We gave it an A-
Although Better Call Saul has seen its hero through plenty of shady, scammy business, Jimmy McGill’s essential goodness has never really been in question — that is, until now. It’s becoming easier than ever to see Saul Goodman looming on the horizon. While the last few episodes of Better Call Saul have seen Jimmy using his skills as a scam artist to take down his backstabbing brother or shake down a pair of pompous music store owners, his actions in “Fall” mark a turning point, if not a point of no return.
…Or maybe I’m being too judgmental. Let he among us who hasn’t made an old lady cry for a million dollars cast the first stone, am I right?
Despite having scored a few weeks’ worth of financial security by selling his ad time, this week finds Jimmy chasing a much bigger payday: the one that will come when Sandpiper Crossing settles its class action suit. After stopping by Irene Landry’s apartment and sweet-talking his way into a look at her legal correspondence, he finally gets a look at the current settlement offer — of which his cut would be $1.16 million. (Side note: Bob Odenkirk’s “doing math in my head” face is every bit as Emmy-worthy as his “I just shanked my pompous jerk brother” face.)
Meanwhile, back at Hamlin-Hamlin-McGill, Howard and Chuck are having the first of several confrontations in this episode where nothing goes right for anyone. (The notable exception is Mike, who meets with Lydia Rodarte-Quayle at Madrigal and winds up with a place on their payroll as a security consultant… and a reality check from Lydia when he describes Gus Fring as a drug dealer. “If that’s all you think he is,” Lydia says, “you don’t know Gustavo Fring.”) It’s not just Chuck’s insurance costs going up; either every practicing attorney at HHM is getting their premiums doubled, or they’ll have to assign a partner to essentially babysit Chuck through every case he takes. Chuck wants to sue the insurer. Howard wants Chuck to retire.
“If enough people tell you that you’re drunk, maybe it’s time to sit down,” he says. (A panicked Chuck doesn’t help his case when he tries to demonstrate how mentally stable he is by throttling a table lamp. “See?! I’M FINE!”)
Hence, Howard isn’t in a great mood sometime later when Jimmy accosts him in the parking garage to discuss the Sandpiper case. He insists that taking the settlement is “the right thing to do,” which is admittedly a fair point — the octogenarians who put the class in class action aren’t getting any younger while HHM holds out for a bigger payday — but Howard isn’t an idiot.
“It’s like talking to Gollum,” he snaps. “You’re transparent, and pathetic. Next time, why don’t you bring a tin cup. It’ll be more honest.” (Man, Patrick Fabian had all the best lines in this episode — and who knew Howard would be a Tolkien fanboy?! I’d have guessed Trekkie, maybe.)
(Recap continues on page 2)