Egan Davis ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Nothing in this episode seemed to fit more perfectly than Saul (Bob Odenkirk) holding a skinny microphone while calling out numbers for bingo. After last week’s gut-wrenching hour of Mike (Jonathan Banks) wrestling with his demons we’re given a much more subdued but still interesting episode that focused on the Kettlemans. For those of you just joining us, the Kettlemans are a duo of dimwitted criminals on trial for embezzlement. While they initially rejected Saul for a better law firm, they come crawling back when Saul’s lawyer friend Kim (Rhea Seehorn) tells them that they have to take a plea deal. They’re convinced that they’re not guilty so they go running back to Saul.
With only three episodes left in the season, this episode saw a lot of wheels turning in several storylines. The season finale is extremely close and many characters are moving into their end of the season arcs. Saul’s brother Chuck (Michael McKean) is seen outdoors and is actively trying to improve his “condition”. Mike returns the notebook he snagged in the last episode but is luckily able to avoid any type of punishment because he’s good friends with the cop’s partner. Saul is slowly but surely making his mark on the elderly community and becomes their main confidant. Although many were singing the praises of Jonathan Banks for his spectacular performance in last week’s episode it deserves to be said that Bob Odenkirk is giving one hell of a routine as well. From his booming business of fixing wills for the elderly, Saul is finally able to possibly move into a bigger office and expand his operation. Things don’t stay hopeful for long because the Kettleman’s are soon threatening to blackmail him for taking some of their embezzlement money as a bribe.
The crux of the episode came when the Kettleman’s refuse for a second time to take the plea deal and Saul decides to do the right thing and return his share of the embezzlement money. In order to do this, he hires Mike to stake out the Kettleman’s house. After a covert operation involving a trail of fingerprints, Mike successfully finds their stash of cash. Saul confronts the Kettleman’s and tells them that they have to take the plea deal or else both would be convicted, not just the husband. After some tears, the couple decide to cut their losses and give into the deal. The last scene shows Saul in his dream office that he can no longer afford. He slams a door and starts to have a complete meltdown. After that his phone rings and he makes the seamless transition right back into the Saul we know and love.
While this may have been Better Call Saul’s weakest episode so far, it’s still more interesting and entertaining than 90% of anything else on television. Considering how good last week’s episode was, they deserve a break. It’s truly amazing that Vince Gilligan and company have been able to make not only a good show involving a prequel, but also a good show about lawyers which is usually either over the top or incredibly dull. It was great to see the birth of Saul and Mike’s criminal relationship. Seeing Mike get the job done again was also spectacular to witness. Although Bingo certainly had its moments, it was clearly a buffer episode to get to something far better down the road.
Overall Episode Grade: B