‘Better Call Saul’ Season 3: Is The Prequel Better Than The Source, ‘Breaking Bad’?

Better Call Saul Season 3 premieres this week on AMC, as the cable network’s other smash hit, The Walking Dead, just finished its seventh season on air. Better Call Saul is the prequel to the darkly humorous and poignant Breaking Bad. It tells the story of the titular lawyer, Saul Goodman, while he still goes by the name of Jimmy McGill, before he runs into Breaking Bad characters Walter White, aka Heisenberg, and Jesse Pinkman.

A Prequel Better Than Others

Better Call Saul was first envisioned in April of 2013 when AMC started working with Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and series writer Peter Gould, collaborating on the project. The series was envisioned as a six-year arc that detailed Saul’s life before he met Walter White and became his lawyer.

In the two years that the series has aired, it has earned 14 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, seven Writers Guild of America Award nominations, a Screen Actors Guild Award nod, and a Golden globe nod as well. Out of 45 award nominations, the show has grabbed 10 awards, including two Satellite Awards for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Film for Rhea Seehorn, and two Critics’ Choice Television Awards for Best Actor in a Drama Series for the show’s lead, Bob Odenkirk.

The third season continues to carry viewers along as McGill struggles with his internal struggle between doing the right thing and following his darker impulses. Of course, because of his character in Breaking Bad, everyone knows where he ultimately ends up, but watching his fall as he tries to redeem himself makes for excellent character drama. In the Season 2 finale, Jimmy’s brother, Chuck, played by Michael McKean, recorded Jimmy as he admitted to falsifying important documents. Season 3 picks up right after that, dealing with how Jimmy will deal with his brother’s betrayal and probably blackmail.

This season of Better Call Saul will see the introduction of fan favorite gus fring

To fan’s delight, it was revealed that Season 3 will show the introduction of Breaking Bad villain Gus Fring before his two-face makeover at the hands of Hector Salamanca. Hector Salamanca is one of the primary antagonists in Better Call Saul, along with his nephew Tuco. Even though fans know how their story ends (Tuco is shot by Hank Schrader, and Hector blows himself up to kill Gus), watching their story and how the bad blood between Hector and Gus grows is something that nearly every fan of the series is looking forward to.

Critical Reception of Season 3 So Far

According to the rating site Metacritic, the third season has already been viewed by some critics and as of April 9, 2017, has an aggregate score of 92. Newsday critic Verne Gay gives the third season a perfect score and wrote that, “based on the first two episodes, Saul is making a case that it could be even better than Breaking Bad (and do brush up on your Bible stories).”

Is Better Call Saul better than Breaking Bad

Another perfect score came from Slant Magazine critic Chuck Bowen, who writes that “Better Call Saul grows more ironic and tragic with each subsequent episode.”

The lowest score on Metacritic came from Collider. Allison Keene was impressed with Season 2, but feels that the shift back to Jimmy in Season 3 takes something away, and that “the energy change is palpable. Odenkirk again lights up every scene, imbuing Jimmy with not only excessive charisma but a large degree of pathos.”

Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter points out that “the already superb Better Call Saul is in a position to take its biggest creative leap yet.”

“It’s not a surprise that we will eventually get to Jimmy McGill becoming Saul Goodman, but it’s certainly surprising just how heartbreaking that transformation has become.”

[Featured Image via AMC]