Breaking Bad

Season 2 Episode 8.1

Better Call Saul

15
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 26, 2009 on AMC
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
405 votes
6

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
When Badger finds himself in trouble with the law, Walt and Jesse seek the legal advice of a shady attorney, Saul Goodman. The DEA believe they may have finally caught up with the elusive 'Heisenberg.' Hank returns to Albuquerque, but his troubled mental state and demeanor cause Marie to worry.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Not a Very Important Episode for the Show, But an Entertaining One Nevertheless

    8.0
    In "Better Call Saul", Breaking Bad revolves on one thing and one thing only: the introduction of recurring cast member Saul Goodman, portrayed fantastically by Bob Odenkirk. And I absolutely approve of the bawdy jokes, mischievous charisma, and scene-stealing manner that the most Machiavellian lawyer imaginable brings with him.



    But just so you can catch up: in the opening scene, Jesse's henchman Badger is unknowingly selling drugs to a police officer, which wasn't that good of an idea in hindsight. However, it serves as an introduction for the previously referenced Saul Goodman who is tickled pick to bargain with criminals as long as they provide him with a respectable amount of stacks good for Walt and Jesse whose business made them nouveaux riches. I don't want to give away any more, but I'll say this: prepare for a lot of outstanding scenes. Screenwriter Peter Gould did an extraordinarily good job on this episode and humoristic dialogs are perfectly enacted by the cast, focusing on Walt, Jesse, and Saul this time. Hank also gets his share, but expectedly, even his best moments can't come close to the awesome Tortuga scene in the last episode. While the rest of the main cast stays overlooked for most of the time, Krysten Ritter appears again as Jane and though she shares some nice scenes with Aaron Paul, it's still only a warm-up for season two's last couple of episodes.



    That was pretty much all there is to say about "Better Call Saul", an often funny and excellently written episode that only disappoints through the complete lack of action or drama. But that's something I can easily cope with if it's only for one episode.moreless
  • Walt and Jesse meet one of the show's best supporting characters: Saul Goodman.

    9.0
    When I first watched this episode of Breaking Bad a couple of years ago, I was worried that Bob Odenkirk's style of humor wouldn't mesh well with the dynamic of this show. He's surely a funny guy, but his quirkiness felt like it'd be an odd fit for a show filled with such tension and darkness. However, watching the episode a second time, it's clear he is simply adopting the stereotypical "sleazy lawyer" role and if anybody can pull it off, it's Odenkirk.



    The episode focuses mainly on Walt and Jesse trying to get Badger out from underneath the DEA's thumb. There's a few references here and there to supporting characters, but for the most part, we focus on Walt, Jesse and this new addition to their team: Saul Goodman, a "criminal" lawyer who has crappy television advertisements and will do just about anything to get your client away from jail time (as long as you have fat stacks of cash to go with it). The episode goes from a straight-forward thriller to a somewhat goofy but equally exciting cat and mouse game between Hank and the DEA and Walt and Jesse. The final ten minutes of the episode are a perfect example of how great "Breaking Bad" is at writing themselves out of difficult corners. There's also a great scene in the middle of the episode where Walt and Jesse put on their criminal masks and attempt to threaten Saul Goodman and force him to give Badger amazing legal service at gunpoint, but Saul, being the clever man he is, tears about Walt's plan, once again proving that Walt is not the best criminal. He makes the best meth, but when it comes to getting into his criminal garb, Heisenberg has a lot to learn.



    By episode's end, Saul visits Walter and offers to be the "Tom Hagen to his Vito Coreleone," a very interesting comparison to make, especially considering the connotations they hold. As the season goes on, I know that Saul will come to have a larger influence on Walt and Jesse's decisions, but the episode where he's introduced to us may be one of his best appearances in the show.moreless
  • Walt, Jess and Saul make for an bizarre, interesting 'team'.

    9.5
    The opening scene leads to Badger being busted for dealing. The DEA get involved because of the blue meth and it's link to 'Heisenberg'. Hank is home again and he gets in on the action. J and W have enough moral scruples that they'd rather pay a lot of money than kill Badger to prevent him from ratting them out, and so they have to work with their sleazy lawyer to find another way. When the lawyer at first refuses to play ball W and J do something worthy of America's Dummest Criminals. Sleazy lawyer character Saul Goodman was played brilliantly by Bob Odenkirk. Although everything Saul says and does has deadly serious implications - he does it in this glib offhand soooo sleazy way that is pretty darned funny. Thrilled to see it looks like he'll be in more upcoming episodes. Meanwhile - subplot - Walt helps Hank snap out of his depression and get back in the game - you gotta wonder why he'd want to do THAT! does he see Hank as an advantage he can use in his twisted machinations? Or, does he on some level secretly unbeknownst even to himself want to Hank to catch him? Or, is this some darkly twisted challenge that he savours - doing all this right under Hank's nose? All of the above? Something entirely different?



    And, if you're interested, a few red flags are raised about Skylar's new job - dressing up very fetchingly to go to work on the weekend. hmmmmmmmm.... I would LOVE to see her find a safe haven. although - this guy who groped her at a staff xmas party all those years ago may not be it!moreless
  • one of the best hours of mid-season television in years (yup).

    10
    Saul is a fresh and welcome edition to the cast (and to Team Heisenberg) and if I recall he did a hilarious spoof interview with one of the creators of Aqua Teen Hunger Force (a fantastic mainstay on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim) prior the feature length movie release of ATHF, Colon, The Movie (lol).



