Does it ever seem that some people are jinxed?
That, no matter what they do, they just can’t catch a break?
Saul Goodman is one of those people in the Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul.
Or Jimmy McGill as he is when we first meet him. It’s some years before the riveting roller-coaster that was Breaking Bad. The not-yet-but-just-about-to-become-Saul-Goodman Jimmy McGill is working as a lawyer of last resort from a cramped office behind a nail salon. His office has enough room – barely – for Jimmy to squeeze into with some impressive contortionism. His landlady just about acknowledges his existence. A shipping container would be a jump up in the world.
This first series of 10 episodes explains Jimmy’s backstory and sets up the premise for his looming transformation into Saul Goodman.
When we meet him first, Jimmy’s doing battle with the legal firm where his older brother, Charles McGill, is a senior partner.
Charles’ life has been turned upside down by the sudden onset of electromagnetic sensitivity. His electricity is disconnected, his curtains drawn, he lives in the dark, stores food in boxes of ice and refuses to let any piece of electrical equipment into the house – and he also refuses to leave the house. His only connection to the outside world, his lifeline quite literally, is Jimmy.
Jimmy is attempting to convince his brother’s firm to pay out millions of dollars since it seems unlikely Charles will ever return to practice law. In the meantime, Jimmy is supplying Charles with food, ice, newspapers and a host of other much-needed goods.
His good deeds are slowly driving Jimmy into bankruptcy. He’s casting about for new and well-paying cases – and everyday he gets more desperate and less scrupulous.
How far will he go? Will he sacrifice himself to save his brother?
Not saying too much to spoil the experience, but the core of the show hinges on the fact that though Jimmy may be a rogue willing to countenance a fair amount of fuzziness around what constitutes legal in his book, he is at heart a genuinely good person while the respectable society he’s so eager to be a part of may not be all it seems.
Funny and genuinely poignant at times – well worth a watch even for anyone who has never seen Breaking Bad.