As Jimmy McGill inches ever closer to becoming Saul Goodman while Mike Ehrmantraut sinks further into the criminal worlds of Gus Fring and Hector Salamanca, Better Call Saul Season 3 is perhaps the best season yet for the Breaking Bad prequel. With a high-quality 1080p HD transfer, a very good lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix, and a smattering of amazing supplements, this Blu-ray release is Highly Recommended!
Breaking Bad is one of the best television series ever to grace the small screen. Its attention to detail with characters and plot lines, while keeping up with suspense and dark comedy, is pretty much flawless. One of the most memorable characters is that of the lawyer Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk), who kept Walt and Jesse out of jail for the bulk of the series by bending and even breaking numerous laws while chase a cut of the profits. There was something about the character of Saul Goodman that everyone loved, even though his ethics and ways of doing things might be questionable.
After Breaking Bad ended, Vince Gilligan co-created this prequel series about Goodman. It turns out that Goodman is really Jimmy McGill, a damaged young man with a history of con-artistry who wants to be a legitimate lawyer like his older brother, Chuck (Michael McKean), but who destiny lies in the darker path of becoming Saul Goodman.
Here in Season 3, Chuck and Jimmy's relationship comes to heavy blows, which hurts Jimmy's private practice and his romance with his partner, Kim. We want more than anything to see the McGill brothers to get along and work together, but both characters have their own fatal flaws and will never see eye to eye, which is catastrophic and sends Jimmy on his way to becoming Goodman once and for all. It's a slow, but highly-engaging transformation to see on screen with plenty of drama, tension, and earnest, tender moments.
Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut, an ex-cop whose destiny lies in becoming a fixer for a drug cartel, is still looking for ways to provide for his daughter and grandchild. In this season, we see Mike begin his partnership with the infamous Gus Fring while trying to deal with (a still fully functional) Hector Salamanca.
What's great about seeing these characters several years prior to Breaking Bad is how they managed to become successful and managed to keep out of jail for so long. Another good aspect of this third season is seeing the blueprints for how Jimmy will ultimately lose touch with his family and friends to go into the criminal world. We're still rooting for him because deep down he's a good guy, but he can't help taking the gray-colored path to get ahead.
One thing is for sure, Better Call Saul Season 3 will keep you coming back for more.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Better Call Saul Season 3 comes with three 50GB Blu-ray Discs from Sony. All of the extras are spread across all three discs. There is an insert for the digital download code too. The discs are housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. The reverse side of the inner sleeve box art reveals the details and synopsis of each episode.
Better Call Saul Season 3 features a 1080p HD transfer presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. The image is crisp, clear, and very dynamic. Primary colors are bright and fluid. Take a look at Los Pollos Hermanos with all the amazing reds, blues, and purples. Bright yellow uniforms contrast well with Fring's off-yellow and muted button-down shirt, showing just how well these colors differ. Perhaps the best use of the color scheme is the actual rainbow painted in the law firm. Other color palettes look impressive, particularly in Chuck's house, which brings out all of the dark browns and rusty greens.
Detail is very sharp and vivid as well, revealing very fine textures in close-ups as well as wider shots. The post-accident makeup effects on Kim's face look very realistic. Individual hairs on the actor's faces are distinguishable as are the small stitching in the tailor-made suits. Wider shots show off great southwestern style texturing on buildings and dust-colored signs and trees.
If you're watching the show through a streaming format in 1080p, this Blu-ray is definitely the better format. However, if you have a 4K UHD television and a high-speed connection, the 4K UHD streaming option on Amazon looks even better than this Blu-ray. The colors are more lifelike and bold in all lighting levels. In Salamanca's restaurant, you'll notice an uptick in all of the Spanish and floral coloring inside, as well as more detail on props and backgrounds. I don't see FX releasing any of their TV series on 4K UHD Discs anytime soon, which would make this Blu-ray release the right option. However, if you have a reliable and very fast connection and are fully 4K UHD capable, that streaming option is the best bet.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds great in each episode. While this is a front-heavy mix, there are many moments where the surrounds are fully utilized. Gunshots, car collisions, and brutal beatdowns all sound powerful here and utilize the rear speakers. Heavier action sequences pack a great low end of sound with deep bass with each gun blast and vehicle engine.
Ambient and atmospheric noises sound nice too, providing a rather immersive experience in crowded buildings and restaurants. The score and music of the show always add the darkly comic tone and never drowns out any of the other elements. Dialogue is crisp, clear and easy to follow along with, even with the fast-talking Jimmy. There are no pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills, leaving this audio presentation with great marks.
Audio Commentary - Each episode comes with a commentary track with a collection of cast and crew, which differ on each episode. All of these are worth listening to as they all discuss the character arcs, the plot lines in detail, shooting on location, the stunts and writing process, as well as some funny anecdotes from the set.
Gene of Omaha (HD, 8 Mins.) - This is a cool supplement that talks about the present day Saul or after the events of Breaking Bad on Saul's life in Omaha.
The Return of Gus Fring (HD, 7 Mins.) - Here we have the cast and crew talking about bringing back Gus and how they wanted the right time to introduce him here.
Gag Reel (HD, 5 Mins.) - A montage of flubbed lines, missed cues, set mishaps, and laughter.
Deleted Scenes (HD, 17 Mins.) - There are several deleted and extended scenes on each disc here, all of which give more character development.
It's A Bad, Bad World (HD, 10 Mins.) - This is an awesome extra that shows there are people specifically hired to work on the characters and settings in merging both shows together for continuity purposes between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. Bryan Cranston also visits the set from time to time too.
Signs of Saul (HD, 7 Mins.) - The cast and crew talk about Jimmy fully becoming Saul Goodman here.
In Conversation: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, and Rhea Seehorn (HD, 9 Mins.) - A cool little extra with the three main characters having a fun conversation.
Los Pollos Hermanos Training Videos (HD, 16 Mins.) - There are 10 different training videos about working for Gus Fring and his chain of restaurants, which are all amazing.
Better Call Saul Season 3 is the best season yet. Jimmy McGill is well onto becoming Saul Goodman as he starts to alienate friends and family. We also are introduced to the iconic Gus Fring before he sets up the big underground lab, as well as a still fully functional Hector Salamanca. The Blu-ray video presentation is top notch, but if you are 4K capable and have a fast connection, then that streaming option is the one to go with. The DTS-HD 5.1 mix sounds very good as well and provides an immersive experience when needed. Lastly, the supplements are fantastic, informative, and worth watching. Highly Recommended!