Marco (Better Call Saul)
"Marco" is the first season finale episode of the AMC television series Better Call Saul, the spinoff series of Breaking Bad. The tenth and final episode of the first season, the episode aired on April 6, 2015 on AMC in the United States.
|Better Call Saul episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1|
|Directed by||Peter Gould|
|Written by||Peter Gould|
|Original air date||April 6, 2015|
|Running time||49 minutes|
In a flashback, Jimmy has been released from jail with Chuck's help. He goes to a favorite bar in his hometown of Cicero, Illinois to say goodbye to Marco, his friend and partner in crime. Jimmy has agreed to Chuck's demand that he move to Albuquerque to live an honest life and give up his cons, which disappoints Marco.
Jimmy hands the Sandpiper Crossing case over to HHM and reveals that he figured out Chuck's involvement in hindering his career. Howard apologizes for his involvement and gives Jimmy his $20,000 of counsel fee. Jimmy requests that Howard take over caring for Chuck, including buying his groceries and daily newspapers, and Howard is impressed with the amount of time and effort Jimmy has devoted to Chuck's well-being.
Jimmy hosts bingo at the local senior center. After an improbable string of numbers beginning with the letter "B" are drawn at the start of a game, he fixates on words beginning with that letter which remind him of Chuck, including "betrayal" and "brother". Jimmy breaks down and rants about taking revenge against Chet, who "may have" owed him money or cheated with his wife, by defecating through the sunroof of Chet's car (a move he calls the "Chicago Sunroof") without realizing Chet's children were in the backseat. Since Chet had connections to law enforcement officials, he had the District Attorney file charges for indecent exposure, which could force Jimmy to register as a sex offender if he's convicted. Chuck managed to have the charges dropped, but Jimmy attributes his current situation to that event. He quits hosting and storms out.
After returning to Cicero, Jimmy reunites with Marco. They run a scam on an unsuspecting businessman, which involves the sale of a "rare, valuable JFK half-dollar". Jimmy and Marco spend several days running cons. At the end of the week, Jimmy has multiple messages from his elderly clients asking where he is. Jimmy explains to Marco that he is a budding elder law attorney, and that he must return to Albuquerque to see to his clients. Marco is envious that Jimmy has a legitimate career, pointing out that he has a dead end job thanks to his brother in law and nothing to live for but his cons. Marco convinces Jimmy to stay for one last con, to which Jimmy reluctantly agrees. While running the "fake Rolex" scam, Marco suffers a heart attack and collapses. Jimmy rushes to his aid, and before dying Marco thanks Jimmy for providing the greatest week of his life. Jimmy inherits Marco's pinky ring, which he begins to wear even though it's too big, and which Saul Goodman wears throughout the events of Breaking Bad.
Kim calls Jimmy to report that the Sandpiper case has grown too big for HHM to handle, requiring them to partner with Davis & Main, a Santa Fe firm. Because of his detailed knowledge of the case and rapport with the clients, D&M is interested in hiring Jimmy as an associate and placing him on track to become a partner. Jimmy arranges to meet his prospective employer at the courthouse, but as he walks through the parking lot, he looks at Marco's pinky ring and stops. As he's about to drive away, he stops at the attendant's booth and asks Mike why they didn't keep the $1.6 million they took from the Kettlemans. Mike recalls Jimmy didn't take the money because he wanted to do the "right thing", and says he didn't take it because he was "hired to do a job and he did it." Jimmy assures Mike he will not make the same mistake again, and drives off while humming "Smoke on the Water", the same song Marco was humming just before he died.
According to Gould, all the scams depicted in the episode are based on real-life cases.
Upon airing, the episode received 2.53 million American viewers, and an 18-49 rating of 1.2; including Live+7 ratings, the finale was watched by 5.76 million viewers, and had a 2.8 18-49 rating overall.
The episode received a highly positive reception from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, based on 22 reviews, it received an 86% approval rating with an average score of 8.6 out of 10. The site's consensus reads, "The investment into Better Call Saul's first season pays off with a finale that is at once comic and tragic, as Jimmy's conversion to Saul nears completion."
Roth Cornet of IGN gave the episode a 9.0 rating, concluding, "Better Call Saul gave us an exemplary first season of television. The finale brought us to the moment where Jimmy made the decision to abandon his attempt to walk a righteous path and, instead, give over to his baser drives and desires. A more open-ended conclusion may have felt more emotionally impactful. On the whole, though, this was a gorgeously designed and executed episode; one that leaves enough room for – what we hope will be - an equally extraordinary second season." The Telegraph rated the episode 4 out of 5 stars.
- Couch, Aaron (April 7, 2015). "'Better Call Saul' Boss on Jimmy's Next Move, Future 'Breaking Bad' Tie-ins". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 10, 2015.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (April 7, 2015). "Monday Cable Ratings: 'Monday Night Raw' Tops Night + 'Love & Hip Hop', 'Better Call Saul', 'Black Ink Crew' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
- Bibel, Sara (April 27, 2015). "'Better Call Saul' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains, 'Salem' Tops Percentage Increases in Live +7 Cable Ratings for Week 29 Ending April 12". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
- "Marco". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
- Cornet, Roth (April 6, 2015). "Better Call Saul: "Marco" Review". IGN. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
- Power, Ed (April 7, 2015). "Better Call Saul: Marco, episode 10, review: 'a dark conclusion'". The Telegraph. Retrieved April 7, 2015.