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I May Destroy You
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"Gloves Off" finds Better Call Saul coming further into its own with an enthralling episode that highlights Jonathan Banks' contributions.
It's time to start coming to the realization that Better Call Saul is no longer a spinoff... The show is clearing standing on its own, not even two complete seasons in.
Michael Mando imbues Nacho with a fluid presence that enables the character to transcend any minor-gangster cliches; there's more going on in the way he folds his arms as Mike pulls away than many such characters can muster in an entire episode.
Tonight's installment showcased everything Saul does best.
Mike is a tough guy weighed down by a big sad heart and his bottomless melancholy has provided an important counterpoint to Jimmy's frenetic glibness. Now he is increasingly driving the plot too.
Saul, like its progenitor, has some really sublime cold opens.
This week Jimmy's story pauses for an update on his relationship with his brother, while Mike's story takes center stage.
"Gloves Off" is a nearly perfect example of what you can accomplish by balancing two storylines with a deftness found rarely on television.
Better Call Saul is a show with high stakes, even if they are personal ones.
I love the Jimmy-centric version of this series, but the hours revolving around Mike work pretty spectacularly, too.
"Gloves Off" paid off on a lot of set-up and brought the series back into its wheelhouse of crumbling lives, moral stands, and detailed crime.
Let's talk about Jonathan Banks. Holy crap, this guy is a revelation. He was great in Breaking Bad, but I love seeing him at the forefront of this show.
Better Call Saul started strong last year and shows no signs of slowing down with Monday's episode, the fourth of the second season and another strong entry into an already intriguing series.