Warning: "Better Call Saul" Spoilers Ahead!
Walter White's criminal attorney sidekick Saul Goodman just made his triumphant return to television with the series premiere of "Better Call Saul," starring "Breaking Bad" veterans Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks, among others — including a surprise guest.
Even though Saul goes by a different name these days (he's Jimmy McGill, thank you very much), the show instantly revealed its deep ties to the "Breaking Bad" universe, by looking forward into the future of Saul Goodman, and even some shocking secret connections in his past.
Here's everything that just went down on the "Better Call Saul" premiere:
Behold! The Ozymandias of Cinnabon!AMC
Creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould promised that "Better Call Saul" would explore Saul Goodman's life before, during and after "Breaking Bad," and with the show's very first scene, they put their money where their mouth is — and by money, we mean cinnamon rolls.
The cold open features the man the world once knew as Saul Goodman working as a manager at Cinnabon in Omaha, Nebraska — just as he prophesied in his final conversation with Walter White. He spends his days worrying about being recognized by hitmen, and spends his nights watching archive footage of his own Better Call Saul commercials.
It's a miserable existence, and yet another body broken by Walter White's wrath. Given that the show begins with Saul's miserable future, can there be any doubt that Heisenberg will rear his head on "Better Call Saul" one day?
An Accident Waiting to Happen
When we first met Walter White, he was barely making ends meet for his family. Similarly, years before he ever meets Walt, Jimmy McGill is barely scraping by, defending indefensible clients at $700 per defendant — or, at least, he thought it was per defendant.
Point is, Jimmy is not doing well. He's not making enough money, he's unable to secure enough clients to strike out as his own law firm, and he drives an awful car. Making matters worse, a pair of skateboarding twins named Cal and Lawrence try to hustle money out of Jimmy by running into his car and making it look like Jimmy's fault.
But the artist formerly known as Slippin' Jimmy knows a thing or two about scams, forcing the twins to scram. More on them in a bit…
His Brother's Keeper
Soon-to-be-Saul isn't the only McGill we meet. There's also Chuck, his high-powered attorney of a brother. At least, he used to be a high-powered attorney, until some vague illness struck, forcing Chuck on what appears to be self-imposed leave, and a crippling fear of electricity.
Jimmy wants Chuck to tap out of his company and accept a buy-out. But Chuck stubbornly insists that he'll return to work some day. Chuck's colleagues agree, sending Jimmy's brother a pittance of money every once in a while to keep him on payroll. Far cheaper than buying Chuck's share of the company.
For Chuck, it's not about the money; it's a matter of pride. For Jimmy, it's about money and pride. With money running tight for the McGill brothers, and with Jimmy having to care for both himself and his brother's well-being, drastic measures must be taken.
A Blast from the Past
Not only does "Better Call Saul" connect to "Breaking Bad" in its very first scene, there's another major connection as well — and we're not just talking about Mike Ehrmantraut, who plays a so-far minor appearance as Jimmy's parking lot nemesis.
Late in the episode, Jimmy recruits the skateboard scammers to help him win over a client through their hit-and-scream scheme. The plan goes haywire when the would-be client hits one of the brothers with the car, and then speeds away from the scene of the crime. Cal and Lawrence follow the hit-and-run driver back to the driver's house. Jimmy follows suit a short time later, and when he rings the doorbell, a familiar face answers the door…
…TUCO, as in Hector Salamanca's chili-pepper hating psychopath nephew. He puts a gun up against Jimmy's head, drags him into the house, and shuts the door. How's that for a tight-tight-tight twist?