This week, Vulture reviewed the 2015 TV season and placed the Season 1 episode of Better Call Saul, 'Five-O,' among the 10 best TV episodes of the year. You can read their full list here.
Accolades like this have been plentiful for the Breaking Bad spin-off as it approaches its sophomore season. The first surpassed (already high) expectations, chronicling Jimmy McGill's battle with his moral conscience and his attempt to find his place in a sharky, immoral profession.
In the crucial closing moments of the season, Jimmy made the decision to walk a selfish path – a path that, this time around, will see him take on the "Saul Goodman" moniker and metaphorically shed his McGill skin.
So we know already that Season 2 is guaranteed to be big. During a recent interview with IGN, the series' star, Bob Odenkirk, talked in some depth about the continued journey Jimmy – or Saul – will take when the show returns. Here's what he had to say:
"[Jimmy] is not a different person when you see him Season 2. He is not all of a sudden completely transformed. I think one of the things Vince showed us with Breaking Bad is that people can change, they just change incredibly slowly and they struggle and sweat through those changes. They really need to be ground down and pressurized in order to change in a fundamental way."
Odenkirk goes on to reference Walter White's transformation in Breaking Bad, noting that his personality didn't particularly "change" – he just became less concerned with how he was perceived by the world, which also feels true to Jimmy, who's been so concerned with how he should behave that he's not always been able to be himself, even if that means losing any respectability within his profession or wider society.
AMC recently released a short teaser trailer previewing Season 2:
Try to contain your excitement – as teasers go this one hardly teases anything at all, just imposing a few clips of dialogue from Season 1 which summarize Jimmy's moral struggle over a clip of the man himself.
Perhaps the most crucial takeaway is the promise that "it's never stopping me again," which suggests Season 2 could be a far wilder ride as Saul tosses aside his moral compass and takes the cases that are going to earn him big bucks.
One big question for the second season: how far can the writers take Saul in the other direction without sacrificing his likability? Whereas Walter gradually morphed into what can only be described as a villain, Saul ultimately needs to stay within the realm of a morally ambiguous character.
It's a line the writers will need to straddle, but if they get it right, Season 2 has every chance of building on the first to become an even more entertaining series, and one capable of finding rare depth in its portrayal of the law – which is why it's likely to be seriously awesome.
No news yet on new castings or potential Breaking Bad crossovers, but expect to hear more on that front by January.
Better Call Saul returns on AMC February 16, with new episodes premiering the day after the TV airdate on Netflix, beginning Feb 17. Are you excited to welcome Saul?