Reviews

TV Review – Better Call Saul S01E01: Uno

Hello everyone!

I’ll be with you through AMC’s Better Call Saul, another of my most anticipated shows this year.  Being a big fan of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s flawless work with Breaking Bad (can you believe it’s been nearly two year since the series finale?) I’m happy about seeing a familiar face back.

The pilot episode of Better Call Saul opens up with a black and white post-Breaking Bad scene, anticipated by Saul Goodman himself.   In what feels like a long time ago, Saul once told Walter White he’d be lucky to end his life as the douchebag manager of a Cinnabon outlet in Omaha.

Destiny fulfilled. To those who failed to read the badge, here it is:

manager

gene

This is how Saul Goodman, the legend, ends.

What we see next is how the legend begins, with attorney Jimmy McGill, who is an exquisite failure. It’s important to mention that the cinematography is fantastic and plays an important role here. It’s every bit is as beautifully shot as Breaking Bad, so to Arthur Albert, director of cinematography. Even if we weren’t aware that Jimmy is bound to become Saul Goodman later on life, it’s clear that Better Call Saul comes from the minds who created Walter White’s universe. I believe we can expect the same attention to detail.

s2

s3

s4

I think the episode made a strong choice by choosing to drop hints about Jimmy’s past in New Mexico, instead of going into a full exposition.  The writers decided to let the viewers piece things together on their own. I’m a big fan of ‘show’ instead of ‘tell,’ the show makes the right call on which one to use and when.

car

nail shop

office

 

Thumbs up:

– Music. The initial scene begins very appropriately with The Ink Spots’ song ‘Address unknown. We learned from Breaking Bad that Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan use songs in very meaningful ways, and we’re likely to see many more suggestive song titles throughout the show.

– The hilarious opening court sequence, with Jimmy rehearsing his defense speech  in the restroom, and then attempting to convince a jury that three “Near Honors” 19-year-olds with a “Brilliant future ahead” had a “momentary, minute, never-to-be-repeated lapse of judgment” when they had sex with a decapitated head. This is immediately followed by a silent accusation lawyer with videotaped evidence.

– The fake accident plan to win some easy money with the help of the two skateboarders that tried to scam him earlier. Everything go completely wrong (naturally,)  and Jimmy ends up in the clutches of  Tuco Salamanca.

skateboarders the plan

– Jimmy’s love for very deliberate pop culture references.  In Uno, we have a tribute to Ned Beatty’s performance in “Network.

– Oh yes, let’s not forget about Jimmy’s brother Chuck, played by outstanding Michael McKean.

 

Thumbs down:

– It’s great to see Mike and Tuco again, and I know it will draw in Breaking Bad fans.   But I do hope that these references fade and Better Call Saul becomes a stand-alone show, because judging by the pilot episode, it has all it needs.

Tuco Salamanca

Favorite Saul Goodman bits

– “Use only flowers that look expensive, but, you know, aren’t.”

– [Points to car] “The only way that entire car is worth five hundred bucks is if there’s a three hundred dollar hooker sitting in it!”

 

That’s all for the pilot, tag along for more! See you all soon!


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About the author

Kenia Santos

Sci-Fi geek. Book nerd. Art enthusiast. Comics dork. Board game buff. Crooked poet. Full time thinker. Weekend photographer. EFL teacher. Free spirit. Friendly soul. Fat kid.

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