Apparently, the writers’ room of “Better Call Saul” has some major fans of “Lawrence of Arabia” in its midst. “Bagman” wasn’t the first time a reference to the influential film came up. In a clever bit of retrospective foreshadowing, Saul (or Jimmy as he was known at the time) talks with a friend, who makes the following remark, “I mean, 10 years in a desert, you should look like Anthony Quinn in ‘Lawrence of Arabia.'” Several seasons later, Odenkirk did bear a striking resemblance to the actor during his “Lawrence of Arabia” days.
When rewatching the series, it’s hard not to look at the events as an epic retelling of the classic film, and “Bagman” consists of numerous nods to what’s come before. Redditor u/Detzeb posts one comparison piece where Saul holds his cell phone up toward the sky. It’s eerily reminiscent of a similar-looking shot from “Lawrence of Arabia.” That’s not the only screengrab that exists, as u/Detzeb goes on to post numerous other images from the episode that look like they came straight out of an “Arabia” remake.
In case you believe these nods were accidental, writer Gordon Smith spoke about how they actively kept the iconic film in mind when writing “Bagman.” When asked about the influences for the desert sequence, Smith stated, “We also talked a lot about ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and the desert scenes in that movie. Not to just rip off the greats, but hopefully to understand that there’s a whole set of images that come to mind, and we might as well play to them because nobody’s going to miss them when they’re watching it.”