by Sherry Lipp
Better Call Saul so far is all about back story. How did John McGill become the Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) we know on Breaking Bad? For the first three episodes we see that he is a public defender living in the shadow of his more successful lawyer brother Chuck (Michael McKean). He’s sleazy, but he’s not too bad of a guy really. But we’ve also had hints of Saul’s pre-lawyer days via the back story-within-the-back story opening segments. Last week we learned that Chuck had bailed Saul out of prison and this week we learn that Saul was a bit of a two-bit hustler. We even find out at he had already come up with his name, Saul Goodman – “It’s all good man?” – long ago.
I thought this season might be a slow buildup to Breaking Bad-era Saul, but we’re pretty much already there. This week Saul took his first payoff and he pretty much ran with it. Better Call Saul kept up its humorous side with Saul attempting to usurp the identity of Chuck’s partner Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) by becoming his doppelganger. Suddenly Saul is the Saul we all know; a man who will do anything to get what he wants.
What he really wants are clients so he can run a legitimate business, but he’ll break the law to do it. That’s the way Saul runs. The question is where we he go from here. We’ve had a lot of build up and now it’s time for a more solid story. As pure entertainment Saul is doing a great job. I particularly loved the scene of the reclusive Chuck attempting to venture outside to steal, or rather buy – he left them five dollars, his neighbor’s newspaper.
But now that we have Saul where we want him, it’s time to add some meat to the story and develop a real objective. At least he’s almost where we want him. Despite his slight sympathy for Saul last week, Mike (Jonathan Banks) still doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. I have faith that Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have something up their sleeves, but time will tell.