RICO (Better Call Saul)
|Better Call Saul episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Colin Bucksey|
|Written by||Gordon Smith|
|Original air date||March 23, 2015|
|Running time||47 minutes|
"RICO" is the eighth episode of the first season of the AMC television series Better Call Saul, the spinoff series of Breaking Bad. The episode aired on March 23, 2015 on AMC in the United States. It is named after the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
In a flashback, Jimmy works as a mail clerk for Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. He receives notice that he has passed the state bar exam and reports the good news to Chuck. He hopes to be hired by the firm as an attorney, but Chuck hesitantly replies that the hiring must first be cleared by the other partners. During an office celebration, Howard tells Jimmy that the firm will not hire him immediately, and says the partners will re-examine Jimmy's application in six months.
Jimmy grows suspicious when a client mentions her nursing home, Sandpiper Crossing, controls her pension and Social Security payments by giving her a $500 monthly allowance, deducting fees, and putting the rest in savings. Upon reviewing her invoices, Jimmy's suspicions grow and he begins collecting invoices from other residents. Jimmy and Chuck analyze the documents and find evidence of Sandpiper Crossing systematically overcharging residents, making the company guilty of fraud. Chuck suggests there are grounds for a class action lawsuit, and encourages Jimmy to continue looking for evidence.
Jimmy is turned away at Sandpiper Crossing's front desk. He can hear that papers are being shredded in the nearby office and goes to a bathroom to hastily write a demand letter on toilet paper, which informs Sandpiper Crossing to cease document destruction. He hands the letter to a manager as he's being escorted from the premises, and then rummages through a dumpster hoping to find more evidence. He finds plastic bags containing the shredded paperwork, which Chuck and Jimmy sort through and piece together to recover an incriminating document. With a solid case against Sandpiper Crossing, Chuck decides to become Jimmy's co-counsel in the case, and Sandpiper Crossing's attorneys agree to a meeting.
Mike babysits Kaylee for the day. When Stacey returns from work, she asks Mike what to do with the bribe money Matt hid in her suitcase. Mike tells her she should use it for herself and her daughter so some good can come of it. Stacey tells Mike that even if she uses it, she still doesn't have enough to cover living expenses for Kaylee and herself. Mike returns to Dr. Caldera to follow up on his previous offer of illegal work. He gives Kaylee the dog he used as cover for his visit to Caldera, and promises Stacey he'll cover the costs of keeping it.
Sandpiper Crossing's attorneys deny the company is defrauding residents, but concede some were overcharged. The company offers $100,000 to compensate them, but Jimmy presents evidence that Sandpiper Crossing engages in illicit interstate commerce, which makes them eligible for a RICO case. Chuck demands Sandpiper Crossing pay $20 million to settle, which their attorneys refuse. As Chuck and Jimmy prepare to take the case to court, an exhausted Jimmy leaves some paperwork in his car. Preoccupied with his work, Chuck casually leaves his house to retrieve the documents, with none of the usual precautions he takes because of his electromagnetic hypersensitivity. Chuck drops the paperwork, and Chuck and Jimmy stare at each other in amazement as they realize Chuck has gone outside without regard for the symptoms of his illness, but suffered no ill effects.
Upon airing, the episode received 2.87 million American viewers, and an 18-49 rating of 1.3.
The episode received generally positive reception from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, based on 19 reviews, it received a 95% approval rating with an average score of 7.7 out of 10. The site's consensus reads, ""RICO" introduces an intriguing fraud case while providing insightful backstory to Jimmy's unlikely beginnings as a lawyer." Roth Cornet of IGN gave the episode a 8.8 rating, concluding, "With “RICO”, Better Call Saul lays the foundation for the circumstances that will likely transform sweet(ish) Jimmy McGill into the hardened Saul Goodman." The Telegraph rated the episode 4 out of 5 stars.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (March 24, 2015). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Monday Night RAW' Tops Night + 'Love & Hop-Hop', 'Better Call Saul', 'Teen Mom' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
- "RICO". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
- Cornet, Roth (March 23, 2015). "Better Call Saul: "RICO" Review". IGN. Retrieved March 23, 2015.
- Power, Ed (March 24, 2015). "Better Call Saul: Rico, episode 8, review: 'satisfyingly conventional'". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 24, 2015.