Better Call Saul Review – “Marco” S1E10

Better Call Saul wrapped up its amazing first season with “Marco,” an episode packed with details, comedy, and Easter Eggs from its parent show.


The Bingo calling scene: We finally get an explanation of a Chicago Sunroof! And so does the retirement home in Albuquerque. Which just added to the pure comedy gold of this scene. It was far and way my favorite scene of the episode. Jimmy’s “lawyer” reasoning of why Chet, the guy with the BMW, was in the wrong for Jimmy defecating in his car was pure genius; it was a real show of how Jimmy can talk his way out of anything and part of why he is so likable. I also loved how all the “B” balls being called was what brought Jimmy to his breaking point to even tell the story in the first place. Not to mention, this scene had some of the best dialogue including:

  • “None of us is leaving this God forsaken wasteland.”
  • “I mean look out that window. It’s like a soulless, radioactive Georgia O’Keefe hell scape out there crawling with coral snakes and scorpions. You ever see the movie The Hills Have Eyes? It’s a documentary.”
  • “Guy wanted some soft serve; I gave him some soft serve.”
  • “But that is what a Chicago Sunroof is and now you know!”
  • “One little Chicago Sunroof and suddenly I’m Charles Manson?! That’s when it went off the rails. I’ve been paying for it ever since. That’s why I’m here!”
  • “Kitty cat notebooks for everybody!”

The explanation of why Jimmy came to ABQ: The entire cold open was pretty brilliant. The short scene with Jimmy fresh out of jail and going to tell Marco he is leaving was a good way to let us know that it was the jail stint for the Chicago Sunroof that sent him to Albuquerque. The exchange between Marco tells us exactly what will happen during the episode; Jimmy and Marco will pull off one last big con and Marco will spend the rest of his life on the bar stool. It mirrors the same set up of the entire series – we know how Jimmy’s life will end up because we have already been told. In this case, it is the journey that is more important.

All the showing: Knowing why Jimmy chose to not take the deal with Davis and Mane is not directly said to us. And I love that. There is a lot of story telling going on in this episode. Jimmy may be a “criminal” with Marco, pulling cons on people, but Marco gives Jimmy a feeling of self-worth. He may be a criminal, but he is a great one. In Albuquerque, he feels tries to be a lawyer, even doing the right thing, but he is always in the shadow of Chuck, who does nothing but put down Jimmy’s self worth. None of this is done with looking at the camera and telling us what is happening. It is done with carefully written dialogue and progression.

Better Call Saul - "Marco"

Howard is the good guy: I had a sneaking suspicion all along that Howard wasn’t the bad guy in the situation. If we are going with the color theory, the man only wears blue, indication that he isn’t all bad. Plus, Jimmy apologized for the whole pig-fucker thing, so that was worth the scene alone. But in addition, Howard seems to give Jimmy some validation for all the work he has done for Chuck the last year when he sees the shopping list.

How much “Marco” mirrored “Uno”: A lot of scenes came full circle here. They may be small, but we see the reappearance of the trashcan Jimmy kicked in at the beginning of the series. At the time he was upset that HHM wouldn’t release Chuck out of his contract. Now we see it after Jimmy realizes that Chuck has a lot more control over the firm than he originally thought and that Chuck is actually the asshole. We also see Jimmy pull out of the court parking lot like a bat-out-of-hell, this time though he has a friend in Mike instead of an angry parking attendant relationship.

The detail of the half-dollar con: I absolutely love how much detail went into the con of selling the Kennedy half-dollar that is facing the wrong way. Bob Odenkirk’s delivery and Mel Rodriguez’ reactions were so spot on. If you skip on down to the “tid-bits” section, you can read more of my theory on this scene.

Chuck is an ass to everyone: Howard gets Ernie, another mailroom employee to take care of Chuck. The delivery of the word “almost” was enough to show what kind of a person Chuck really is. It makes me wonder why he is so valued at HHM if he treats people this way.

