Now on Blu-Ray: Season 2 of ‘Better Call Saul’ — It’s All Good, Man

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

Better Call Saul Season 2

Breaking Bad was one the high-water marks of this modern Golden Age of Television, an intense mixture of pulpy crime drama mixed with top notch visual storytelling. With few exceptions, it was the last time that television felt like a true event. The events of each Sunday’s episode dominated the water cooler chatter on Monday, and those that missed out covered their ears screaming “la la la!” hoping to avoid even the tiniest of spoilers. As happens with wildly popular television shows, the spinoff wasn’t far away. Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman would be the subject of his own series, Better Call Saul, which despite many returning members of the cast and crew left some people (including myself) feeling somewhat apprehensive due to the fact that rarely does a television spinoff live up to its predecessor. The excellence of Better Call Saul wasn’t really a surprise as much a welcome relief. The show created by Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan doesn’t have the same cutthroat tension of Breaking Bad but is just as excellently acted and crafted as its roots, and may very well be the better all-around show.

The first season focused on Saul Goodman before he was the famed criminal lawyer for Walter White, just a low level lawyer working under his given name of James or Jimmy McGill. We’re privy to his struggles as a public defender, the sibling rivalry with his successful and respected attorney brother Charles (Michael McKean), his odd relationship with the grizzled parking lot attendant Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), the on-again off-again relationship with Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), whom he has worked with at his brother’s law firm many years ago, and his own personal history as a grifter. Incredible depth is given to the inner working of the mind of Jimmy McGill and the pieces are in place to explain how his attempts to be an honest man of the law are undermined by his own ego and entitlement, providing a fascinating mirror image to the same characteristics that drove Walter White.

In its second season, Better Call Saul follows Jimmy McGill as finds the greatest success of his professional career. Having found a culture of financial malfeasance in a chain of nursing homes put the ethically challenged Jimmy McGill on the map. Despite having been rejected for work from his brother’s prestigious firm of Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill, he’s hired at the law offices of Davis & Main, headed by Clifford Main (Ed Begley, Jr.). At first, Jimmy rejects the offer only to accept when he believes that accepting the job will aid his relationship with Kim Wexler. Hard as tries to dive into the earnest work of a prestigious law firm, it soon become apparent that the style of David & Main will cramp the style of Jimmy McGill, as evidenced by their shocked reaction when he runs a provocative TV ad without the consent of his superiors. This drives Jimmy to don the outlandish suits that became a trademark of Saul Goodman and engaging in other unflattering behavior in order to get fired so he can secure the severance pay in his contract to start his own independent firm.

Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut is finding himself deeper and deeper in the seedy underbelly of Albuquerque. Mike rarely crosses paths with Jimmy McGill this season, though Jimmy does provide a few legal favors to Mike. The former Philadelphia cop finds himself on the other side of the law because of his determination to provide for his daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Mike is also the character that has the interactions with most of the memorable characters from Breaking Bad, trading blows with Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz) and getting entangled in match of wits with Tuco’s uncle Hector (Mark Margolis). There’s also the tenuous agreement, an honor amongst thieves, between Mike and Nacho (Michael Mando), which provides the series with much of its violent tension.

With all the personal turmoil of Jimmy’s professional life and Mike’s further travails into the criminal underworld, the most fascinating aspect of Better Call Saul’s second season is the relationship between Jimmy and Kim. She knows that Jimmy is of questionable morals in his professional life yet still finds a kindred spirit in the conflicted lawyer. One episode involves the two drunkenly taking up aliases in order to grift an investment banker into paying for their expensive tequila shots that evening. Kim has an appetite for the grift like Jimmy, though she has her limits and her own career to look out for. The season concludes with the two setting up a separate but equal partnership in their own law firm, one that Jimmy treads in immoral waters to nourish and one that could lead to all sorts of unraveling as the season finale’s cliffhanger episode suggests. Herein lies one of the most honest love stories in all of filmed media, with a flawed man trying desperately to retain the affection of the woman he loves and a woman that accepts her lover with all of his faults. There’s a mutual push and pull between these two characters, and they each find themselves flirting with the breaking point. It remains to be seen if and when Jimmy will reach that point, but it’s not hard to imagine that the very breaking point may not be off too far away.

