Better Call Saul returns with tragedy in season 4 premiere

Patrick Fabian as Howard Hamlin - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Patrick Fabian as Howard Hamlin - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television /
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Better Call Saul returns with a premiere filled with tragedy and attention to detail.

It’s like we’re living in a black and white movie when Better Call Saul starts as Gene is taken to the hospital and checked out while “We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)” by The Ink Spots plays. Gene is visibly stressed when he’s asked for his driver’s license again before leaving the hospital. He’s even more stressed when he has a bad feeling about his cabbie, who keeps giving him odd looks and has an air freshener from Albuquerque.

Embers float through the air as we’re transported back to color and into Kim’s bedroom. Kim is still beaten and has a broken arm. Jimmy wakes up early to look for some jobs and Howard leaves a message about Chuck dying. A voicemail isn’t the best way to learn that someone has died, but to be fair to Howard, he did try to contact Jimmy directly. Even though we already knew Chuck’s fate, we had yet to see Jimmy’s reaction to it, which is all too relatable.

Mike is done working as the parking lot attendant at the court and we learn that he makes his own hours at his new job. We even see him get a check with a net pay of over $10,000. His first moments on the show are fairly uneventful, but informative.

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Since the news about Chuck, Howard has made an effort to include Jimmy in the decision-making. He calls to run Chuck’s obituary by him and even though Jimmy walks away from the phone, it is a nice gesture. I say this as someone who hasn’t really ever liked Howard in this show.

Gus Fring and Nacho show up a little over halfway through the episode as Hector is taken away in an ambulance. Gus is worried about war, chaos, and the D.E.A. showing up as people try to take over the Salamanca’s territory.

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler – Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill, Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler – Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television /

We meet Barry, a Madrigal employee, as he has some car troubles at home. Mike snatched his employee badge and one can ascertain that he’s the reason Barry had some car troubles. He makes his way around the facility and chimes in about who would win in a fight between Muhammed Ali and Bruce Lee. He’s doing all of this to prove how weak the company’s security is.

As unlikable as Chuck was by the end of season 3 (and well before that), his funeral is a somber affair. It hits the hardest when we see Rebecca crying and the scene ends right after Howard walks up. That moment leads Howard to go see Jimmy and admits that it was the insurance that pushed him over the edge. Howard is shouldering the blame for Chuck’s death and Jimmy doesn’t care for his guilt. He just wants to go about his life and make coffee.

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill – Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill – Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television /

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Tragedy has hit for both Chuck and Hector in the premiere. While the audience knew it was coming, this episode showed us how the other characters would deal with the tragedy. Some just want to go about their business (Jimmy and Gus), while others are feeling a bit guilty (Nacho and Howard). It’ll be interesting to see how the events of the premiere play out over the season. Will Jimmy feel more guilt as the season continues?

Better Call Saul airs on Mondays on AMC at 9:00 PM EST.