REVIEW: ‘Better Call Saul’ Episode 7: Bingo And Episode 8: Rico

Michael McKean as Chuck and Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 1, Episode 8 - Photo Credit:Ursula Coyote/AMC
Michael McKean as Chuck and Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill – Better Call Saul _ Season 1, Episode 8 – Photo Credit:Ursula Coyote/AMC

Episode 7: Bingo

I missed writing up last week’s episode, so this will be brief.  The gist was the Kettlemans, after being told by Kim at Hamlin that the best case scenario for the money theft would still include prison time, they head back to Jimmy. They want him to find a loophole that will get them out of any repercussions, but still hold onto the money they stole. And they hold the hush-money they gave him as leverage for him to take their case.

When Jimmy can’t find any way of getting them out of their situation, he sneaks onto their property and gives them the unspent money back. This washes his hands of the affair. Until Mike breaks in and steals the stolen money from the Kettlemans. I know a lot more happened, especially following that amazing Mike origin story, but we will just leave this episode at that.

Episode 8: Rico

This week, we find that the elder law that Jimmy has been perusing has some bite to it after all. And that bite comes from the fact that Sandpiper Assisted Care Living is swindling untold amounts of money from retirees through overcharging items and very small print on their bills.

We also get a glimpse at what Hamlin did to royally tick off Jimmy in a flashback int he opening. Jimmy passes the bar, much to the surprise of both Kim and Chuck. But, it seems, Jimmy’s only future at the firm is the mail room under the decision of Hamlin.

Back to the main story: Jimmy starts digging in at Sandpiper, talking to the retirees and reading their bill statements. This, not surprisingly, is noticed by Sandpiper staff. A snooping lawyer on their grounds (dressed as Matlock or not) is bad for business, especially when that business is bilking untold amounts of money from retirees who gave financial control over to the company for “convenience.”

So they use legalize to keep solicitors off their premises. The lady who checks people in refuses Jimmy to enter, based on some “new” solicitation rule, but Jimmy notices that someone is shredding documents as he’s arguing with the lady and the insanely built body guards at the premise. In a fit of despair, Jimmy claims to have IBS and asks to use the bathroom for the sole purpose of drafting a legal claim to stop the shredding. Obviously, the people who work there don’t care about legal documents scribbled on toilet paper and notepads.

Still determined, Jimmy sneaks through their trash (let’s just say it’s not all shredded paper) when he gets a phone call form Sandpiper’s attorneys. They do it as a courtesy call because of his legendary brother, Chuck, is so highly regarded. But they threaten Jimmy, calling his case a”shake down” and that only pushes Jimmy to go further.

Jimmy takes the loot back to Chuck’s to try and piece together the papers to find a smoking gun. It’s an uphill battle, but Jimmy is determined to do this, but it is exhausting.

Yet it is Chuck, who has been out of the law game for 18 months, who pieces together the papers after Jimmy falls asleep. Chuck, with an intense eye for all things and an encyclopedic mind (we see this many times, especially in the flashback when Jimmy interrupts him, as he’s dictating dense legal cases, to show him he passed the bar), finds the smoking gun for Jimmy.

Chuck is now in full lawyer mode, he is inspired by his brother’s tenacity in this case, and he seems to relish in all the dense legalese and case loads that have set legal precedent. He is already of thinking about opening arguments. One small problem, as Jimmy finds out, is that Chuck is still technically with HH&M. They don’t play it up too much, but I’m guessing this will be a major part of the story next week.

When Sandpiper’s attorneys show up to discuss the case with Jimmy and Chuck, they seem smug having “heard” of Chuck’s condition. They are confident they will make their offer and Jimmy and Chuck will take it. It helps when Jimmy is talking, and Chuck is sitting there, frozen in fear. Chuck looks so uncomfortable that it seems the McGill brothers will take the offer.

Except Jimmy has done his home work. Sandpiper gets its needles from out of state, which involves the scam into interstate commerce and opens them up to a RICO case. As Jimmy lays it out and they ask for a counter-offer, Chuck demands $20 Million or they will see them in court. And Chuck is serious, in full lawyer mode. Chuck is back as a cut throat attorney, and will take it to court because he knows he will win.

And it is while Chuck is in full lawyer mode that we see him do something he thought he couldn’t do. Jimmy has forgotten some paper work in his car and is exhausted. He tells Chuck he will get it later, but Chuck’s mind is at full-speed. He wants the documents now, and he walks right out of his house, grabs the keys from the mailbox and grabs the documents — totally unaware that he is outside and is supposedly allergic to the elements in the sun. As Jimmy watches in awe as his brother is outside, Chuck realizes this, and drops the box of paperwork.

THOUGHTS

* “They’re accredited! Go Land Crabs!” Jimmy on his community college to Chuck.

* “I’m at the opera.” Which one?” “Um, the ‘Magic Flute.'” Jimmy in the dumpster talking to Sandpiper’s attorney.

* Mike is looking for more “work” from the vet after giving his daughter-in-law some of the Kettlemans cash. She wants more. I’m guessing this leads to Mike meeting Gus down the road. You tell me what your have, I’ll tell you what I’ll do,” Mike tells him.

* I haven’t seen the Space Blanket for a while.

* With only two more episodes left, I can already state that this is on par, if not potentially better at times, than “Breaking Bad.” It will be interesting to see what the last two episodes will do, but if it’s anything like its predecessor, then expect a big cliffhanger ending for the last one.