Better Call Saul 1×07 ‘Bingo’: The elderly love a man who can bingo

bingo

As so helpfully reminded by the AMC previews for next week’s Better Call Saul episode, there are only three episodes left of this season. Only three episodes left to (somehow) conclude or at least address certain story lines and ideas that have been established. Commence freak out.

With last week’s top notch episode of Better Call Saul, it’s no surprise that this week’s episode, while still good, isn’t necessarily on the same level. A totally understandable strategy; it’s almost impossible to come out with an essentially flawless episode every week for ten weeks straight. So it makes sense that this episode feels more like a standard episode (again, not a totally bad thing). However, the last half of this week’s episode is impressive and slightly unprecedented, with the return of certain characters that we almost forgot about.

Jimmy McGill is back to being the center of attention and starts the episode back as Mike Ehrmantraut’s attorney, albeit very briefly. The whole situation with Mike is resolved (temporarily, we assume), and now it’s time to get back to another established storyline: the Kettleman’s.

AMC

AMC

Yes, the Kettleman’s are back and are seen consulting with Kim Wexler, Jimmy’s friend and also attorney at HHM (the law firm run by his rival, Howard Hamlin). She manages to get them a very good deal in regards to their case, reducing Mr. Kettleman’s jail time from 30 years to 16 months (that’s not a very good deal, that’s a freaking amazing deal). But the Kettleman’s, Mrs. Kettleman especially, are not happy with the deal, stressing that they don’t want any jail time and leave HHM and go back to Jimmy.

Jimmy is still going strong in elder law and actually seems to be enjoying himself. The scene where he’s monitoring a Bingo game at a nursing home is particularly genius. He’s also looking into buying a floor in an office building, feeling pretty good about the route he’s decided to take. But all of this is interrupted when he gets a call from the Kettleman’s wanting him back. While he is slightly tempted, he strongly tries to decline and encourages them to go back to HHM and Kim Wexler (since he is still good friends with Kim). But of course they blackmail him and remind him of the bribe he took so he would keep their money-stealing a secret.

While the above is slightly predictable, what follows is what got me by surprise. After failing to try to find a way for Mr. Kettleman to avoid getting any jail time, Jimmy devises a plan that is so devious and brilliant that involves Mike Ehrmantraut (hell yes). He gets Mike to steal the money that the Kettleman’s stole (ironic) and gives it to Jimmy who puts in the amount of money that the Kettleman’s bribed him with and has Mike drop it off at the District Attorney’s office. Mike doing this for Jimmy makes the two of them even, but it’s clear that this is only the beginning of their partnership. Obviously the Kettleman’s are not too happy about what Jimmy did, but now he has the upper hand and forces them to go back to Kim Wexler (who was essentially fired for losing the Kettleman’s as clients).

AMC

AMC

Despite the fact that the Kettleman story line has helped in Jimmy and even Kim Wexler’s character development, I couldn’t help but notice that Mrs. Kettleman is even more crazy in this episode than in previous ones. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just slightly jarring since there doesn’t seem to be enough leading up to her acting even more unhinged than usual. Sure it provides some laughs, but it does take a little away from the smoothness (for lack of a better word) of the show so far. Basically, she just seemed a little too crazy.

With the Kettleman’s taking up the majority of the episode, there’s not too much to discuss when it comes to the other supporting characters of the show. We do see Chuck taking initiative and try to fight his “energy allergy.” While he’s not in the episode for that long, it still reminds us that he is still an important part of the show, and most likely will be in the final episodes of the season. But this episode mainly focuses on Jimmy and how conflicted he gets when he has to make a moral decision, especially when that decision directly affects his own ambitions. It’s a sad final moment in the episode when he lashes out at the nice office that he was looking to buy (or lease or rent or what have you) but can’t now because paying back the $30,000 that the Kettleman’s gave him clearly set him back money wise. Obviously this conflict of morals vs. personal wants will come up again and will most likely play a crucial part in Jimmy’s transition into Saul Goodman. Because now he’s able to make the right moral decision, but maybe next time he won’t be willing to risk his success by doing the right thing.

Again, there are only three episodes left of the season (I know, I’m freaking out too). It’s not easy to try and figure out how it’s going to play out, but it’s clear that things are going to escalate. My prediction is that Jimmy and Mike’s relationship will grow stronger while Jimmy’s relationship with Chuck will start to fall apart. Not sure about Jimmy and Kim, but it was definitely good to see more Kim in this episode, which hopefully means that her role in the show will continue to grow. Anyway, I’ll just continue to speculate and try not to have ten panic attacks before for next week’s episode.

Sarah Lord

is a college student in New York City. Her extreme knowledge of British comedians and TV shows almost surpasses her general love for film. When she’s not sitting in her apartment/nerd cave reviewing movies and TV shows, she sometimes makes time for long walks in the moonlight. Check her out on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr as TheSplord.

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