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Review: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2 Episode 8, ‘Fifi,’ Readies for Disaster

Review: 'Better Call Saul' Season 2 Episode 8, 'Fifi,' Readies for Disaster

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2 Episode 7, ‘Inflatable,’ Shows Jimmy’s True Colors

Case Summary

Kim officially pulls the trigger on leaving HH&M, despite knowing that it’ll be a fight for her to keep Mesa Verde, the lush new client she just signed; something she nearly achieves, thanks to a killer sales pitch over lunch. Unfortunately, when Chuck hears about her decision to go into business with Jimmy, he musters all his strength to go into the office like “normal.” Without even the benefit of a space blanket-lined suit, he’s able to successfully talk Mesa Verde into staying with HH&M, but collapses the second they leave.

Jimmy, who’s busy stealing a shot for what will undoubtedly be another epic TV commercial, gets the call to come check on Chuck and, upon observing Chuck’s catatonic state, realizes he has a chance to help Kim get Mesa Verde back… By sabotaging a bunch of Chuck’s paperwork.

Oh, and Mike’s got an eye on Hector Salamanca, and a super-fun-looking hose studded with nails. Bet that’s going to work out great for everyone!

Opening Credits Extreme Close-Up

Yep, it’s the necktie and tarantula. As predicted last week, based on the patterns established during Season 1.

Let’s use this space, meanwhile, to celebrate that opening shot. Because wow. Those four minutes and 25 seconds of elegant camera moves were done so smoothly that we honestly don’t want to know how they did it (though the story behind its making is undoubtedly fascinating). Length-wise, it doesn’t beat “True Detective” Season 1’s epic housing project battle, but the way “Saul” took something relatively mundane and made it one of the year’s most cinematic moments is just a flat-out feat.

The Least Legal Move

Jeez, sometimes there’s nothing to mention here, but Jimmy really outdid himself this week. I’m no legal expert, but screwing with another attorney’s paperwork is some special variety of fraud. And there’s also the whole sneaking-onto-a-military-base-under-false-pretenses thing. Mulder was always doing that on “The X-Files,” and always getting into trouble as a result.

Meanwhile, there’s technically no law against customizing a hose the way Mike did. But given that next week’s episode is entitled “Nailed,” we’ll surely be coming back to that. 

Remembering What Hasn’t Happened Yet (The “Breaking Bad” Tie-In)

Yes, we dig deeper into the underpinnings of the Salamanca family business, following a popsicle-loving delivery man from a US Customs checkpoint at the border to the local Salamanca ice cream shop (weirdly named El Griego Guiñador — “the winking Greek?”).

But more importantly, Kim and Jimmy celebrate their new venture with dinner at the Dog House, Jesse Pinkman’s preferred location for underhanded deals during the “Breaking Bad” years. Oh, the memories we have there.

Oh, That’s Right, It’s a Period Piece

Enron and WorldCom get name-dropped like they happened yesterday, because from this show’s perspective, they kinda did — once again confirming the loose timeframe of the series as 2002.

On The Journey From Jimmy to Saul

We’ve been waiting all season long, it seems, for the moment when Jimmy would cross the line and sabotage, forever, his relationship with Kim because it always seemed inevitable that their ending would, somehow, be his fault. The fact that Jimmy would do something deeply unethical to “help” Kim isn’t shocking, but sabotaging Chuck’s documents is perhaps more direct than we ever anticipated. In classic “Saul” manner, it’s something microscopic that will undoubtedly explode into something seismic, and the only thing we’re grateful over is the fact that it’s paperwork. Nobody ever got killed over paperwork… right?

Lady Sings the Blues

Exactly how flipping two numbers on a number of key confidential documents will affect things goes unresolved this week, but given how dedicated Kim has been to the idea that she needs to do things her way, it’s doubtful the answer is “nothing good.” Kim hits both major highs and major lows this week, and ironically at the center of all of them is her relationship with Jimmy. We love seeing these two together, but this was the episode where we finally accepted just how bad he is for her; a realization she’s always flirted with, but will likely have to confront head-on way too soon.

Cocktail Hour

Kim and Jimmy enjoy some paper-bagged beers with their hot dogs, which we only mention because it gives us an opportunity to link to Major Colvin’s great speech from “The Wire” about civic compromises and “the kind of police work worth taking a bullet for.”

Best Quote

“Because Pop Pop’s a grownup and grownups get to be stupid.”
– Mike

Mike might be a murderer, but it turns out that murderers can also be wonderful grandfathers, whether that comes with speaking the plain truth to little Kaylee, letting her play (very carefully) with power tools and doing whatever it takes to keep her safe. You can accuse Mike of a lot of things, but he makes us miss our own grandfathers, quite a bit.

“It’s From a Movie!”

No explicit film references this week, but if it’s been a while since you watched “His Girl Friday,” Mike’s movie of choice, you should fix that! One of the all-time great screwball comedies. It’s available to stream on Hulu, Netflix AND Amazon Prime, so you have no good excuse not to watch it.

In Conclusion, Your Honor

Is it next week yet? Is it next week yet? Is it next week yet? Because we cannot wait for next week.

Grade: A

READ MORE: The Cast and Creators of ‘Better Call Saul’ Aren’t Interested In Happily Ever Afters

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