This post contains SPOILERS for Better Call Saul season 3
The fourth season of AMC's acclaimed drama Better Call Saul is expected to premiere at some point in September 2018. Centering around the pre-Walter White trials and tribulations of lawyer James McGill (who would later assume the Saul Goodman persona), the Breaking Bad spinoff has emerged from the shadow of its predecessor to become a great show that stands on its own merits. While it's fun for fans to see connections between the two, like Gus Fring's supporting role in the third season, Vince Gilligan and company did an admirable job telling a compelling story that doesn't lean on what came before as a crutch. The dynamic between Jimmy and his brother Charles fueled the first three seasons and made for terrific television on its own.
Harkening back to the most memorable Breaking Bad finales, Better Call Saul's season 3 capper - "Lantern" - ended with the jaw-dropping scene of Chuck presumably being engulfed by flames in a house fire caused by the titular lantern. Some viewers felt the elder McGill could still be alive since he didn't perish onscreen, but star Bob Odenkirk seemed to confirm everyone's worst fears by saying earlier this year having "Chuck exit our show" bummed him out. Undoubtedly, this incident will play a large factor in the upcoming fourth season, but fans are going to have to wait a while before they experience the aftermath.
According to a report by Deadline, it's mentioned that new episodes of the show won't air until September 2018, which is a year from this writing. No reasoning was given, but the development would make Better Call Saul ineligible for next year's Primetime Emmys, as it would miss the May 31 cutoff date. Much like Breaking Bad, the spinoff has proven to be a critical darling, earning numerous prestigious nominations throughout its run, including Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor for Odenkirk. Its absence in next year's awards race would open the door for another show to sneak in.
AMC only confirmed a fourth season was happening back in June, so it makes sense if it won't start up until next fall. The extended gap allows Gilligan and crew some breathing room to plan out the arcs for the characters and write the scripts without having to rush to meet an early deadline. While viewers are no doubt excited to see where Jimmy's story goes from here, what's most important is that the quality of the show remains high. Thanks to the success of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Gilligan has established a high bar for himself, and it would be disappointing if the fourth year of Saul isn't up to par. It's nice to see AMC is willing to give him all the time he needs to craft another captivating narrative.
It will be interesting to see how extensive the Breaking Bad ties are when Saul returns in 2018. With Gus Fring becoming part of the proceedings, we're inching closer to the way things were when Walter and Jesse Pinkman first sought Goodman's legal counsel. Gilligan has been adamant that any crossovers would be done only in service of the Saul story so they were not distracting and felt natural. Time will tell if Aaron Paul will be Jesse again, but considering what happened in Saul's season 3 finale, that's probably the last thing on anyone's mind.
We'll keep you updated on Better Call Saul as more information becomes available.