Better Call Saul begins its third season tonight, April 10, 10pm on AMC.
I’ve been anticipating Jimmy McGill’s return for over a year. Seasons one and two of Better Call Saul were some of the best television I’ve ever seen. The characters and cinematography were beautiful. Every episode was superb. AMC has only given critics access to the first two episode of season three, so please keep in mind this review will not do the complete run justice.
That said, I found it difficult to jump back into the tone and pacing. The premiere is incredibly slow and includes an insane amount of exposition. There’s a side plot centered on Mike that I could not follow for the life of me. Thankfully the second episode moves much quicker and is overall more enjoyable. We get some great Mike and Jimmy scenes and a fantastic cliffhanger.
Much of the marketing for this season was based around the return of one of the greatest TV villains of all time, Gus Fring from Breaking Bad. Better Call Saul is a prequel, we get more of Fring’s backstory, in particular his operations at Los Pollos Hermanos. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll merely tell fans to be patient.
I have to admit these episodes did disappoint me a bit. The slow plot was very frustrating, especially because of the monumental questions I was left with at the end of season two. It wasn’t an insane drop in quality though. One of the genius things that creator Vince Gilligan does is stretch out a plot to its fullest potential. The man doesn’t like jumping to emotional scenes if they don’t make sense within the context. Breaking Bad was known for exactly this: slow moving plots and gentle character arcs. In the beginning of a season it is perfectly acceptable to take it slow, but I wish a few steps could’ve been skipped.
I still expect the remaining episodes to be great and am sincerely looking forward to them.
I give Better Call Saul‘s third season a B.