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TV Review: Better Call Saul – Five-O

“Five-O” is the first episode of “Better Call Saul” that made me think that this show has the potential to be as good as “Breaking Bad.”

When I watched the first episode of “Better Call Saul,” I was upset that Mike Ehrmantraut was back in the cast because I wanted the show to focus on new characters, rather than ride the success of “Breaking Bad.” After watching tonight’s episode titled “Five-O,” I have eaten those words.

 

Jonathan Banks’s performance as Mike in this episode is hauntingly beautiful. In “Breaking Bad,” Mike was meant to be an old badass who was usually the smartest guy in the room. However, “Better Call Saul” has given Banks the opportunity to expand Mike’s character, and give him more depth. All of “Five-O” deals with Mike’s past with the law enforcement, and with his son’s tragic death. Jimmy is in the episode briefly, as Mike remains the main focus.

 

In the episode, the audience discovers that Mike’s son was also a cop, but his partners began accepting money from drug lords. His partners offer him money, but Mike’s son does not know what he should do. He talks with Mike to try and find some sort of consolation, but Mike reveals that when he was a cop, he was a dirty cop as well. Mike’s son ends up getting killed by his partners who get away with it. This does not sit well with Mike, so he kills both of his partners. Mike seems to get away with it, but when the cops from his precinct come to confront Mike, he hires Jimmy to defend him.

 

During the episode, Mike goes through an emotional breakdown, and loses his temper towards his family, which are both things his character never did on “Breaking Bad.” Not only were these scenes great development for Mike, but the really show Banks’s acting talent. While on “Breaking Bad,” Banks was nominated for a single Emmy, and Odenkirk was never nominated. “Better Call Saul” has given both of these actors ample screen time to show their stellar acting abilities to a point where both of them are deserving of Emmy wins this coming season.

“Five-O” is the best episode of “Better Call Saul” yet, and that is saying a lot since there has yet to be a bad episode. The episode serves as both fantastic character development for a character we no little about, and as a springboard for the rest of the season.