In the second part of it’s two night Netflix premiere, Better Call Saul continued to break new ground in the life of Jimmy McGill…and that wasn’t all that got broken.
The first episode ended with a glimpse of Breaking Bad’s Tuco, a welcome sight for many fans and the first in what is likely to be a series of cameos from BCS’s predecessor. Allowing viewers to enjoy more of this familiar world just one night after the premiere proved to be a very smart decision by the AMC/Netflix partnership as ‘Uno’ introduced Jimmy McGill and ‘Mijo’ introduced Saul Goodman.
This was a fantastic episode, full of intensity, grit and dark humour. Without doubt, the stand out moment came in the desert as an under-pressure McGill briefly evolved into the resourceful, motor mouthed weaselling Saul Goodman that we all know and love. The negotiation with Tuco about which broken body parts would be acceptable as compensation for the insults given out to Tuco were as entertaining as they were excruciating to witness.
The real purpose of this interaction was to force the Saul out of McGill, in a very similar way to the ‘Better Call Saul’ episode of BB, where Walt and Jesse have him on his knees in the dessert trying to sell himself out of tough situation. He’s the ultimate salesman, willing to try every play in the book until one unlocks the defence of the person he’s under attack from.
Following on from this, we see a wounded McGill throw himself back into the honest life. racking up the $700 a pop PD cases at the local courthouse. Back in the rat race, he finds the safety he needs in decency, he’s had a taste of the cheeses of criminal life and been scared off by a big cat in the form of Tuco, but we know he likes the smell of the prize and ultimately the scraps that he’ll pick up in regular life just aren’t going to satisfy his cravings. We know this, Jimmy know’s it too and that’s why this stunt with the skater twins has basically been the first button press of the phone number needed to call Saul.
Mike’s relationship with Jimmy is moving along one argument at a time. In the hardworking lawyer montage, Mike is proving to be a parking barrier in the way of McGill’s progression, it’s only a matter of time before this comes to a head and the two learn to skilfully co-exist.
Meanwhile, Jimmy’s relationship with Chuck is put to the test as we find out a little more about the disorder effecting the latter and the severity of his condition. This is a quirkier element to the series and not much of it is entertaining us yet, however, stranger things have happened in Albuquerque, no doubt as time goes on we’ll understand more about why Chuck is the way he is.
For now, the opening pair of episodes have done their job and set the tonality for the initial season of this spin off. Jimmy McGill is on a journey to reach Saul Goodman it should be a fun ride for us passengers. We’re only just starting though so for now all we can do is wish him the best of luck – break a leg Jimmy.