Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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With "Alpine Shepherd Boy," Better Call Saul continues to forge its own identity, while establishing its characters and their journeys in surprising ways.
This is also the episode which made it clear what kind of show "Better Call Saul" is, at least for its first season: A profound search for identity. And that search is getting increasingly fascinating.
After the first four installments, it's a welcome gear shift; we've got a sense of the rhythm of the show, the lie of the land, now it's satisfying to take a tour around - and to set up the next chapter.
The episode's conclusion made me the most hopeful I've been about the series since the black-and-white cold open.
Compared to the masterful construction of "Hero," this week's episode is held back by some of its technical choices. But it does make two important contributions to our understanding of Jimmy's journey.
If nothing else, we are going to learn more about Mike's history. This alone is worth the price of admission.
"Jello" upped the humor quotient with some of the show's funniest dialogue to date - though, thanks to a parallel storyline, it was also Better Call Saul's most emotional episode.
There's nothing explosive about this episode, but there are three elements to it and all of them work really well.
Director Nicole Kassell excels in building up expectations and then letting them collapse under the enormity of their ridiculousness.
Better Call Saul delivers another powerful episode, as Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould effortlessly shift between moments of the outrageous, profane, mundane, theatrical, and gut-wrenching humanity.
All told, the hour really helped to solidify the series as a companion to Breaking Bad, as opposed to a second coming of it.
If you had stopped the episode halfway through and told me I wasn't allowed to finish it-EVER!-that would have been okay.
Ep 5 finally, thankfully took us into a dark storm cloud, with fixer Mike (who loves his granddaughter -- and considers killing everyone else) finally seeing his story arc creak open.