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Better Call Saul - (S01E08)

Drama . Crime . Comedy

Jimmy shows Chuck that he's willing to do almost anything to win a case, even if it means getting his hands dirty.

Episode Title: Rico
Airs: 2015-03-23 at 22:00
  • Jeff Korbelik

    Just as Gilligan routinely did with “Breaking Bad,” the first episode ends with a cliffhanger of sorts, and another pleasant surprise. It’ll make you wish 9 p.m. Monday comes quickly.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    How will Better Call Saul play for those unfamiliar with "Breaking Bad"? It still works, provided they're content with Gilligan's trademark loopiness and the show's leisurely (but confident) pace.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    Better Call Saul looks very much as though it can stand on its own, even with occasional drop-ins from prominent Breaking Bad characters other than Mike Ehrmantraut. Jimmy/Saul’s life isn’t in jeopardy as long as he stays in the past.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    Better Call Saul has its own tone--it's a different, unique creation.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Jason Hughes

    Saul moves faster, but it has that same sense of mood and atmosphere. Scenes are set through lighting, sound and visuals in a way that you actually notice and appreciate. It’s television as artisitic expression rather than just pointing the cameras at the actors and having them read lines.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • The first two episodes reveal a show that will benefit greatly from the time and space to develop story arcs, and to exhibit the same cinematic grandeur that distinguished “Breaking Bad.” The pace is a bit quicker, there’s more obvious humor. But the level of ambition is very much the same.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    Better Call Saul is not only a great show in the context of the program that birthed it into existence, but would be a great show with or without Walter White. Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    [A] marvelously original and instantly engrossing hybrid of origin story, prequel, and spinoff. [1-15 Feb 2015, p.16]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    It’s terrific. How you respond to it, though, may depend on your mindset as you come into the show. Don’t lower your expectations; dismiss them altogether.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Lori Rackl

    We already know where he ends up, but it sure is fun watching him get dirty along the way.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    So why follow him? Because the writing, with its sudden shifts from drama to comedy and its sympathetic view of its bumbling characters, is so stellar. Because the show is a constant visual treat, from its odd close-ups of water tanks to its wide shots of desert landscapes. And because Odenkirk is terrific.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    Saul is lighter and brighter than "Bad," and--particularly with Sunday's launch--often very funny.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Tom Long

    The show's two opening episodes, showing Sunday and Monday night, are really a small movie cut in half--Sunday is the somewhat puzzling set-up, Monday puts Jimmy in motion and opens his eyes.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Liz Shannon Miller

    With each subsequent episode, the show has grown richer and more complex. More its own show, its own story.

    Indiewire Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    If I began watching Better Call Saul! as a skeptic, the first three episodes have mostly made me a believer. There are nods to the parent show--and those are among the more emotionally affecting parts of this young series--but Saul quickly learns to function as its own thing.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    The instant the duct tape is ripped off his mouth by his captors, a certain Saul-ness kicks in and Odenkirk’s talent is on full display as Jimmy delivers a pleading, philosophical monologue on--among other things--the awful nature of revenge.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Marlow Stern

    The ball of manic, depressed, negative energy that is Jimmy is a perfect match for Odenkirk’s comedic (and newfound dramatic) chops, as he lends plenty of pathos to this mesmeric loser with a heart of fool’s gold. He’s not Saul Goodman just yet, but the journey there should be a bumpy, thrilling ride.

    The Daily Beast Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    You either like Odenkirk's nervy, nervous and surprisingly soulful performance or you don't--and it's pretty hard not to like.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    The result is a conventional drama lit, shot, and edited with maximum cinematic oomph, in ways that tease out or add meanings that might not have been carried by dialogue and performance alone.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Is Saul funny? Yes, in the way that "Breaking Bad" could be very funny. And it's still Odenkirk, whose face alone is worth a comedy master class. But there's more pathos there than I'd expected, and a backstory that, like Walter White's, asks us to think about how much of one's destiny is predetermined and how much is due to circumstance.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Saul isn’t a failure at all. Instead, Saul feels like a series with many of the hallmarks of classic “Breaking Bad” episodes that’s set in the familiar “Bad” universe, emphasizing a similar vibe that mixes personal drama with dark comedy.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    It’s less brooding than its progenitor, less emotionally wrenching (at least at first), and its references to the “Breaking Bad” mythology could ultimately become tiresome. But it’s also entertaining and smart and, like its piteous semi-hero, persuasive.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Better Call Saul is better than good: It’s delightful--in a brutal, darkly comic way, of course.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Josh Bell

