Better Call Saul: “Fifi” Season 2 Episode 8 Review

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“Fifi” isn’t the most intelligently constructed episode of Better Call Saul by a longshot. But it does have everything else. Feeling like two episodes divided, one climax and one build-up, they come in the wrong order to make the episode feel like a coherent piece. It’s a problem to be sure, but that doesn’t stop the episode from being great.

The first half of the episode executes Kim’s plan to leave HHM. Playing more like a great episode of Mad Men than Breaking Bad, “Fifi” has an exciting first half in a way that’s charming, hilarious, and totally riveting. Patrick Fabian has perhaps never been better as Howard than in the scene where Kim resigns. For how much shit he’s given her this season, he’s genuinely sad to see Kim moving on. But then she hears him immediately call Mesa Verde, the account Kim brought on. Her full-out sprint across the office to get on the phone to set up a lunch was brilliant, as was the scene of premature celebration with Jimmy at their supposed new offices. This episode was Rhea Seehorn unleashed, hopefully pushing her closer to serious Emmy contention.

But Chuck has no intention of losing their new client. I loved how the camera centered on the electricity in the conference room as Chuck showed strength he hasn’t been able to since the show began. It’s amazing to have this character we were once rooting for to now come across so dastardly. But then again, Kim is the only true hero of Better Call Saul, with Chuck becoming her most formidable adversary.

The episode loses a little bit of steam after these couple of scenes, though we do get one of Jimmy’s hilarious commercial gimmicks. But Kim telling Jimmy she lost Mesa Verde doesn’t match the weight of a few scenes earlier when she thought she had them. Then we awkwardly switch to Mike spying on the Salamancas. It feels like the beginning of the next episode, after the climax that came before it.

But the episode builds again once it establishes these new directions. Jimmy looks to sabotage HHM, but we’ll have to wait until next week to see exactly how that pans out. The same goes for Mike and the Salamancas. Exactly what he’s doing with a hose full of nails is beyond me, but I can’t wait to find out (next week’s episode is coincidentally titled “Nailed”). So even for its inconsistent pacing, “Fifi” still comes out wildly on top. With some incredibly intense scenes in the first half and smart buildup in the second, Better Call Saul seems ready to end its second season with a bang. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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