Saul resurrects the dark side
Breaking Bad Vince Gilligan has a reputation for being one of the nicest guys in Hollywood — a well-deserved one, in my opinion, having interviewed him last year about Better Call Saul, which returns this week for its third season.
One of the pleasures he described in creating this prequel to Breaking Bad was the opportunity to resurrect characters his team had killed off.
The first example was Tuco, played by Raymond Cruz; a second was Jonathan Banks’s Mike Ehrmantraut. This season features the return of Gus Fring, the crime lord and chicken shop chief played by Giancarlo Esposito. (For publicity purposes, a pop-up store for the fictional Los Pollos Hermanos appeared recently at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, and last week in Los Angeles; Sydney’s Potts Point gets a taste too this Tuesday and Wednesday.)
But the show is all about the Saul Goodman character played by Bob Odenkirk, or more Better Call Saul accurately the slow transition of Jimmy McGill into Goodman (his adopted moniker, a play on “s’all good, man”), and his ultimate transition post- Breaking Bad into a character named Gene who works in a strip-mall Cinnabon shop.
“We set out to tell a story very different to Breaking Bad, and indeed while the character of Jimmy McGill is certainly different to Walter White, what we came to realise halfway through season one is we are telling very much an evolutionary story — or devolutionary story — not dissimilar in its structure,” Gilligan told me.
No one is accusing Gilligan and his writing team of speeding things along. Though he recently said this season would make considerable progress towards the dark side. “Things get quite a bit darker in season three, more Breaking Bad- like.” streaming on Stan from Tuesday.
Bob Odenkirk as the dodgy lawyer in prequel