out of action for more than a month, necessitating a major rescheduling of the shooting date.
Harvey couldn’t keep the new filming dates because they conflicted with HBO crime drama We Own This City, in which he stars.
Harvey plays John Sieracki, a police officer assigned to investigate the Gun Trace Task Force.
With Harvey unable to do the shoot, the producers had to rush to find another actor with a similar likeness, and they ended up with Pat Healy.
Healy is 11 years younger than Harvey, and the production didn’t have time to fix his curly hair, and the show didn’t quite get away with the switcheroo, which ironically mirrored an earlier scene in season 6 where Saul hired an actor to go around impersonate Judge Casimiro.
What did the fans say about the casting?
Some fans criticized the altered personality Healy brought to the role. One fan tweeted: “Re-imagining Jeff the Cab Driver in Better Call Saul feels weird. The other actor (Don Harvey) had a weird, spooky vibe that doesn’t exist with this guy, but let’s see how it goes anyway.”
Another said Harvey’s Jess was “intimidating” while Healy’s “felt like a pushover”.
Another added: “I missed Don Harvey playing Jeff. I like the actor they recast the role with, but Don brought such a spooky vibe to the character that I wanted to see him again.”