Better Call Saul Series 1 Episode 2: “Mijo” Review
Please be aware this post contains spoilers for Better Call Saul series 1 episode 2.
That James McGill sure has a habit of getting himself into absurd situations. Fortunately, he’s the future Saul Goodman, so he’s got the gift of the gab.
So, poor old public defender Jimmy McGill was taken hostage by none other than fan-favourite Tuco Salamanca at the end of the previous episode. Tuco, if you’re interested, is slightly less insane than in Breaking Bad, and absolutely adorable when interacting with his abuelita, who Jimmy has mistakenly tried to scam. That’s not to say Tuco isn’t already extremely paranoid – convinced that Jimmy and the idiot kids he recruited to run his scam are FBI (I mean, really?) – nor that he isn’t violent, because, er, leg crunching. But he’s not yet the psychopath we meet in series one of Breaking Bad. Importantly, Jimmy can talk him out of triple murder, which is the first moment in Better Call Saul I think we’ve seen a real glimpse of Saul Goodman. This scene is both intense and hilarious, in that way only really good television manages to achieve.
Oh, and there’s a Breaking Bad alumni reunion. The Twins are back, as are some of Tuco’s associates (I’m surprised all of these guys lived long enough for Breaking Bad). It’s newbie Nacho though, who helps James get out of trouble, but he has ulterior motives. Of course, it would be disappointing if he didn’t have ulterior motives.
James McGill returns, almost sweetly, to his public defence work, arguing the cases of hopeless lawbreakers and then arguing with Mike the take-no-prisoners car park attendant. Typical life. Boring life. That is until he comes face to face again with Nacho, who wants to scam some of James’ potential clients, and has come to him for personal details in exchange for a finder’s fee. Aha, Breaking Bad language at last. James splutters, refuses, and the episode closes. But we know how it ends.
The second episode of the two-episode premiere of Better Call Saul was the better one, with more action, more humour, and more of Saul Goodman as a diamond in the rough. If you weren’t convinced by the first episode, and I’ll admit that I wasn’t, “Mijo” was definitely a sign the show can stand apart from Breaking Bad and Bob Odenkirk is a worthy candidate to front the Breaking Bad prequel. The real test will be when we can talk about Better Call Saul without mentioning that other show.