Video essayist Thomas Flight examined how the sublime television series Better Call Saul used props, character response, location, and cinematography to visually show tell the story of Jimmy McGill‘s transformation into Saul Goodman.
What’s Better About Better Call Saul? In this video essay I take a look at the way Better Call Saul uses visual storytelling, to show instead of tell.
Flight cites the use of an ice cream cone that Jimmy was forced to drop onto the street when cartel business unexpectedly took him away. He later returned to the same spot where ants had wholly consumed his discarded treat.
He also talks about the trash can from the first season and the “World’s (Second) Best Lawyer” mug, which appeared regularly throughout the series.
To show instead of tell is perhaps best illustrated by Jimmy’s world’s best lawyer mug the mug was a regular feature in the early seasons and so the image of it shot through with a bullet is an evocative symbol of Jimmy slipping into Saul his movement into more dangerous territory and the death of a certain in image that Jimmy has of himself but then it also sets up this fantastic moment where we get to see Kim realize Jimmy is lying to her about what happened in the desert.