‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2 Review: Bob Odenkirk Is Back With Even Greater “Moral Flexibility”
After a record-breaking and Emmy-nominated debut season last year, Better Call Saul is back in the saddle February 15 for Season 2. It is, as my video review above says, a richer ride for the Breaking Bad prequel.
For one thing, having established the setup and met the expectations of Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill — the man who will become the slippery and sometimes silver-tongued Saul Goodman — the AMC series now has a real opportunity to evolve the tale toward its inevitable Cinnabon conclusions, which are hinted at this season like they were in Season 1. A part of that is the expansion of McGill’s “moral flexibility,” to quote Jonathan Banks’ Mike Ehrmantraut. No spoilers here, but it all adds up to hard-luck Jimmy determined not to leave any money or avenues on the table, like he did in Season 1.
If you are a fan of Breaking Bad, you know where these tests of McGill’s soul end up, but Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have created, to quote Odenkirk’s character, a very “rich tapestry” in the telling. Now that all the players are in place, the moves on the New Mexico-set board are much more enthralling than the eventual outcome. And this comes off a first season that I considered one of the best new shows of 2015.
In that vein, with Odenkirk firmly in the leading-man chair, Season 2 takes a step up as it allows the already strong supporting cast to breathe more as well. Banks’ Mike becomes even more of a partner, while the outstanding Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler is an even greater foil for McGill as the duo’s relationship grows amid a greater splintering. Michael McKean is back as Jimmy’s older and betraying brother Chuck, as is Patrick Fabian as the disdaining Howard Hamlin and Michael Mando as ambitious drug dealer Nacho Varga. Ed Begley Jr. joins the party, too.
And that’s the thing about Season 2 of Better Call Saul, at least from what I’ve seen: It’s like a really good party — crowded, complex and compelling.
So take a look at my review and tell us what you think.