Television Review : Better Call Saul Season 1 Premiere


It’s been a while since Breaking Bad ended, and since then everyone has been eagerly anticipating the next chapter to it. So as soon as Better Call Saul was announced, we’ve on the edge of our seats counting down to the Premiere “Uno”.

The story is set before the events of Breaking Bad, showing us how Saul became Saul… We learn that his real name is Jimmy McGill, so we should be building up to him creating this new persona for himself and find out why. The episode starts up in current day with Saul still in hiding in Nebraska. This was done in typical Breaking Bad fashion, showing the current day in black and white. He is looking very shaky still since the events that lead to him going into hiding. It’s the only flash-forward we get in the opening 2 episodes but I hope we get a few more dotted about throughout the season. This segment ends with Saul loading up an old VHS tape of his commercials, which leads us into the start of the show.

The show starts mid court case where Jimmy (Saul) is defending a group of lads who have been caught having sex with a severed head. Of course he loses the case but then struggles to get paid the amount he was hoping for. This gives us a glimpse of what he has to deal with, terrible court cases and struggling for money. As he leaves the court, he gets stopped by the parking attendant as he argues whether or not he has paid the full amount needed for the time spent there, the camera moves out and we find out the parking attendant is Mike Ehrmantraut, who we obviously know from Breaking Bad. We see these meet a few times throughout the trailers in the same situation every time, which leads to some very funny moments as Jimmy questions Mikes Job. I’m looking forward to seeing how these segments go because at the moment, Jimmy hates him but as we know from Breaking Bad, they become close allies.

Jimmy also seems to be struggling for work at the moment. He meets up with a couple in a diner hoping to represent them but they have their doubts and ultimately decide to sleep on it. He then drives off and tries to order them some flowers to sway them in his favor but his credit card is declined, again showing his money issues. Suddenly he hits a teenager as he comes crashing across the windscreen. The teen’s brother comes running over as he was filming it all as part of a skateboarding video and they begin going backwards and forwards over compensation to keep the police out of the incident. This is until Jimmy realizes that it’s all a ruse for them to make some extra money. We see this as just a one off incident for him but later on he goes looking for them to help him make some money himself.

He eventually makes it to his office, which is a small storeroom in the back of a Vietnamese beauty salon. He has no messages on his phone for new cases but finds a letter on his desk for $26,000 for his brother Chuck from his law firm. He confronts the firm and accuses them of trying to cheat him out of his rightful share. He then leaves and we get to meet his brother, who believes he has electromagnetic hypersensitivity and therefore has no electronic devices in his house. He tells Jimmy that he doesn’t want to have the firm buy him out and suggest that he changes his last name to appease the firm.

When Jimmy leaves he goes looking for the 2 skateboarders from earlier to use their scam in order to get him some easy money. His target is Mrs. Kettleman who he knows has an embezzlement case coming up and is hoping that he can sell himself to get her case. Unfortunately the scam goes wrong and the teens do it on the wrong car. The lady driving stopped, got out to see what she has done then drove off so the teens chase after her to her house. Jimmy arrives after them to the ladies house and proceeds to knock on the door and finally gets an answer as another familiar face opens the door, Tuco, again from the Breaking Bad series.

I do believe this is the start of many, many great episodes. It was a strong start for me, especially with the flash-forward segment at the beginning, giving people exactly what they want, to see what’s happening now and then. With the appearances of not just Saul but Mike and Tuco, it makes me wonder how many other faces from Breaking Bad we’ll see, which always leads to excitement, and I’m loving the small segments between Saul and Mike. I do wonder where Jimmy decided to get the name Saul and how he’s going to get his name recognized but I have complete faith that they will deliver. So lets hope they keep this up and deliver another amazing TV series.

Kris Wall

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama Channel: Netflix Release Date:9th February 2015 Director: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian