Remember when people would always say, "Oh, The Wire is totally the best television series ever, I mean, it's even better than The Sopranos". Well, I have a feeling we won't be hearing that so much after this Sunday's Breaking Bad finale. The final series of Breaking Bad has been one hell of a ride, and it's one I almost don't want to end. But as the series tagline has explained, 'All Bad Things Must Come to an End' - and so must Walter White's story, one way or another.
But what about Saul Goodman? Well, although his fate in Season 5 of Breaking Bad is still open, we certainly now we'll be seeing more of everyone's favorite, metaphor loving, unscrupulous lawyer. If you didn't already know, Saul is down to receive his very own spin-off series, Better Call Saul. Once again created by , the series teases the opportunity to delve even deeper into the Breaking Bad universe.
We know the series will act as a prequel, prior to when Saul met Walter White and Jesse Pinkman on that fateful day in Albuquerque. The exact time scale or location is still not known for sure, but I can expect we'll see a younger Saul worming his way up through the criminal underground. There are countless questions directed at Saul's murky past: Just how did he get that law degree? How did he acquire so many nefarious contacts? Who did he once convince he was Kevin Costner? Better Call Saul has the opportunity to show some of these moments, and therefore here are the Top 3 Better Call Saul storylines I want to see.
1. Filling the Rolodex
Present day Saul always knows a guy who knows a guy. His well-thumbed Rolodex contains more criminals than San Quentin, and he's not afraid to call in favors. But how did he become so well connected? Better Call Saul has the great opportunity to show how a lowly lawyer wannabee made it among murderers and drug lords.
In particular, Better Call Saul can reunite the audience with some of our favorite bad guys. Although I wasn't sorry to see Gus Fring exploded, I did miss that sharply dressed, chicken frying, meth dealing badass. It's obvious from Breaking Bad that Saul and Gus have had a working relationship for sometime. Gus certainly doesn't work with any old chump which happens to wander into Los Pollos Hermanos, so we can only assume Saul was somehow able to win his considerable trust. We all know a younger Gus had one hell of a vendetta against the Mexican cartels. Did Saul help him with this? Was Saul instrumental in developing a fried chicken joint as a legitimate front? These are things I want to see.
And let's not limit it to Gus. Better Call Saul also has the opportunity to show us how Saul came to meet Mike, Huell, Patrick and even that moody receptionist he keeps behind the counter.
2. Making his parents proud
Now, Saul is a lawyer. Sure, as Jesse pointedly explains he is a criminal lawyer, but still lawyer's need degrees. Now, I'm not suggesting we should watch two seasons of Saul revising for his end of year finals — and that's because we all know Saul probably didn't get that degree legitimately. But why did Saul want to become a man of the law? We know Saul now has a blown up version of the constitution plastered onto his office walls, but did he once actually believe in its words?
This is something the spin-off could show. Of course, perhaps Saul always had it in mind to become an exploitative white (well, lime green) collar criminal, but I think it would be rather interesting to see him succumb to the lure of money, power and Bluetooth headsets.
Walter White didn't just become Heisenburg because he was bored. In his mind he had solid, tangible reasons for turning his back on his past and cooking up meth. In Breaking Bad it seems like Saul has lost all remnants of ideology and now he surely is in it just for the Benjamins. But was that always the case? Few people turn to a life of crime for absolutely no reason. I want to see Saul's.
3. "But Doctor... I am Pagliacci"
Fans of The Watchmen might recognize the punchline above. It's from an old joke about a depressed clown visiting the doctors. Film, literature and art is full of such sad clown characters, and there's the potential Saul could fit into this category. Saul is clearly designed to deliver some serious comic relief to what is often a hard-hitting drama. We could just dismiss this as, "Hey, he's a funny guy", but perhaps there's something deeper going on.
A sense of humor and wise-cracking can often act like a granite defense mechanism against the world. I mean, how can things be dire when you're cracking a joke? Although Breaking Bad is by no means humorless, I think we can expect Better Call Saul to veer further into comedy, but that doesn't mean we have to abandon some deeper and more character-driven storylines. In Breaking Bad we only ever really see Saul in his favored safe zone — his gaudy office surrounded by fake columns and (probably) fake accreditation. As Season 5 continued, this has begun to unravel, Saul is now desperate and seemingly a bit terrified. We're only now beginning to see a new side of the usually unflappable Saul Goodman, and that's something I want to see more of.
Oh... and I also want to know why he really likes Lazer Tag.
So those are three story elements I definitely would like to see in a Better Call Saul prequel. Unfortunately, we probably still have quite a wait before we will be able to see anything resembling a series, so why don't you add your own speculation below.
Breaking Bad Season 5 concludes this Sunday on AMC. Make sure to tune in to see if Saul survives the final episode.