As millions of die hard “Breaking Bad” fans had to accept the series end in 2013, there was a flicker of hope with the announcement of “Better Call Saul”, a spinoff/prequel that focuses on the disarming, hilarious and clever character, Saul Goodman. Having served as Walter White’s shifty legal counsel for 4 seasons on “Breaking Bad”, this new series focuses on how he really came to be in Albuquerque, NM.
So, to the 1st episode! Did Saul make good on his claim to move to Nebraska and work at a Cinnabon after the sh*t hit the can in “Breaking Bad”? Yes. Showing this is funny and sad at the same time. We then flash back to 2001 where Saul is trying to make it as a lawyer. After an appalling court case, we begin to see how poor and desperate he is.
After bearing witness to the cardboard office that sets up shop in an Asian nail salon, we see Saul go through his mail and rip up a $26,000 check from a law firm. Of course, this leads to more questions. We come to find out that Saul is really James (Jimmy) McGill and his brother Chuck McGill, owner of a huge stake in a law firm. Chuck is basically out on disability with an extremely rare condition, electromagnetism hypersensitivity. I had to do some research on this cruel condition. To learn more click here. Jimmy wants to help Chuck but refuses to accept small buy out attempts when his stake is so large. This also leads to Chuck suggesting that Jimmy use a different last name as a professional courtesy to his law firm.
There’s also a neat story where we see how Jimmy orchestrates a con with two skateboarders that leads to very surprising results. An infamous character from the “Breaking Bad” universe makes an appearance thereby leaving it open to the following episode (which actually premieres tonight – Feb. 9th at 9 PM CST).
It has been mentioned that Walter White or Jesse Pinkman may make appearances themselves as the timelines will eventually have to intersect. It will be a welcoming move for fans but I believe this show should thrive more on its own established universe.
If you’re a “Breaking Bad” fan, you will love this pilot. This is a show that has just as much promise but needs to remind itself that it needs to rely on originality and not so much a universe that has already been created. It can start in the shadow of an immensely popular show but must find its own light.