‘The Universe Owes Me’

Look back to all the Shakespeare you had to read in school, and you’ll find that all his villains had the same basic motivation. From Iago to Richard III to Cassius to Lady Macbeth, all of them felt wronged, cheated, denied their rightful greatness by a cruel, unjust universe. And all of them got pretty ruthless in their efforts to claim it.

That same motivation, that Shakespeareanity, is at the heart of Better Call Saul. And in its first season, everyone – from writers to actors to directors and cinematographers, is just RUNNING with it.

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Somewhere Between In Over His Head And Already Drowned

Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould and Bob Odenkirk are making this really hard for me.

I’m a writer. I have a decent grasp of English vocabulary. But there are only so many ways you can write, week in and week out, about the continued, consistent excellence of Better Call Saul.

And the hardest part is realizing that it’s only getting better.

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Jimmy McGill And The Ugly

I’m really just speaking for myself, I know, but I think one of the great hooks of Better Call Saul is the appeal of looking for that moment, or that series of moments, that shapes the hapless PD Jimmy McGill into the sharp manipulator Saul Goodman.

And one of the great hooks of watching the premiere was seeing the moment when Jimmy hatches his first Goodmanesque scheme, his first plan to gain him notice, money, renown, respect.

So, of course, one of the great hooks of watching the next episode is seeing how that plan turns out.

It doesn’t go very well.
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How Jimmy McGill Broke Bad

There’s always a risk you take when you try to build a supporting character into the lead.

As a rule, supporting characters exist to allow us to better understand the “hero” of the story. As a rule, they don’t have quite enough story of their own. As a rule, they’re not designed to carry their own shows.

But when you’re talking about Vince Gilligan, when you’re talking about Bob Odenkirk, when you’re talking about Better Call Saul, the rules don’t really apply anymore.

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