Better Call Saul: “RICO” Season 1 Episode 8 Review

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“RICO” was a slow yet entertaining episode that rallied for a terrific third act. Serving mostly as set-up for the events to come, the third-to-last entry of the season put the pieces in motion for Better Call Saul‘s first season to go out with a bang.

A lot of the tension going into the final two episodes revolve around just what is going to go wrong? Jimmy is acting so admirably in the fraud case involving retirement home Sandpiper Crossing that even his brother has put himself together to join him. After Jimmy tirelessly puts together the facility’s shredded documents, with the help of Chuck, the McGill brothers are united in their work for the first time that we’ve seen.

The climactic confrontation in Chuck’s blacked-out home with Sandpiper’s lawyers was charged by our hope for the brothers to succeed and our worry that Chuck may not be able to hold it together. He just sat there silently while Jimmy did all the talking, finally breaking his silence to say Sandpiper needs to pay its residents back $21 million. Is this a moment of strength or insanity?

After they leave, Chuck’s logic seems sound, but I’m no lawyer. There very well could be a loophole that undoes everything they just did. As they continue to work, Chuck gets so engrossed that he walks outside, completely forgetting his “condition.” He wakes up just as Jimmy interrupts him, shocked that he’s not paralyzed by the light above him. What’s the opposite of “it’s darkest just before dawn.” Something bad is going to happen, it’s in the air.

Before these seminal final scenes, Jimmy’s shenanigans to put this case together were entertaining enough, but barely. “RICO” was a slow episode until the end. Still, Mike’s story seems to be taking shape, as he prepared to start “working” again to help his daughter-in-law provide for his grandchild. “Tell me what you got and I’ll tell you what I’ll do,” he says. Mike the Fixer is about to start employment.

So while this episode was hardly the most exciting of the season, the groundwork was laid well enough that this is going to be a long week until the next episode. The character moments are getting bigger and more joyous, which probably means something awful is going to happen. But what would a cousin to Breaking Bad be if it didn’t rip our hearts out? Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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