Non- head­lin­ers real gems at sum­mer mu­sic fests

As Sea­son 3 ex­its, some fans wait­ing for the tip­ping point

USA TODAY International Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

With the third- sea­son fi­nale of AMC’s Bet­ter Call Saul ar­riv­ing Mon­day ( 10 ET/ PT), one ques­tion hov­ers: Where in the world is Wal­ter White?

OK, not re­ally. But many fans of the Break­ing Bad pre­quel se­ries have been ea­gerly wait­ing for more signs of the Emmy- win­ning clas­sic to emerge. We’ve had Saul Good­man — that is, Jimmy McGill ( Bob Odenkirk) — and Mike Ehrmantraut ( Jonathan Banks) from the start, but where are Wal­ter, Jesse, Skyler, Hank and Marie? And how im­por­tant is it that we meet them soon?

Some fans are im­pa­tient; oth­ers, not re­ally. USA TO­DAY’s Jenny Co­hen and Bill Keveney of­fer their per­spec­tives.

BILL: First, a mor­ti­fy­ing con­fes­sion. I got to the great Bad late in the game and haven’t seen ev­ery episode. That said, while I love

Bad bread crumbs, Saul is telling its own won­der­ful story, and I can wait a while to en­ter Wal­ter’s world of crys­tal meth. Jimmy, the morally com­pro­mised pre­de­ces­sor of Saul, is a fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ter, and his brother, Chuck McGill ( Michael McKean), some­time lover/ le­gal col­league Kim Wexler ( Rhea See­horn) and be­fud­dled for­mer boss Howard Ham­lin ( Pa­trick Fabian) have cre­ated their own de­light­ful uni­verse.

JENNY: I have to agree with you about the new char­ac­ters, who are a wel­come ad­di­tion to the Break­ing Bad/ Bet­ter Call Saul uni­verse. Jimmy’s in­ter­ac­tions with Chuck add a unique and un­ex­pected as­pect. I’ve also en­joyed watch­ing Jimmy’s re­la­tion­ship with Kim. She’s a lawyer who takes him se­ri­ously, which is very dif­fer­ent from the joke Jimmy’s brother be­lieves him to be. But we have had three sea­sons of char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment. We know Chuck will be proved right. So when does Saul Good­man show up?

BILL: At­tor­ney Saul hasn’t shown up, but now we know where he came up with his name, a play on the col­lo­quial “S’all good, man” that he has put to use as an un­der­cover TV pitch­man. I love learn­ing the lit­tle ori­gin sto­ries that ex­plain de­tails about the Break­ing Bad char­ac­ters. We see Mike, one of Saul’s stand­outs, be­gin his crim­i­nal part­ner­ship with Bad heavy Gus Fring ( Gian­carlo Es­pos­ito) as a short- sleeved fast­food ex­ec­u­tive. And I’m guess­ing the sea­son fi­nale may re­veal how Break­ing Bad alum Hec­tor “Tio” Sala­manca ( Mark Mar­go­lis) be­came dis­abled. Be­sides Saul hang­ing out his shady shin­gle, which Bad char­ac­ters or story lines are you hop­ing to see soon? JENNY: That’s just it: The Break­ing Bad el­e­ment I want to see the most is Saul’s un­sa­vory law prac­tice. The thing I loved about him in Break­ing Bad was his won­der­ful way of bring­ing much- needed comic re­lief. He was the gre­gar­i­ous lawyer with the badly pro­duced ads. His shirts were as ridicu­lous as the dec­o­rat­ing in his of­fice. He was fun in a sleazy lawyer kind of way. Mean­while, we’re three sea­sons deep into Bet­ter Call Saul, and there’s no Saul.

I do en­joy the story that’s be­ing told, and I un­der­stand the cre­ators’ de­sire for a slow burn, but this is more like a river of mo­lasses. I feel like we’re fi­nally be­ing led to a place where Jimmy gets so des­per­ate and de­pressed with his life that he re­sponds by cre­at­ing Saul Good­man, but it’s a tough slog right now, and we’ve reached the sea­son fi­nale. So now what? I guess we just have to wait another year be­fore we get an in­ter­est­ing lit­tle glimpse of a Cinnabon in Omaha to start next sea­son. BILL: That’s one thing we can agree on. In the mean­time, I have a sud­den urge to head to a mall food court.



Jimmy McGill ( Bob Odenkirk) is well on his way in his meta­mor­pho­sis to our fa­vorite sleazy, smarmy lawyer, Saul Good­man.

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