TV Review: Better Call Saul (2×8) “Fifi”

“Fifi” was a really good episode, solidly advancing the story arcs of Kim, Chuck and Jimmy in equal measure. Spoilers ahead!jimmy and chuck

With Kim and Jimmy entering into a solid business partnership, this week they pursued a client: Mesa Verde. Kim delivered this client to HHM on a silver platter several episodes ago, and now she plans to start a private practice. Kim races to claim back the client before Chuck and Howard can ensnare them!

Kim’s efforts were so genuine: she takes the clients out to lunch and, without bad-mouthing HHM, explains why she’s the best choice to take on their case. It was heart-warming to see how happy this meeting made her, and Rhea Seehorn does a great job showing the character’s work ethic as well as her humanity in moments like these.

chuck talksBut Chuck has other plans. He (and Howard) are not about to let this huge client go to waste. In one of my favorite scenes from the series so far, we see Chuck sneakily convincing the Mesa Verde couple to stay with HHM. His method is so complex: tell the clients that they actually are better off with Kim, that she represents the “new era of lawyers,” whereas all Chuck does in his free time is read complex legal paperwork for fun. He instills such uneasiness in them without being obvious, and Michael McKean is terrific at acting Chuck’s genius.

It’s easier now to see why Chuck is so successful in the first place. Jimmy has his “stage,” which is lying and conning, and Chuck has his: being smart and a tad manipulative. chuck suits

Another interesting plot point here was how he jumped in, despite Howard’s reservations, to lead this meeting with no aluminum-lined suit, electronics on everywhere in the building. He was really testing himself here, feeling excited by the challenges of his career once again. I believe that Chuck also wanted to screw over Kim, and by proxy, his little brother; he’ll go to the ends of the earth to show Jimmy who the dominant sibling is.

But Jimmy’s game has never been fighting fire with fire. The younger McGill retaliates, using a good dose of his law-bending genius while Chuck is incapacitated by radio sensitivity. He sabotages Chuck’s Mesa Verde file, going to an office store to jumble up the numbers of addresses, re-photocopy them, and sneak them back in to Chuck’s file box. Like nothing happened.jimmy exacto

I’m very excited to see how this scheme pays off for Kim, as she’ll likely get the clients when they realize HHM has foolishly sent all of their paperwork to the wrong address! You just know Jimmy will have hell to pay when Kim finds out what he’s done.

In a side story, Jimmy is also busy filming another commercial! (this time through much more questionable methods). He and those film students from earlier in the season dress up an old man like a WWII vet; they go to an airfield and pretend like he needs water so that they can take pictures of him, undisturbed, jimmy fifi 2next to a B-52 bomber called “Fifi.” This is all set-up for a commercial I can’t wait to see, but for now, it was an uber-humorous scene.

Mike was also in this episode, but in a much smaller role. He tracks Hector Salamanca to the place near the border where he conducts business, no doubt planning to interfere some way in the future. Later, he and Kaylee do some hands-on crafting, having fun drilling holes into a hose. He’s obviously such a kindhearted grandfather to her, which makes it all the more insane when in the next scene, we see Mike using the same hose as some sort of spiky trap to (probably) screw over Salamanca! Mike and Kaylee

It’s always very interesting to me when his personal life and more-violent business life get uncomfortably close together, such as when the Cousins threatened Kaylee’s life. Why he would choose to let her help him with his dark business is beyond me, but it’s possible that he just wanted to give the poor girl something fun to do.

In summary, this was a very solid episode (aren’t they all)? We got some great developments for Jimmy and Kim’s new business venture, some sneaky activity from Jimmy and a show-stopping scene from Chuck. What else can you ask for?

Rating: 8.5/10

Some other great moments:

  • That four-ish minute Mexico/U.S. border tracking shot that opened the episode. That’s some film school stuff right there.
  • Howard agreeing to pay off Kim’s law school loans as a gesture of good will. He is such an enigma, always looking like he has an ulterior motive. Fun to watch!
  • Jimmy’s trying to direct his old man actor with comments about “fighting the Japanese” and getting corrected that he really fought the Germans. Changes it to “fighting those… Axis powers in general.” Really funny.

At the arguably-too-young age of three, Jordan saw Star Wars—with all its famous dismemberment—for the first time. From that day on he rejected his Jewish roots to be a full-time Force believer. Jordan, now 20, enjoys playing guitar, singing and recording music (like John Mayer, minus the ego). When he isn’t covering James Taylor songs, he likes seeing and reviewing movies in a non-pretentious fashion. His personal critic-heroes are JeremyJahns and Chris Stuckmann of YouTube fame. He currently attends Chapman University working towards a Film Studies degree, and can’t wait to see where it takes him!
  • BeltFedWeapon

    It’s a B-29 actually: the “Super Fortress”. B-52’s are the next generation American bomber; the “Stratofortress” that didn’t start flying until the early to mid-50’s. Well after we had used said B-29’s to end the war.