Friday, March 4, 2016

What I’m Watching: Better Call Saul (Season Premiere)

Better Call Saul: Season 2, Episode 1 “Switch” (B+)

I didn’t love this show’s pilot, like that of its predecessor “Breaking Bad,” but I warmed much more quickly to this show. I didn’t expect much of it, and I’m glad to see that it outgrew any connection to the show that spun it and Saul Goodman off, allowing it to take on an identity all its own. That’s clearer than ever in this premiere, which starts with a snippet of Saul’s future misery working at Cinnabon and starting again from the bottom up but focused much more on the here and now that takes place much before Walter White was ever in the picture. Jimmy turning down the employment offer from Ed Begley Jr.’s Clifford Main seemed like just the latest bad decision on his part, especially when he made it only after Kim shot down high hopes of them being together. I feel like I barely noticed Kim in season one, but she was such an integral and fantastic part of this episode. I particularly liked when she said it was gross to share a toothbrush, to which Jimmy responded quite entertainingly by putting her finger in his mouth to use instead. Jimmy was in rare form in this episode, lounging in the perfect water in the pool and setting his eyes on easy marks. A perfectly cast Kyle Bornheimer was a great part of Jimmy’s awesome plan to win Kim over, complete with the compilation of an enormous alcohol bill that Jimmy and Kim swindled the bragging banker into covering. It will be interesting to see how he does and how long he lasts in his new job. I like that a bit of Mike’s life via his hapless former employer is being showcased, and I’m eager to see where that leads. I can tell already it’s going to be a great season.

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