Better Call Saul: ‘Gloves Off’ Review

Better Call Saul 'Black & Blue & Mr. Magoo'

Better Call Saul removed the gloves for Gloves Off with Mike taking most of the beating at the hands of Tuco but the payoff was pure gold. There was really only two stories to follow for this one. The first story revolved around Jimmy and the aftermath of his amazing legal advertisement to attract new clients for the Sandpiper case. The second focused on Mike who was hired by Nacho to take out Tuco and, clearly, the latter did not disappoint.

Jimmy and Kimmy were both in hot water with their respective law firms because working in the legal industry totally blows. You would think that taking initiative by making an advertisement that INCREASES client retention would put you in the good books but, unfortunately, it’s ass backwards in the legal industry where all of the partners enjoy jacking off their ego’s and undermining good ideas. If you’re a lawyer…I’m sorry. I really hope things get better for you.

But hey, there is hope because you could always be like Mike! Or should I say Mr. Magoo? What’s not to like about this guy or his entire plan to remove Tuco from the picture. Instead of committing murder, Mike decides to take a clever approach that really only involved pretending he was a senile old man. It was classic Breaking Bad on Better Call Saul and I couldn’t help but smile as those cop cars rolled up to arrest Tuco.

Now, let’s grab some tacos because it’s going to be a late night of document review. Enjoy the review and remember, it’s s’all good, man!

The Document Review Doghouse 

We pick up where things left off last episode with Jimmy having a meeting with the partners regarding his amazing commercial to attract the senior market. I have to admire Jimmy’s initiative here but his partners don’t seem to agree since apparently taking initiative is frowned upon in law firms, especially if you don’t consult with all of the douchey partners. Clearly, the egos in this room are so fucking big it would have been impossible for Jimmy to convince them this advertisement was a great idea. Since when are lawyers team players? If you guessed never you would be absolutely correct which is why this entire scene made me laugh.

Meanwhile, Kim has also found herself in the doghouse with Howard after she failed to tell anyone about Jimmy’s commercial. It’s times like these I am reminded of why being a lawyer totally sucks balls.

The Principals Office of the real world

Jimmy heads over to the offices of HHM to find Kim and she’s stuck in the law library doing document review, which is quite possibly the worst thing ever.

“Document review totally blows.”

She’s also super pissed with Jimmy since he’s the reason she’s in this mess. Jimmy doesn’t quite understand how her law firm can get her in trouble for something that he did AT ANOTHER LAW FIRM and he’s not wrong by saying that but, unfortunately for Kim, lawyers tend to only care about one thing: themselves. Sadly, Kim is going to have to suck it up whether she deserved this or not.

After visiting Kim, Jimmy heads to his brother Chucks to get some answers and, as usual, Chuck clearly belongs in a mental asylum:

It Came From Outerspace

Chuck’s having all kinds of mental problems and, lucky for him, he has a good brother to take care of him. Jimmy, however, is really only there to find out why HHM is being a dick to Kim. Chuck denies any involvement in this particular incident and explains that Howard is the one making all of the decisions. Jimmy calls him out on his bullshit and wants to know whether Howard is making all of his decisions with Chuck sitting on his knee with his hand up his ass. That said, Chuck has a point when he says that Kim should have been looking out for her own law firm with regards to Jimmy’s commercial. Office politics totally blow, especially when lawyers are involved. 

I honestly still have no idea why everyone is making a big deal over this commercial. It’s like everyone is panicking over something that appears to have had only positive results in the form of new clients. I somewhat understand Davis & Main’s concern over Jimmy not consulting them about the commercial but they probably shouldn’t blow this out of proportion just yet considering the advertisement is helping them retain new clients in the Sandpiper case.

All Jimmy wants to do is make things right for Kim and tries to make Chuck a deal, offering to quit the law if he’ll help Kim out. Of course, Chuck is not too keen on committing a felony to help Jimmy out and refuses his offer.

"Extort me."

I don’t know too many people who actually want to be extorted but I do admire Jimmy’s willingness to make sacrifices for his one true love. Plus, this is the ideal choice since being in the legal industry is worse than falling crotch-first on top of a cactus. Going forward, it should be interesting to see if Jimmy is able to maintain a career with Davis & Main but as we all know, this will likely not last very long since Jimmy will need to make his transformation into Saul Goodman. How this will all play out is anyone’s guess but I have a feeling that Mike ‘Mr. Magoo’ Ehrmantraut will be involved in some way.

Better Call Mike

Everything that happened with Mike (aka Mr. Magoo) was easily the highlight of the episode and his showdown with Tuco was both hilarious and suspenseful, the perfect combination. Mike is hangin’ with his new friend Nacho and they’re making a plan of attack on Tuco Salamanca, the craziest motherfucker in New Mexico. Mike thinks this entire plan is a terrible idea and I was actually quite surprised that Nacho wants to take out his business partner. Like Mike said, that is a bell you don’t unring. Still, Nacho makes a good argument since Tuco is a psychopath who was responsible for blowing some guy named Dog’s brains out, leading to Nacho getting a piece of human skull stuck inside of his skin. A constant reminder of the fact that Tuco is on board the crazy train.

