Better Call Saul Season 3 Review
Better Call Saul Season 3 Review – The Stakes Continue to Escalate
Spoilers for Better Call Saul Season 3…
Better Call Saul won’t win any awards for action-packed scenes or a frantic story particularly when held up against the breakneck pace of the show it spun off from, Breaking Bad. Instead the show named after the criminal lawyer now in its third season focuses on incredible performances, thoughtful and intelligent plots, stunning cinematography plus a deep character study of characters from the Breaking Bad universe. Here’s what I thought of Better Call Saul Season 3.
An Award Worthy Performance
Let’s start with Chuck. Jimmy’s brother went through the most significant change this season as we saw him humiliated in court, battling successfully and unsuccessfully with his electromagnetic condition and losing his job at the company he was instrumental in building. Michael McKean was simply astounding as Chuck McGill this season playing the character as understated and calculated as well as manic and fractured. I found myself angry at Chuck for deceiving his brother but also deep sympathy for the man especially with how the final episode unfolded and his untimely embarrassment at the hands of Jimmy in the courtroom. This is a man obsessed with control in his life, which is why he can’t accept Jimmy as a lawyer and when losing his job why he struggles to keep his condition under check.
It’s sad to consider that perhaps Jimmy and Chuck are trapped in a never-ending downward spiral as each pushes the other’s buttons to breaking point. Ultimately, Jimmy just wants Chuck’s love and acceptance while Chuck simply can’t look past his brother’s flaws. While Chuck’s fate remains uncertain at this point, one thing that is certain is how anyone connected to Jimmy can and will be pulled into that downward spiral if they aren’t careful.
Tense Showdowns and An Eye Opening Car Crash
Michael McKean’s performance isn’t the only one worthy of praise this season. Bob Odenkirk got to shine in the courtroom but also slipped into familiar territory as he turns to unorthodox ways to make money now he can’t practice law. Although he tries to put things right after manipulating those involved in the Sandpiper settlement he’s closer to the Saul Goodman we know now more than ever. It was also noteworthy how Jimmy’s attempt to do the right thing was juxtaposed with Chuck’s chaotic descent in the final episode. Rhea Seehorn’s Kim has really grown as a character this season and we saw cracks in the professional outward appearance she works so hard to maintain. Jimmy’s money troubles and an increased workload really push Kim to the limit resulting in her car crash and the small change of her taking time off may lead to a significantly different Kim next season.
Mike took a lesser role this season with some development as he becomes entangled with Gus and his fellow desire to hurt Hector Salamanca. I was fine with Mike not featuring as much this season and unfortunately not much new information arose from his meetings with Gus. We already know Mike does work for Gus and now we are moving closer to Breaking Bad‘s events it remains to be seen if anything surprising can come from this storyline. Michael Mando was exemplary this season showing great variety in his performance. We saw a protective son, a scheming gang member attempting to assassinate Hector and ultimately someone just trying to get by in the difficult situation he finds himself in.
Cameos and Moving Closer to Breaking Bad
There were several cameos this season including Huell, Krazy-8 and Lydia. It was neat to see Huell’s pickpocketing skills come into use for Jimmy as we infamously know how they are put to use at a later date with Jessie and I hope there’s more to come from him. We saw Krazy-8 briefly interact with Nacho before being beaten up by him showing the character is really out of his depth here. The most noticeable cameo was Lydia as she orchestrates things into place such as Mike’s money laundering and Gus’s lab location. Her connection with Gus is still unclear and it’s one area that would be interesting to see fleshed out as well as Madrigal’s role.
Finally, this season took significant steps towards Breaking Bad. Jimmy used the moniker of Saul for the first time and we saw his legal practice taken away from him while the pieces are all falling into place as far as Gus, Mike and Hector are concerned. Season 4 has already been confirmed and it’s unlikely the show will go on past a fifth season. Breaking Bad never outstayed its welcome on our screens and given that Better Call Saul is produced by Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould who both worked on the original, I can’t see it going on further than necessary. One big question that remains is what will happen to Jimmy in the present day story?
What did you think of Better Call Saul Season 3? Were there any noteworthy performances or developments for you?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!