Alex Casey recaps the eighth episode of Lightbox’s much anticipated Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul.
Ah, to open with Breaking Bad style flashback. Jimmy’s working his butt off as a trolley dolly at Hamlin & Hamlin. It’s a fancy and impressive space, amazingly well lit – the exact opposite of Jimmy, and the majority of the show. Opening his mail, we find out that he passed bar through slogging it out Stott’s Correspondence style at The University of American Samoa. He wants to be hired by the flash firm, but is taken aside by his soon-to-be-nemesis and told (assumedly, the whole thing is drowned out by copiers) to get on his trolley and ride right out of there. Those raucous printing machines are yet another emblem of inane corporate life, working to smother Jimmy’s existence with their pesky technicalities. There’s just no hearing him under their repetitive moans.
Back in the present (in his KFC costume), Jimmy does his usual retirement home run at Sandpiper. Poor little Ms Landry only has $43 and can’t pay for her will, which Jimmy immediately gets his nose into like the little law hound dog that he is. With her allowance, her social security and her pension, something’s got to give here. Sandpiper is slowly taking money from the oldies, teeny tiny small print charging $22 for a bottle of aspirin. Jimmy’s got a new case on his hands, and it’s weirdly electrifying. There’s something so satisfying about the underdog working for the underdog.
It’s stakeout time, we know this because of the wonderful music that Better Call Saul uses when someone is sitting outside a house, slumped deep inside their inevitably crappy car. It’s plotting, playful, seems definitely of a different era. Almost late 90s Goosebumps-esque. Jimmy takes his stakeout to the dumpsters, desperately trying to retrieve some shredded documents. Sick! He touched a nappy!
Always on brand, Jimmy sends a letter to the fraudsters – written on toilet paper. One ply. “Let’s not focus on the medium, lets look at the message,” he scolds. I knew McLuhan was talking about toilet paper that whole time. Just when things seem like they can’t get anymore ridiculous, Jimmy takes to gluing together shredded files. The city sleeps and rises, and he’s still hunched over the pile, a worshipper at the altar of DIY investigation. No matter how big or small the case, Jimmy seems to always find the weirdest work-around.
Let’s talk about Mike for a quick minute. After his sweeping love letter of an episode, I got to chat to actor Jonathan Banks about finally airing out his dirty laundry. This week Mike is needing more money for his granddaughter, and visits the shifty vet. I have a small feeling that this could be the flea-covered bridge that leads him to Gus Fring, but I might also eat my words. I feel like Fring would have a close relationship with Shifty Vet. Maybe he gets the sick chickens from them for his restaurant? I don’t know. I just feel like Gus getting closer to us with every episode.
The episode closes up with Sandpiper in panic. Jimmy the toilet-papered dumpster dweller is on to their fraudulent asses. I’m amazed this seemingly-boring story has kept my attention so long, but that’s what the show does best. Taking a little thing like one ply toilet paper, and making it as big as a fraud charge. Collecting up their case files, Chuck wanders outside to the car. He appears 100% all good. What’s going on?! Where are the evil electromagnetic forces?!
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.