When we last left the world of Better Call Saul, over a year ago at this point, we witnessed an event that is about to change the course of a number of the show’s core characters. I know statements like that seem to be kind of hyperbolic, but I think when push comes to shove the ending of the season three finale will have the largest ramifications on the future of this show. The death of Chuck McGill, while supremely tragic and upsetting, could be the event that bridges the gap between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad. I know, through three seasons we have already seen a number of events that have linked the two shows. A number of them concerning Mike’s storyline and his involvement with Gus Fring, the Twins, and Hector Salamanca but we all know that Jimmy McGill can only stay on the outside of these events for so long. At some point, he’s going to have to become directly involved and it appears that season four could be the season where Jimmy McGill finally breaks bad and goes full Saul Goodman.
Season three of Better Call Saul was interesting because it kept the storylines of Jimmy and Mike mostly separate, and I fully expect that to be something that changes this season. Jimmy had a lot of family drama to deal with along with the suspension of his practice and being stuck with a great deal of commercial time that he doesn’t necessarily need or can afford. In a lot of ways, we watched Jimmy take a number of steps backward. Reverting back to his Slippin’ Jimmy ways and scamming people to get what he needs, often at the expense of those close to him. Just look at what he did in order to get that poor elderly woman to sign her name for the settlement. On the whole, season three wasn’t the best example of the person Jimmy McGill could be. It was more of an introduction to the person that he is slowly becoming. Saul Goodman. A character created for a television commercial.
The thing is, Jimmy McGill isn’t dead. He still exists and we’ve seen glimpses of him throughout the season and mostly in the finale. His apology to his brother is sincere and comes from an honest and guiltridden place. Jimmy, as much as it pains him to do so, loves Chuck and needs Chuck to a degree. Chuck is the anchor that keeps Jimmy from going full Saul Goodman. A counterbalance to a man who constantly teeters on the line. Now he’s gone and one has to believe that the guilt over Chuck’s death is going to drive Jimmy mad. Mad to the point where he might want to bury Jimmy McGill entirely, something we get closer and closer to each season. Without an anchor can Jimmy McGill really keep Saul Goodman at bay? We know the answer to that question is no, no he can’t, but the money is in the transformation.
Chucks’ death doesn’t just affect Jimmy though and I fully suspect season four to explore just how important Chuck was to the Better Call Saul Universe. Look at Kim Wexler, who has been crazy overworked and now nursing a wounded arm, as she takes a reprieve from practicing. I don’t doubt for one second that Chuck’s death won’t be a massive cog in her machine. Kim may dabble in Jimmy’s world but she’s too smart and self-aware to get fully caught up in it. She doesn’t want to fully commit to actually hurting someone, and now she is apart of an event that eventually leads to a man killing himself. I’ll be curious to see how Kim responds to this. Will the guilt drive her mad, will she ever practice law again, or maybe could she break bad and get more involved in Jimmy’s hijinks.
Be sure to keep an eye out for how Chucks’ death affects Howard, who has been the show’s resident d-bag. Here’s a man who understands Jimmy’s role in Chuck’s breakdown and isolation, but is he able to recognize his own? Will Howard be able to ignore the role he played? This is one of the storylines I’m most curious see develop.
Elsewhere, Mike and Nacho are more at the heart of the Breaking Bad of it all. Having these two characters directly linked to Gus and Hector helps lay the groundwork to how Gus builds the meth empire that will eventually introduce the world to Walter White. Nacho finds himself in a curious position just having fed Hector some poisoned heart pills right under the nose of Gus. We know from Breaking Bad that Gus is almost driven by his quest for revenge against Hector, and is always the smartest man in the room. There is little doubt that he knows what Nacho is up to and one will have to wonder if he’ll be willing to play ball with Nacho or if he’s too consumed by revenge to allow this to stand. Will the events of the finale lead to the bell ringing Hector that we remember or is this just a precursor? There is only so long before Saul pulls the trigger on these events.
Then there’s Gene… the one character I need to see more of. Each season has opened with a glimpse into the life of Gene and how it becomes more and more difficult for him to hide Saul Goodman. The last we saw of him, Gene was having a panic attack having told the shoplifter to get a lawyer breaking his wallflower cover. Gene lives in a world where he constantly has to look over his shoulder. It’s the gift that Walter White has left him and it’s slowly killing him. Maybe this will be the season where we finally get a full Gene episode. Fingers crossed.
There we have it Geeklings, season four of Better Call Saul premiers tomorrow night at nine on AMC. What are you looking the most forward to? Will this be the season that Jimmy fully becomes Saul? Can Kim recover from her mental exhaustion and possible guilt? Is Nacho in trouble with Gus? Will this be the season that brings us closer to the events of Breaking Bad? Sound off in the comments or if you’d like to talk more things Saul with yours truly you can find me on the Twitter @iamgeek32. I think I’ll be there tomorrow night live Tweeting the premier. Come join me! See everyone Tuesday with the episode review.
Images and trailer from AMC