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TV Review: Better Call Saul 1.8 “RICO”
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Better Call Saul Episode 108 Chuck and Jimmy sneak peek

Better Call Saul
Episode 1.8 “RICO”
Directed by Colin Bucksey
Written by Gordon Smith
Starring Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Kerry Condon
AMC
Air Date: Monday, March 23, 2015, 10pm

Better Call Saul Episode 1.8 “RICO,” another piece of the Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) puzzle is revealed. Throughout this debut season, we’ve wondered how it is that the Saul we know from Breaking Bad went from Slippin’ Jimmy the swindler to Jimmy McGill, Esquire. We know his brother Chuck (Michael McKean) was a successful lawyer and partner at a prominent firm, Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, so following in his older brother’s footsteps would make sense. But, the dynamics between the brothers so far hasn’t seemed like Chuck took his younger brother under his wing.

In Episode 1.8, we find out how Jimmy became a lawyer and how he went about earning that law degree from the University of American Samoa, a correspondence school, the diploma of which we first saw on Breaking Bad on the wall of his office at the strip mall.

For seven episodes now, we’ve seen Jimmy caring for Chuck, who is suffering from what appears to be a mental disorder after having some kind of breakdown (the origins of which have not been revealed). But this time around, we get a flashback of Jimmy post-Slippin pre-Esquire when he was working in the mailroom at Chuck’s firm. It’s obvious that Jimmy wants and needs his brother’s approval. But, something seems off. Does Chuck still mistrust him?

We also got to see the origins of Jimmy’s dislike of Chuck’s law partner Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian), who, the more we see of, the more we hate him too. What a douchebag. Seems like there will be more to hate about Harry in the future.

There’s one aspect of Jimmy that repeatedly shines through – he might be slippery, he might be quick-talking, he might always be looking for an angle, but he also has a heart. He’s desperate for clients, he’s can’t pay his bills, he’s down and out, and yes, he’s come up with a few schemes, but it’s obvious he doesn’t want to hurt or manipulate the innocent. That’s why he couldn’t take the full payment from the elderly Mrs. Landry for the Will he drafted for her and why he even thought to question her finances possibly being mishandled by the Sandpaper Crossing Assisted Living facility.

Episode 1.8 also took us back to Mike (Jonathan Banks), where we learn a little more about why he ended us where he did in Breaking Bad. The reason, so far, seems implausible, but then again, he’s a parking lot clerk. A man like that needs something more.

There’s only two more episodes left in this first season and we know the finale is going to have to be really head-turning — what can possibly happen next? The wildcard seems to be Chuck. Will he come through for Jimmy or will Hamlin get the one up again?

The next installment of Better Call Saul, Episode 1.9 “Pimento,” written and directed by Thomas Schnauz, airs on AMC on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 10/9c.

Episode 1.8 Image Gallery

Episode 1.8 Video

Talked About Scene: Episode 108: Better Call Saul: RICO


Chuck makes astonishing progress.

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