I’ll forever remember three things: The Titans, The Alamo, and the moment Breaking Bad came to an end. AMC’s smash hit about a chemistry-teacher-turned-meth-dealer captivated the world and kept us on the edge of our seats every second of it’s final season. Toward the end of the series it was rumored (then later confirmed) that crowd favorite Saul Goodman would be receiving his own spin-off to be released the following year for AMC. Well the day(s) finally came and we were served up a brand new take on the world that has become some familiar.
From here on out there will be spoilers so read at your own risk!
Episode 1: Uno
The pilot episode starts this series off strong with several winks and nods to let everyone know this show was once something else. It opens with a black and white flash forward (in a flashback?) where Saul, sporting a rapidly thinning hairstyle, is managing a Cinnabon and his paranoia as he scans his restaurant for any signs of danger, begging the question, why? Next we see him in a lonely, baron apartment, drink in hand, as he pulls out a hidden box with an old VHS tape in it. As he slumps back down in his chair and hits play, we hear his signature catch phrase “Better Call Saul”.
I’m not sure what to make of that scene. My only assumption is, like the flash forward in season two of Breaking Bad, it’s telling the audience what is to come and not what has already happened. The rest of the episode is set in “present day” and goes to show that Saul, currently using his real name James M. McGill, has not yet climbed off his moral high horse and is broke because of it. James is trying to split focus with his brother, played by Michael McKean, and his confusing troubles, and starting his law office to be the lawyer he knows he can be.
When we finally see Saul in what should be his prime, the courtroom, we get a very green Goodman who has to practice his lines over and over at the urinal before pleading his case in front of a jury. Of course after seeing what his three teenage clients were charged with, Saul probably needed the extra time. I know I said there would be spoilers but I won’t touch this scene too much. It was too fun to have someone ruin. If we get more scenes in the courtroom like this, Better Call Saul will quickly become a favorite.
The last half of the episode sets up Saul meeting a county Treasurer who has allegedly embezzled $1.5 million dollars and is in the market for a lawyer. After his wife says they should sleep on it before hiring legal help, Saul is forced to weasel his way into their check books. Lucky for him, the two scammers who tried an car insurance scam on Saul earlier, were still around looking for an easy payday. Saul has them pretend to get hit by the treasurer’s wife while they’re skateboarding on the road. When she runs one over and then books it, it’s clear that Saul’s plan isn’t coming together.
This is where the episode gets really good. Like typical Gilligan style, the episode ends in pretty impressive cliffhanger. The skateboarders follow the car to a house in the suburbs and come to find out, the scammers had the wrong car. It’s actually a little old Mexican lady and when they scream for her to pay up, she leads them inside her house. Moments later, Saul shows up and is met at the front door with a gun, pointing right between his eyes. A hand drags him inside and a man peers out to see if Saul was followed. This man? None other than Tuco FUCKING Salamanca!!
Honestly, thank god for that ending ’cause without it, I was definitely ready to give up on the show. It was no Breaking Bad and then BOOM some cool shit happens. Well, thanks AMC, now I’m hooked for at least one more episode.
Episode 2: Mijo
Ever since the announcement of Better Call Saul the question has been “who is coming back?” Well Saul‘s writing crew has brought back one of my absolute favorites.
Tuco Salamanca, the infamous meth snorting psycho, known as Walter and Jesse’s first big adversary, apparently had dealings with Saul long before they did. In a very tense conversation involving the gun from earlier, Saul is forced to confess to being the scammers lawyer, just trying to keep the peace. Leading all three of them to be drug out to the desert to possibly be executed. However, thanks to that ever-charming wit, Saul Goodman is able to talk their way out of an execution and into a more fitting punishment. And boy was it a painful one!
Two very broken legs later, we see Saul go through a montage of other court cases, showing us that he’s starting to get the hang of his mojo. He ends his day in his office/apartment with a celebratory drink when he gets an unwarranted visit from Tuco’s right hand man. Saul had mentioned that Treasurer’s embezzlement and now Tuco’s guard wanted more info to be able to rip them off, tempting Saul with a 10% finder’s fee. Surprisingly, Saul, being the good guy Jimmy McGill, didn’t want to take the money because he “made a mistake” and wants to be a legitimate lawyer. Unfortunately for Saul, I don’t think Tuco or his men are the type to take “no” for an answer.
The episode ends rather suddenly so who knows what’s in store for Saul. I guess we’ll have to wait until next week to see where exactly this story is going. Better Call Saul airs Mondays nights on AMC. Have thoughts on the show? Leave them below or on our Facebook page! Stay Entertained!