Jim­mym­cgill is back in Bet­ter Call Saul S2.

(Sony Pic­tures Home En­ter­tain­ment) Out Au­tumn

Crime Scene - - CONTENTS - By JAMES MOTTRAM

Echo­ing the first se­ries of this Break­ing Bad spinoff, Sea­son 2 be­gins with a black-and-white clip of Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Good­man – now un­der the alias Gene – ek­ing out a mis­er­able living in Omaha. But this teaser aside, Bet­ter Call Saul re­mains all about his early days as Jimmy Mcgill. As with Se­ries 1, creators Vince Gil­li­gan and Peter Gould show ad­mirable re­straint; there’s no rush to get to Saul – Jimmy is in­ter­est­ing enough.

A sat­is­fy­ing slow-burn, Se­ries 2 is dom­i­nated by Jimmy’s feel­ings for fel­low lawyer Kim Wexler (Rhea See­horn) and his re­la­tions with Machi­avel­lian older brother Chuck (Michael Mck­ean). Those ex­pect­ing Walt or Jesse cameos will be dis­ap­pointed, but Break­ing Bad forever hov­ers in the pe­riph­ery, via Saul’s ‘fixer’ Mike (Jonathan Banks, bril­liant), whose ten­sion­filled S2 arc re­unites us with a ma­jor char­ac­ter.

Even in this cor­po­rate world, vi­o­lence and be­trayal are never far away. By the sea­son-ending cliffhanger, this snaps sharply into fo­cus, with storm clouds gath­er­ing across those clear­blue New Mex­ico skies. The bal­ance – for Break­ing Bad diehards and new­com­ers alike – is per­fectly struck.

Sig­nal is hard to come by in Newmex­ico.

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