Breaking Bad

Season 2 Episode 8.1

Better Call Saul

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 26, 2009 on AMC

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
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  • Not a Very Important Episode for the Show, But an Entertaining One Nevertheless

    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.
  • Walt and Jesse meet one of the show's best supporting characters: Saul Goodman.

    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.
  • Walt, Jess and Saul make for an bizarre, interesting 'team'.

    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!
  • one of the best hours of mid-season television in years (yup).

    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)!
  • 208

    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.
  • Uh oh I'm in legal trouble, "Better Call Saul!"

    This episode made me laugh for one it started out with Badger selling meth to an undercover cop. There is a hot shot lawyer with a commercial saying that stuff happens and there is almost no case that he wouldn't represent. Badger is then arrested and processed and Jesse and Walt are scared over their cover being blown since Badger isn't exactly smart. So they try to find someone who can help them, and here comes the new silver tongued prince of Albuquerque, Saul Goodman! My new favorite character. Walt meets with Saul as Badger's uncle and when Saul says that it would be expensive and difficult to make happen Walt and Jesse kidnap him in the RV later that night and try to force him to take the case. Saul talks his way out of it and the three discuss going into business together and Saul agrees to represent Badger. Since Badger was holding the "blue stuff" the DEA gets involved hoping that they can snag Heisenburg in the act. Saul sets up a man for Walt and Jesse who would be willing to plead guilty to being Heisenburg in exchange for money because he preferred to live in prison. Badger is let loose on parole and fakes a deal with the new Heisenburg and he is then detained into custody and the Heisenburg case is shut as Badger then lays low in California until things blow over. Now Walt and Jesse have a new business partner and when they are further in trouble they "Better Call Saul!" A fine hour of television and a great way to raise the stakes on this series with storytelling and character development.