Pride and Greed: Common themes in Breaking Bad, Jimmy is falling to the same thing Walt did. He may be doing it in a less murder-y way, but they are the same sins. Marco suggests that Jimmy isn’t a great lawyer because he isn’t making money. Jimmy gets the deal of lifetime, thanks to Kim and Howard, to fast track to partner at a firm in Santa Fe. Then he decides to not do it because he would still be living in Chuck’s shadow. There is no doubt that Jimmy would have made a lot of money there. But the fact that he and Mike could have made off with 800,000 dollars each is too much to bear. The thing that Mike has that Jimmy doesn’t is conviction and a moral code. Mike has never fallen to pride or greed (in the time we have known him). He has a job, and he does it. Jimmy could do the same, but we know he doesn’t.

Better Call Saul - "Marco"


The Con Montage: It’s not that I didn’t get enjoyment out of the different cons Marco and Jimmy were pulling off; it was that it seemed really long. It was almost as if there wasn’t enough material from the rest of the episode, and there needed to be some fun filler. It was fun, but at this point, I understood the passage of time in Cicero and that Jimmy and Marco are really good at pulling cons.

Jimmy would have come to the same conclusion either way: I don’t think Jimmy needed to go back to Cicero to “find himself.” Ultimately, he chose the easy path because of how Chuck treated him, not because of how Marco inspired him. At least I think. I feel that the real breaking point of Jimmy was finding out what Chuck really thought of him, not a week of playing hooky.

Better Call Saul - "Marco"

Easter Eggs:

Belize: When Jimmy is calling bingo, he mentions that B is for Belize, and he will never get to go there. He may be sad about that now, but if you watched Breaking Bad, you know that Belize means you’ve gone away to die.

White Caddy in the desert: Marco thinks that just because Jimmy is a lawyer, he is probably driving a white Cadillac. Although he doesn’t have that sweet ride now, it is the car he ends up having when we meet him as Saul in Breaking Bad.

The Pinky Ring: We finally know how Jimmy/Saul gets his pinky ring he always wears; Marco’s mother gave it to Jimmy after Marco passed away. This could also be similar to Walt’s way of picking up objects and habits of those close to him who die.


Wahhhh: That I will be a sad gal for the next year and over analyze every detail of the first season while I wait for the second.


The Credits: The opening credit shows Saul’s “World’s Best Lawyer” coffee mug crashing and breaking on his office floor from Breaking Bad. Is this a direct message that Jimmy is breaking from the good guy image lawyer image and he is about to be Saul? I think so.

Chet and Jimmy’s first wife: This isn’t the first time we have heard about one of Jimmy’s wives. This episode, we find out that Chet, the receiver of the Chicago Sunroof, got such a present because he was sleeping with Jimmy’s first wife. In Breaking Bad we know that Jimmy’s stepdad slept with his second wife. He doesn’t have much luck with wives. I just hope that Kim isn’t one of those wives; she doesn’t seem like the cheating type.

Marco’s cough: A habitual cough is never a good thing in the BrBa universe. It was clear from the beginning of hearing Marco’s cough that he wouldn’t be long for the show.

Kevin Costner: I love that not only was Jimmy able to fool a woman into thinking he was Kevin Costner to get her in bed, but that once she found out, he started quoting Field of Dreams.

Holy Moly, if this one is true: MIND BLOWN: I have mentioned that this episode does a lot of mirroring of “Uno.” Jimmy represents three teenagers who do a terrible, terrible thing. In court, Jimmy starts his argument with “Oh, to be 19 again!” In “Marco,” when Jimmy is calling bingo numbers, he says “O 64 as in Oh to be 64 again!” So what does 1964 have to do with anything? 1964 is the year the Kennedy half-dollar was released. Boom! Now your mind is blown, too.

