Before there was “Better Call Saul,” there was “Breaking Bad.” But that’s only sort of true. Because the events of “Breaking Bad” take place after those of “Saul.”
Actually: That’s not 100 percent true, either. Parts of some episodes of “Saul,” like the Season 2 premiering debuting tonight on AMC, take place after “Breaking Bad,” in a not-too-distant future in which the former Saul runs a Cinnabon.
The main point here is that the show is a bit confusing. Let’s be honest: As great as the Vince Gilligan/Peter Gould prequel/sequel was last year, the time that has passed and overabundance of other shows have made it easy to forget at least some of what happened in Season 1, even if you were paying close attention.
This is where your friend TheWrap comes in. Here are five things you probably forget from Season 1 of “Saul.”
Better Call (Him) Jimmy
The show may be titled “Better Call Saul,” but Saul Goodman as a character is really still a long ways away. Oh, and that whole “Gene” at Cinnabon alias is even further from fruition. Season 2 starts with us still being a heck of a lot closer to “Slippin’ Jimmy” than those other two.
In Season 1, we learned how Jimmy McGill came up with his future Saul Goodman name — phonetically from “It’s all good, man.” For now, he’s sticking with the birth name, at least partially because it links him to prestigious law firm Hamlin Hamlin and McGill. That “McGill” is not for Jimmy, though — it’s his brother Chuck (Michael McKean). But, whatever, the legal profession is a competitive one built on name and reputation, and Jimmy’s not (always) above thievery.
Here’s Who Is Dead
Not a ton of people, yet, which may be surprising for a show in the “Breaking Bad” universe. Marco (Mel Rodriguez) died of a heart attack during a final Rolex con, Mike Ehrmantraut’s (Jonathan Banks) son Matt is dead, and so are the two crooked Philly cops who killed the young officer. Guess who offed the cops?
Honorable mentions: The Lindholm twins have broken legs, thanks to Tuco — who wanted to make it much worse. Robert Williams, a.k.a. the Billboard Worker, did not die in Episode 4, thanks to Jimmy’s set-up faux heroics. Finally, Chuck McGill thinks electricity is going to kill him, but it has yet to do so. Oh, and there’s probably a few residents of assisted living facility Sandpiper Crossing who didn’t make it to Season 2. Not wishing them any ill will, we’re just being practical with that thinking.
Howard Hamlin Isn’t Actually the Jerk
Although Patrick Fabian plays him like the perfect prick, Howard Hamlin has never actually been James McGill’s nemesis. As it turns out, Hamlin, who was always the one delivering negative news to Jimmy, was the firm partner who wanted to hire “Charlie Hustle” as an attorney. It was Jimmy’s brother and personal hero, Chuck, who simply wouldn’t allow it.
When Chuck finally cops to that fact, he tells his younger brother: “Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree is like a chimp with a machine gun.” Don’t expect that relationship to recover in Season 2.
Mike and Jimmy have Come a Long Way Already
The duo who will eventually team up on “Breaking Bad” have already been through quite a bit in just 10 episodes of “Saul.” It all began with some parking validation stickers, something that Jimmy McGill never seemed to have enough of at the courthouse. Mike, who mans the parking lot, had even less sympathy for the struggling defense attorney.
Eventually, that contemptuous relationship escalated into an effortless takedown — guess who ended up in the arm bar? The two teamed up on the Mr. and Mrs. Kettleman manhunt, after which they forewent $800,000 apiece in stolen money. Jimmy even ended up as Mike’s attorney when some other (and still-alive) Philly cops came asking questions.
Jimmy’s on an Interesting Career Path
So, chronologically, Jimmy McGill was a con artist, an accused felon, a mailroom worker at HHM/law student, a struggling public defender, a con artist again, the Kettlemans’ attorney, an elder law specialist, a con artist once more, more elder law, a potential partner-track attorney with Davis and Main, and finally, a self-declared rebel driving away from a great job opportunity.
We’ll find out soon enough where the criminal lawyer’s resume takes him next.
“Better Call Saul” Season 2 premieres tonight at 10/9c on AMC.