Better Call Saul season 4 review round-up: Breaking Bad prequel hailed as 'better, deeper and more daring'

Critics are praising the series as one of the best on TV


Jacob Stolworthy@Jacob_Stol
Wednesday 25 July 2018 09:08
Better Call Saul Season 4 teaser

The first reviews for Better Call Saul season 4 are rolling in.

This new season has long been teased as being darker in tone to what's come before with Breaking Bad showrunner, and things will pick up on a sombre note as Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) is left reeling after he learns of his brother Chuck's death.

The synopsis reads: “In Better Call Saul‘s fourth season, Chuck’s death catalyses Jimmy McGill’s transformation into Saul Goodman. In the wake of his loss, Jimmy takes steps into the criminal world that will put his future as a lawyer — and his relationship with Kim — in jeopardy. Chuck’s death deeply affects former colleagues Howard (Patrick Fabian) and Kim as well, putting the two of them once again on opposite sides of a battle sparked by the Brothers McGill.”

But is the new season any good? Early reviews have been released - and it's big praise for the next batch of episodes that will also see the return of Breaking Bad characters Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Gus (Giancarlo Esposito).


How have things changed in season 4? The answer is simple: just more, but better, deeper, and more daring. One element that stands out more prominently than in the past is how each episode of Saul ends: Rather than go for a clean button or a bold proclamation, each final fade-out of the first three episodes brings with it a bit of a shock, coming as it seems to in the middle of a gasp of air, a slap to the face — just abrupt enough to leave us reeling. The reflection of life seen in Better Call Saul’s mirror isn’t terribly flattering, but perhaps more than any other TV show on the air, it stands out as true.


“Smoke” also checks in with the criminal world of the show, in a manner just as curiously calm and reserved. It might be a stretch to call Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul modern Westerns since that type of designation usually falls to something like Justified or other shows that contain more action and more “white hats,” but Saul still manages to fill its long stretches of solitude and silence with suspense and danger. It's a show that definitely pops us with bursts of unexpected bloodshed and moments of brutality that stand starkly apart from some of its more serene aspects, but the quiet elements are still filled with massive amounts of tension and unease.

We'll add more reviews when we have them.

Better Call Saul returns to AMC on 6 August with its UK premiere arriving on Netflix the following day.

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