8 Things We Need To See Happen On ‘Better Call Saul’
We’re all excited for Better Call Saul, right? We’re basically all junkies who got hooked on the pure blue crystal awesomeness of Breaking Bad, and now we’re desperate for something, anything, that can even remind us of that rush. Of course, eventually, Better Call Saul will have to stand on its own merits and get us high in new and different ways than Breaking Bad. But until then, we’re all going to be waiting and watching anxiously for these eight things we all want to see happen in Better Call Saul.
Let’s just get this one out of the way. We all want more Mike. We all need more Mike. He was one of the best characters on maybe the best show ever, so… yeah, let’s not beat around the bush here. And this just feels like a natural, right? I mean, after all, Mike was introduced to Walt and Jesse through Saul, so it shouldn’t be hard to find a place for him here, especially since the show – at least at the start – will take place before all the madness of Breaking Bad went down. Thankfully, the early previews explicitly show Mike and Saul meeting, so soon that deadpan brilliance of Mike’s will be back in our lives. I can’t wait.
How Jimmy Becomes Saul
Saul is actually some dude named Jimmy. This was mentioned briefly during Saul’s introduction in Breaking Bad and then never really followed up on. All the previews for Better Call Saul have him walking around as Jimmy, though, so you know this has to come up. This is Saul’s backstory, and will go a long way towards letting this show stand on its own instead of being just the methadone to the heroin that is Breaking Bad. But we also want Saul to be, well, Saul and part of the appeal of the show, at least early on, should be in watching Jimmy transform into Saul. Sort of like a certain chemist transformed into a certain pork-pie hat wearing drug lord.
The Cartel Existing On The Fringes
Keep Better Call Saul grounded in the broader Breaking Bad universe, and the best way to do that while still letting the show develop its own identity is by keeping all the darkness and madness of that universe just off camera, on the fringes, like a menacing cloud darkening everything. You don’t need Tio Salamanca doing wheelchair roll-bys or anything, but maybe drop a few names here and there. It has to make sense, though. Remember that before Walt ruined his life, Saul was on the periphery of all this stuff – at most – so you can’t have him running drugs across the border. Balance is key here.
Okay, fine, maybe this would be pushing the envelope a bit given what I just wrote about staying on the fringes, but Gus is just so damn cool that I don’t care. Gus is gangsta as fuck, and he just kicks everything up a notch. Remember, Breaking Bad really started to cook (pardon the pun) the moment he showed up on screen. What would make this work, though, is that Gus doesn’t have to appear in his capacity as monster drug lord. No, he can just show up as mild-mannered, model citizen chicken king Gus Fring. Saul doesn’t have to know who he actually is. We do. And that’s enough.
Saul Outsmarting People
Let’s face it, Saul is kind of a dunce. He basically became Walter’s lackey, mostly because he was scared shitless of him. But, we all have to remember that Saul only got in good with Heisenberg and company because he was the brains behind the operation. They had no fucking clue what they were doing and he set shit off. Better Call Saul needs to remind us of that dude, and the best way to do that is by giving Saul a few wins over the uptight dopes in Squaresville. It doesn’t have to be all the time – remember, even the great Heisenberg got fucked up just as much as he fucked other dudes up – but we do need to see that he’s competent. And maybe even a little dangerous.
Huell And Kuby
Just because they’re Huell and Kuby. If you need more of a reason than that, then I feel bad for you, son.
More Than Just An Origin Story
Look, if this is really going to work, it needs to be more than just a “How Jimmy becomes Saul” story. That’s just one thing that we need to see. It’s just a chapter. What we really want to see is the whole story unfold, and that means shifts and jumps in time. In short, give us the before, the during and, most intriguingly, the after.
Give us the origin story. That’s the before. Let us see how Saul deals with everything behind the scenes while shit gets out of hand. We don’t necessarily need to see Walt and Jesse for this to happen, but they need to exist. At least in the abstract. That’s the during. And we know – or at least think we know – that Saul winds up hiding out in Nebraska. Let’s see how that all plays out. It doesn’t have to be a direct coda to Breaking Bad. We don’t need to know everything, but it would be nice to see how everything that went down affected the people on the edges of it all, namely Saul. That’s the after.
You don’t have to do it linearly either. Don’t start with the origin story and end with Saul broken in Nebraska. Jump, move around, contrast and compare. That will give the show more power, and make it unpredictable, a neat trick considering we know what happens.
Walter White Opening Saul’s Door For The First Time
I’m getting way – waaaaay – ahead of myself here, but picture this for the show’s final scene: Saul is on top of the world, he’s made it, his face is all over park benches and billboards, when that door opens and Badger Mayhew’s “uncle” steps through that door for the first time. Sure, by the time the show gets going and develops its own identity, we’ll all probably want something drastically different, but for now, it would be hard to think of anything cooler – or more powerful – than this, wouldn’t it? Eventually, the devil’s gonna get you, and we all know who Saul’s devil is. It looms over this entire show, and we’re all going to be waiting for that devil to show his face. You can’t do it and then go on from there. You just can’t. Once Walter White shows up, the game is over. It’s Breaking Bad.
But you can’t ignore him either. That would feel like a cop-out. It would feel empty, wouldn’t it? So just save the devil for the very end. Everyone wins. Except for Saul, of course. But we all knew that.