SPOILER ALERT for both Better Call Saul as well as the end of Breaking Bad. You've been warned.
I thought that starting with a look at post-Breaking Bad Saul was perfect. In Saul's last Breaking Bad scene before going off with Ed the disappearer to Nebraska, he told Walt that, best-case scenario, he'd be managing a Cinnabon in Omaha. Sure enough, "Uno" opens by showing us "Gene."
|Clearly Saul...I mean Jimmy...I mean Gene has seen some better days.|
After seeing the first two episodes, I feel very confident in this show. "Uno" was really pretty slow as it established Jimmy McGill's life and his relationships, but "Mijo" picked up the pace big time. That desert scene in particular was dripping with tension, so much more than I expected from this show. It's also clear that this show will work without Walter White; Bob Odenkirk seems more than capable of carrying Better Call Saul, and he's doing a great job of showing little hints of the future Saul Goodman in Jimmy. ("Discreet, like a stripper pole in a mosque.")
|Now this is what I'd expect from Saul Goodman|
- I'm really enjoying Jimmy's relationship with Chuck, even though I have to wonder how much of Chuck's illness is real and how much is in his head. (I'm looking at that radiation sensitivity in particular.) I also have a strong feeling that Chuck will not make it through season one, and that'll really push Jimmy's transformation forward through the confirmed season two.
- I'm sure future episodes will develop their characters more, but for now I'm left wanting to know more about the other lawyers at Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill. I don't know how to really read Howard yet, and we know basically nothing about Kim except that she and Jimmy have some sort of relationship. I trust Vince Gilligan and his writers though. They know character development.
- I want to see more from Mike, too! He's one of my favorite Breaking Bad characters, so I want to see him do more than just work as a parking attendant hounding Jimmy over the parking validation stickers. It was amusing, especially in that montage in "Mijo," but I could see it wearing out its welcome very quickly. Luckily it seems like conflict between those two will really be coming to a head in the next episode, so hopefully Mike starts getting more to do.
- Tuco was an awesome surprise, and it was great to see him again. However, in order to help the show find its own identity and stand on its own, I hope that's the last we see from him for awhile. That's why the writers made a good call with introducing Nacho. He'll most likely be the one interacting with Jimmy on a regular basis, and he almost seems like the Saul Goodman of this show, in that he'll be introducing Jimmy to this seedy underworld in the same way that Saul will later do for Walt and Jesse in Breaking Bad.
- Hopefully that's the last we see of the twins. They moved the story forward, and seeing Jimmy try to bargain with Tuco for their lives was excellent, but what's left for them to do? After they each had a leg broken, I'm sure they want nothing more to do with Jimmy, and I'm sure he'll be perfectly content with not seeing them anymore. He's got enough on his plate to worry about now.