Review: Better Call Saul Season 4

This fourth instalment of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould’s Breaking Bad prequel may just be the best yet as they succeed in further creating a series with a style so uniquely filled with action, subtle comedy, and nail-biting suspense that it can be viewed autonomously from its parent series.

In series four of Better Call Saul, the world presented to us becomes much more recognisable to the one we see in Breaking Bad, following the evolution of the cartel and Gus Fring’s development of the underground lab, informing viewers that there is more tragedy behind the stories we think we already know. The most notable development in this series is, of course, that of the main character, Jimmy McGill, who in the last seconds of the finale shows he has fully evolved into Saul Goodman, the slippery and conniving lawyer we’re familiar with.

Image result for better call saul season 4 Bob Odenkirk

Writers Gilligan and Gould have downplayed much of the action in this season compared to previous ones. However, this crescendo perfectly sets up the viewers for the culmination in the finale which promises to answer their question, ‘How did Jimmy McGill, a man with good intentions, break bad and become Saul Goodman?’ Bob Odenkirk, primarily a comic actor prior to joining the Breaking Bad franchise, does some of his best work, leaving viewers feeling sympathy for the grief he experiences due to the death of his brother in one scene, and later leaving them questioning the sincerity of this in his public outpouring of emotions.

Although season four has given us many answers to our questions, there is still more to be explored in series five, which was announced on the 28th July: How much does Jimmy view himself as a pariah in the legal sphere? Is this what leaves him as a man seemingly with no morals? And how can the absence of Kim, Jimmy’s significant other, in Breaking Bad be explained? One thing is certain, this series shows that the Saul Goodman we meet in Breaking Bad has a much more tragic and complex past than we first realised.

Antonia Stephenson

Images: Geek Tyrant, Variety