We have come to expect a certain level of fireworks from season finales: shocking revelations, reversals of fortune, betrayals, hookups, breakups. The first season finale of Better Call Saul had none of these, instead serving as a kind of quiet postscript to last week’s wrenching episode in which Jimmy was so thoroughly betrayed and rejected by his big brother and role model Chuck.
Still stinging from finding out that it was Chuck, not Howard Hamlin, who had been blocking his professional progress, Jimmy headed home to Chicago and reconnected with his old running buddy Marco for a week of cons and scams, ending with Marco dropping dead of a heart attack in the middle of a reprise of the old Rolex routine.
When Kim calls to tell Jimmy... Read More
The beauty of Better Call Saul is in the way it manages to surprise even when you know where it’s headed. We know that Jimmy McGill is going to change his name to Saul Goodman. We know that he’s going to establish a law practice with considerable, shall we say, ethical compromises. And after last week’s episode, we had a pretty good idea that the class action suit against Sandpiper was going to be, if not the last straw, a very big one, as the show telegraphed that Howard Hamlin would somehow steal the case away from Jimmy and Chuck and leave Jimmy in the cold.
And that is more or less what happened. But I for one did not expect Chuck to be the bad guy. I thought... Read More
As the shockingly great first season of Better Call Saul moves into its homestretch, it’s becoming clear how the show plans to change its protagonist from put-upon do-gooder to scheming criminal lawyer (emphasis on ‘criminal’): by demonstrating the old saw that underneath every cynic is a disappointed optimist.
I can’t say I expected Jimmy’s foray into elder law to yield anything more important than a few Matlock jokes, but this show is surprising me yet again by turning it into a potential bonanza: his keen eye for scams (as a scammer himself) notices a pattern of overbilling at Sandpiper, the assisted-living facility he’s been trolling for clients, and next thing you know he’s looking at a potential multimillion-dollar class action suit for fraud.
This is exciting stuff, exciting... Read More
After filling in the heartbreaking details of Mike’s back story last week with “Five-O,” widely called the best episode yet of Better Call Saul, the show quickly wraps up the Mike-vs.-the-Philly-Cops storyline in the cold open before turning back to everyone’s favorite delusional embezzlers, the Kettlemans, and along with them, the breezy but inventive tone that has characterized the bulk of this first season.
I couldn’t help imagining how much worse Walter White’s adventures would have gotten if he had married Betsy Kettleman instead of Skyler; he probably would have gone down in a hail of machine-gun fire in Season 1.
The episode’s real delight was Mike’s method of finding the money the Kettlemans had stashed, which led to Jimmy doing “the right thing” (air quotes his), which... Read More
Last night’s episode of Better Call Saul shifted things into another gear by putting Jimmy’s parking-garage nemesis Mike, who Breaking Bad fans know will eventually become Saul’s fixer and private investigator, at center stage and filling in the back story only hinted at previously: how Mike went from being a cop to a ruthless, unflappable assassin.
It seems that a couple of Philadelphia detectives have taken Mike in for questioning, but they can’t get any more out of him than a stonefaced, one-word reply: “Lawyer.” Jimmy owes Mike one for helping him find the embezzling Kettlemans a couple episodes back, so Jimmy’s card is the one Mike gives the detectives. When Jimmy arrives and Mike won’t tell him anything other than how he wants Jimmy to help him lift the... Read More
After ending one of the most critically acclaimed, universally loved drama series ever with its best season and a finale that pleased almost everyone, it would have been very easy for the creators of Breaking Bad to disappear to a tropical island on the SS Crystal Blue Persuasion.
Instead, they decided to stay in Albequerque and run the clock back a few years for another origin story: not how Walter White became Heisenberg, but how downtrodden public defender Jimmy McGill became flamboyant “CRIMINAL lawyer” Saul Goodman.
I have to admit that my hopes for this show were not very high. I expected it to be good, because I don’t think Vince Gilligan knows how to make bad TV, but I underestimated just how much of Breaking Bad’s panache... Read More
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