Better Call Saul Season 2: Premier presents us a Jimmy with hope, rebellion and rekindled ambition.
Better Call Saul has returned for season 2, and it started off in similar fashion to its original premiere. The first scene was a post-Breaking-Bad one that was black and white, and this little glimpse into the future of Saul Goodman was as good as, if not more meaningful than, the previous teaser. It will give Breaking Bad fans chills because of how grounded it is. But this show isn't about doing lip service to fans of the massively successful previous project of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. This show focuses on James "Jimmy" McGill and his struggles. The season opener for Better Call Saul's second season gave us a glimpse at Jimmy's desires and focused entirely on developing its protagonist's character, and it does so quite solidly.
The opening sequence of this episode is extremely well done. I have to say I liked it a bit more than even the season 1 premiere's black-and-white sequence. I say this because this sequence adds directly to developing the character of Jimmy McGill, it shows us that there is still some of that rebellious "Jimmy" inside him even after all the traumatising events of Breaking Bad occured. What we see in the black and white sequence is a shadow of the man we knew as Saul Goodman, and it was actually kind of touching/emotional in a way. If you have seen the episode, you will know what I'm talking about.
After this, the episode dovetails right off the season 1 finale, with Jimmy having not taken the big-paying partnership, having a quick word with Mike about why they didn't take the money, and then promising to never let his previous obstacles stop him. The episode plays through the ending scene of the season 1 finale fully, with an additional bonus of the actual discussion with the potential hirers. Turns out that Jimmy's relationship with Kim is a driving factor in his choosing to take or not take this job, his immediate departure from the scene therefore means things didn't go as Jimmy wanted.
Fans of THIS show have come to love the quirky dialogue provided by the pitch-perfect Bob Odenkirk, the grounded, real nature of the situations he gets involved in and also the transformation of his several relationships to the secondary characters on the show, including his brother Chuck, who we did not see this episode, Kim, on whom we spend a good amount of time in this episode, and Howard. This episode directly follows the events of the last two episodes of season 1, where Jimmy goes back to his "Slippin' Jimmy" persona, doing what he used to love the most in his youth, conning people. Jimmy wants nothing to do with the world of lawyers at all, after what his brother did to him, and he's just chilling somewhere far away. Jimmy and Kim's relationship is explored in this episode, and we see Jimmy opening up to her about what he really loves doing, and he pulls off a con with her help!(Which was awesome to see) This scene worked to both develop Jimmy's character as well as expand on how deep a connection Kim has with him, given that she doesn't react badly to when he just starts off a con without giving her any advance notice, she in fact follows his lead and gets into the con, and they both have a really great time doing it.
Overall, the season has started strong, focussing itself on bringing Jimmy's inner conflict as the crux of the episode. I'm curious as to what happens to the pill-dealing bald guy, given that he made the stupid decision to not continue hiring Mike, and since the cops seem to be onto him. I'm dying to see Chuck again, and see how an encounter between Jimmy and him will play out in season 2. A few Breaking Bad easter eggs were dropped, but not in ways that need you to have seen that show to understand what's going on, and that's definitely the right way to do easter eggs. Here's looking forward to Better Call Saul season 2.