Better Call Saul “RICO” Review (Season 1 Episode 8)


In this week’s episode of Better Call Saul, Jimmy and Chuck teamed up to handle a multimillion dollar case involving the Sandpiper Crossing retirement home. This episode, by Better Call Saul standards, was dare I say – kinda sweet?

Like most episodes this seasons, we got more character background. We learned that both Chuck and Jimmy worked at HH&M. Jimmy, however, worked in the firm’s mail room. With the announcement that he passed the bar, Jimmy was optimistic that his days in the mail room at HH&M were numbered. It was interesting to learn that Jimmy struggled to pass the bar and that his legal education was obtained through correspondence courses. Failing the bar can be very discouraging for law school grads, so one thing’s for sure – Jimmy has always been a fighter. Although Chuck was happy for his brother’s accomplishment, he clearly had reservations about helping Jimmy get a promotion from mail room clerk to junior associate. Unsurprisingly, Howard gives Jimmy the bad news that the firm was not ready to give Jimmy a shot and then had the nerve to take a piece of cake. Jerk!

Jumping back to “current day” events, which seems like a weird thing to write on a show set in the past, Kim re-acclimated to her nice, cozy HH&M office after nearly losing her job due to those pesky Kettlemans. Meanwhile, Jimmy continued to expand his elder law practice. Initially, it looked like Jimmy’s newly found practice area would not prove very prosperous, given what we’ve seen in previous episodes and after seeing him get paid in vases and trinkets.

He unknowingly stumbled upon a jackpot after taking interest in a client who offered to pay Jimmy after she received her allowance from the Sandpiper retirement home. After investigating the situation, Jimmy uncovered a scam in which Sandpiper gouged prices on basic items like toilet paper, which added up to thousands of dollars in stolen funds. Jimmy shared this discovery with Chuck, who suggested that they file a class action lawsuit on behalf of the Sandpiper residents. As always, I enjoyed seeing Jimmy show why he was a pretty good attorney. It’s not just his ability to talk himself out of a difficult situation, it’s also his willingness to actually dive into a dumpster in order to find documents shredded and discarded by the Sandpiper employees. I cannot say I was shocked that Chuck proved adept at piecing together the shredded documents. The case was not only great for Jimmy’s practice, it also earned him a little respect from his brother.

Although it was not surprising to learn that Chuck was once regarded as a brilliant legal mind who still demanded the respect, it was fascinating to see hoity toity Rich shrink in Chuck’s presence. Michael McKean did an excellent job at capturing Chuck’s heartbreak when Rich told him that he figured he’d be arguing in front of the Supreme Court some day. Chuck’s approach is unsurprisingly different from his brother’s and as someone in the legal profession, it was fun to see the two very different demonstrations of effective advocacy. Jimmy is scrappy, determined and quick on his feet, while Chuck is more restrained, but sharp. Facing the prospect of a class action and potential RICO charges, Rich gave in to Chuck’s $20 million demand from Sandpiper.

At the close of the episode, Jimmy finds Chuck outside free from worry about electromagnetic radiation. It looks like Chuck has moved past his phobia, but only time will tell.

Jimmy was not the only one trying to makes strides with his family. We also saw Mike working to improve his relationship with Stacey, who asked him to babysit his granddaughter while she worked. Breaking Bad fans know that this was an opportunity Mike was eager to seize, as his closeness with his granddaughter was featured on the show.

What did you think of this week’s episode of Better Call Saul? Has Chuck moved on past his fear of electromagnetic radiation? Is he ready to practice law full time again? Sound off below!