Jimmy McGill is back. Season 3 has arrived, and Jimmy’s trajectory appears nothing but downhill in the realm of achieving a respectable career in law. Set six years before the narrative of Breaking Bad, Jimmy seems a far stretch away from his well-loved persona as Saul Goodman. Seriously, when will this guy catch a break?
Season 3 resumes the story with the immediate repercussions of Chuck’s (Jimmy’s slightly unhinged/bent-on-brother-sabotage) scheme to derail Jimmy’s career and relationship with Kim. Chuck, surely by now, must be edging his way to a high-amount of eye-rolls from the audience; his behaviour is childish, and quite frankly disdainful.
“Odenkirk brings subtle humour and a fresh genuine trait to Breaking Bad’s Saul”
Showrunner Vince Gilligan sure is skilled at creating such visceral reactions from his audiences at characters. We don’t always like the characters we are confronted with, (say, Walter White) and weirdly enough, it works. With our increasing disdain for Chuck, we root even more for Jimmy, willing him to morph into Saul Goodman, and grind Chuck into the ground. Too far? Surely not. The emotional backbone between Jimmy and Chuck is dissolving, as well as the relationship between Jimmy and Kim. The unspoken and spoken tension between these parings draw us into intimate sphere, Bob Odenkirk bringing subtle humour and a fresh genuine trait to Breaking Bad’s Saul.
Vince Gilligan’s Better Call Saul is by no means trying to be its predecessor, Breaking Bad. After Season 1 and 2, it is clear the show occupies its own compass, and place on our screens. Whilst layers such as cinematography such as those monochrome pre-title sequences, hail back to some of the best Breaking Bad enigmas, Better Call Saul’s core is its own, its pacing deliberate and controlled. Yet, after a “slow paced” Season 2, Season 3 is transforming and picking up speed. Each scene is necessary, carefully placed and warranted. Nothing is over-written, and this is truly refreshing.
“Nothing is over-written, and this is truly refreshing”
The pieces of the Breaking Bad links are slowly coming together. Mike (Jonathan Banks) is slowly becoming entangled with Gus Fring and the underground workings of ‘Los Pollos Hermanos’, uncovering why he was instructed not to carry out his killing of gangster Hector Salamanca. Gus’s re-appearance is perfectly and painstakingly anticipated. I think there must have been a simultaneous gleeful outburst at this moment from Breaking Bad fans, as Mike, Jimmy and Gus become interconnected.
Season 3 holds high promise. With the pace picking up between the threads of Jimmy and Mike, the spiralling decay of fraternal bonds, and Gillgan’s confidence always present, Better Call Saul holds itself as a continually fresh and unique series.