Better Call Saul – Hero

                          Hero - Episode 4

Welcome to Better Call Saul: Episode 4 – Hero ‘Special Episodes’ review. Naturally for an episode review spoilers are included so get watching first and then come back!

Treated to a sleepy night in Cicero, Slippin’ Jimmy, or as he refers to himself for the first time, Saul Goodman, is at work playing the evening’s mark. All buttered, boozed, and bantered up Jimmy leads the mark into an alley way where the stumble across and dozing drunk in possession of a round thousand and a Rolex watch. Slippin’ Jimmy at work is a sight to behold and it puts perspective on the opening scene from ‘Nacho‘ (episode 3). Cut to the iconic 8-bit video game title card with the cool intro song that cuts dramatically and we find ourselves in the woods with Jimmy and the Kettleman’s right where we left them. Forced to figure out their desperately naïve situation Jimmy hits the nail on the head chatting to Mike the next morning, “you assume that criminals are gonna be smarter than they are.” After offering Jimmy a substantial bribe to keep shtum about their money we witness the temptation and desire in Jimmy’s eyes to get ahead in his business, to no longer be the “kiddy lemonade stand” as he shamefully admits.

Failing to pin down the Kettleman’s business Jimmy turns his attention to Nacho and convincing him that they’re square so that Jimmy can move on without looking over his shoulder for an incoming Tuco armed with a machete. Seeing through Jimmy’s ruse Nacho calls him up on the anonymous phone call and Jimmy quakes when Nacho mentions potential consequences for ratting on him. As ever though the loquacious Jimmy works his magic bringing Nacho down to a reasonable level and leaving on questionably ‘good’ terms.

Quote of the episode – “Upon this rock I will build my church” – Jimmy. A somewhat immoral rendition of Matthew 16:18 makes the quote of the episode. Taken out of it’s original context the bribe serves as Jimmy’s route to the top, a chance to rebuild and refocus his attentions on his public image; a chance that he grabs by the horns and dives head on into the hornet’s nest.

Antagonising Howard Hamlin, Jimmy’s growing nemisis of the show, Jimmy attempts to rouse public attention with a controversial billboard, effectively copying the H.H.M logo, colours, and font. Causing a ruccus between them it’s decided Jimmy has to take the billboard down. But naturally with Jimmy, all is not what it seems. Jimmy’s knack for diverting attention and swooping in on the big haul is a tried and tested skill from his Cicero days and this billboard serves as his next stage, the target, to gain public attention and revenge on Hamlin.

Did Jimmy’s manipulative stunt pay off though? You bet, returning home to his humble office Jimmy’s magic trick with the voicemail unfolds and to his oxymoron of surprise and expectation is delighted with the results. The only trouble is keeping the news from Chuck, his electromagnetic hypersensitive recluse.

Attempting to hide the news Jimmy keeps the local paper from his brother’s attention. In doing so we become privy to Chuck’s sensitive condition, and best scene from the episode. Props to Colin Bucksey and Arthur Albert, director and cinematographer respectively for their wonderful combination of sharp cuts and electronic sounds that depict Chuck’s point of view on his short one minute journey across the road. Perfectly framing his condition and the events to follow Colin and Arthur have worked wonders in creating a real sympathy for Chuck’s character.

Bringing you a review of Episode 5 obscurely titled ‘Alpine Shepherd Boy’ later tonight get watching if you haven’t done so already.

For the drama and scene building, mixed with the development of back stories ‘Hero’ deserves a solid * * * *

Happy Viewing

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