Better Call Saul episode eight recap/ review
Containing a recap, this review reveals many SPOILERS.
At some point between Chuck bailing him out of the Cook County correctional system and running his own practice in Albuquerque, “Slippin’” Jimmy McGill worked in the mail room at Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill. The opening scene in director Colin Bucksey’s “RICO” followed Jimmy pushing a mail cart around HHM, cheerfully and dutifully delivering mail to cubicles, desks, and offices. Jimmy has Kim open a letter that he can’t bring himself to open. She opens it, kisses him on the mouth, and sends him on the way to Chuck’s office. He passed the New Mexico state bar exam. Surprised, unafraid of electricity, and proud of his brother, Chuck tells Jimmy he will have to talk with the other partners before adding Jimmy as counsel for the firm.
Later on in the “flashbacked” day, Jimmy, Kim, and the other mail room staff celebrate Jimmy’s accomplishments until Howard Hamlin strolls into the mail room. Kim offers her boss some cake to celebrate Jimmy’s big day. As Howard enjoys his dessert, he excuses the party save for Jimmy. The door closes in front of the camera and silences Howard’s monologue to Jimmy. Howard eventually finishes his bit, opens the door, and tells his partner’s brother that his application will come under review again in six months, shamelessly kicking Jimmy to the curb. It was gut-wrenching to see our beloved protagonist hit an emotional high only to see it get dragged down before it even had an opportunity to pick up steam. Of course we know Jimmy eventually lands on feet, but scenes that establish his tragic past always seem to reflect later in his successes. After Howard killed Jimmy’s shot to work side-by-side with Chuck in the opening scene, “RICO” laid the foundation for a potential cash cow for the brothers McGill without any Hamlin involvement.
In the 2006 timeline, Howard enters Kim’s office and insists she join him for the Kettleman press conference. At Sandpiper Crossing retirement home, the television displays the Kettleman press conference with Howard speaking. Jimmy sits with one of his elderly clients in her living quarters at SC. They cross the “Ts” and dot the “Is,” however she can’t quite come up with the money she owes her lawyer because Sandpiper Crossing hasn’t released their seniors’ monthly allowance yet. Jimmy reworks his price quote for her favor and takes off on his way, but something doesn’t sit well with him. After this, Jimmy checks with other seniors living at Sandpiper Crossing to the dismay of the nosy receptionist. Across town, Mike receives a call from Stacey while on the job. She asks him to sit for Kaylee as she can’t find anyone else to care for her daughter. Mike doesn’t think twice, even motioning one of the vehicles to go on ahead without paying because he loves his family more than anything else. Family has always been a big theme with Mike ever since his days from “Breaking Bad,” however “Better Call Saul” looks to make good on developing his character. Unlike Walter White, however, we know megalomania won’t cloud Mike’s decisions.
Jimmy walks in to his brother’s place and shows Chuck the suspicions he has of Sandpiper Crossing. It turns out the elderly care facility controls the pensions and social security of its residents and takes a cut for themselves in addition with “fees.” Chuck seems apprehensive about Jimmy taking immediate legal action and instructs him to dig up more evidence if his brother is going to take the case any further. However, when Jimmy enters Sandpiper Crossing to visit his clients, the nosy receptionist turns him away, citing that he is “soliciting” legal counsel. As she speaks, he notices a woman in an office frantically shredding documents and making nervous eye contact with him. Two guards intimidate him into leaving, but Jimmy thinks quickly and makes note of his irritable bowel syndrome that totally doesn’t exist. The receptionist “kindly” allows him to use the facilities, but Jimmy instead doesn’t waste a second—quickly writing a demand letter on the cardboard of a legal pad and some toilet paper. He exits the restroom and hands the demand letter over to the receptionist. He suggests she call their lawyers because James McGill has several demands on behalf of his clients. “Big mistake!” Jimmy shouts as the intimidating guards toss him out on the pavement.
Later that evening, Jimmy feels up for a spot of dumpster diving and rummages through the large receptacles outside of Sandpiper Crossing for shredded documents. At first, no luck but varying degrees of disgusting senior home waste. However, his phone rings mid-dive and SC’s lead counsel calls for a few quick questions for Jimmy, who lies and says he’s present at the opera. After finally extracting the shredded documents, Jimmy takes them back to Chuck’s place where he collapses after struggling to piece the shreds together. Later on, the younger McGill brother wakes up to find the elder brother has correctly arranged the shreds in a damning move for Sandpiper Crossing. Chuck joins Jimmy’s case and his brother couldn’t be happier. The camera jumps back to Mike babysitting his granddaughter as she plays “sculptor” with Play Doh. Stacey enters the home and talks to Mike on his way out the door. She asks him if using Matty’s bribe money would be a bad idea, however, Mike assures her that if the money can do any good in the world, then it should. Unfortunately, Stacey says the money hardly makes a dent in her financial needs.
SC’s lead counsel receives a troubling fax, prompting a meeting with the McGill brothers. Back at Chuck’s, opposing counsel rolls up and leaves their electronics inside their vehicle per Chuck’s request. Jimmy directs them indoors as a nervous Chuck attempts to prepare himself for the meeting. Eventually, he pulls it together and joins his brother. Opposing counsel, fully aware of Chuck’s courtroom reputation, offer a mere $100,000 settlement due to accounting errors (“overbillings”) because they don’t see how any of Jimmy’s demand classifies as “fraud.” However, when the younger McGill presents evidence of illicit interstate commerce engagements (Nebraska, no less), the lawyers quickly realize they’re facing a RICO case and ask him to name his price. “Twenty million,” Chuck gently interrupts his silence with a figure and backs it up with facts. SC’s lawyers won’t make that deal and excuse themselves from the premises. The camera then checks in with Mike taking his dog to the veterinarian for a check-up. Motivated by Stacey and Kaylee, Mike visits the shady vet from “Five-O” to see if there are any career opportunities more lucrative than a parking attendant. Before the vet can answer, the camera hops back to Chuck’s home where Chuck asks his brother where some particular documents are located. Jimmy indicates that he forgot the papers in his care. Chuck inadvertently strolls outdoors to his brother’s junker to retrieve the files without a second thought. Jimmy calls for Chuck and doesn’t find him until they’re both outside, shocked that Chuck walked outside without a frantic episode.