Better Call Saul, S2 E8 Review

Kim and Jimmy took one step closer to professional freedom in “Fifi,” and you know a show is doing something right when career decisions, resignations meetings, and late nights at a copy machine make for riveting television. As many episodes of Better Call Saul have done this season, “Fifi” twisted expectations to amp up the drama, but this time things felt put in place for the final two hours of the season.

There’s not a whole lot to say here except that things were great in “Fifi” as Jimmy and Kim leaned on each other on their new solo but-not-solo adventures. But “Fifi” relied on unknowns to make things click. We didn’t know how Howard would react to Kim’s resignation (he was cool with it), we didn’t know how quickly he’d make a move to retain Mesa Verde (very quickly, like as soon as Kim left his office), and we didn’t know who Mesa Verde would go with (Kim, then back to HHM). But somehow it made me as nervous as I’ve ever been watching this series. Kim and Jimmy’s independent spirit is everything we wish we had, so naturally, we want to root for them, and seeing Kim elated at landing Mesa Verde was an exercise in empathy. I, for one, was ecstatic for her, and Rhea Seehorn lit up the scene with unbridled joy.

Of course it didn’t stay that way as Chuck showed how he’s such a shrewd businessman, and he braved the modern wonders of electricity to lure Mesa Verde back with a clever speech that at once said how Kim was the perfect choice but also said that HHM was even better. You can’t blame Chuck and Howard, and at this point, Mesa Verde’s money was going to the firm with the best pitch and HHM had it. That’s another great thing about Better Call Saul, its decisions are based in logic, and anyone with common sense would take their business to HHM rather than the upstart lawyer on her own for the first time.

Jimmy didn’t let that slide, though, and while caring for his brother, he fudged the Mesa Verde documents so that every page had the wrong address for Mesa Verde (another dope montage!). That’s subtle sabotage, but it also might be enough to give pause to Mesa Verde if HHM couldn’t get the basic details right. At the very least, every document has to be redone, right? I don’t know, I’m not a lawyer. Just guessing here.

It seems like every week, Better Call Saul is achieving something on the technical side of things that’s spectacular. Last week, it was the first ballot Montage Hall of Fame entry featuring Jimmy trying to get fired from Davis & Main. This week, “Fifi” opened with a staggering multi-minute one-take adventure at a border inspection station from director Larysa Kondracki as one of Hector’s men slinked on through border agents in an ice cream delivery truck. There was very little concrete information given here, but this was all about staging atmosphere and showing us how much went into whatever Hector’s operation was. I mean, we don’t even know what Hector is doing and it almost doesn’t matter; the only thing we need to know right now is that whatever it is Hector is doing, he’s very good at it.

And Mike knows that. Like all old people, Mike has an endless amount of time on his hands, and like all grumpy old people, he’s willing to use that time to win a fight. His stakeout turned up the tie to the ice cream delivery truck, and though we don’t know exactly what’s going on under that bald dome of his, we do know that he’s making a homemade spike strip probably to stop that truck from making its next delivery. Sweet! Also, how cute was his hangout time with Kaylee when they made the “rhododendron sprayer”? Adorable.

With each passing hour, Better Call Saul is inching closer to a big showdown between the team of Jimmy and Kim and the monolith known as HHM (and Mike is getting close to Hector, but the war between an ex-crooked cop and a drug lord is surprisingly playing second fiddle). The tension is mounting! The pieces are in place! But having experienced the bait-and-switch that Better Call Saul has pulled off before, I’m not dumb enough to pretend like I know where it’s heading. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy this.

What did you think of this episode?

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