‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2, Episode 1: ‘Switch’

Ah, back to the weekly reviews again. Much like the first season of this “Breaking Bad” prequel, I plan on reviewing each episode this season. Last season was dynamite, and proved that this show can escape the shadow of its predecessor and become a brilliant beast of its own. I also plan on posting these earlier than this, so I apologize for being a little late with the recap.

Click Here For My Season One Recaps For “Better Call Saul”

Season two of “Saul” begins much like the first one, with a black and white opening of Saul/Jimmy still hiding out in his new life. A life that is a nightmarish living hell of managing a Cinnabon in Omaha, Neb. after the fallout from the final season of “Breaking Bad.”

It is an interesting open, with Saul taking out the trash after closing, only to get trapped in the garbage room. He contemplates using the emergency exit, but ultimately decides not to (this hints to the end of the episode when Jimmy sees a note in his new office to not turn off the AC, which he does because of his rebellious impulses, then turns back on again). He still has the rebellious streak in him, though, as we see after being trapped in that room for hours, he carves “SG WAS HERE” on the wall.

- Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC
– Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC

This, to me, shows that no matter what, Saul will slip back into old habits no matter the situation. Even if it could compromise his safety (I have a feeling he still has no idea what happened after he and Walter White parted ways as they both went underground, and naturally assumes his life is still in danger).

We then head back to the past, where Jimmy is offered the job of a lifetime, and abruptly turns it down. We saw this in the season finale last year, but here we got to actually see him turn it down and saw how Kim’s presence sort of affected his decision (the law firm is partnering with his brother’s old firm for the case, meaning they would be working together). Jimmy is still reeling from the loss of his old partner in crime Marco in Chicago, and that lifestyle he is so natural at — the conman lifestyle. He is also struggling with the knowledge that is was his brother Chuck holding him back from achieving greatness as a lawyer at HH&M. He decides to leave the whole lawyer business behind.

We also have a little of Mike Ehrmantraut in this episode, still working the booth. We see he is about to assist Pryce (real name: Daniel) yet again in a prescription drug drop with Nacho — only he shows up at the garage in a tricked out, bright yellow Hummer with red flames. Mike is obviously not OK with this arrangement — you have to be subtle in this business, and showing up at a drug deal in such a vehicle is anything but subtle. After a brief argument where Daniel thinks he doesn’t need Mike, Mike warns him that it is foolish to go into a situation like that without backup.

Mark Proksch as Pryce and Michael Mando as Nacho - Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC
Mark Proksch as Pryce and Michael Mando as Nacho – Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC

So Daniel does the deal on his own, and Nacho is able to find out where he lives by being left alone in the Hummer and rooting through his glove compartment. This leads to Daniel’s house being turned over and robbed (those baseball cards, man was he obsessed with those). Daniel also makes a mistake when the police arrive by telling them cash was stolen. They see the Hummer, hear about cash being taken, find a hidden area behind the couch and it didn’t take long for them to suspect something is off with all of this. An IT guy at a pharmaceutical company in a situation like this smells fishy.

Kim finds Jimmy lounging in a hotel swimming pool, staying under an alias. She wants to know why he turned his back on everything he’s worked so hard for. He tells her he can do a lot of what he loves about being a lawyer, without actually being a lawyer. He shows her this in playing a con on a businessman named Ken, whom we have actually seen before in this universe.

Yup, that is the guy whose car was burned by Walter White in “Breaking Bad.” I  really enjoy some of these callbacks.

So, Jimmy shows Kim his magic. They con Ken into thinking they have recently run into a huge estate inheritance, and they are interested in investing it in the stock market. Ken sees two suckers with whom he can play with their money on the market. Jimmy can spot a mark, and can read people pretty well. As they are spouting their lines of BS on Ken, they are also build up a tab on $50 shots of tequila. Naturally, they agree to let Ken invest their funds into the market, and he naturally picks up the tab (a whole bottle, at $50 a shot).

It is fun, but Kim is not leaving her job as an attorney to pull small con jobs with Jimmy. Jimmy realizes this, and ultimately decides he needs to grow up (as much as he can anyway) and take this huge job offer with Davis & Main. He has a new office, a company car and is basically at the polar opposite of where he was at last season in that crummy little office and beat up old car. But like I mentioned at the start, he sees a sign telling him not to do something and his first instinct is to do that very thing.

THOUGHTS:

  • Of all the things to be worried about, Daniel’s main priority in the robbery of his house is his baseball cards.
  • The license plate on the Hummer is “PLAYUH.”
  • Also, Daniel’s socks and watch match the obnoxious yellow and red of his brand new Hummer.
  • Jimmy is not having a mid-life crisis, he is having a mid-life clarity.
  • The restaurant Jimmy and Kim con Ken in reminds me a lot of the place where Walter and Skylar blackmailed Hank in “Breaking Bad.”
  • As soon as I saw Ken with the Bluetooth, I immediately remembered him from “Breaking Bad.” A small scene, but it stuck after all these years. Also, Jimmy and Walter have both screwed Ken over now.
  • Jimmy and Kim act like little kids when they gleefully rush out of the restaurant after scamming Ken.
  • True to the episode’s title, Jimmy has made a big switch here in his life, but he is also struggling with his impulses.
  • No Chuck this episode. I really want to see the Space Blanket back at some point.
  • Jimmy and Kim are cute together. I am interested in what happens down the road here with that.