So, did Saul just die in within the first five minutes the season 3 premiere of Better Call Saul ?
The episode titled “Mabel” derives from the book The Adventure of Mabel, a fond memory Jimmy has, or well, forgot about, of his brother reading the book to him as a boy.
But, going back to the big question posed, did Saul just have a heart attack during the black and white flash-forward while frosting cinnabuns after screaming to a kid to get a lawyer after being arrested in the mall?
Well, we don’t know. We probably won’t know until the end of the season, maybe even further down the line than that. But, what happened during the rest of this week’s episode?
For the first ten minutes, after the black and white cinnabun montage, Chuck didn’t hate his brother. But, he disrupts their pleasant conversation about The Adventure of Mabel by muttering that he will not forgot about Jimmy’s crimes “And you will pay!”
Before I continue with this review, I confess that I have a deep, deep hatred for Chuck. I know Chuck’s not the one breaking the law, but he’s worse than the Game of Thrones’ character Walder Frey in my eyes. Everything from betraying his brother to continuing his strange is he or isn’t he sickness of technology. He literary drives me crazy, so I’m probably going to take Jimmy’s side in every Chuck/Jimmy drama that’s coming our way this season.
Chuck is the drama-machine waiting to be turned on with the tape he has of Jimmy’s confession. While Howard doesn’t see any way the tape can be used to actually take down Jimmy, Chuck has a plan brewing and poor Ernesto is terrified when he accidentally hears the tape and is pulled into a whole lot of drama he didn’t want to be involved in. Just look at his horrified face when Chuck freaks out.
But, going back to Jimmy, he does pay. Remember the promo video Saul made with the “wounded veteran” in front of the air force plane? The pilot isn’t happy and demands Jimmy take the commercial off the air. Then an interesting thing happens; Jimmy totally projects all his feelings about his high horse brother onto the pilot. Is this the beginnings of Jimmy’s transition into Saul? It might be because normally Jimmy keeps his personal problems bottled up, but since those problems with his brother are spilling over the surface, we are starting to see glimpses of Saul breaking through.
As for Kim, she’s dealing with the reality of her relationship with Jimmy. He’s broken the law for her so she wouldn’t lose her big deal with Mesa Verde that Chuck tried to sabotage.
I’m curious of what’s going to happen to Kim. She’s not in Breaking Bad, so something must go down between her and Jimmy by the end of this saga that either A. kills off Kim or B. totally removes her from Jimmy’s life. Whatever the reason may be, we are seeing her crack over whether to semi-colon or not to semi-colon.
If you watched any of Talking Saul, the idea that Kim might actually still be in Saul’s life during Breaking Bad comes up because we don’t actually go home with Saul in that series. So even though we know Saul’s future, Kim’s future is still in the dark which doesn’t paint a pretty picture for the show’s only romantic couple.
It doesn’t help that Jimmy half paints over the rainbow in their new office. If that’s not a metaphor for the inevitable destruction of happiness, I don’t know what is.
When we finally get to Mike, we are exactly where we left off; a post-it note left that says “Don’t” on his car in the middle of the desert leading to a wonderfully scored speeding through the desert scene as Mike gets to the local car garage where Mike methodologically rips apart the car and doesn’t find anything. That is until he checks the gas cap which he takes apart and spots something… a tracker in the cap.
He realizes that it’s the perfect way to track the person who left the message. He plants a tracker in the gas cap, and once he sees a man drive up to his home and take the bait he follows them down the road closing out the season premiere.
Clearly, whoever is following Mike has to have some connection to the looming Gus Fring appearance we get a glimpse of in the trailer for next week, but it brings up the question what does the future chicken king of New Mexico want with Mike?
Overall, it was a solid series premiere. My biggest gripe with Better Call Saul is that sometimes it can move very slowly compared to its predecessor, but coming straight off of the action from last season with a fantastic soundtrack really pumped up the action this week giving it a great head-start.