Written by: Jacob Ladder
I started watching Breaking Bad when it was well into it’s 4th season, on Netflix. From the first episode, I was hooked. I don’t know exactly what it was that drew me in, but I knew I was watching something special. So it’s only natural that it’s spinoff focusing on amoral lawyer Saul Goodman would be held to a high level of scrutiny.
I happen to love it. And I know exactly why. Better Call Saul uses the entire concept of a prequel, and uses it to its best effect. It explores why people are, the way they are. No matter how much they want to change, either for themselves, or other people, they can’t escape who they are.
Like in the premiere episode of season 3, even when a presumably on the run Jimmy is approached by a policeman and wants the interaction to end as quickly and uneventfully as possible, he can’t but help to follow his lawyer insticts and scream the shoplifter to “Say Say Nothing! Get a Lawyer.”
Breaking the rules is who he is. It’s a natural law of the universe. He was born Jimmy McGill, but his life molded him into Slippin’ Jimmy, and eventually, he will evolve into Saul Goodman. For him, and Mike Ehrmatraut, there is no escaping their pasts, or their inevitable futures.
Jimmy and Chuck’s relationship has always been defined by their mutual resentment, but one always coming through for the other when the other needed it. With Jimmy’s confession, they’ve gone from Wile. E Coyote and the Roadrunner to Moby Dick and Ahab. The most important thing in Chuck’s life is his career, and Jimmy has taken the ultimate shit on by stealing their legal client. though in Jimmy’s eyes, it was fair play, because it was his best friend and lover Kim who originally brought it to the company in the first place.
Which brings me to another aspect of the show, “What’s the difference between a bad guy and criminal?” I always felt that Breaking Bad could, and should have made the audience hate Walter White more. Even near the end, there was still a large part of viewers that were rooting for him. Here, because we’re playing with lesser stakes, it’s personally easier for people to see everyone’s points. Sure, what Jimmy did is fraud, but he didn’t hurt anyone. And Chuck has always been in the legal right, he’s never been upfront about his disdain for his brother until his true feelings were dragged out into the light. But we all know Jimmy has been given chances time and time again, and that he will never change. Everyone is shown pretty equally as a piece of shit, and I appreciate that, though Mike seems to be the one mostly at peace with himself, he just does what he does for his family. I suspect Kim’s morals will start becoming more gray after her time with Jimmy, and they will lead to her downfall.