Better Call Saul, the prequel to Vince Gilligan and AMC’s big hit, Breaking Bad, is preparing to head into its fourth season. Nobody expected this kind of success for the show based around the early years of the sleazy lawyer, Saul Goodman. But three seasons in, and Better Call Saul might be every bit as enthralling as Breaking Bad.
Season 3 left us on somewhat of a cliffhanger, with Jimmy having had a drawn-out, painful split with his brother, Chuck. Where will the show go from here? AMC recently confirmed some major details about Season 4, including one plot point that will weigh heavily on Jimmy (page 5). Let’s look at that, plus a few questions that linger.
A major focus on Jimmy and Kim
Jimmy and Kim | AMC
Season 3 teased out some trouble between Jimmy and Kim, his long-time friend turned girlfriend. She found out that Jimmy did, in fact, switch the numbers on the documents to make Chuck look foolish to Mesa Verde, sending the client back into Kim’s (rightful) arms. That puts enough strain on the relationship as it is, but in the final episodes of the season we see that Kim is stressing herself out, and it all ends in a scary car accident.
The last we see of Kim, she’s trying to relax and taking a break from practicing law. No doubt, she will get back into the swing of things once she’s healthy — both physically and mentally. But Kim isn’t present during Saul’s run on Breaking Bad, which means we’ve only begun the deterioration of their relationship. Expect more in Season 4 as Jimmy spins ever closer to Saul Goodman.
Next: Getting into the meth business
Mike and Gus move closer to Breaking Bad
Gud | AMC
Season 3 also introduced Gus Fring into Better Call Saul, with actor Giancarlo Esposito reprising his role as the chicken-slinging drug kingpin. After Nacho Varga took out Hector Salamanca by setting up his near-deadly stroke, things are going to get complicated for Gus and the Mexican cartel. Hector’s stroke moves us ever closer to the Breaking Bad timeline, and we’ll continue to move that way as Gus builds his massive lab underneath the laundromat.
(Mike) takes a more active role as Madrigal Electromotive’s newest (and most thorough) security consultant. It’s a volatile time to be in Gus Fring’s employ, as Hector’s collapse sends shock waves throughout the Albuquerque underworld and throws the cartel into chaos.
Season 4 of Better Call Saul, at least in the portions that focus on Mike’s story, might strongly resemble Seasons 3 and 4 of Breaking Bad.
Next: How far are they from blue meth?
Where are they on the timeline?
Better Call Saul | AMC
The total timeline for Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad can be a bit confusing, thanks to how the original show combined the story into just a few years. Seasons 1-5 of Breaking Bad took place over the course of, essentially, two years. In the official timeline, the show began in 2008 and ended at some point in 2010.
Better Call Saul began in 2002 with Season 1, and without a time jump we’ll see Season 4 begin in 2003. That places us five years (give or take) ahead of Walter White’s cancer diagnosis in Breaking Bad. Of course, if there were ever a moment in Better Call Saul that could call for a time jump, it’s now. Moving forward a year or so to when Jimmy’s law license is no longer suspended would make sense.
Next: When Season 4 will air
Season 4 premieres in August
Better Call Saul | AMC
Season 4 of Better Call Saul will premiere in August 2018, with 10 new episodes. The previous three seasons all had 10 episodes, so this is pretty consistent. However, the release date is a bit late. The show originally aired in April 2015, following with Season 2 in February 2016, then Season 3 in April 2017. Not airing until August 2018 is a major wait for TV standards.
That only serves to build up the suspense as we wait for Season 4, which AMC has confirmed will answer one major question that some fans have left over from the finale of Season 3.
Next: Answering that big question
Chuck is dead
Chuck | AMC
The Season 3 finale saw Chuck being driven to madness by his own mental illness and tearing apart his home. In the final scene, he kicks over a lantern onto a stack of newspapers and we see from outside the home that fire begins to spread. It’s clear that Chuck has attempted to commit suicide, but will Better Call Saul afford him that death? Or is it part of a greater storyline with the character? AMC confirmed Chuck’s fate.
Chuck’s death catalyzes Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman. In the wake of his loss, Jimmy takes steps into the criminal world that will put his future as a lawyer — and his relationship with Kim — in jeopardy.
It actually sounds like Jimmy might get mixed up with Mike on the cartel side of things, which would make for a whole lot of fun.
Next: Other plot points from Season 4
Kim and Howard are set to do battle
Howard | AMC
One of the key subplots from the first three seasons of the show is Kim’s relationship with her former mentor, Howard Hamlin. That relationship disintegrated quickly in Season 2, and it came to a head in Season 3 as Kim left Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill to start her own solo practice. Apparently, Chuck’s death will further drive a wedge between the two lawyers.
Chuck’s death deeply affects former colleagues Howard (Patrick Fabian) and Kim as well, putting the two of them once again on opposite sides of a battle sparked by the Brothers McGill.
Will the battle sparked by the two brothers be over Chuck’s money? Before committing suicide, Howard paid Chuck $3 million, the first of three payments totaling a $9 million buyout. With Jimmy as the next of kin, it seems likely that there will be a debate as to who is the rightful owner of the money.
Next: Bringing back characters from Breaking Bad
Will there be cameos?
Walter White | AMC
Each season brings out more and more old characters from Breaking Bad, with characters like Gus, Hector, Francesca, the Salamanca twins, Krazy-8, Huell, and Victor making appearances. Will more Breaking Bad characters be brought into Better Call Saul?
The short answer is probably, but the long answer is not the characters you’re hoping to see. It makes little sense to shoehorn in a cameo from Bryan Cranston as Walter White, considering that he’s just a chemistry teacher with little bearing on the story. But little references, such as Lalo — the unseen character that Saul begs not to kill him in his first episode of Breaking Bad — might be satisfied.
Next: Will we finally see the big moment?
How does Jimmy turn into Saul?
Jimmy in Better Call Saul | AMC
The difference between Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad and Jimmy McGill on Better Call Saul is a wide gap. Jimmy, despite his tendency for doing the wrong thing for the right reason, has a moral compass. As recent as the end of Season 3, Jimmy wrecked his career in elder law because of his guilt over the way he treated an Mrs. Landry.
Saul is a complete sleazebag, and arrives in his first episode of Breaking Bad with the unapologetic suggestion of having Badger killed in prison. Point being, the gap still needs to be closed in character development.
AMC’s press release does suggest that Jimmy will officially become Saul Goodman in Season 4, but how does his remaining shred of humanity get taken from him? Will it be losing his brother that does him in, or losing Kim, the one last remaining human being that cares about him?
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