by Matthew Errico
Vince Gilligan has done it again with his newest series “Better Call Saul.” While it is a spin off, it has a character that is all its own. For those of you who watched “Breaking Bad” (I’m not sure that there is anyone out there that hasn’t at this point) Gilligan continues to find ways to tie in familiar characters without seeming forced or contrived in any way. We already saw the memorable Tuco Salamanca in season one, but it seems that we are going to get more insight into the meth crazed cartel member. Oh, and remember the obnoxious suit that crossed paths with Walt on a bad day and wound up losing a car? Well he’s back too, and again Vince Gilligan takes him off of his high horse.
James McGill still has yet to make his full transformation into the iconic Saul Goodman that we know so well from “Breaking Bad”, but we can still easily see the foundations within Jimmy as his morals and ambitions collide in each episode. He still remains the smart-ass that we all came to love, and brings the show a great comedic element throughout even when lives are on the line. Also his love interest in the show, Kim, continues to be an interesting sub-character that has large impacts on Jimmy’s actions; it seems that she is the only thing holding him back from being Saul at this point.
Mike Ehrmantraut continues to bring the action we have all come to expect from Gilligan’s shows. Whether it’s stealing a duffel bag full of cash or taking a beating for twenty-five grand, he continues to do the dirty work available to him to support his daughter-in-law and his granddaughter. Like Saul, this troubled character has yet to fully develop into the Mike we met in Breaking Bad but he is right there.
One thing that is for sure is that Saul’s story does not end happily, and the evidence is found within the black and white flash-forwards that begin each season. Accompanied with eerie music from the 1930s and 1940s, we see a visibly aging Saul living a mundane life foreign to him. The paranoid Saul we see in each of the season openers also appears to be hiding from the law, although Gilligan has yet to tell us exactly why. I think it is a safe bet to assume that the events of “Breaking Bad” have directly or indirectly put him in this precarious spot. This intricate story continues to entertain, and I personally cannot wait to see where the series goes next.