The pilot opens in a Cinnabon of all places, a smooth melody (The Ink Spots' "Address Unknown") from the 1930s provides the piano-y musical backdrop, everything's in black and white, everyone looks unfamiliar, and then, motherasshole, there's Saul. Or in this case, "Cinnabon manager Gene." He has a terrible mustache, less hair than you remember, and large, new, thinly rimmed glasses. It takes you all of half a second to realize this is Saul in witness-protection-like hiding, post-Breaking Bad. And it takes you all of another half-second to see a giant skinhead-looking dude in the corner of the 'Bon aggressively staring at Saul's (Gene's?) face. The guy abruptly stands up, Saul craps his pants, then (after 90 million thousand hundred heart palpitations) you (and Saul) realize the dude was looking just past him at some totally pleasant, non-skinhead-looking people in the middle of the mall. He goes over to talk to them, and Saul stands there, in his soiled pants, wishing Walt hadn't killed every asshole in New Mexico.
The entire episode (and I'm guessing to a large extent the show) is built on this foundation of stomach-punching tension that doesn't pay off, until it finally does. It's exhilarating. It's excruciating. It's that TMNT arcade game all over again, just minus the part where your little brother steals the full life pizza (thanks a lot, JOHNNY). It's what puts this series on par with Breaking Bad in just the first episode, but also the mechanism that could push it beyond it -- because eventually Jimmy is going to have to become Saul.
We move from the Cinnabon to Saul's Omaha apartment; he makes himself a sort of cheap version of a Rusty Nail (Dewar's, Drambuie, lemon juice squirt) and depressingly flips through QVC and a documentary on the "African Pancake Tortoise." He pauses, gets up, checks the window for anyone outside (there's suddenly dramatically building organ music), he walks over to some sort of closet, drops to his knees, and your head EXPLODES.
IS HE GOING TO PULL UP A FLOORBOARD HIDING INFINITY DOLLARS?? IS HE GOING TO OPEN A SECRET HATCH TO A METH LAB??? OH MY GOD IS JESSE DOWN THERE??????
We finally get a camera angle that puts us in the closet -- Saul rummages through some stuff and eventually pulls out a shoe box, filled with pictures, band-aids, what looks like a passport, and JESUS-MARY-AND-JOSEPH A CHUNK OF GUS FRING'S FACE!?!?!?
Wait no, it's just a VCR tape.
BUT IS IT A COPY OF JESSE'S CONFESSION TAPE????
Just his "Better Call Saul" promotional TV reel, which we get to see him watch, while sort of sadly quivering.
No super-hot jazz-y turtles music. Just sad, alone Cinnabon Manager Gene.