    Better Call Saul isn’t to ascend to Breaking Bad’s place in pop-culture history, but as a guilty pleasure for those who miss Heisenberg and the gang, it succeeds on just about every level.

    Las Vegas Weekly Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    Saul picks up plot speed rapidly at the end of the first hour. The beginning, however, is so deliberate it’s almost hypnotic.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Erik Adams

    Once it moves out of Walt’s long shadow, the origin story of Odenkirk’s slickster attorney reveals itself as a rollicking caper that’s more Rockford than Heisenberg.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    The destination to this journey doesn’t sound all that compelling, but Better boasts a caliber of actors other shows can only dream about.

    Boston Herald Full Review
  • Robert Rorke

    It’s a good start for a series that’s already been renewed for a second season--and will have time to grow.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    After watching the show's first three episodes, I'm intrigued, if not totally wowed. But I want to see more.

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Better Call Saul is a nifty and promising comic noir, but it also allows you to ponder certain missed opportunities.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    Like Saul himself, its identity is a work in progress. The energetic visual storytelling engages, but the deliberate pacing left me restless.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Kristi Turnquist

    Odenkirk is a gifted comic actor, and the sadness in his eyes hints that he can fill in more dimensions to Jimmy McGill as time goes on. But the first two episodes of Better Call Saul take their own sweet time setting things up.

    The Oregonian Full Review
  • Zach Hollwedel

    Even without Walter White or Jesse Pinkman, Saul--with his bizarre acquaintances, his oily courtroom performances, his willingness to throw people under the bus to save himself, his me-first attitude, and his incredible potential for bad situations--makes for some darn good television.

    Under The Radar Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    If Breaking Bad gained dramatic tension from viewers feeling trapped between wanting Walter to redeem himself and wanting him to do even more horrible things, Saul can't really have that tension, because we know Saul's worst impulses will win out.... And yet there's so much about Better Call Saul that clicks, it's hard to hold too much of this against the program. Full Review
  • Mark Dawidziak

    Better Call Saul is an offbeat drama with moments of quirky humor. The drama is wonderfully heartfelt. The comedy is a little more hit and miss.

    Cleveland Plain Dealer Full Review
  • Joanne Ostrow

    Although it's less than exciting and not at all a comic respite, Saul has me along for the ride.

    Denver Post Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    Better Call Saul improves over each of its first three episodes, but the first takes for granted that viewers not only know who Saul is, but that they will care about him even in the absence of a clearly delineated character arc.

    Slate Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    Vince Gilligan and his team, as usual, have surprised me. I haven’t totally fallen for the prequel series Better Call Saul--it doesn’t quite feel like its own show yet--but it did make me care about the man who becomes Saul Goodman in a way I never did in “Breaking Bad.”

    Salon Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    After three episodes, I have to say it’s... pretty good.

    Time Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    The first hour moves slower than people might be expecting, but builds to and ends on a wonderful cliff-hanger that is partly but not fully solved in the second episode.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    I'll keep watching, of course. But there are times, truth be told, when Saul seems a little too much like its lead character: Slick, smart, desperate, driven to please and a little bit afflicted by flop sweat.

    The Huffington Post Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Essentially, Saul is an extended origin story, possessing Bad’s flavor and black comedy but at least initially lacking its emotional core. While that dictates a mixed verdict, the creative auspices nevertheless bode well.

    Variety Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    By the third episode of the three sent to critics, the bits and pieces of apparent flotsam from the earlier episodes have begun to form a direction for Better Call Saul and as they do, the series becomes less a comedy and more a serious exploration of a Falstaffian character who may be much more than the buffoon he seems on the surface.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review

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