Seeing lightning in a bottle happen once is impressive enough; seeing it happen twice in succession, however, is nothing short of a miracle. Breaking Bad creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould nonetheless pulled this off with ease, creating not just one of the greatest television series in pop culture history, but now two, as Better Call Saul enters its final season.
Upon rumors of its creation, fans of Walter White’s journey dismissed the spin-off as a cash grab that diminishes the mythos of the Saul Goodman character. People decried it was unnecessary and would never succeed, but everyone who stuck around for the pilot collectively ate their words as they jumped back into the Albuquerque-based universe, while given the chance to see some of Breaking Bad’s greatest characters return. Learning how individuals such as the titular Saul and right-hand man to the cartel Mike Ermantraut ended up in the positions they later locked themselves into was invigorating, not to mention the later return of other fan favorites such as Gus Fring, or the never-forced great cameos from virtually everyone you could think of in Breaking Bad save for the White and Pinkman family members.
Yet the success and the wonder of Better Call Saul does not simply come from seeing old faces return, but from the uncertain fates of characters new. Saul (then known as Jimmy) has a shining light of a partner in the form of Kim Wexler — nowhere to be seen in the universe prior — and one can not forget about Nacho Varga either, a drug dealer who begins to have second thoughts of the world he put himself into, but highly controlled by those in power. Questions surrounding what will happen to these characters have been circling around the internet since the show’s inception, and while everything is slowly wrapping to a close, fans are incredibly tense as they wait to see whether or not their predictions are correct.
Often with spin-offs or prequel television shows, newly introduced characters are either not as well fleshed out as those who came before, or they in fact are, but fans are aware of their demises going in. This is what makes Better Call Saul unlike everything else on television these days, not simply for drawing in others with compelling characters already established, but for bringing in new ones just as beloved.