“Better Call Saul” Season 5 Premiere Review

Bob Odenkirk in "Better Call Saul"

After far too long a wait, Better Call Saul is back for its fifth and penultimate season. Here’s a recap of the season premiere.

In the pre-credits scene, we witness a flash-forward to Saul’s life post-Breaking Bad. In the previous seasons, we’ve just seen a snippet to Saul’s Cinnabun life but this time around, we see the full extent of what life is like on the run. Saul is constantly looking over his shoulder and when a former Albuquerque resident recognizes him from the Better Call Saul adverts, it spells trouble for our morally corrupt protagonist. In a panic, he calls for relocation before ultimately deciding in an ominous tone that he will “handle it” himself.

The season five premiere then picks up where season four left off. On a high from his court win, Saul makes the decision to change his name to Saul Goodman. He no longer wants any association with his brother and he is looking for ways to appeal to a younger criminal crowd. Kim regards him suspiciously as he gets carried away with his new business plan, suggesting he hand out discounts for non-violent repeating offenders.

Of course, Saul ultimately ignores Kim’s advice and goes ahead with his plan anyway. He coins himself the “magic man” and hands out phones to the city’s criminal youth, his number already programmed to speed dial. When he runs out of phones, he promises a 50% discount for the rest of the week should his clients need him.

Meanwhile, Lalo Salamanca is getting increasingly suspicious of Gus Fring’s activities. Gus comes up with an elaborate plan to cover his tracks and although Don Eladio is convinced, Lalo is still wary. Elsewhere in the episode, Michael struggles to come to terms with assassinating his friend and the construction of the meth superlab is put on hold until further notice.

Earlier seasons of the show issued slow and deliberate character development but as the series comes to a close, things are heating up for everyone on the show. We’re seeing more action, drama, and our anti-hero Jimmy McGuill has blossomed into the colorful criminal lawyer that we have come to know and love. The only downside is that we have to wait a whole week between each episode.