WORDS: JAMES EKRON
You have to give credit where credit is due and Vince Gilligan is the reason that expression exists. His foray into television yielded ‘The X Files’, to create a fan base so virulent that they have brought it back into production thirteen years after the series finale. His second success (Breaking Bad) created similarly rabid fans, so much so that it has spun off the criminal lawyer, Saul Goodman, into his very own AMC-made, dusty Americana vision of Better Call Saul.
In typical style, Gilligan uses non-linear storytelling to tell his character’s story and Saul Goodman is no exception. Jumping ahead of the explosive ending of Breaking Bad’s Season 5 we see James McGill hiding out in the Nebraskan cold in the series premier, exactly where he said he would be, working as a manager at a Cinnabon.
Before he was a criminal lawyer he made his way as a public defence attorney where, as show-runner Peter Gould says, “he may take the money, but he feels guilty about it now.” We watch him grow increasingly less guilty to become ‘Slippin Jimmy’ as the alter ego to his lawful self, much as ‘Heisenberg’ is the meth cooker to Walter White’s benign science teacher.
“How could you not want to see where this guy ends up?” says Vince Gilligan and he uses this question to answer many such plot lines in the universe he created with Breaking Bad. For instance, what happened to Mike that he stopped being a policeman? Does anyone survive the fallout of ‘Heisenberg’, did Saul really convince a woman that he was Kevin Costner to sleep with her? All questions answered in due time under this incredible writers direction.
IMDB has given the first season 9.2/10, it has received a 100% “Certified Fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes and even the Grammy’s had less viewers because Saul had its season premier that same night. In a clash of peers against other first season-ers such as Empire and The Flash, Better Call Saul is the clear frontrunner for its off-beat quality and compelling storytelling. There may be less blood and screams of “Bitch!” than Breaking Bad, but you can be sure of being entertained.