last week i opened netflix to catch episode 11 of the first season of better call saul, the prequel spinoff to breaking bad. it was disappointing to find out that season 1 only has 10 episodes
an ad for fictional lawyer saul goodman. the opening scene of s01 e03 could be called better call chuck.
better call saul is a spin-off because the title character, saul, appeared as mr. white & jesse pinkman’s lawyer on breaking bad.
prequel means that better call saul is a story that happens before breaking bad.
the show’s title is a good example of how better can be used as a modal auxiliary verb for strong recommendations. better call saul sounds like something that someone who needs a lawyer would say.
if u haven’t watched better call saul s01e03 there are some very minor spoilers below.
heeeeere’s johnny, uh, jimmy. saul?
the opening of episode 3, titled nacho, is a flashback (a time before the rest of the episode) to a conversation between brothers jimmy and chuck mcgill in cook county jail in chicago. jimmy mcgill (aka saul) has been arrested for what he calls a chicago sunroof and his brother chuck, a lawyer from albuquerque, new mexico, is there to help. chuck is clearly disappointed in jimmy.
when jimmy is brought in by police he announces himself to chuck by saying “heeeere’s johnny”. this famous line was used to introduce tv host johnny carson on his popular u.s. television program the tonight show.
better call saul is definitely not the first time “here’s johnny” has been borrowed from the tonight show. this frightening (scary) scene from the shining is another famous example.
jimmy continues to try and keep the mood (ambience, feeling) light, and tells chuck that he only knows two things about albuquerque–one of them is that bugs bunny should have turned left there. this is a reference to a joke that bugs makes in several of his cartoons when he is lost. should in this structure, known as third conditional, is in the past tense and indicates a mistake; in bugs’ case, a navigation mistake.
after the jokes, jimmy admits that he is in a (bit of a) pickle, which is an idiom that means he is in trouble. it’s apparently a favorite expression of his. he uses it again in episode 7.
and near the end of the conversation jimmy tries to show remorse (regret, that he is sorry) when he says
i’m a lousy brother and i’m a big screw up. and if i was just a better person, i would not only stop letting u down, u know what? i would stop letting me down.
lousy means really bad. screw up indicates that jimmy is a failure; that he has made bad decisions or wasted opportunities. the phrasal verb let down is similar to disappoint.
if i was a better person…. is a nice example of how to express a hypothetical situation–known as second conditional.
jimmy not wanting to let his brother chuck down is an important theme in better call saul
ironically, at the end of my kind of town (one of his most famous songs), frank sinatra sings that chicago is one town that’ll never, never let u down (2:30)
if you’re wondering what a chicago sunroof is, watch episode 10. no spoiler here 🙂
a sunroof (sunroofking.com)
while writing this post, i realized better call saul is not available on netflix in every country :/ is it available where u live? what did u think of the first season? share your answers under leave a reply
have fun, amigos.