Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Breaking Bad Script or "And Justice for Saul"

Should I write a Breaking Bad spec script? When I worked in Hollywood, you were supposed to write a script of a show that you knew in order to get on the staff of a new show. For example, if you wanted to get on the staff of CSI, you might want to want a script for NCIS.  You don't want to use something too old, you wouldn't use a Honeymooners script to try and get on the staff of Modern Family.

You never write the show itself. If you try to write something for the show you want to be on, you will always be wrong. They know more about the direction of their own show than you do.  You wouldn't want to write an episode of Breaking Bad while it was still on and predicting that Hank was faking it and Walt leaves Skyler and marries Marie for example.

In real life, I wrote a spec episode of the legal thriller the Practice, which helped me get on the show Arrest and Trial.For the new show Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad would be the perfect spec script.
Obviously my Breaking Bad spec script would focus on Saul, perhaps during the second season as we are still learning more about the character. Gus and Mike are still alive...

I would want to see Saul in trial and maybe learn about how he got his body guard, Huell (?). I'd also like to learn how he met Mike and Gus. We'll use the five act structure. The episode would be called "And Justice for Saul."

In the teaser we see Huell doing some collection work perhaps, maybe at a donut store and was arrested trying to do a getaway, and because he couldn't get away very fast, he is literally caught red-handed. Perhaps his compatriots do get away and Huell fears that he is dead. "I need a lawyer," he says. Fade out.

Act I, we fade into the tallest building in ABQ. Saul is getting fired from a top notch law firm when they learn he has falsified his transcripts and didn't really go to Cornell. He goes to his pathetic hovel of a home and thinking of moving back to Chicago. We then learn its even worse, he's living with a stripper who kicks him out of the home as her evil pimp moves in. Meanwhile, at the first act break, we see Gus killing his existing lawyer, and then asks the dead body "Who do we hire now?"

In Act II Gus sends Mike to find a lawyer they can manipulate, and Mike goes around to all the regular law firms in Albuquerque and is rejected. (Perhaps they know about their dead colleague which makes them uneasy). About to give up for the night, Mike goes to a bar to relax. Actually a strip club might be better. Mike and Saul "meet cute" in the bar. Perhaps Saul in a rare bout of chivalry is able to save his old girlfriend the stripper from being fired by her evil boss through some good legal arguments. He bullshits something about OSHA regulations for example. He's so good, the stripper even wants him back, but Saul turns her down. "I'm done with law," he says.

In the strip club parking lot, as Saul throws up from the stress, Mike follows up a hunch that Saul with his street smarts might be the lawyer for them and sets up a sitdown.

Act III, During a sitdown at the Pollos Hermanos, Saul learns from Mike he better win the case or he's dead. Saul realizes he has nothing to lose and takes the case, perhaps he's hoping to die...In the next scene, at Huell's crowded house with his family, we see Saul trying to learn the law just in time. Huell actually knows more about law than Saul (from his time in the joint) and helps Saul get better at learning the law. Saul practices in front of Huell's family who pester him with questions. Meanwhile. Gus becomes more uneasy about Saul and plans to have him killed if he doesn't win the case.

During an Act IV trial scene, Saul finds that he's a better lawyer than he thought, and develops a friendship with Huell. Saul is held in contempt in his opening statement, but gradually gets better as the case goes on. His final cross examination of the cop is actually not half  bad. The cop admits that while he saw Huell running, it was possible that Huell might be out for a morning jog. Cut to Closings...Just imagine Saul's closing argument....(Seriously, use your imagination, I'm seeing something out of Al Pacino's "whole system is out of order speech" in And Justice for All). Actually Saul learns about the speech by checking it out on his computer while no one is looking.

The jury comes back quickly. Is that good or bad? Gus and Mike are now in the gallery waiting anxiously. Saul takes a deep breath. Fade out.

In Act V, Not guilty!  Gus decides that Saul can be useful after all and sends him more work. In the penultimate scene, Saul has a chance to go to a legitimate law firm and is about to turn Gus down. He walks out the door and sees the big building where the firm is, but something makes him turn around. He goes back in and literally sells his soul to Gus. In the final scene, we see him looking for an office as the sun sets...Meanwhile we see Saul pass Gus and Jesse in an RV on their way to a cook...


Call me...

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