Better Call Saul season 5, episode 8 recap: Bagman

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome Vince Gilligan back to the fold for Better Call Saul.

Better Call Saul had Vince Gilligan behind the lens this week–and I loved it. It’s always a wonderful thing when this show and its predecessor join forces in more ways than one. Honestly, it’s very rare that shows and their spinoffs can co-exist in this manner without stepping on each other’s toes. But Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad do it perfectly, even though the latter ended several years ago.

What I loved about this episode is that it brought Saul and Mike together after a very long time. We don’t get much screen time with these two characters, and this week’s episode, “Bagman”, does it perfectly and effortlessly.

The central focus of the episode is acquiring Lalo Salamanca’s bail money–you know, the $7 million? Well, Lalo wants Jimmy to get it, and it requires him to drive out to the middle of the desert to get it from the Salamanca twins.

It sounds rather dangerous, and had we not known that Jimmy lives way past this moment in time, I would assume it’d be where he dies. But in any case, he agrees to take on the task, as long as he gets paid $100,000 for doing it. Kimmy isn’t too eager to let him go handle this on his own, but it doesn’t stop Jimmy from doing it anyway.

So begins what is a very twisty road taking Jimmy into the desert, getting the money, and then immediately being surrounded by another cartel demanding the money. It’s a pretty crappy, SOL situation for our dear Jimmy who is being threatened with guns and a very intimidating group of cartel thugs.

That is, until, shots are fired from the distance. Who the heck could that be, Better Call Saul fans? MIKE, that’s who! Yes, Mike saves the day, so to speak, and manages to get Jimmy out of a pretty dangerous situation. However, it’s not as simple as hopping into Jimmy’s car and getting out of there.

Better Call Saul

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill – Better Call Saul _ Season 5, Episode 8 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

His car is pretty much useless, and they have no service. Thus begins Mike and Jimmy trek through the desert–with $7 million of cash to drag along with them. Mike and Jimmy’s banter is absolutely hilarious throughout the episode, and it’s what I’ve missed about them the most.

Watching Jimmy hauling the money while Mike walks ahead as their navigator is exactly what I was here for. I even loved the touch of nostalgia inserted at some point in the episode when Mike pulls out the foil to keep himself warm through the night. It reminds Jimmy of his brother and the illness that overtook Chuck’s life.

It’s a somber reminder in what is quite the eventful episode which has Jimmy and Mike trying to avoid the car of thugs that got away during their scuffle. The desert is their protection from these folks finding them, and by the end of the episode–they do just that.

Jimmy uses the space blanket to get their attention, and just when they’re within reach, Mike shoots at them from a distance. It destroys the car they were driving in but at the very least, it takes them out of imminent danger.

What. an. episode.

Did you enjoy this episode of Better Call Saul? Comment below!