Better Call Saul – “RICO”

Season One, Episode Eight


Grade: A-

Saul Goodman was always a character you simply loved. Sure, when we meet him in Breaking Bad, he’s sleazy and crooked, but you can’t say that he didn’t know what he was doing. Here, he’s lovable in a much different way because time after time again we witness Jimmy climbing up the ladder only to be knocked down. In the opening flashback scene, we see Jimmy working hard at Chuck’s law firm as the mail-room clerk. He learns that he passes the bar exam and celebrates with Kim, Chuck, and his mail-room co-workers. He dreams of becoming a lawyer at HHM, only to be shut down by Howard. It’s a crushing moment in Jimmy’s life and he’s been trying to work his way up ever since.

This brings us back to Jimmy McGill, being paid $140 for every client in his new focus on elder law. It’s not a lot, but it’s getting him by until a client of his isn’t able to pay him until her next allowance. The home controls when its residents receive an allowance of their own money? Jimmy smells that something is off and starts digging. What he does find is that Sandpiper is over-charging its residents for everyday things such as toilet paper, Q-tips, etc. Jimmy sees a great opportunity here and even gets some assistance from Chuck, who decide to tackle this together.

Jimmy has always been very enthusiastic in his work, which shows great persistence since he’s constantly being pushed around from the bigger lawyers and companies that surround him. But he’s the exact kind of lawyer that most people should want by their side. He’ll jump through hoops, and even through garbage, just to win his case. It’s great to see Jimmy and Chuck working together and it’s a great scene when they meet with the lawyers of Sandpiper who are trying to buy them off, but when Chuck drops the bomb on them demanding $20 million, even I felt he was shooting high and allowing his nerves (and craziness) to affect him. But it seems like they know what they’re doing. I’m excited to see the McGill boys in action!

Meanwhile, there’s a very small B-story involving Mike who realizes that Stacey and Kaylee are in trouble financially and he’s going to take it amongst himself to do some dirty deeds to scrape up some extra cash for them. We meet the veterinarian again. I wonder what kind of people that guy actually knows. I’m sure it’s nothing that Mike can’t handle.

Just as everything seems to be turning for the McGill brothers, the final scene had my heart pounding out of my chest! It’s something that probably should be a lot less suspenseful, but knowing the connection between Jimmy and Chuck and how they’re totally buying into the idea that Chuck has hyper-sensitivity completely amps up the scene to 11. Without even thinking because he’s so wrapped up in this new case, Chuck goes outside to grab a bunch of files from Jimmy’s car. He does so without that tin foil blanket and without acting like a crazy person. He gets all the way to the car, unlocks the trunk, grabs the boxes, and is about to head back to the house when Jimmy sees him in his normal state, which for Chuck is very abnormal. And then it hits him. Chuck freezes when he realizes where he is and what is happening. In that perfect wide shot, Chuck drops the boxes. Does he faint or pass out afterwards? We don’t know. It’s a small cliffhanger but one that I’m so desperate to find out! Well done.


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