Special features on the 3-disc set include a gag reel, audio commentary for every episode, a fascinating chat between Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn about the complicated relationship between Jimmy and Kim, a featurette examining the production design of the rustic-themed offices of Davis & Main, and finally an interesting conversation between Jonathan Banks and Mike Margolis, where the two veteran actors recount stories of their decades of acting, ranging from the struggles to the triumphs of their careers. As a nice little bonus, there are also the television ads that Jimmy haphazardly constructs, which are a perfect spoof of countless daytime ads for class action lawsuits.

Even though we all know how Better Call Saul ends – with Jimmy McGill morphing into Saul Goodman before finally settling in as the manager of a Cinnabon in Omaha – it’s the journey that makes it such compelling television. Sure, it doesn’t feature the violent tension of Breaking Bad, but Better Call Saul is crafted with just the same level of care, and with a bit more humor. Better Call Saul is a character study much like Breaking Bad, the story of man driven by resentment and entitlement. Like Walter White, Jimmy McGill sheds the façade of decency and embraces the alter ego he has crafted for himself, shunning morality for profit. With Season 3 on the horizon, Better Call Saul is just getting started.

Better Call Saul
  • Season 2


The rarest of series — a prequel of astounding quality, Better Call Saul may not have the high tension drama of Breaking Bad but is just as good, if not better, due to its fascinating character study of the transformation of Jimmy McGill as he becomes Saul Goodman, an evolution that very much mirrors that of Walter White into Heisenberg.

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘I Feel Bad,’ Episode Two is Better than the Pilot (Minimal Spoilers)

About half an hour ago, I let loose my frustrations on...

‘I Feel Bad’ Continues the Whitewashing of Asian Cultures

I Feel Bad made me feel awful as yet another show...

Cabin Boy Blu-ray
Fancy Lads Rejoice! ‘Cabin Boy’ is Finally on Blu-ray

Chris Elliot is nobody’s idea of a leading man, but for...

Event News Event Reviews
viz media
Have no Fear, for Viz Media is Here! – SDCC 2018

I grew up reading more manga than I did American comics....

Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut
32 Years Ago Today, Was The Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut

On this day, 32 years ago, the world was graced with The...

Blizzard SDCC 2018
Blizzard SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment Brings Massive Lineup to SDCC

Blizzard in SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment brings Overwatch, StarCraft, and...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Ghostbusters World
Strap On Your Jumpsuits and Proton Packs – Ghostbusters World First Look

Ghostbusters World First Look at SDCC2018 – When someone asks you if...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
DC Collectibles Brings Batman Dark Nights: Metal to Life

Straight from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL comics series comes...

Make Better PIX this Year with PIX Smart Animative Backpack

Start the school year off by making better life PIX, like picking up...

Chuck Billy of Testament Talks About His Signature Vaporizer

Chuck Billy of Testament talks about, “The Chief” his signature vaporizer,...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Bellator Hawaii to be Exlusively Aired on DAZN

From Bellator MMA – LOS ANGELES – The Neal S. Blaisdell Arena...

USA Boxing’s 1st West Coast Alumni Association Comes to Hollywood

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (September 11, 2018) – The stars will be...

Trifecta/UFC Kick-off Golden Ticket Giveaway for Sold Out UFC 229 Khabib vs. McGregor Epic VIP Experience

Running from today, September 11th through September 16th, the first 250 orders...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the cat conjuring pt: 5… no, 4!

Oh this cat conjuring thing is getting out of hand!

Fantoy Comics Presents Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring Pt3

Pt 3 of the epic non-canonical Harry Potter and the Cat...

Fantoy Comics Presents – Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring pt 2

Pt 2 in the epic non-canonical adventure of Harry Potter and...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep 2 Who’s Better Chris Jericho or Ric Flair and The Black Superman ‘Controversy’

This week Gary and R.C. respectfully disagree on who the better...

Coastal Commoners Ep 1 Rosh Hashanah and the Assyrian/Jewish Connection

Editor’s Note: The views of Mr. Morgenstein and Mr. Samo do...

Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

%d bloggers like this: