The following is a review of the ninth episode of AMC’s Better Call Saul, which premiered in Europe on Netflix this morning. Expect spoilers from the episode.
“Two McGill boys, side by side, storming the gates, righting wrongs, taking down the bad guys.”
In the penultimate episode of Better Call Saul‘s first season everything got flipped on its head, as Jimmy was toppling over – only to arise and finally know the truth that fans rightly have been speculating on.
Chuck McGill is a bad guy – he may uphold the law, he may be a fine attourney – but he is a bad guy. And while Jimmy may be somewhat of a crook, he is still a good guy. Pimento was the most upsetting hour of television in the first quarter of 2015.
The look and feel of the show – of the Breaking Bad universe – has never been better than it is in Better Call Saul; and this look inside the mind of con-man Saul Goodman is uniquely amazing.
After last week’s episode I mentioned how Michael McKean had won me over, that I had begun to love the character Chuck McGill – well, imagine how I felt today. Sure, last week I noticed how baffled Chuck was at Jimmy’s degree in the flashback, but I hadn’t realized that Hamlin was just the face of evil – whereas Chuck was the personification.
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.
You saw straight through Chuck’s continued ‘game’ when Jimmy revealed his small victory – it wasn’t a big deal, Chuck shrugged it off. Chuck never thought anything of Jimmy. Slippin’ Jimmy was a copycat, a con-man, a ne’er-do-well. And in Chuck’s eyes, Jimmy has never changed.
You understand Chuck’s point, as a viewer – but the bitterness and anger left within Jimmy at the end of the episode stays within you. You now hope bad things happen to Chuck more than Hamlin – and you understand the trouble Kim was in.
The B-Story, meanwhile, served a purpose, and was exciting, while proving the continued confidence you should have in Mike Ehrmantraut. I hope you all noticed Steven Ogg as the confident loudmouth ‘Sobchak’ – you know, the one Mike beat up. Steven Ogg starred as Trevor in Grand Theft Auto V. Speaking of video game characters, Michael Mando was back yet again as Nacho.
Kudos, yet again, to Michael McKean and Rhea Seehorn – but especially to Bob Odenkirk. I challenge you to not be fuming when watching this episode. I challenge you to not feel hurt.
This has been one of the best seasons of television in the first half of the 2010s, especially considering it’s a spin-off. This season holds its own against any Breaking Bad season, and I cannot wait to see what the finale will bring.
I’m Jeffrey Rex