Better Call Saul

7.8 / 10
49 min
Drama
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9
" gives "Better Call Saul -Season 5" a 9."
Written by on 22 May 2020.
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Better Call Saul -Season 5

Better Call Saul is a spin-off, and to a smaller degree, a sequel to Breaking Bad. A series which is seen by many as one of the best series ever made. That is why it is even more impressive that Better Call Saul is also seen as one of the best series at present. Breaking Bad as well as Better Call Saul are among my own favourite series. Better Call Saul breathes the same atmosphere as Breaking Bad, but still has its own identity. This is partly due to the excellent performances of the cast, but also because the series takes its own course, independent of Breaking Bad.

Better Call Saul revolves around the eccentric lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk, How I Met Your Mother) who was introduced as the crooked lawyer Saul Goodman in the beginning of Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul shows how Jimmy slowly evolves into Saul, but also offers a lot of background information on other Breaking Bad characters like the cold-blooded drug dealer Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito, The Get Down), the Salamanca crime family and Mike (Jonathan Banks, Community)

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The start of season five is also the moment where Jimmy definitively transforms into Saul Goodman. Besides the fact that he changes his name, his moral compass goes further and further off course. He keeps coming up with more and more outrageous schemes just to win his cases. One of his schemes involves attracting a new kind of client, that of the small-time criminal. Furthermore, this season Saul gets mixed up even more in the drug trade in and surrounding Albuquerque, New Mexico. So the transition from Better Call Saul to Breaking Bad is becoming more and more apparent.

Besides Saul, his girlfriend Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn, Veep) and fixer Mike undergo significant developments as well. Mike becomes more comfortable in his role as fixer for the criminal underworld and Kim who used to serve as Jimmy's moral compass is getting more comfortable bending the rules. Since season one, these developments have been so gradual and believable that the viewer remains sympathetic towards the characters.

You can watch Better Call Saul without having seen Breaking Bad, but I still advise you to watch Breaking Bad first, if you haven't done so already. As season six will probably be the last one, the number of references to events and characters from Breaking Bad increase. Much of the strength of this season derives from these references. For example, several popular characters from Breaking Bad appear in this season and the feud between the Salamanca family and Gus Fring is explored further.

It is inevitable to compare Better Call Saul with Breaking Bad. They share a lot of the same characters, it takes place in the same area and the cinematographic similarities are quite evident. In general, Better Call Saul is a bit slower than Breaking Bad, but the fifth season has sped up a bit. It is clear the writers are building up to a big climax. Now we will have to wait and see if the sixth, and probably last, season will deliver this climax. I, for one, have high hopes. Anyway, the fifth season confirmed my opinion that Better Call Saul will, for a long time, remain one of the best series.

Based on all I have stated above, I give Better Call Saul a well-deserved 9.
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