REVIEW: Better Call Saul – “Alpine Shepherd Boy”

I'm Jeffrey Rex Episode Review - Better Call Saul - Alpine Shepherd Boy
The following is a review of the fifth episode of AMC’s Better Call Saul, which premiered in Europe on Netflix this morning.

Don’t you just feel bad for Chuck? I mean that opening… While his neighbor didn’t exactly sell him the paper, it sucked that she actually called the cops on someone leaving five dollars as payment. Considering the lengths he went to to get the paper, it sucks that he had to go through that rough ordeal with the cops. His brother’s doing somewhat better though, as is to be expected from last week’s episode.

I want to secede from the United States – Well, okay then. Jimmy sure is getting more clients, and our guy’s not exactly the kind of lawyer that says no to anything upfront, not then and there. But that retaining fee? That’s sure to make anyone cut and run. As for the suggestive talking toilet? Yeah. Don’t go there Jimmy. The drafting of the will, however, yeah that’s much better – though not exactly my speed, watch the episode and you’ll understand what I mean.

I found it interesting how much they relied on comedy for Odenkirk in the first twenty minutes, whereas they went all-in on us feeling sorry for McKean’s character. I mean, it works – but this time it was very different from the Jimmy McGill we got last week, he was quiet in these scenes – only really speaking up during the toilet-scene.

Electomagnetic hypersensitivity – not a very good condition in the 21st century, that’s for sure. Man, I just feel bad for Chuck McKean. Also, a very valid point about the officers not having a warrant. It was kind of weird seeing Chuck explain his condition to a doctor, but then again – probably not a very common condition. The scene was really interesting for it gave us some answers about Chuck, his condition, and what transpired prior to Better Call Saul.

I felt bad for Kim and Jimmy – neither of them deserved to be quizzed by Chuck like that, or to see the doctor pulling that stunt. She made her point, though. I don’t know whether to smile or be sad at the fact that Jimmy eventually brings Chuck home. He clearly needs help, and I just don’t see how he’s going to get that at home.

Need a will? Call McGill – Elder law. Sure. That could be.. Interesting, I guess. I really did enjoy, however, Jimmy trying to tell Ehrmantraut about his new focus. Give me a call if you… ugh… know any elders. Good save. That very final scene involving the cops showing up on Ehrmantraut’s doorstep was interesting, but little more than a decent cliffhanger.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see people dislike this episode – and why is that? Well, the episode is incredibly slow-paced and it didn’t really build up to anything. Chuck stayed home, he had no true confrontation with Jimmy – and Ehrmantraut didn’t add a lot to the episode.

The one truly important scene was the one at the hospital, and as such it was a very Michael McKean-centric episode. Chuck’s character is polarizing, and I didn’t like everything about him at first – though I did like him in this one.

But the slow-paced nature of the episode coupled with the non-confrontation is not going to be fruitful. I thought the hospital scenes were great, but the scenes surrounding those were not at the same level of intensity.


I’m Jeffrey Rex

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