After an 18-month gap, Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul is finally back for a fifth, and penultimate, series.
It’s a show which started as a relatively light-hearted look at the events that saw young lawyer Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) evolve into the shady Saul Goodman we know in Breaking Bad, but as it’s progressed it’s become increasingly dark and gritty in its tone, beginning to closely resemble the show from which it was spawned.
Season four saw some pretty seismic events – so here’s a quick look at where we left some of the major plot threads at the end of the series…
Where did we leave Jimmy?
The question as to when Jimmy would drop his birth name and adopt the Saul Goodman moniker is one that fans have been asking since the very first episode – and at the end of series 4, we finally got to witness that moment.
It came when Jimmy explained to Kim that he would be practising under a new name, after he was finally reinstated to the bar following a long suspension that had come as a result of his dispute with now-deceased older brother Chuck. Jimmy was able to convince the bar to reinstate him with an impassioned – but ultimately empty – speech about his brother’s death.
And under his new name he’s sure to have a lot of clients from the get go, as last season saw Jimmy put one of his most slippery schemes into action, as he sold mobile phones to criminals under the Saul Goodman name in order to lay the groundwork for a new class of clientele – a long way from the elderly care home residents we saw him work for in earlier seasons!
How is Jimmy’s relationship with Kim?
Last season saw a real strain on the relationship between Jimmy and his ever loyal, long-suffering girlfriend Kim, as the pair continued to move in increasingly opposite directions.
While Jimmy was laying the groundwork for his slimy new alter-ego, Kim was scoring some pretty impressive clients – and Jimmy’s behaviour frequently caused her to mess up as she was forced to abandon her work to stand by him. It will be a surprise if their relationship doesn’t head further south in season five – so look out for fireworks here!
What’s happening with Gus?
The formidable Breaking Bad villain Gus Fring first entered the fray in season three, and he was a fairly major part of the last series as well – which focused heavily on the building of the mega meth lab which would go on to play an iconic role in Breaking Bad.
But this being the drugs trade, and this being Better Call Saul, there are also a number of problems awaiting Gus – mainly in the shape of Lalo Salamanca, and his long running feud with the Salamanca family is sure to play a major role in the upcoming series.
What’s the story with the Salamancas?
It seems almost certain that Lalo will go on to play a huge role in season five, after he first appeared in the final three episodes of the fourth series. Lalo had been sent to Albuquerque to take on the role previously carried out by the now wheelchair-bound Hector, and quickly made his presence felt – carrying out surveillance on Mike and attempting to find out how much Nacho knows about Gus.
Speaking of Nacho, we saw him drawn further and further into trouble in season 4, and by the end he found himself in the unenviable position of being caught between Gus and the Salamancas – a situation which makes being stuck between a rock and a hard place seem like a stroll on the beach. It was Nacho, of course, who attempted to kill Hector, which prompted Gus to hire him as a double agent. But with Lalo now in charge and eager to see what Nacho knows, it seems that he’s not going to have things easy in season 5.
Where did we leave Mike?
Of course, while Better Call Saul has been primarily concerned with the evolution of Jimmy McGill, another Breaking Bad favourite has also been prominent throughout – ex-cop and reliable fixer Mike Ehrmantraut.
Mike spent much of season four charged with overseeing work on Gus’s meth lab, as he was placed in charge of a group of German workers led by engineer Werner – with whom he strikes up a friendship of sorts.
The workers are not allowed to tell anyone a thing about the project they are working on, or have any contact with the outside world, but things go awry when Werner begins to miss his wife and sneaks out to spend a weekend with her – leaving Mike no choice but to shoot him dead on Gus’s orders. While Werner was away he accidentally gave away the location of the lab to the spying Lalo – so this could pose a new problem for Mike in season five.
Is Howard still in the picture?
Howard started as one of Better Call Saul’s most important characters, but as the action has slowly shifted more towards the world of Gus and the Salamancas, his significance has somewhat diminished. For much of season four, Howard was reeling following the death of his former partner – Jimmy’s brother Chuck, and we found him struggling with his work and failing to smooth things over with Jimmy. It will be interesting to see where his story goes in season five…
Episode 1 of Better Call Saul season 5 will be available to stream on Netflix from Monday 24th February