Season 2, Episode 8: Better Call Saul

ep-8-1Even though the events in the opening scene to this episode put Walt and Jesse in a terrible situation, I can’t help but laugh at what takes place. One second you think Badger actually has some street smarts and knows an undercover cop when he’s talking to one. He points out where the police vans are waiting disguised as trucks from flower shops. He tells the guy to get lost because he knows he’s wearing a wire. He literally points out everything about this potential stake-out that is surrounding him. And then you start to wonder yourself… is it a stake out? Or is this tall, lanky guy just actually trying to buy some meth? It all becomes clear when Badger decides to sell to him, deciding he can’t be a cop (repeat: after he points out an entire stake out that could be happening around him) then once the meth is transacted, Qualls pulls a gun on Badger and police swarm the scene from the flower shop trucks that Badger had just identified, and they arrest him.

Not only are Walt and Jesse forced to get nervously close to the DEA, and Hank, again, but they are also forced to enter into business with a seriously shady lawyer named Saul Goodman. His motto “Better Call Saul” was conveniently strewn on an advertisement on the bench that Badger was sitting on when he got arrested. It seems that every time that

Walt and Jesse get somewhere good with their business, some outside character or party brings it down, and they are left to pick up the pieces and climb back to their starting point. Although this certainly strains the relationship between Walt and Jesse, you can also see their trust in each other subtly growing. Both know that they both have the same objective, and it seems that it’s just the outliers that are bringing their business down.

Jesse’s relationship with Jane has finally picked up, and we see the two laying on his apartment floor together…since he doesn’t have a mattress (but thankfully by the end of the episode he invests in one). The two really seem to like each other. Things only get awkward when Jesse mentions doing drugs, to which Jane reveals that she’s been recovering from drug addiction for the last 18 months. This should have some interesting affects and consequences on their relationship…a drug dealer and a recovering drug addict do not quite seem like a match made in heaven, although when drugs are out of the picture in their interactions the two do seem like a cute couple.

Dealing with Saul is proving to be some very sketchy business. Although Saul saves Badger from talking to the DEA at first, he tells Walt (who speaks to Saul pretending to be Badger’s uncle) that he is going to have him “singing like a canary” to reveal to the DEA who the famed blue meth supplier is. Walt offers Saul ten thousand dollars not to do this.

episode-7-saul-goodmanLater, however, Walt and Jesse decide to set up a fake kidnapping scheme to try to scare Saul into listening to their instructions. This plan backfires when Saul recognizes Walt from his horrendous coughing fits. When the scheme completely falls apart, Walt and Jesse are forced to negotiate with Saul. He plans for an ex-con to act as Heisenberg in a set up sting by the police, so that the ex-con can go to prison and Badger can be set free.

During the sting, Badger sits on the same bench he was first arrested and sits waiting for a bald man to arrive that will act as Heisenberg, while the police wait to arrest him when he appears. Then, a bald man sits on the same bench as Badger….but it’s not the ex-con… just an unknowing bystander who may be seconds away from getting put in prison. The ex-con sits on the next bench over, and the entire scheme between Walt, Jesse, and Saul is about to go south…until Walt makes a very gutsy move.

As Walt watches in horror as their plan is about to blow up in their faces, he sees Hank is one of the police staking the scene out and drives directly in front of his car, blocking his view of the benches. Normally, Walt would NEVER show his face at such a clashing scene between his two lives. On one side he has Hank ready to arrest the guy that’s supposed to be him, and on the other he has Jesse and Badger waiting nearby. But, to spark some turn of events that might save their entire plan, Walt really makes an awesome spur of the moment decision. With his car blocking the benches, everyone gets in their right places and the scheme goes ahead as planned. Whew. Watching this whole scene go down was even stressful for me, as Walt and Jesse seem like they are in a constant cycle of frantically clawing their way out of crazy situations.

We are also still far away from hearing the end of Saul, as he confronts Walt at his school. Saying he wants to be “the Tom Hagen to Walt’s Vito Corleone,” Saul proposes that Walt let him enter into business with him and Jesse to protect their money and act as their legal contact. It’s been clear from the beginning that Saul was a shady lawyer, but now we see that he’s actually a real criminal.