When rumours of a Breaking Bad spin-off series first surfaced it seemed an absurd concept. How could writer/director Vince Gilligan imbue occasional comic relief character, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) with the requisite gravitas to make an audience care and the potential for exciting narrative directions, particularly in the context of a show that is part prequel. The answer ended up being “really freaking well”.
Now in its third season, Better Call Saul continues its tradition of slow burn tension, human drama and occasional bouts of yelling at Chuck (Michael McKean), a character who inspires the kind of throbbing-veined hatred usually reserved for the baddies on Game of Thrones.
It’s difficult to discuss the new season without spoilers, but needless to say the respective fates of Jimmy/Saul (Bob Odenkirk), Mike (Jonathan Banks) and a certain eerily calm antagonist from Breaking Bad are are set to collide in ways that are both thrilling and unexpected.
The first two episodes “Mabel” and “Witness”, both directed by Vince Gilligan himself, sketch out a potentially dark and intriguing path for this season where kind-hearted Jimmy morphs into the glib, corrupt Saul.
One sequence in particular, where Mike attempts to find who has placed a tracking device on his car, is testament to Gilligan’s eye for visual storytelling and ratcheting up the tension. You’re basically watching Jonathan Banks dismantle a car, fiddle around with a petrol cap and then sit and wait by a window, yet it’s gripping in a way that’s hard to explain.
In fact the best way to experience the new season is with very little prior information. Better Call Saul remains one of the most unique and riveting programs on television so head over to Stan to catch up on any episodes you’ve missed and get ready for the black comedy, the pathos and yelling at Chuck.
Better Call Saul Season 3 starts streaming on Stan April 11 at 5pm.