After hearing Nacho’s story, Mike decides to help for $50K and heads to his local arms dealer to pick up some artillery. His arms dealer is better at customer service than most real companies and, even after Mike has a change of heart, the dealer simply knows where he can find him if he ever changes his mind.

Customer Service

Mike meets with Nacho again and tells him he has changed his mind due to the fact that it’s a totally bad move. Mike informs Nacho that a dead Tuco will attract his entire cartel which would likely turn Nacho into a plate of nachos and the better move here would be to rat out Tuco to the feds. This would also be a terrible idea for Nacho but luckily for all of us, Mike has the greatest plan ever which involves Tuco going to prison and Nacho not having to snitch on anyone. Yup, Mike is a fucking genius.

I absolutely loved watching the final scene and it brought back many reminders of why the original Breaking Bad was such an amazing and clever series. Mike is obviously insanely smart and his most recent plan illustrates this to perfection. To think that all he had to do was pretend he was Mr. Magoo and take a mildly severe beating from Tuco to solve Nacho’s problem was sheer brilliance.

Mike rolls up to the taco place but not before he makes a quick call to the police to let them know some kind of gang thing is taking place. Immediately after placing this phone call, Mike purposely hits Tuco’s car in the parking lot and proceeds to purchase some tacos, ignoring everything Tuco has to say. Tuco is super pissed about his car though and he confronts Mike while he’s ordering, calling him Mr. Magoo in the process. The resemblance is quite uncanny.

Mr. Magoo

Just like Mr. Magoo, Mike pretends that he has no idea what the fuck is going on, takes his food and walks away knowing full well that Tuco is going to go ballistic. Tuco wants Mr. Magoo to make things right with his car so Mike decides that the best way to handle this is to exchange insurance providers. Tuco is clearly not the kind of guy that goes through insurance and instead demands Mike give him some cash, having seen a deck of bills in his wallet (which Mike wanted him to see). As you can see, this plan was pure amazeballs in every way.

Tuco finally decides to get violent with Mr. Magoo and he starts by taking his keys and showing off his piece which is exactly what Mike wanted to happen. He finally pulls out his wallet so Tuco can take what he needs but Mike isn’t quite done here. He grabs a hold of the boxing glove chain around Tuco’s neck (the same good luck charm we see in the opening scene) causing Tuco to completely lose his cool. Naturally, Tuco starts repeatedly punching the old man in the face until the police arrive. In this particular case though, I think it’s safe to say that I don’t want to be like Mike.

Be Like Mike

Or maybe I do because Mike is now $25,000 richer. Even though he ended up getting his ass kicked by Tuco, Mike won’t even have to testify since the cops witnessed the whole thing and it looks like Tuco is going to prison for 5-10 years. I think it is also safe to say that we can add this to the list of amazingly awesome and intelligent plans this series has executed. I’m all for cleverness and using smarts to outwit, outlast and outplay Tuco was the perfect way to get my attention.

The Verdict

Episode Score: MIKEY LIKES MIKE
Mikey Likes It

Gloves Off was the exact reason why I love this series and its predecessor Breaking Bad. Mike’s plan was the perfect example of why brains are always better than brawn and he pulled it off to perfection even though his face was a little black and blue when it was all said and done. With Tuco behind bars, Nacho is now free to do whatever the fuck he wants and we all know what fate awaits Tuco once he’s out of prison, right Breaking Bad fans?! 

Jimmy definitely took a backseat for this one as not too much happened with him and Kim in the aftermath of his advertisement which aired last week. Obviously Jimmy has found a way to increase business but because he has to deal with lawyers all day long, they naturally don’t like to be outsmarted. Even Kim found herself in timeout for not telling her douchey boss about the commercial. Yup, I definitely have no regrets from quitting the law and, if you’re a lawyer, you might want to consider doing the same. Law is literally a place where creativity goes to die which is why these legal TV dramas are so much better than the real thing.

Gloves Off was hands down the best episode of the season so far and totally reminded me of Walter White when he applied his chemistry knowledge to get himself out of pretty much every bad situation he found himself in. It’s really no wonder Walt and Mike were able to work together and I’m super glad we were able to catch a glimpse of Mike before he finds himself with Gus and Los Pollos Hermanos.

So what did everyone think of Gloves Off? Are you already coming up with a scheme of your own to outsmart everyone around you? Or did this episode make you want to get punched in the face just like Mike? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading, fellow legal eagles!

Be sure to follow Mikey on Twitter and/or Facebook for all the latest reviews, memes and gifs from all of your favorite episodes of Better Call Saul and more.