Switch (Better Call Saul)
"Switch" is the second season premiere of the AMC television series Better Call Saul, the spinoff series of Breaking Bad. The episode aired on February 15, 2016 on AMC in the United States. Outside of the United States, the episode premiered on streaming service Netflix in several countries.
|Better Call Saul episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Thomas Schnauz|
|Written by||Thomas Schnauz|
|Original air date||February 15, 2016|
|Running time||47 minutes|
In a flash forward that follows the events of Breaking Bad, "Gene" manages a Cinnabon store in Omaha, Nebraska. When closing up for the night, he accidentally locks himself in the mall's dumpster room. He contemplates using an emergency exit, but doesn't because it would notify the police, who might recognize him. He is finally let out by a janitor nearly three hours later, but carved "SG WAS HERE" into the wall with a screw while he waited.
Jimmy declines Davis & Main's employment offer in Santa Fe, closes down his law practice, and uses a stolen credit card to vacation under an assumed name at a luxury hotel. Kim confronts Jimmy about his decision, but he's content since his reason for becoming a lawyer was to impress Chuck, who is not supportive. Jimmy convinces Kim to help him con an obnoxious businessman, Ken, into paying their expensive tequila bar tab by posing as a pair of inexperienced investors. Thrilled by the experience, Kim keeps the elaborate stopper from the tequila bottle as a souvenir, and spends the night with Jimmy, but it becomes clear that she does not want to participate in this behavior all the time. Jimmy takes the job with Davis & Main, and finds that benefits include an expensive company car as well as the cocobolo desk he always wanted. Jimmy notices a wall switch in his new office which has a note posted on it indicating that the switch should never be turned off. He turns it off, and waits a moment to see what happens. When nothing does, he turns it back on.
Mike refuses another job with Daniel Wormald ("Pryce"), who has spent some of his drug money on a flashy and expensive new Hummer that Mike believes will draw too much attention. Pryce believes he no longer needs Mike as a bodyguard and fires him, ignoring Mike's warnings that it is not wise to deal with Nacho alone. Nacho takes advantage of Mike's absence and obtains Pryce's address and real name from the papers in the Hummer's glove compartment. Pryce's house is ransacked and he calls the police, upset that his valuable baseball card collection has been stolen. The responding officers are suspicious about the nature of the burglary, as certain valuable items such as Pryce's computer and TV were left untouched. They are also suspicious of Pryce's Hummer. When they search inside his house, the officers find a hidden compartment in the wall behind Pryce's couch, apparently located and emptied by the burglar.
This episode was written and directed by executive producer Thomas Schnauz, who also wrote the episodes "Nacho" and "Pimento" of the previous season. Just like "Switch", "Pimento" was also directed by Schnauz. Despite being credited, Michael McKean as Chuck McGill does not appear. Kyle Bornheimer who plays Ken, reprises his guest role from the first-season Breaking Bad episode "Cancer Man".
Upon airing, the episode received 2.57 million American viewers, and an 18-49 rating of 1.1.
Including Live+3 viewership, the premiere was watched by 4.708 million viewers and attained an 18-49 rating of 2.1.
The episode received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the episode has a 94% rating with an average score of 8.1 out of 10 based on 17 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "'Switch' succeeds in taking its sweet time while laying nuanced groundwork for the anticipated transition from Jimmy into Saul."
Terri Schwartz of IGN gave the episode an 8.5 rating, concluding, "'Switch' marks a solid return for Better Call Saul as we begin to see the 'how' of Jimmy's transition into Saul Goodman be explored." The Telegraph note how "it was obviously a hoot to resume acquaintances with Jimmy, Kim and Mike". The A.V. Club gave the episode a B+.
- Sepinwall, Alan (February 15, 2016). "Season premiere review: 'Better Call Saul' - 'Switch': Ken Wins loses again". HitFix. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- Fienberg, Daniel (February 15, 2016). "'Better Call Saul' Writer-Director on Surprise 'Breaking Bad' Return and What's Next". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 19, 2016.
- Welch, Alex (February 17, 2016). "Monday cable ratings: 'WWE Raw' stays steady, 'Better Call Saul' premieres low". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Porter, Rick (February 28, 2016). "Cable Live +3 ratings, Feb. 15-21: 'Better Call Saul' premiere moves up the charts". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- "Switch". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
- Schwartz, Terri (February 15, 2016). "Better Call Saul: "Switch" Review". IGN. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- Power, Ed (February 15, 2016). "Better Call Saul, season 2, episode 1: Switch was a 'hoot' and 6 other things we learned". The Telegraph. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- Bowman, Donna (February 15, 2016). "Jimmy reads, disobeys the signs in the Better Call Saul premiere". The A.V. Club. Retrieved February 16, 2016.