TV Club: Tapes, trackers, and approaching storms on Better Call Saul’s season premiere

I love procedurals. Police procedurals, sure—Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct books are my favorites. But really any kind of stepwise, methodical portrayal of how something gets done. How It’s Made. Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie. Journalistic “tick-tocks.” Rube Goldberg comics. Song Exploder. This video about Wilson footballs.

And I have a feeling Vince Gilligan likes procedurals, too. Breaking Bad took great delight in detailing Walt’s crazy schemes to evade Hank and undermine Gus Fring. But on Better Call Saul, the procedural love is concentrated, pure and uncut, in the lengthy, frequently wordless sequences of Mike Ehrmantraut at work. For someone like me, watching the man at his unhurried business—matched by the deliberate pace of the writing and editing, which seems to accept that it’s gonna take as long as it’s gonna take—brings on a kind of delirious high. By the time it’s …

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