    I am definitely looking forward to seeing more of Bob Odenkirk and it's good to see the girl who played Eddie and Joy Stark's daughter from 'Til Death [Krysten Ritter] back on TV (she's uber cute, and in a role MUCH better suited to her personality and style).



    I am literally rooting for Walt, Jesse and Jane, and Saul :) but also ironically Hank as well at the same time (you all know exactly what I mean)!moreless
  • 208

    9.2
    Another superb episode of Breaking Bad, definitely one of the best TV seasons I've ever seen in my life. I definitely would have to commend this episode with it's clever writing, astonishing development, and intriguing story lines.



    We didn't get much from the supporting cast here (i.e. Skyler, Walt Jr., Marie) but sometimes its for the better, when the episode focuses on more pivotal things like this. The cold opening of this episode was definitely memorable. Badger was hysterical, and I was shocked that it was an actual cop, after 5 minutes of discussion saying he wasn't a cop.



    The best part of this episode though would definitely be the intriguing climax. From the "fake" Heisenberg to Badger sitting on the wrong bench, it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat especially when Walt decided to jump in as a distraction so Jesse can let Badger know that he's sitting on the wrong bench.



    The end was eventful, Saul wanting to be a silent partner with Walt & Jesse. "Fake" Heisenberg getting caught, hopefully that will get the DEA off their backs for now. Not sure what to think of the new character (Jesse's neighbor), I hope she contributes to the story line in some way. Great superb episode, can't wait for the next.moreless
DJ Qualls

DJ Qualls

Getz

Guest Star

Tina Parker

Tina Parker

Francesca

Guest Star

Jimmy Daniels

Jimmy Daniels

Jimmy In- N-Out

Guest Star

Bob Odenkirk

Bob Odenkirk

Saul Goodman

Recurring Role

Krysten Ritter

Krysten Ritter

Jane Margolis

Recurring Role

Steven Michael Quezada

Steven Michael Quezada

Steven Gomez

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Bob Odenkirk and Bryan Cranston have both guest-starred on How I Met Your Mother. Both of them appeared as bosses to one of the main cast members.

    • At the beginning of this episode, Badger waits for a buyer on a bench. That bench features Saul and the "Better Call Saul" logo. Saul Goodman, Attorney at Law, (505) 164-CALL. Since there is no hint of what the future holds in this episode like many we have seen, this might be the only clue offered of what's to come.

    • The song that plays during the exchange and bust at the end of the episode is "El Picador" by Calexico. It's from their 2000 album "Hot Rail".

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Jesse: Seriously, when the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer. You want a criminal lawyer. You know what I'm saying.

    • Saul: Gentlemen, I sense you are discussing my client. Anything you care to share with me?
      Hank: Sure, your commercials, they suck ass. See better acting in an epileptic whore-house.
      Saul: Is that like the one your mom works at? Is she still offering the two-for-one discount? DEA, huh, first street bust. Now what would two feds want with that little twirp.

    • Saul: Sorry that was a little transpositional error. Nothing a little white out can't take care of. Okay, felony quantity.
      Badger: Yeah, just barely.
      Saul: Yeah, just barely. The cops around here are like butchers, always got their thumb on the scale. You know, but good luck arguing that in court, he he. Let me get down to brass tax. I'm going to get you a second phone call, okay, you're going to call your mommy or your daddy, or your parish priest, or your boy scout leader, and they're going to deliver me a check for $4650 – I'm going to write that down on the back of my business card okay. 4, 6, 5, 0, and I need that in cashier's check or money order. Actually I want it in a money order and make it out to Ice Station Associates, that's my loan-out, it's totally legit, it's done just for tax purposes. After that we can discuss Visa or Mastercard, but definitely not American Express, so don't even ask alright. Any questions?
      Badger: You're going to get me off, right?
      Saul: Aw, what do I look like, your high school girlfriend?

    • Saul Goodman walks into the interrogation of Badger
      Saul: Ehh! What are you doing detective? What are you doing talking to my client without me present? You sneaky Pete. Which is which. What, did the academy hire you right out of the womb – you guys keep getting younger every- (To Badger). What'd you say to Babyface? Huh? Did you say anything stupid? By anything stupid, I mean anything at all. Look at you, mouth open, vocal cords a twittering, we'll talk about it later, right now, you (Points to Officer Getz, DJ Qualls' character) out! Ten minutes ago. Go on, there are laws detective, have your kindergarten teacher read them to you. Go grab your juice box… go on.

    • Better Call Saul Commercial Script:
      Paid Actor #1: I had a good job until my boss accused me of stealing. I've better call Saul!
      Paid Actor #2: I was out partying, minding my own business.
      Female Underdressed Cop: You are under arrest.
      Paid Actor #2: I better call Saul!
      Saul Goodman: Hi I'm Saul Goodman. Did you know that you have rights. Constitution says you do, and so do I. I believe that until you're proven guilty, every man, woman, and child in this country is innocent. And that's why I fight for you Albuquerque.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Czech Republic: March 25, 2011 on Nova Cinema

    • Featured Music:

      "El Ruso" by F.Cavalos & Leo Rodriguez
      "Holla Hey" by Far East Movement
      "Island Bounce" by APM Artist
      "Thin Man Skank" by Lions
      "Oh Beautiful" by Pat Boone
      "Star Spangled Banner" by Non-Stop Music
      "Banderilla" by Calexico

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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