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Over the course of its six seasons, Better Call Saul has proven to be so consistently excellent that some have even suggested it rivals its predecessor, Breaking Bad. Whatever side of that debate you land on, though, it’s undeniable that Better Call Saul has produced many, many great episodes that entertain, whether you’re seeing them for the first time or re-watching them for the sixth. The episodes below are the cream of the crop, and represent the best of what this show can do at its peak, which some believe rivals even what Breaking Bad was capable of.
10. ‘Klick,’ Season 2, Episode 10
He is now a huge part of Better Call Saul, but Gus Fring did not make his return until season 3. In “Klick,” though, we get our first solid indication that Fring is coming. That may be the most exciting development in “Klick,” but the episode also features some masterful manipulation from Chuck, who convinces Jimmy to confess to tampering with the Mesa Verde documents and then records him. It’s a reminder that Chuck plays a crucial role in who Jimmy ultimately becomes, in part because he’s incapable of seeing his brother as anything but a low-life and a con man.
9. ‘Winner,’ Season 4, Episode 10
One of the darkest episodes in Jimmy’s story, “Winner” is focused on Jimmy’s attempt to get himself reinstated as a lawyer. He feigns grief over his brother’s death, and we do not even realize he’s faking until he breaks and laughs with Kim, who is clearly disturbed by how well he was able to convince the suspension committee. Mike, meanwhile, is dealing with Werner and Lalo, who is trying to figure out what Gus is up to at the laundromat. Ultimately, Gus decides that Werner must die, and Mike must kill a friend with whom he’s grown quite close.
8. ‘Plan and Execution,’ Season 6, Episode 7
Most of the first half of Better Call Saul‘s sixth season is spent building toward a single moment: one in which Jimmy and Kim finally execute their plan to end the Sandpiper case and take Howard Hamlin down a peg in the process. Their plan goes off basically without a hitch, at least until Lalo Salamanca shows up and reminds them that they are also involved with the cartel. We know where Jimmy is headed, and it seems clear that Howard’s death will be a huge part of that journey. The sheer shock of that moment, and its darkness, was a stark reminder of what Better Call Saul always was.
7. ‘JMM,’ Season 5, Episode 7
Jimmy spends much of season 5 on a collision course with the cartel, and “JMM” is the episode where he becomes a “friend of the cartel,” even if he does not realize it. When he’s called in as Lalo’s lawyer, Jimmy accepts the gig, and the episode culminates not with Jimmy getting Lalo out on bail, but with a confrontation between Jimmy and Howard Hamlin. Howard, realizing that Jimmy has been messing with him, revokes his offer to have Jimmy join HMM, and Jimmy responds by launching into a tirade, telling Howard that Jimmy as Saul is now associated with the kind of powerful people Howard could never dream of.
6. ‘Five-O,’ Season 1, Episode 6
Perhaps the most crucial episode in Mike’s story, Five-O is about what led Mike down the road he is now on. When cops begin to suspect that Mike may have killed his son’s former partners, Mike eventually confesses to his son’s widow that Mike played a crucial role in his son’s death. Jonathan Banks gets a chance to display Mike at his most vulnerable, and he does not waste it. In telling the story of the role he played in his son’s death, Banks proved that he was always one of this universe’s best actors, even if he rarely gets a chance to show his range.
5. ‘Something Unforgivable,’ Season 5, Episode 10
Season 5 concludes its incredibly strong run with an episode that leaves Nacho with no room to run and Jimmy and Kim facing a new dilemma about how to deal with the lingering Sandpiper case. This episode’s marquee sequence is undoubtedly the raid on Lalo’s apartment, and it’s as expertly directed as any great action movie. Elsewhere, though, we begin to see the moral balance between Jimmy and Kim shift, as Kim decides that they should do something to Howard that might allow them to close up the Sandpiper case and receive their payout.
4. ‘Lantern,’ Season 3, Episode 10
“Lantern” comes almost exactly in the middle of what will ultimately be Better Call Saul‘s run, and that makes a lot of sense given what happens in the episode. It starts with the fallout from Kim’s car crash, but it’s mostly focused on Chuck as his symptoms return and he tells Jimmy how little he thinks of him. The episode also goes out of its way to show us Jimmy being a good guy, allowing Irene to win her friends back at his own expense. When Chuck’s house finally goes up in smoke, it’s clear that Jimmy is about to go through a major turning point in his arc.
3. ‘Bad Choice Road,’ Season 5, Episode 9
Even as it chronicles the fallout of “Bagman,” “Bad Choice Road” also features a couple of scenes that will eventually go in the pantheon of great Better Call Saul scenes. The first comes when Mike explains that the choices we make set us on a road, and there’s no getting off that road once we’re on it. The second comes when Lalo enters Jimmy’s apartment with questions about exactly what went down in the desert. Kim steps up, eventually convincing Lalo to leave, although it’s clear he’s still not entirely satisfied with the information he’s received.
2. ‘Bagman,’ Season 5, Episode 8
Perhaps the boldest episode that Better Call Saul has produced to date, “Bagman” follows Jimmy and Mike after Jimmy is ambushed with $ 7 million in cash. After Jimmy’s car breaks down, the two must carry the cash across the desert to find shelter. It’s a harrowing episode to watch, but it’s also thrilling, and is a key moment where Jimmy becomes even closer to Gus and the cartel more generally. Mike also provides what could be a deeply telling warning to Jimmy, saying that if Kim knows about Jimmy’s work with Lalo, she’s “in the game” now just like he is.
1. ‘Chicanery,’ Season 3, Episode 5
The episode that, more than any other, defined what would happen to Jimmy. “Chicanery” is the moment when Jimmy realizes he needs to break his brother in order to survive as a lawyer. Jimmy definitively proves that Chuck’s EHS is a mental illness, and although Chuck catches on to Jimmy’s ruse, it’s clear that his ranting has made him seem mentally unwell. Jimmy ultimately survives in part because of the way Jimmy betrays Chuck, but the move has lasting consequences that will eventually push Jimmy further down his road toward Saul Goodman.