On Tuesday morning, I had barely opened my eyes before reminding myself that Better Call Saul had been released on Netflix. Turning on my laptop, I began to wonder if this episode was going to be “the one”. That punchy episode that finally gets the ball rolling, establishing a clear tone and pumping us up for the rest of the season. But after the 50 minutes were over, I still found myself wondering: “Is this meant to be a comedy, or a drama? What’s going on?”
Yes, I’ll admit that the plot is beginning to grow bit-by-bit, more things are happening and you sort of get an idea of where the real story lies, but I’m still pretty much confused.
Saul (or Jimmy) seems to be in a spot of trouble from Tuco and Nacho’s gang, and is trapped into servitude to them under threat of his life. The Kettleman’s have disappeared into the night, and police are convinced that they’ve been captured by Nacho. They arrest him, and who better to represent him that good ol’ Jimmy McGill?
He has to get Nacho off the hook, and is actually convinced that the gang-member hasn’t taken the family. This leads him on a desperate journey to find the Kettlemans, before Nacho’s gang find him. His searching leads him to the hills behind the Kettleman’s house where, lo-and-behold, the fraudulent family have been camping, with a big bag full of their £1.5 million worth of embezzled money. The episode ends with Jimmy bursting into the tent shouting “Heeere’s Johnny!” (one of the best lines of the show, depressingly enough) before discovering the cash and leaving us on a….. cliffhanger? If that’s what was intended, the suspense was completely lost on me. It seemed like a weak, uninspiring ending to an episode.
Are we supposed to care about the Kettlemans? Because, quite frankly, I couldn’t give two shits about them. The writers haven’t made them engaging, or interesting, yet they seem to playing a very key role in the plot. I’m hoping this strand of the plot doesn’t hang around for much longer, or I’ll completely lose interest.
With the increased inclusion of the Mexican gang, we can hope that within the next few episodes we’ll really see the plot getting grittier, more intricate. Mike has begun to take a bit more involvement with the story, so fingers crossed we’ll see him begin to get involved with Jimmy very soon.
Despite all the potentially good things that may be around the corner, I still wonder if Saul/Jimmy is really a suitable character to carry out this type of plot. He completely lacks the intensity and bad-ass element that we saw in Breaking Bad’s Walter; where Walter would scheme and fight, Jimmy seems to crumble, squirm and make unfunny jokes. The stakes were a lot higher for Walt- he had a family, a reputation, a life-threatening illness. Saul just wants a career in law basically, and sometimes thinks of his brother. The chemistry between Jesse and Walt become a driving force for BB, but where is that chemistry now, between Jimmy and Mike? Seems unlikely that’ll pan out quite as well as the original partners.
So far in Better Call Saul, what we’ve witnessed is all the kinds of high-stakes action from BB, but none of the characters to live up to it. Still, I live in the hope that Vince Gilligan and his team have all this covered in some sort of master plan. They’re ready and waiting to spring a whole load of awesomeness onto us at any moment. But, come on guys, I can’t wait much longer!