While trying to build clients focusing on elder law, Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) stumbles upon a case that could make his career. Mike (Jonathan Banks) tries to find a quick way to make some extra money.
Rico was another great episode of Better Call Saul, but did bring up one puzzling question. What is the central focus of this season? If you had asked me after the first two or three episodes I would have said it would have to do with Jimmy’s fallout with Nacho. Then half way through the season I would say it was Jimmy dealing specifically with the Kettlemans. But after that was resolved in episode seven it wasn’t clear where this show was going. ‘Rico’ brings yet another element to this complex character study. This show is starting to look more like an anthology series focusing on the cases and events that shaped Jimmy into becoming Saul and less like a linear story.
The episode began with a flashback showing Jimmy working in the mailroom of HHM. He receives a letter from the state saying that he passed the bar exam. He tells Kim and Chuck and they are so proud, but when he talks to Howard he is denied a job. It was a very touching scene showing Howard and Jimmy talking behind glass while the only thing you hear is the sound of the copier. It was a very sad scene, but it perfectly explained Jimmy’s hatred towards Howard. It wasn’t until Jimmy realized that Mrs. Landry didn’t have enough money to pay for his services, that he began to investigate the Sandpiper Retirement Home. The entire episode was dedicated to learning more about how Sandpiper had been scamming their residents for years and overcharging for every item supplied to them. Some highlights from the episode include Jimmy writing a letter of demand on toilet paper and dumpster diving in the regular garbage looking for recycled paper. Both scenes were hilarious and show that while Gilligan and Gould are masters of their craft when it comes to drama, they are also fantastic writers of comedic moments.
The best moments of the episode were the scenes between Jimmy and his brother Chuck. Chuck’s illness (regardless if it’s real or not) has affected his life in such a way that he has become a recluse. It wasn’t until he was put in the hospital in episode five that he started to deal with his “condition.” When Jimmy tells Chuck about the case he starts to put all his focus on helping Jimmy with the case. The final scene shows Chuck focusing on something about the case and going outside to get something in Jimmy’s car. It isn’t until Jimmy runs outside to see Chuck standing there with a box of case files that he realizes he can go outside, only if he isn’t really aware of it. Thus further proving that the condition is all in Chuck’s head and he really needs to seek out medical assistance.
The central focus of ‘Rico’ was Jimmy discovering this huge case and working side by side with his brother. There was one small scene where Mike visits the veterinarian that stitched him up when he was shot in Philadelphia. Mike asks him about any work that he may have. Helping Jimmy with the Kettlemans must have given Mike the idea to use his skills that he learned on the force to make some extra money, even if it’s not in the most legal way possible. Overall ‘Rico’ was a solid episode, filled with laughs and great moments between Chuck and Jimmy. Although not filled with surprises, ‘Rico’ acted as more of a calm before the storm episode.
‘Rico’ Rating: 7.5/10
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