It’s fair to say the first season of Better Call Saul wasn’t quite what anyone was expecting.
Sure, there were plenty of japes as “Slippin’ Jimmy” McGill worked his magic on unsuspecting marks, but there was also pathos by the bucketload.
His desperate attempts to win his brother’s approval, his bingo calling as he tried to pull together a big-bucks class action, his dashed dream of a corner office … frankly it all got a bit much. And I felt a little cheated at the end, when he walked away from his big chance at respectability … but if Breaking Bad taught us one thing, it’s that a man’s pride and need to feel in control is a powerful force indeed.
And so to season two. Call me impatient, but I’m hoping our loyalty will be rewarded with a little more of the crossover action that Better Call Saul implicitly promises. I want to see some Breaking Bad favourites, even if they just have cameo roles in new stories.
The likeable, sensible and straight-talking Kim is the perfect antidote to Saul, and better than all of Breaking Bad’s female characters put together. Crucially, however, she’s not so sensible that she won’t play along with Jimmy’s tequila-soaked con. I wondered if she might even jump in the swimming pool in a much-more-cheerful echo of Skylar’s late-night dip.
Jimmy tells her he wants to stop throwing good money (and effort) after bad by quitting the law, recognising the perils of the sunk cost fallacy. But in the end, having come this far, he can’t just walk away. After a few days on a lilo he comes to his senses and takes the job. And I’m glad – because Jimmy is not Walt. He’s not afraid to change course, or take advice, or eat a bit of humble pie.
So the question now is how long he will last in his plush new surroundings, where presumably he can order as much cucumber water as he wants for his personal office fridge. It’s certainly a long way from here to being locked in the bin room of a shopping mall, too scared to summon the police…
Did I really hear stockbroker Ken refer to “the deathbed queef”?
Kim’s quite right – that pinky ring is super-weird. As is sharing a toothbrush.
It’s always very satisfying to see completely non-bumbling police officers on screen. Our clown-car drug dealer is toast.
The Guardian has a fantastic interview with the show’s creators Vince Gilligan and co-writer Peter Gould. Says Giligan: “I was worried we weren’t going to get to Saul fast enough. Now I’m worried we’ll get to him too fast because I realise just how great Jimmy is as a character. He really carries his own show.”