Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 1, “Magic Man” kicks off the fifth installment in its usual, satisfying style with the formal introduction of Saul Goodman.
This recap of Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 1, “Magic Man” contains spoilers and information of how it ended.
We are back folks. In my opinion, Better Call Saul is not spoken about enough in the “greatest of all time” category. I’m wholly convinced at this point that it is raising itself above Breaking Bad in a number of ways.
Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 1, “Magic Man” kicks off proceedings in the future, with a greyed-out tone, showing Saul in his new life, with his new identity. He heads to his old place, finds some hidden diamonds and changes his license plate. He is still extremely paranoid. While on his break at work, two men approach him and one of them says that they are a fan. A man named Jeff wants him to admit that he is Saul Goodman. Saul has to pathetically and quietly do his slogan, with the police nearby.
A panicked Saul rings the hoover man to change his identity again, and after learning that it is double the price, he changes his mind — Saul will sort out the situation himself.
I enjoy the fact that Better Call Saul continues to give us a story post-Breaking Bad.
Season 5, Episode 1, “Magic Man” finally makes it official — Jimmy changes his name to Saul Goodman by deed poll. So from now on, we will always refer to the lead character as Saul. Kim is still unsure of the change, and clearly does not like the changes, but Saul keeps using his salesman-like tactics to win her over. But for how long will Kim stay around?
“Magic Man” continues to show us Lalo’s dabblings into Gus’s business — he wants to know who Werner Ziegler is, the construction worker who was killed in Season 4. Lalo checks out the product on the street and realises there has been an alteration. Lalo is on to Gus.
Lalo checks out the chicken farm to meet Gus and Bolsa. Guss explains the altering of the products; he tells Lalo about the construction engineer Werner Ziegler, how he knew about his regime, which forced his hand to swap the product. Gus apologises but Lalo asks about the construction project. Gus shows him a new warehouse — a large chiller.
We all know this was a cover to the project under the laundrette.
Soon after Lalo’s investigation, where he is told to stand down and keep proceedings friendly with Gus, Michael briefs the real construction workers; he gives them their full wages and a journey home despite the project being half complete. This was a wonderful scene, as you can tell the workers suspect that Werner Ziegler was killed and the strain in their body language was clear. Michael briefs Gus and believes no-one will talk. Gus states that as long as Lalo Salamanca is on this side of the border they cannot continue; once Lalo is dealt with, the construction will resume.
Gus then offers to pay Michael until that day in the form of a retainer. Gus explains that Ziegler’s wife has been compensated and the attorney noted the reason for death as a “construction incident”. Michael is still emotional about Werner Ziegler and gives Gus a stern long look before telling him to keep his retainer and walking off.
As we approach the end to a great episode, Saul tells Kim how he has a promotional plan in place to encourage criminals to use him for his services. Kim attempts to raise the fact that Saul is selling himself short, but Saul insists he doesn’t want to go back to Jimmy McGill.
As Season 4 confirmed, Saul was tired of living under his brother’s shadow, and his new alter ego is the product of that.
Saul starts selling his phones again, pre-programmed with a speed dial that goes straight to his business. He also starts recording his advertisements while in court.
Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 1, “Magic Man” ends with Kim telling her client Bobby that going to trial would be a mistake and that five months is a very good deal. Bobby is confident for a trial which irritates Kim. She goes to Saul about it and he devises a plan where he acts like he is from the DA’s office who is going to make an example out of Bobby. He purposefully shouts his ideas loud, despite Kim telling him to stop. When Saul leaves, Kim goes along with it and tells Bobby that the ‘5-month deal’ is off the table. Bobby panics and asks Kim to do all she can to get the deal back. The last scene shows Kim in the stairwell looking frustrated — I believe she does not like who she is becoming because of Saul.
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Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.