Better Call Saul made me like Jimmy McGill, something I never thought possible. (Spoilers below.)
Frasier took a character from another show and ran to 11 seasons, very much becoming its own experience in the process. Such a thing is a challenging process I’m sure, but creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould made Saul Goodman, in his earlier incarnation of Jimmy McGill, a likable, even sympathetic character – something I never expected going in.
Better Call Saul probably won’t have 11 seasons, the story’s going to catch up with the misadventures of Walt and Jesse eventually, but nevertheless it stands to be a remarkable journey as McGill transforms into Goodman.
While always in the service to Breaking Bad, the show had its own feel from the start and ultimately became more than anyone might have reasonably expected. The finale of the first series, Marco, brought us one remarkable scene, when Jimmy explained the concept of the Chicago Sunroof in the bingo hall, yet it never quite reached the emotional peaks of Pimento, the second-to-last episode.
For the first time, Saul became a character we could not only root for, but actively empathise with. Bob Odenkirk played the role masterfully throughout the series, but the revelation that Jimmy’s brother Chuck was the sole force preventing him from becoming a full blown lawyer at Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill – to the point that Chuck refused to allow him to work in the building on his multi-million dollar fraud case – was a crushing blow that truly altered how his character is perceived.
There’s still some way to go before Jimmy becomes Saul, Gould has already teased that we’ll see this transformation in the seasons to come and the same is true of Mike. While the show (probably) won’t run to 11 seasons, I wouldn’t mind if it did.