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Better Call Saul S1.07 "Bingo" review

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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Bingo Master’s Breakdown

Minor spoilers: it sounds like this isn’t the last time we’ll see Saul bingo calling. One of the senior citizens who was an extra during filming recalls Saul having a meltdown and, “Confessing why he'd come to Albuquerque… He was out here kind of like a fugitive.”

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What Is A Cocobolo Desk?

In case you’re wondering, Cocobolo is a reddish-brown hardwood, like this.

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Best Line

Jimmy (to Mike, regarding the money): “Thanks for not heading to the Bahamas with this.”

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

More info

Available platformsTV