Sunday, April 12, 2020

What I’m Watching: Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul: Season 5, Episode 8 “Bagman” (B+)

I’m so glad to be caught up on TV now since I was getting nervous seeing others on social media writing about how amazing this hour was and didn’t want to have anything spoiled for me. I do agree that this was a solid episode, one that felt a lot more like “Breaking Bad” since we’ve largely been spared lengthy, treacherous trips to the desert and gun battles on this show, at least since the first two episodes. Opening with the silent Salamanca twins was ominous, and Jimmy preparing for their arrival by practicing his minimal Spanish proved to be unnecessary since all they did was drop the bags of money at his feet. Singing about the many millions in his trunk was far too unserious, and he was promptly met with hostile forces that were ready to execute him on the spot. Knowing what was on the line, I would have thought that the cartel would send more than just Mike as backup, but he did as best as he could, leaving just one straggler so that they then had to trek through the desert for hours. Jimmy is happy to do whatever he needs to in order to get ahead, but he’s not used to this, and certainly not having to drink his own urine, which he did triumphantly after being used as bait to draw out their pursuer. Could this be the episode that finally wins Bob Odenkirk an Emmy (for acting)? It’s very possible. On the subject of hopeful Emmy winners who might not even merit a nomination, Rhea Seehorn was great in her two scenes in this episode, begging Jimmy not to go and then going to see Lalo in prison to ask for help getting him back. Mike wasn’t impressed that Jimmy shared the truth with her, and she may just have put herself in the cartel’s crosshairs in a way they’ll use when they’re no longer as grateful to Jimmy for taking on this heavy mission.

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