Title: Better Call Saul: “Mabel”
Air Date: April 10th, 2017
Genre: Drama, Crime-Thriller
The climax to last season of Better Call Saul left a lot of important questions unsolved, but also helped solidify the build up to the relationships and stories the show has been building over its run. Entering its third season, does the drama measure up to its predecessors legacy?
While they have only been brief, every interaction Better Call Saul displays into Saul Goodman/Jimmy’s future – taking place after Breaking Bad – is a treat (mmm Cinnabons), and the opening scene for season 3 is no different.
Each previous scene has shown that Saul – now being called James – is miserable in the future, and there is little to no evidence of either of his previous two personalities left in the Cinnabon manager. But the brief flash of his lawyer persona, yelling “Say nothing, get a lawyer!” to the teen he turned over to the cops makes the possibility of seeing, and hopefully fleshing out, episodes of Better Call Saul taking place in the future immensely desirable.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the past, present or the future, or even what name our favorite lawyer is going by, Vince Gilligan and company continue to shoot marvelous cinematographic scenes for Better Call Saul. Alongside the multiple different camera angles and shots – wide, forced perspective, overhead, timelapse ect. – I really enjoyed the establishing shot of the ending to last season taking place outside of the conversation.
Alongside wondering just what Chuck’s plans are for the tape, the continued growth and simultaneous destruction of the brother’s relationship is hard to watch.
“For ten minutes today, Chuck didn’t hate me.”
Even though the situation with his brother is just as hard for Jimmy, it’s also fascinating to see the effects it has been taking on Chuck. The anger at Ernie and the pressure exhibited by Chuck to keep him quiet in regards to the tape is an uncharacteristic side to him. The entire situation is slightly ironic considering just how Lawfully Good Chuck is being in order to maintain the Law, showing he can be just as conniving and manipulative as Jimmy.
Mike’s storyline, again, is my favorite in the show, as he too shows an unseen side to him following the events of last season, fear. But Ehrmantraut paranoia pays off, with another fantastic scene revolving around his investigation skill that sets up the show’s gripping ending.
Personally Mike Ehrmantraut’s use of clever problem solving and investigative skills learned while a police officer is Better Call Saul equivalent to Breaking Bad’s unique draw of showing how a science teacher knows how to cook meth. It’s not to say that Chuck, Jimmy, and Kim don’t all have scene’s filled with fascinating approaches to the practices of law, the just don’t hold a candle to Mike’s engrossing story.
The premier also continues to develop the relationships of the main cast with small, but important, side characters like Ernie and the Vet Mike get’s his jobs from. It speaks volume that the show can create interesting one off – or rarely used – characters as a means of not only growth for the main characters, but enjoyable scenes as well. The most notable example of this in the show’s first episode of the season is Jimmy’s interaction with the airport Major he tricked for his commercial last season.
Whether it’s the little things, like those interactions, or the continued character development, character relationships and integrating overarching storylines, the first episode of Better Call Saul season 3 was firing on all cylinders.
Without spoiling it, the episodes ending scene with Mike is, personally, one of the most satisfying reveals of one of his plans yet – rivaling the hose and matt tricks from earlier in the series – as I was curious as to what exactly he was doing since the start of the episode. The best part of it all is how patient Gillian is with his scenes, devoting a lot of time and dead air (with music) to his scenes instead of explaining everything. Not only is it a great example of show don’t tell, it’s a reflection of Mike’s character and his personality.
If episode 1 is any indication of the rest of the season, Better Call Saul is on track to find the same success as Breaking Bad, and could possibly even eclipse it, by the time it ends.
Did you catch last night’s episode of Better Call Saul? If so, what did you think? What scene or scenes did you like the most? What are your predictions for season 3? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check back each week for the lead-up and coverage of the shows next episode immediately after it airs on AMC at 10 PM EST. As a quick refresher, you can follow the link for our review of the season two finale here.
- Long Storylines are finally paying out
- Added Story to Future timeline
- Mike's Investigation
- Vaughness regarding some storylines