It was almost like having “Breaking Bad” back. “Better Call Saul,” the Vince Gilligan-created spinoff about the comically sleazy lawyer, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), premiered on AMC Sunday. While there were plenty of references to its popular parent series, “Better Call Saul,” quickly established itself as a unique and hilarious show all its own.
Here are four things we learned from the premiere, “Uno”:
1. Saul and Cinnabon
The black-and-white opening of the series showed a mustached Saul far from a courtroom, working in a mall Cinnabon making cinnamon buns. Standing behind the counter, a terrified look came across his face as a man who had appeared to be staring him down approached, but it turned out he was just going to greet his family.
Later, Saul teared up sitting alone in a rundown apartment as he watched an old VHS tape of -- what else -- “Better Call Saul” commercials. It seems Saul had to leave his law career behind him after the events of “Breaking Bad” and go into hiding.
2. Jimmy McGill
The series finally arrived in the present at the beginning of the fledgling lawyer’s career. Saul was going by the name Jimmy McGill and drowning in the unrewarding waters of public defense -- representing gems of clients like three boys caught being, uh, a little too friendly with a severed head. He’s also broke and regularly contending with a cranky parking attendant -- the gloriously grumpy return of Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) -- and two skateboarding schemers who try to get a pay day out of throwing themselves in front of Jimmy’s lemon of a car.
3. Chuck McGill
Jimmy lives with a man, presumably his older brother, named Chuck McGill (Michael McKean). Chuck is also a lawyer and used to be a name partner at a big time firm, but following some unexplained mental breakdown has been living at home and seemingly not leaving the house. As the two McGills struggle in poverty -- the power at their apartment is off and they are behind on all their bills -- Jimmy has been trying to convince his brother to cash out of his firm -- where he has been on leave -- but Chuck stubbornly insists one day he will return to his job.
4. The Kettlemans
Desperate for a break, Saul set his sights on snagging two white-collar criminals -- Betsy (Julie Ann Emery) and Craig (Jeremy Shamos) Kettleman -- who are playing hard to get. Saul hatched a plan with his two favorite skater scam artists to stage an accident with Betsy’s car to force her hand to get herself a lawyer. However, things went wrong when the driver sped off after the phony crash. The two skaters followed the driver to her house, but it turned out not to be Betsy, but an elderly Latina housekeeper who speaks no English. Moments later, Saul showed up at the house to pretend to be the boys’ lawyer, but after knocking on the door he was greeted by the barrel of a revolver held by a familiar “Breaking Bad” face -- Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz). Tuco “invited” him into the house, but fans will have to wait for Monday night -- at the show’s normal 10 p.m. EST air time -- to see what happens next.
What did you think of the “Better Call Saul” premiere? Tweet your thoughts to @Ja9GarofaloTV.