Airtime: Mondays at 10PM on AMC
Episode: Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)
Tweetable Takeaway: Jimmy pivots toward Saul in this week’s #BetterCallSaul
It’s finally happened on BETTER CALL SAUL, the moment we’ve all been waiting for, as Jimmy pivots toward the more colorful leanings of Saul Goodman, and his true nature.
We’ve had flashbacks on the show before, but none have gone as far back as the one that starts out this episode. We’re taken back in time to a young Jimmy McGill working in his father’s store. Jimmy watches his father get conned with a subpar story from a slick grifter that even a fool could tell was a crock of shit. Jimmy is disgusted his father could be such a dope, and he even tries to warn his dad about the scam, but to no avail. His father only sees the good in people, just like he’ll only see the good in Jimmy once he becomes no better than the grifter who just suckered his father out of ten dollars. The grifter tells Jimmy the world is filled with wolves and sheep, he just needs to figure out which one he is. Clearly Jimmy is a wolf, and it starts in anger by taking money out of his father’s till. Everything we see repudiates those naysayers who believed Chuck made up the story of Jimmy embezzling money from his father. It’s all true.
Mike is a proud man, and I don’t think he could change his story about Tuco’s gun without Jimmy by his side to do most of the talking. Mike is also a man of honor, so of course he’s going to hold up his end of the deal with Hector Salamanca, but it doesn’t mean he has to like it. In fact he seems pretty angry about the situation. Mike hates loose ends, and we know Hector and the twins are one huge loose end. Until he figures out how to tie it up, neither he nor his family are safe.
Mike’s moved his family to a new house, but now he needs to keep his own in order, and we see him staking out Hector’s headquarters. Knowing what we know about Mike’s past as a sniper in Vietnam, and seeing the spot he’s selected to watch Hector from, I really think Mike’s going to try and take Hector out. He’s not safe as it is, and Hector has the ability to make Mike’s life a living hell. I’m beginning to think the affliction Hector has in Breaking Bad is a result of something Mike does to him. There are three more episodes left in the season, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike’s vengeance is part of the finale.
I know I’ve talked before about montage’s in Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad, but tonight has another great one reminiscent of 60’s heist films ala Oceans Eleven. Jimmy is about to quit Davis and Main, but realizes if he does he’d have to pay back his entire bonus as a penalty. Instead he draws his inspiration from a colorful, inflatable dancing man/sky dancer balloon. Out come the colorful suits we know so well from Breaking Bad, and the bizarre behaviors intended to drive his co-workers nuts. If he can’t quit by god, he’s going to get himself fired.
The Montage gives us a hilarious view of the lengths Jimmy goes to ostracize himself from everyone but his assistant Omar at Davis and Main. The sequence is every bit as bright and colorful as Jimmy’s plan to get fired. There’s an endless line of garish suits, a juicer meant to make a lot of noise in the workplace, not flushing the toilets to save water after taking a crap, and best of all is the bagpipes. Cliff finally has enough and let’s Jimmy go, but he knows full well Jimmy did this so he could keep his signing bonus. I actually feel bad for Cliff, and I think Jimmy does too. He knows Cliff is a good guy who took a chance on him, it’s just that Jimmy doesn’t fit in with the stuffy atmosphere of the office. There’s a rare glimpse of regret on Jimmy’s face as he leaves Cliff’s office, but he moves back into his old office in the nail salon and is his own boss once again.
Jimmy has big dreams professionally and it includes Kim. We see it from an early scene in the episode where he doodles a logo that will turn out to be what he pitches Kim on: Wexler and McGill Partners in Law. Kim is flattered, but also worried about partnering with Jimmy. She’s about to get a huge offer from Schweikert and Coakley for a dream job, and she’s also seen Jimmy do some not so legit things when he practices law his way, which troubles her. He already almost derailed her career once, and she’s not too keen on taking a chance that may derail it again. He argues that Richard Coakley is just another Howard, but Kim turns him down anyway after Jimmy admits he’d practice law in the “colorful” manner he’s best at.
There’s a point in Kim’s meeting with Schweikert and Coakley when it seems like all of her dreams are coming true. She’s nailed the interview, they love her, she’s going to get the job, but as she thanks each partner individually, she accidentally calls Richard Schweikert “Howard”. The reality of the situation is that she’s changing one Howard for another. Sure she’d have more freedom with Schweikert and Coakley than she ever had at HHM, but she wouldn’t really control her own destiny. In the parking garage after the meeting, smoking a cigarette, she takes out the business card for Wexler and McGill Jimmy gave her and tears it in half. Inspiration has struck.
What if there were a way she and Jimmy could start their own practices, be their own bosses, but also keep her clear of any potential damage Jimmy’s colorful approach to law may draw. She pitches separate practices under one roof. They’d share expenses, and an office, but they’d each be free to practice law as they see fit. She’s all in as long as they can keep strict boundaries to safeguard against trouble. How long before his colorful law pushes her out of the picture?
For six months out of the year Jeff is holed up in his home with nothing to do but shovel snow, watch television, write, and dream of warmer climates. Twitter: @OfSoundnVision
Jeff Iblings | Contributor