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‘Better Call Saul’ Review/Recap: “Rico”

Egan Davis ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Bob Odenkirk in the Better Call Saul episode "Rico." Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.
Bob Odenkirk in the Better Call Saul episode “Rico.” Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

In an episode filled with intrigue and sleuthing, probably the most compelling thing to watch was a paper shredding montage. This week’s episode found Jimmy uncovering a conspiracy at an old folk’s home which is where he get a majority of his clients. The opening scene shows Jimmy when he was just an intern at his brother’s law firm. He gets a letter that tells him he passed the bar exam to become a lawyer. He tells Chuck who is very proud of him but the celebration doesn’t last because one of Jimmy’s other bosses Hamlin (inaudibly) tells him he will not be hired as a lawyer. Jimmy is left in a room filled with half-eaten cake and a variety of sodas. The scene plays out beautifully and the whole thing is being overtaken by the noise of a copying machine making copies. One of the recurring themes of this show is the fact that Jimmy’s whole life seems to be one major disappointment after another.

Saul’s main source of income has been working with the elderly and helping them sort out their wills. When one of his clients lacks the necessary funds, Saul becomes very suspicious and starts doing some digging. It turns out that the assisted living facility he frequents, Sandpiper Crossing, is scamming it’s residents by overcharging on products bought for them. Saul brings all of this information to Chuck and they both come to the conclusion that this is considered fraud. One of the strongest parts of this episode was the dynamic between Jimmy and Chuck. The natural progression of Chuck’s character is also something really interesting to see unfold. Some of the workers at Sandpiper are onto Jimmy and don’t let him in to see his clients but do allow him to use the bathroom. Jimmy notices employees shredding documents in the back room which means they’re clearly hiding something. While in the bathroom Jimmy starts writing up a legal document on his notepad and then on some toilet paper. This scene is extremely humorous and really shows us just how quick-thinking and clever Jimmy is.

Jonathan Banks in the Better Call Saul episode "Rico." Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.
Jonathan Banks in the Better Call Saul episode “Rico.” Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

We only see a little bit of what’s going on with Mike but what we do see is very significant. After babysitting his granddaughter, Stacey asks Mike if it’s okay for her to spend the drug money that Matt was killed over. Mike says it’s okay to spend as long as it’s being put to good use. In his final scene, Mike is meeting once again with the shady veterinarian who fixed his arm just a few episodes ago. The vet asks Mike if he’s looking for any kind of work and they come to an agreement where the vet will let him know if he has anything. This is clearly the beginning of Mike’s criminal career and probably how he ends up working for Gustavo Fring, one of the main antagonists of Breaking Bad. Hopefully Gus shows up at some point in the future so we can see more of he and Mike’s relationship.

In order to get the shredded documents from before, Jimmy has no choice but to go dumpster diving for whatever he can find. He takes a call while in the dumpster from Sandpiper’s lawyer and gives the excuse that he’s only whispering because he’s at the opera. The scene was a bit cartoonish especially when some other employees dumped some fresh garbage on him but it worked in the setting of the show. One thing that Vince Gilligan has become notorious for is his affinity for montages. In Breaking Bad the montages would usually happen whenever a new batch of meth needed to be cooked but in this show it took place during a session of taping shredded documents back together. It’s been mentioned before but the way this show is able to make the most banal things interesting is simply mind boggling.

Michael McKean and Bob Odenkirk in the Better Call Saul episode "Rico." Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.
Michael McKean and Bob Odenkirk in the Better Call Saul episode “Rico.” Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

When Jimmy can’t tape anymore Chuck takes over and makes serious progress. The two brothers put their heads together and send the Sandpiper lawyer a copy of one of the once shredded documents. The climax comes with three Sandpiper lawyers facing off against the McGill brothers. This scene was really intense even though it was really just talking about a bunch of legal mumbo-jumbo. The Sandpiper lawyers offer a deal of $100,000 but they don’t take it and Chuck makes a counter-offer of two million. The lawyers reject the offer and leave. Chuck assures Jimmy that the fight isn’t over and goes outside to Jimmy’s car to get something out of the trunk. All of a sudden the scene gets really tense as Chuck realizes that he stepped outside without even a hint of pain. The episode ends with Chuck dropping a box of stuff on the ground which could either mean his mind either completely snapped or he was just shocked that he had made it so far outside on his own.

This episode was really great for character development between Jimmy and his brother Chuck, who has really grown from the hermit we once saw at the beginning of the season. Overall a solid episode with enough suspense and intrigue to keep us on our toes until next week.

Overall Episode Grade: A- 

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