Better Call Saul‘s second episode, Mijo, proved one of two things: That this show might take a while to find its legs, or that a two-hour premiere was overkill. Or both.
You got a mouth on you.
There was some great stuff in this episode. I want to call out the “It’s Showtime” montage, which was actually an effective homage to All That Jazz, did a great job of conveying Jimmy/Saul’s life as a public defender, and was rather expertly filmed. And you know, I agreed with Jimmy when he told the redheads that he was a great lawyer; he saved their lives. They are, to be sure, total assholes. I begin to doubt that these two could be effective scammers. They are too quick to insult, too quick to demand. The smart con artists (as I’ve learned from the movies) let the victim come up with the ideas.
On the other hand, too much of the dialogue went on for too long. Jimmy’s endless patter is going to wear thin if it’s not broken up more effectively. The entire show could bog down into negotiation and persuasion in scene after scene. This stuff was very effective in breaking up the violence and action of Breaking Bad, but on its own, the imbalance is going to drive the audience away. It’s pretty clear Better Call Saul is still establishing itself—we don’t have Mike on board yet, for one thing—but we need these other characters in play with more strength before the show is really going to work.
There’s also the fact that we know some of their fates. Tuco is both less frightening and more predictable in his crazy, because we’ve already seen where he ends up. New characters need more room to grow alongside the familiar ones.
This episode, we learned more about Chuck’s “disorder,” but we’re still baffled. We’ve also yet to learn anything significant about Chuck, Jimmy, and their past with HHM. On the one hand, it’s a meaty area to explore and could be a lot of fun. On the other hand, Michael McKean wrapped in a space blanket is just not doing it for me.
We also have the beginnings of Jimmy committing to a life of crime; a lawyer who works as a compatriot to the criminals of the world, rather than maintaining a wall. This could be a lot of fun, if it’s capers and schemes and so on, but we’ll see.
Sorry to be a downer, Basketcases. I am hoping this show picks up, and I’m certainly going to continue recapping. What did you all think?