'Better Call Saul's Latest Episode Shows Why It's TV's Best Show

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Two episodes into its fourth season, and Better Call Saul has quickly reminded us why it's the best show on TV - despite EVERYTHING it had going against it. After all, it's a prequel - we know where these characters are going to end up. We know where Mike and Gus and Lydia meet their ends - and we have a pretty good sense that Nacho and Kim may not be long for this world. And mostly, we know Jimmy McGill will lose his tenuous grip on morality and transform into Saul Goodman, sleazeball drug lord lawyer extraordinaire.

But the miraculous thing is that they've found a way to keep the show absolutely fascinating - while also taking their sweet time with the journey towards the inevitable. Mike is truly a perfect character for this show - it takes its time, it's extremely deliberate with its choices, and it pays attention to the details. To an extreme degree.

How extreme? THIS extreme:

'Better Call Saul's Latest Episode Shows Why It's TV's Best Show: random extra

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See the individual in the red circle? That's the character "Nick" - a henchman for Gus Fring's drug operation, played by actor Eric Steinig (caught by u/MinmoTheCat). His role is relatively minor in the episode - he's one of the background goons who help surround Nacho in the big finale, as Gus suffocates Nacho's partner, tells Nacho he knows what happened with Hector Salamanca, and boldly states "YOU. ARE. MINE."

If you didn't notice Nick there, no one would blame you - there's absolutely no attention given to him, specifically. He's just another face in the crowd of Gus Fring's goon squad. But his presence is not an accident - because his character will come back later (much later) in Breaking Bad.

And  things do not end well for Nick...

'Better Call Saul's Latest Episode Shows Why It's TV's Best Show: nick from breaking bad!

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Yep, that's the same actor and (according to the credits) the same character, Nick - in Breaking Bad's 4th season episode, "Bug", wherein a number of Gus's men are taken out by a sniper in retaliation for Fring's separation from the cartel and antagonism towards Don Eladio (the following episodes are the ones that follow Gus, Mike, and Jesse to Mexico, where Jesse teaches the cartel how to cook the blue meth, and everyone enjoys a nice shot of tequila).

But seriously, Nick - an incredibly minor character from Breaking Bad, brought back to Better Call Saul just for big continuity nerds to geek out over. It's incredible the sheer amount of thought that goes into every aspect of this show - from the writing, directing, acting, and casting.

Speaking of BCS's deep respect towards continuity, we got to reconnect with Gus Fring's personal physician Barry Goodman (no relation to Saul) early in the episode, as he examined a comatose Hector Salamanca and later reported his findings to Gus:

'Better Call Saul's Latest Episode Shows Why It's TV's Best Show: hector salamanca

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...and while Barry did make a very brief appearance in season 3 (getting Mike some cocaine for a sting operation against the Salamancas), having Gus use his personal physician was another excellent callback to Breaking Bad - where we primarily saw Barry as a member of Gus' secret Mexican hospital team:

'Better Call Saul's Latest Episode Shows Why It's TV's Best Show: barry as member of secret hospital team

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And, as usual, these are just one small part of the larger whole. Little casting and continuity details that simply speak to the larger themes of the show - that everything lies in the details. Chuck knew it ("I know he swapped those numbers. I knew it was 1216. One after Magna Carta. As if I could ever make such a mistake. Never."), Mike knows it, and especially Jimmy knows it. This is not a show that deals in half measures.

The rest of the episode was filled with the normal amount of nuanced character moments (Jimmy ranting at the copier execs over how easily duped they were, clearly still dealing with the loss of Chuck - the only person who could ever see through his particular brand of BS), intense emotional scenes (Kim's utter destruction of Howard, my goodness), and Mike being Mike (thanks Mike). But I'm used to being impressed by BCS's ability to juggle character and plot in interesting, compelling ways. The thing that continually blows my mind is how much lies in the little touches that no one else notices...