Better Call Saul Review – “Rico” S1E8

This week on Better Call Saul, we got some good backstory on the Hamlin-McGill beef (haven’t gotten over the face that the asshole still took the cake…), and just when the ball got rolling on a McGill x 2 tag-team match-up, things went and got crazy. The pace of this episode was finally to our liking, and the realization at the end made me feel like we’ve just started the descent on what will be an incredible roller coaster ride to the finale.

Pros:

Unspoken politics: In the beginning scene, mail delivery boy Jimmy is well-received by everybody in the office. There are two justifications for this: lawyers and really nice people or Jimmy has the charm to win everybody over. How could somebody so loved (and hard-working) be denied a position when Kim got the position right away? Seems like there’s some expected QPQ going on at HHM… (because Hamlin is an asshole, not because I think Kim is engaging in it)

That dumpster scene: I wanted to cry, laugh and throw up in my mouth at the same time. That is great television for you. While it was cringe-worthy, it was totally Slippin’ Jimmy at work. Just enough rule-breaking to be looked at with a sideways glance, and just legal enough to get through the loopholes. Jimmy is all about the easy way out, but isn’t afraid to put in work to get what he needs, either.

The end reveal: This could be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it, and I sure as heck wouldn’t argue with anybody who felt the opposite, but I think that it’s a good thing that at least one definite truth was told: Chuck does not have electromagnetic hyper-sensitivity. We can finally get that out of the way.

Shit... act natural

Shit… act natural

Cons:

Switch and bait: I nearly lost my mind when Tuco and Nacho took over, and have done nothing but ponder when that relationship was going to be revisited. While it made for a great introduction, their appearances have ruined whatever organic pacing I imagined the show would have, and have given me unrealistic expectations on how things should play out – disappointing me every time the issue is never addressed.

The Legacy Effect: Would this show be half as exciting if it weren’t for the pretense that it is a prequel to Breaking Bad? No, of course not. That doesn’t mean we should expect it to be the same show, but it is of the same pedigree, so the slow burn is eventually going to lose viewers who aren’t as attached to the fandom.

Mike’s daughter in law with the guilt trip: Mike was ready to call it quits with the game, and Stacey comes right back in and makes him feel bad about not being able to provide for them. She chose her path when she lied to the cops to protect Mike, so now it seems his need to make up for Matty is putting Mike back in the fast lane.

We've all been there, Mike.

We’ve all been there, Mike.

Predictions:

Jimmy burns HHM to the ground: Things with Chuck will not end well. We all know what big business does when given the chance to show loyalty. Chuck is gonna get screwed somehow and Jimmy is going to be the cool guy walking away from the explosion, at the cost of his soul (and the cost of making great television).

The vet’s “friend:” I think the chicken man might be preparing to make an appearance soon here as a mutual connection. Bringing Gus onto the show would be nothing short of the best thing ever so far. The previews show Mike and some guy that looks like the white Suge Knight waiting to meet somebody in what could be the parking garage from the hospital in Season 4.

Chuck wasn’t a faker, but still wasn’t sick: It’s really hard to tell, and Adrian and I are conflicted here, but is Chuck really as obviously faking as he seems to be at the end there? Was he just so wrapped up in the case that he forgot to put on his struggle face when he was outside? Logic tells me that had he been trying to sneak out, he would have been sneakier getting out the door. However, when he gets outside, he puts on the lamest “oh my God, I’m outside” face. This should be interesting.

better-call-saul-rico-06

Partners of Dickhead, Jerkoff and Wienerbreath at your service.

Easter Eggs & Tid-Bits:

U of AS (S?): Finally, a shoutout to the alma mater of Albuquerque’s favorite lawyer is name-dropped here. Best news is that they are totally legit; they even have a Facebook page. Just kidding, but there is an American Samoa Community College (in the Samoan islands). Those interested in gaining a degree in Pre-Law and joining alumnus Jimmy McGill, click here.

Chuck was kind of a Richard: When Jimmy was just a little mailboy, Chuck has him under his thumb – the charitable older brother that’s given Jimmy everything. The tables turn when Jimmy shows the initiative to pass the bar and Chuck isn’t having it. He’s passive about the prospect of Jimmy working as a lawyer because he isn’t under his thumb anymore.

You can’t paper-shred a paper shredder: Saul knows a thing or two about getting rid of evidence – or at least, he will in years to come. Getting rid of the evidence is only something guilty people do, remember that Jimmy.

Enjoy your Magic Flute, a-hole: While Jimmy is dumpster diving, he talks with Rick Schweikart, the lawyer representing the Sandpiper Crossing, about attending Mozart’s “Magic Flute” opera. Schweikart is played by Denniz Boutsikaris – who played Mozart in the Broadway play Amadeus.

They’re the Pistons, you’re the Bulls: Jimmy’s pep talk might have fell a little short on NBA fans’ ears. Michael Jordan and the Bulls lost to the Bad Boy Pistons three years in a row before finally beating them in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.

Regular ol Charlie Hustle: Howard’s lame-ass compliment to Jimmy (ya know, the one he gives right before he shoots down his dreams?) is comparing him to baseball legend Pete Rose, who just missed out on the Hall of Fame for being A BIG, FAT CHEATER! Dick move, Hamlin… but an accurate one.

This job only sucks half as bad as it smells.

This job only sucks half as bad as it smells.

Music from the Episode:

During Jimmy’s insanely neurotic paper un-shredding montage, we are treated to “Coffee Cold” by Abaddon.


Hush Comics gives “Rico” a B+ for clearing some of the air, and finally leading us back into familiar territory.

All images belong to AMC and are credited to Ursula Coyote.

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