Better Call Saul S1.07 "Bingo" review

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Initially it felt like the subplot about deluded embezzlers the Kettlemans didn’t have much legs (they were initially only intended to appear in the series pilot), but “koo-koo bananas” Lady Macbeth/Maude Flanders hybrid Betsy Kettleman has turned out to be a stand-out recurring character, and this episode ties the couple’s arc up in a bow rather neatly. It also provides a little welcome light relief after the dark intensity of Mike’s backstory in the previous instalment.

There are numerous neat little moments, like Jimmy acting as a bingo caller, or a shot of a chrysalis dangling from a tree (which feels symbolic of Jimmy, himself a work in progress). And the final moments, where he gives up on his dream of a swish open-plan office in order to do the right thing and help Kim’s career (once again, we see that he’s capable of surprising selflessness) is really rather poignant. It’s also nicely undercut as he kicks the hell out of a door – dignified resignation isn’t very Jimmy/Saul. That’s not the first time the series has delivered that punchline – we saw him taking this anger out on a bin before - but it’s still a funny one.

Featured Music

The extended funk track heard while Mike tracks down the money is “Tune Down” by French multi-instrumentalist Chris Joss.

It’s also particularly satisfying, for Breaking Bad fans, to see Mike doing a job for Jimmy for the first time, as he makes clever use of psychology (and UV spray) to locate the cuckoo couple’s stash of cash – a bit a landmark moment, really. That sequence is beautifully put together, playing out entirely without dialogue, and allowing the audience to slowly work out for themselves what is going on. When you do put two and two together, the moment of realisation is delicious.

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The One WhereEmbezzlers the Kettlemans try to blackmail Jimmy into representing them
WriterGennifer Hutchison
DirectorLarysa Kondracki

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Available platformsTV
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Deputy Editor, SFX

Ian Berriman has been working for SFX – the world's leading sci-fi, fantasy and horror magazine – since March 2002. He also writes for Total Film, Electronic Sound and Retro Pop; other publications he's contributed to include Horrorville, When Saturday Comes and What DVD. A life-long Doctor Who fan, he's also a supporter of Hull City, and live-tweets along to BBC Four's Top Of The Pops repeats from his @TOTPFacts account.