Better Call Saul: Episodes 1-4

How do you follow the success of Breaking Bad?

Vince Gilligan created one of the best shows I have ever seen. At this point, the least I can do is watch Better Call Saul. If you are familiar with Breaking Bad, you are familiar with the character Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk. Goodman is Walter White’s sleazy yet capable lawyer and one of the more popular characters on Breaking Bad. Goodman was so popular that Gilligan created an entire spin-off TV series about Goodman’s life before the events of Breaking Bad.

The series begins with Goodman working at a Cinnabon and keeping a low profile. One day he sees a man that makes him nervous. Goodman seems to think that the man is going to confront him, but he ends up walking right past him. It’s unclear whether Goodman knows this man, or if Goodman is confusing him with someone else.

He leaves the Cinnabon and starts working as a public defender, making what he considers not enough money. Yet Goodman continues defending people without any options and he seems to be really good at it. This is apparently where Goodman gains his legal skills.

Several things are worth talking about with this movie. Every episode ends on a cliff-hanger. This is a super effective way of drawing you into the next episode. It is such an effective method that I am surprised how infrequently I see it in other shows and movies. Cliff-hangers are more suited to TV due to its serial form, but perhaps this method would work in films as well. It’s only a matter of time before cliff-hangers take over media. The cliff-hanger succeeds because it blatantly denies providing the closure desired by the audience.

It remains to be seen what will happen in this show. So far I have watched four episodes and I am excited to watch the rest. If Breaking Bad is any indication, the creators have the entire show planned to perfection. Breaking Bad is one of the most entertaining and popular shows ever made, so I’m hopeful that Better Call Saul will follow in its footsteps as one of the all-time greats.