Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad spinoff starring Bob Odinkirk reprising his role of lawyer Saul Goodman, kicks off with a black-and-white clip inside a mall Cinnabon – where he’s dutifully kneading some dough and sweeping the floors. As he’s going about his business, he’s nearly crippled by fear that a patron is up to no good. Back at home, he pours himself a cocktail and pops in a videotape featuring “Better Call Saul” commercials and gets teary with nostalgia for the good old days

‘Better Call Saul’ Recap

The monochrome dramatization is followed by a trip to the past, where the series is presently set. Getting his start as an attorney, a nervous James McGill is perfecting his courtroom script in the bathroom. When he comes out, he delivers his poetic opening monologue about his trio of 19-year-old clients being knuckleheads who didn’t harm anyone. After he’s done, the prosecution pops in a tape that speaks for him, showing the boys sawing off the head of an embalmed corpse. Needless to say he looses the case.

As he pulls out of the parking lot, he meets disgruntled parking ticket taker Mike (Jonathan Banks), who Breaking Bad fans know will soon be one of his go-to muscle men. Afterwards, Jimmy meets up with a new potential client at a local eatery. Money went missing from the country treasury, which his new would-be client is accused of stealing. In these days, Jimmy, before he became Saul, is hard-pressed for work and tries to send flowers to land the clients after they told him they were going to sleep on it. Calling the florist while driving, he runs into a skateboarder. Using his lawyer logic, he convinces the skateboarder and his pal that they’re the ones at fault and carries on to his office – at the back of a nail salon.

With the bills racking up, James McGill, who’d tried in earnest to make a living as an honest lawyer, needs more income. At the law offices of Hamlin Hamlin & McGill, Jimmy barges into a conference and makes a scene. Jimmy’s brother Chuck (Michael McKean) is getting money from the company, but not nearly as much as he should. Jimmy wants them to cash his sick brother out and get millions. If then don’t, he’s going to sue. On his way out, he sees his potential client and his wife chatting up with the head of the firm.

The destitute public defender pays a visit to his brother, whose house has no power, so he’s keeping minimal groceries fresh with ice. Chuck won’t cash out of the firm because he believes he’s going to beat what seems to be paranoid schizophrenia. Jimmy tries to explain that he’s going under and needs to make more money since Chuck is broke as well. Chuck explains that it’ll be okay and that Hamlin Hamlin & McGill is sending him a stipend to make ends meet. He refuses to cash out, as he’s determined to return to work eventually and encourages Jimmy to keep working on launching his own firm – provided he changes the name of the firm.

At the local skate park the next day, Jimmy confronts the two skaters and tells them a long story about Slippin’ Jimmy who made money with a falling racket in his youth. At the end of his story, he agrees to pay them two grand to intentionally get hit by the car driven by Betsy Kettleman, the wife of his would-be client. After the skater gets hit by the car, the driver doesn’t stop. As it turns out, it wasn’t Betsey behind the wheel, but an older woman, whose grandson is none other than Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz).

Part 2 of Better Call Saul‘s premiere airs on AMC Monday night.

 

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