AMC’s Breaking Bad has perhaps eclipsed similar prestige TV shows like Mad Men to become the standard bearer of just how good a television show can be. The series finale concluded the morality play of science-teacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walter White, but the upcoming spinoff, Better Call Saul,will bring that universe back to life.
The last we saw of morally-challenged attorney Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), he was about to ditch his entire identity and start over to evade prosecution. When Better Call Saul was announced, many fans wondered if this would be the starting point for the spinoff, until it was revealed that the show is actually (primarily) a prequel, taking place before the events of Breaking Bad, and even featuring the return of Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut.
Expectations are very high, but so far all audiences have seen was a very short teaser video which still managed to convey the new show’s tone and highlight Saul’s smarmy charisma. Now, on the heels of that sneak peek, AMC has a released another teaser, this one more substantial and featuring Better Call Saul‘s creators Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan. Check out the video above.
Gould and Gilligan finally give us a concrete time frame for the prequel (about five years before Saul meets Walter White on Breaking Bad) and remind us that when we first meet Saul, his name is actually Jimmy McGill. They also spend almost thirty seconds asking each other the questions that fans will presumably have to watch the show to learn the answers to.
Here’s their exchange from the video:
Gould: He didn’t start this [as Saul Goodman].
Gilligan: He’s Jimmy McGill.
Gould: How do you become Saul Goodman?
Gilligan: Yeah, and why?
Gould: Why? What kind of problem do you have that becoming Saul Goodman solves it?
Indeed. The video ends with Saul/Jimmy explaining to someone how he “doesn’t go looking for guilty people to represent. Who needs that kind of aggravation, right?” The joke, of course, is that by the time we meet Saul in Breaking Bad, guilty clients are the only kind he has.
AMC appears to be carefully building up their marketing for Better Call Saul, and while this teaser offers some new footage and an ironically funny line from the always-welcome Odenkirk, it’s actually an impressive little package for all it accomplishes. Gould and Gilligan seem to be presenting us with the show’s overall theme of transformation, one which echoes that of Breaking Bad even as they get audiences excited all over again with another glimpse of Saul.
While everyone involved is determined to make something “fresh and new” with Better Call Saul, it still seems to reflect the original show in that this is the story of the evolution of a criminal. Even though we’ve seen what happens to Saul, the spinoff is said to take place “before, during and after” Breaking Bad, and the potential of the show having a decidedly nonlinear storytelling style has been confirmed more than once. Does this mean we’ll meet up with a post-Walter White at some point?
Even if that doesn’t happen, Saul’s origin story could still make for a fascinating counterpoint to Walter White’s saga, and shed new light on different aspects of this universe. Odenkirk will be joined by Michael McKean (This Is Spinal Tap), Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn (Franklin & Bash), Patrick Fabian (Grey’s Anatomy) and Michael Mando (Orphan Black).
Better Call Saul premieres on AMC in February of 2015.