Since the beginning, Better Call Saul has always been a show with two very distinct narratives. There’s the legal drama of Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) on his slow, heartbreaking descent from idealistic go-getter to “criminal” lawyer Saul Goodman. And there’s the seedy underbelly that’s occupied by grizzled cop turned hired gun, Mike Ehrmentraut (Jonathan Banks).
In Breaking Bad, from which Better Call Saul was born, these worlds had a common character: Bryan Cranston’s Walter White. The suburban dad who went into business cooking high-quality methamphetamine as a way to provide for his family.
While Mike was brought into the narrative as the equally-grizzled parking lot attendant, his story ran parallel to Jimmy’s, bumping up against one-another only occasionally, often for low-stakes con jobs. By the end of the third season, Mike had become involved with Gustavo Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis), and other major players — both seen and unseen in the Breaking Bad days — of the Mexican cartel.
Now, Entertainment Weekly has just released an exclusive new trailer for the upcoming fourth season, and as you can see here, it seems that the show’s two narratives will continue on their very different paths.
Jimmy is seen cracking jokes, trying to impress Kim (Rhea Seehorn), and hustling some (we can assume) not-strictly legal jobs while he waits for his law license to be reinstated. Mike, on the other hand, is dealing with the fallout from Hector’s stroke at the end of the last season, which seems to have some rather bloody results.
This seems like as good a time as any to point out that this is in no way a negative. Both storylines are meticulously told, and given the talents of both Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, who helm the show, they will each lead to some truly jaw-dropping moments as the timeline starts to creep closer and closer to the Breaking Bad era, while simultaneously tying into one-another in ways no one could have foreseen.
Worth noting, nothing in the trailer seems to allude to all the hints we got about what to expect this coming season at the ATX TV Fest, but then again we’re talking about condensing 400-odd minutes of incredibly layered, thoughtful television down to 30 seconds of footage. We’ll have to wait until next month before we can really dig in.
Better Call Saul season four premieres August 4th on AMC