Want some more mind-blowing stuff? First of all, the Kennedy dollar has always faced west. That is the scam. But Jimmy goes into detail about how presidents face east on coins to symbolize the dawn. He also mentioned that graves face east for the same reason. Toward the end of the episode, Jimmy is walking to the courthouse for his big meeting and there is a shot of just his head facing east. Is this the way to show that Jimmy is honoring the dead (Marco), and then makes his decision to do things his way from now on? I think it could be!

Better Call Saul - "Marco"

Music from the Episode:

The song that both Marco and Jimmy whistle is “Smoke on the Water” by Deep Purple.


Hush Comics gives “Marco” a B+ for being chock full of detail, some of the best lines of the series, but for outcome being the case whether the trip to Cicero happened or not.

Better Call Saul Review – “Uno” S1E1

*Disclaimer: This review is not intended for children, and if you are a child watching this show, and reading reviews online, you should be ashamed.*

The much anticipated prequel spin-off to Breaking Bad finally premiered, and it was worth the wait. While Better Call Saul is slower than its parent show, there were a lot of classic “Gilligan” moments, particularly through camera angles and lighting, Breaking Bad easter eggs, and a few shocking moments that kept the premiere episode rolling. Let’s dive in to what all this means:


The cold open: The cold open showing our beloved Saul Goodman turned Gene, manager of Cinnabon was brilliant. It gave Breaking Bad fans what they wanted, without us even knowing we wanted it. It showed fans and newbs alike that this man is broken. He keeps to himself, he is scared of being found out, and he longs for his glory days. And all this is done with no dialogue. The black and white adds to the ambiance, and the song that plays (see the end of this article for more on that) makes the whole thing seem incredibly sad.

Some of the best Saul one-liners to date: “The only way that entire car is worth 500 bucks is if there is a 300 hundred dollar hooker sitting in it” and “As discreet as a stripper pole in a mosque.” They have been quoted at least 3 times each in my house since Sunday night. That’s how I know they are keepers.

Camera Angles, Lighting, and sound: There were several scenes that really highlighted the camera work that is done on this show. The cold-open, attempting to get Craig and Betsy to sign a contract with him, talking to the lawyers at HHM in the same fashion as is done in Network, the moment he shares a cigarette with the blonde lawyer in the parking garage, and the skateboarders at the park. Each had great lighting, showed the scenes in wide shots, or close-ups depending on the mood of the scene. I was most impressed with the use of “everyday” sounds, like the ice tinkling in the glass, or Jimmy swallowing when he was nervous about the contract. All this is minute, but it really adds to the effect this show, and its creators, have on its audience.

Better Call Saul - "Uno"

Jimmy, Actor at Law: The most important thing to know about Jimmy McGill is that he is an actor first and attorney second. Sure, being a lawyer is his profession, but he is a really good actor. He acts like his own assistant on the phone, practices his pitches over and over again, and is passionate about everything he does in order to get his way. He argues with his brother, Chuck, while at his home, and is very emotionally involved in his brother’s well-being. When he goes to speak to HHM over his brother’s share of the company, he takes his act straight from the 1976 movie Network, which you can see the original clip from below.

Those knuckleheads: I truly feel that the only people on cable who can even allude to a group of teenagers breaking into a morgue, cutting off the head of a corpse, and then fucking the neck hole are Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould. In addition, they allowed us to feel like these clients of Jimmy’s weren’t that bad because technically, no one got hurt. Not a soul.

The other knuckleheads: The skateboarding scamming brothers are total dicks. They are Napoleon Dynamite’s slightly-cooler brothers who live in New Mexico. And they are super annoying and really bad at acting. Who can stand up after “breaking a leg.” Why are they even a pro? Because they are written perfectly. And they are acted perfectly. And I for one can’t wait when they become collateral damage.

