Jimmy McGill. Saul Goodman. The name doesn't matter. Better Call Saul Season 1 Episode 3 did its part to make sure this Breaking Bad spin-off is here to stay and stand apart from its predecessor while it does.
That means one thing, TV Fanatics. A Better Call Saul Round Table. Join Ashley Sumerel, Narsimha Chintaluri, Orrin Konheim, and Miranda Wicker as we dive back into the world created by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould.
What was your favorite quote or scene from "Nacho?"
Ashley: I loved the moment when Jimmy found the Kettlemans. I wanted so badly for Jimmy to be right to get a win, so that scene was gratifying. Especially when the money came flying out of the bag!
Narsimha: The phone call at the start, when he first tried to figure out a way to warn the Kettlemans, was brilliant. Saul -- er, Jimmy, shows a lot of the same tendencies as Walt, or, I guess, any "good man" slowly falling down the rabbit hoe. It was great seeing his guilt eat away at him, and that contraption Jimmy made to muffle his voice (I forget what Kim called it, but that was hilarious as well) was classic Breaking Bad -- er, "Better Call Saul."
Orrin: I like the moments when Saul/Jimmy shows he's the smartest guy in the room. Like Vince Gilligan's last show, the joy of Better Call Saul is that the protagonist is a resourceful guy who can do something spectacular with his fight-or-flight instinct when he's up against the wall. Saul/Jimmy has more flair than Walter White or Jesse Pinkman so he'll rub it in when he gets one over you. I particularly like his back talk to the cops who were incorrectly trying to incarcerate Nacho.
Miranda: The little one-liners between Kim and Jimmy were fantastic, especially when she called him out on using the sex robot voice, but the best moment goes to Jimmy opening the Kettlemans tent, having given up on his hunt for them, with an excellent "HEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!" Loved it!
How interested are you in what happened to Chuck?
Ashley: I'm really curious about Chuck in general, but the scenes with him took a backseat for me in this episode. I do look forward to learning more about his character, though.
Narsimha: He seems set to be a really interesting character, definitely the most curious so far out of all the Better Call Saul originals. His relationship with Jimmy is one I'm keen on seeing develop/implode.
Orrin: I'm more interested in what will happen to Chuck from this point on than what happened to him that made him a crazy recluse. He's not in the picture at the time of Breaking Bad which teases out all sorts of great possibilities. Is he dead? Did he disown his brother? Was there a mutual falling out? All signs point to a disappearance of Chuck in some form by the end of the series. If not, it would be uncharacteristically disappointing of Vince Gilligan and company to create this character only to have nothing interesting happen to him by the series finale.
Miranda: I'm incredibly interested in how he went from the successful attorney we saw in the opening of "Nacho" to the reclusive, tinfoil hat-wearing big brother he is in the present-day. Was there an event which triggered his phobia? What was it? As a completely new character, he's one I'm watching closely.
Why did Jimmy warn the Kettlemans about the threat?
Ashley: I think Jimmy's character is fascinating. He's trying so hard but it just seems like the world is against him. I think he warned the Kettlemans because he had a crisis of conscience, plain and simple.
Narsimha: Jimmy, even when he becomes Saul, isn't an outright bad person. He just has a different code of ethics (one that, admittedly, becomes pretty obscure by the end of Breaking Bad). Jimmy, currently, is still a normal person (well, he's more of a hustler than anything). He still has a conscience, and he didn't sign up to help Nacho.
Orrin: The simple explanation is that extraordinarily bad things happening to people is still relatively new to Jimmy at this point and after witnessing the two skateboarders get their legs broken in the desert, he doesn't know if he can stomach what might happen to the Kettlemans. Note that this isn't about him being an extreme do-gooder but about him reluctantly dealing with his conscience. As we saw on his dinner date, he can't just turn off his conscience at this point.
It affects him physiologically to be around something immoral. At the same time, I think Saul is capable of being a chess master like the best of the characters on Breaking Bad and part of the fun is that anything he does could be part of some kind of long game we won't yet be made aware of.
Miranda: Oh, Jimmy's definitely not a do-gooder by any stretch, but in light of the opening scene from the third episode, his...devolution...into someone who will cross the lines to get what he wants or what his clients need is pretty fun to ponder. This is a man who is trying to do good, to make the right call, and it's just not getting him anywhere. Where's the tipping point for him and when does the line between right and technically right get blurry?
Will Mike finally let Jimmy out of the parking lot without a fully validated ticket?
Ashley: Ha. It may take a while. I love that this is how these two characters meet, and I love that Mike is giving Jimmy a hard time. I have a feeling that even though their relationship will ultimately change, Mike is always going to be a stickler as a parking attendant.
Narsimha: Never, haha. Or, maybe, one day, when a dire situation arises (that Mike's aware of) he'll let Jimmy give him an IOU.
Orrin: I'm not sure, but can we talk about how weird it is to see Mike as a parking lot attendant. I definitely wasn't expecting that, and I definitely wasn't expecting to finally see Mike connect to Jimmy for the first time in a courthouse stairwell as he essentially solves Saul's Kettleman dilemna. Both great touches.
Miranda: I. LOVE. MIKE. Everything about the character is just fantastic and a lot of that has to do with Jonathan Banks' delivery. Mike's never going to let Jimmy out of that parking lot without enough stickers, but those two are about to embark on an incredibly fun little journey together.
What do you want to see happen on Better Call Saul Season 1?
Ashley: So many things! I want to see more wins for Jimmy, obviously. I also want to know more about his relationship with Kim. And of course, more nods to Breaking Bad. I know we won't see Walter White or Jesse this season, but I think it would be fun to see other characters throughout.
Narsimha: I don't know if I agree with Ashley about the Breaking Bad nods. Other characters, certain themes and scenes from Breaking Bad, and so forth, will obviously float in and out of the show, but as far as direct nods -- I'd like to keep it to a minimum. They really need to develop a universe of their own (even if it is within Breaking Bad's universe), and they can't lean on the predecessor too much. I think the way they used Tuco, although a risk to do it right at the start of the series (might offend skeptics that they're already using a Breaking Bad "gimmick"), was a perfect way to transition between the two series but still set this show up for the future.
Orrin: With regard to the Breaking Bad connections, I'm just psyched that this show can win us over on its own merits. Breaking Bad was obviously a great show, but it started as this undiscovered gem and in its later seasons it was such a Goliath that proclaiming its greatness was a joyless exercise.
Miranda: I think of the Breaking Bad nods in terms of the little Easter Eggs left in the background of the sets and not so much in terms of overt connections, like Tuco. Do I want to see other characters from Breaking Bad make an appearance on Better Call Saul? Only if it works in terms of the story being told. Do I want to keep looking for Heisenberg's hat hanging on a coat rack? Absolutely. As for what I want to see from Better Call Saul Season 1, I want to watch Jimmy get himself into and out of sticky situation after sticky situation. I want to see him get some clients and win some cases, and I want to explore his connection to Chuck and his friendship with Mike. I'm feeling lucky, so I think that's what we'll get.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.