Better Call Saul: The Rise of Mike The Cleaner and The Fall of the McGill Brothers in "Pimento"

In which we review the penultimate episode of Better Call Saul’s debut season. Spoilers ahead.

Better Call Saul: Jimmy and Chuck unite for seniors' rights in "RICO"


Remember when the idea for Better Call Saul first floated around in television production gossip, and it was conceived as a half-hour comedy? There has been a lot of controversy over the new rules for category eligibility at the Emmys, with Shameless making it into Comedy despite its hour-long runtime and decidedly serious worldview, and Orange Is The New Black finally shifting over to compete in its rightful category as a Drama. I had a screenwriting professor who worked in Los Angeles throughout the 90s and 00s, and was still livid that Ally McBeal got to compete as a comedy when it was an hour-long dramedy that had no business going up against sitcoms.

Those are all semantic arguments about categorizing shows when there’s a lot of mutability. But imagining a world where Better Call Saul isn’t 45 minutes of deliberate, enthralling dramatic irony, holding a hopeful carrot out in front of Jimmy when the audience knows there’s a banana peel waiting to catch his foot, makes me shudder with would’ve been lost.

The cold open to “RICO” is one of my favorites so far this season, because it succinctly encapsulates the futile tragedy of James McGill. Better Call Saul eluded to the fact that Jimmy worked in the HHM mailroom, but here it’s on full display, as he cheerfully delivers mail to everyone around the office, with the added bonus that he knows pretty much everyone’s name. But the reason the show ventures to this moment in McGill history is because it’s the day Jimmy believed his life would change: when he passes the bar and becomes a lawyer in the state of New Mexico. Read the rest

Better Call Saul giveth and taketh away from Jimmy in "Bingo"

In order for Better Call Saul to inch closer to the timeline it’s trying to meet, James McGill’s difficult life has to fester into bitterness. He’ll do anything to escape it.

Better Call Saul reveals the tortured origin of Mike Ehrmantraut

One of Breaking Bad's finest characters gets an episode in the spotlight

The midpoint of Better Call Saul's first season hinges on scenes without Jimmy

The latest episode of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped for your further entertainment.

“Better Call Saul” shows Jimmy can wear many masks in "Hero"

Episode four of the Breaking Bad spinoff, recapped.

Better Call Saul explores survival instinct in "Nacho"

Jimmy and Mike find common ground in "Nacho", episode 3 of the Breaking Bad spinoff.

The best moments from the two-night premiere of Better Call Saul

The task set before Better Call Saul is impossibly daunting. Can it join Breaking Bad in the pantheon of great TV?

The happiest Father's Day possible in Game of Thrones [s4 finale]

Kevin McFarland reviews the medieval fantasy drama's extra-brutal season closer.

Game Of Thrones: “The Watchers On The Wall” [s4e9]

Kevin McFarland reviews an unusual, action-packed episode that takes place almost entirely in and around a single location.

Game Of Thrones opens a Moon Door [Recap: s4e7]

Echoes of Tyrion's past are about to collide in the present. Kevin McFarland reviews the latest episode of Thrones, where the dwarf's uncertain doom approaches.

Silicon Valley's heroes get their chance to Disrupt [s1e7]

It's crunch time for the show's heroes, but Kevin McFarland finds that some of the humor in Silicon Valley lacks bite.

The Laws Of God And Men ring cold in Game of Thrones [s4e6]

Screen Shot 2014-05-11 at 11.58.05 PM
Peter Dinklage delivers the speech of the season as Tyrion Lannister, facing the false justice of the kingdom--and his family. Kevin McFarland reviews the latest episode of Game of Thrones.

Orphan Black: Governed As It Were By Chance [s2e4]

Caroline Seide recaps the latest episode of the BBC's clone drama; the season's fourth outing heads into unsettling territory.

TV recap: Game Of Thrones 'The Lion And The Rose' [season 4, episode 2]

Spoilers. Kevin McFarland reviews the second episode of HBO's Game of Thrones, Season 4. Our coverage archives are here.

Justified circles back to old friends and enemies to close out its fifth season [TV Recap: season 5, episode 13]

It was never really about the Crowes, or Ava going to prison, or the trip south of the border, or the gangsters in Detroit. This season of Justified, and by extension the entire series, has all been one long road to a final showdown between Raylan Givens and Boyd Crowder. Read the rest

Hannibal's design takes shape in 'Yakimono' [TV Recap, Season 2, Episode 7]

Hugh Dancy as Will Graham in “Hannibal” Season 2 Episode 7, “Yakimono”

Characters are dropping like… well, like characters on a televised serial killer drama, I suppose.

Read the rest

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