Pride, Greed, and everything in between: Beyond the pretty scenes, the dialogue, and the acting (which of course are all important and amazing), we dive right into motive and the reasons people do what they do. This series is supposed to be a way to dive into how a man goes from downtrodden lawyer to a very rich criminal lawyer. Jimmy rents out a crappy office space, he owes a ton of bills, his car is a piece of shit, and he is only getting paid 700 dollars for a case. And he didn’t even win. Jimmy needs money. But when he gets a check for 26,000 dollars as a stipend for his brother’s leave of absence at his firm, Jimmy tears up the check. Why? Because Pride, that’s why. Not having money and needing it desperately will lead to Greed. Jimmy is Walter White 5 years before Walter White is Walter White. Did you get that? I hope so.

Better Call Saul - "Uno"


Number 1 on speed-dial: When Jimmy puts his number in one of the brother’s phones, he tells him that he (Jimmy) is number 1 on the speed dial. Except in 2002, number 1 on speed dial was VoiceMail. It’s a little nuance, I know. But I had to think of something for the cons section.

A lot of down time: Like its parent show (gah, it’s so hard not to compare), Better Call Saul is not all about crime and drugs and law. It’s about the monotony of life. The everyday man happens to be in some deep shit. Or at least will be very soon. The episode was an hour and 20 minutes (with commercials), but it did seem really long. Mostly talk, and and interesting camera angles. All of which are plusses, but not when it feels a little too long.

Better Call Saul - "Uno"

Easter Eggs:

Cinnabon Manager Gene: The cold-open shows Gene, the manager of a Cinnabon in quaint Omaha, Nebraska. This was a nod to the fact that when Saul Goodman (aka Jimmy McGill, aka Gene) leaves Albuquerque when shit hits the fan with Walter White, he would go manage a Cinnabon.

Better Call Saul: The videos that Gene watches after his day at work are his old “Better Call Saul” commercials that aired in Albuquerque, NM. These were the same ads featured through the series, Breaking Bad.

Mike Ehrmantraut, Parking Police: The man who demands more parking stickers from Jimmy at the courthouse is Mike Ehermantraut. Breaking Bad fans will know him as the most bad-ass cop from Philadelphia. He will become an asset to Jimmy becoming a “criminal lawyer”, it is just going to take some time.

Loyola’s Café on Central: Loyola’s is in fact a café on Central in Albuquerque. Central also happens to be Route 66. You can check out there eats here. Additionally, this is the same spot that Mike likes to eat. In Breaking Bad season 4, “Cornered,” Jesse and Mike eat in the café. Mike also visits in season 5, “Madrigal.”

Freakin’ Tuco: The grandma who gets scammed by the skateboarding brothers has a grandson who she knows will help her after “hitting” someone and driving off. When they knock on the door and demand money, they are met with a gun, and then freakin’ Tuco Salamanca. Tuco takes a liking to meth, violence and saying the word “tight” a lot.


The date: The date on Jimmy’s paycheck from the courthouse is May 13th, 2002. This puts us about five and a half years before he meets Walter White, and seven and half years before becoming Gene at Cinnabon.

Jimmy’s address: The address on Jimmy’s paycheck from the courthouse reads “160 Juan Tabo NE.” A street maps search pulls up this:

Better Call Saul - "Uno" - Jimmy's Law Office

Other than the Weinerschnitzel, you can see a sign for a Nail and Spa salon, where Jimmy’s “law office” is.

Suzuki Esteem: Breaking Bad had some iconic cars. Better Call Saul will likely be no different. Jimmy’s car make and model is a Suzuki Esteem. Jimmy is has a lot of self-esteem, but it’s a little battered, like the red colored door in the back.

The license plate numbers: Betsy Kettleman’s license plate number was 401-PND. Abuelita Salamanca’s license number was 493-BHS.

Music from the Episode:

The song played during the opening Cinnabon scene in tonight’s episode of Better Call Saul is called “Address Unknown” by the Ink Spots.

Hush Comics gives “Uno” an A- for giving Breaking Bad fans what they need and introducing new viewers to a series that is bound to be amazing.

All images belong to AMC.