{TB Talks TV} Better Call Saul Review: “Alpine Shepherd Boy”

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Tweetable Takeaway: Jimmy has to run to Chuck’s rescue in #BetterCallSaul.

Airtime: Mondays at 10pm on .

By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

Chuck has a strong hold on Jimmy’s conscious in this week’s . We still don’t know what kind of a jam Chuck got Jimmy out of in the past, but somewhere along the line Jimmy made Chuck one hell of a binding promise. It’s the kind of promise that’s loaded with guilt. Every time Jimmy is about to be himself, and break out of the constrictive and monastic life he’s carved out for himself in Albuquerque, guilt sets him back on the straight and narrow.

Before Jimmy can go full Saul Goodman, either Chuck is going to become a full blown basket case living in a mental institute, or he’s going to die. The only way the burden of guilt will be lifted off of Jimmy’s shoulders is if he no longer has to atone with Chuck for his actions.

Everything Jimmy does is in the grey area of wrong and right. He does his best work in these margins of life. His gift for gab always seems to work out, and he has the ability to talk himself into and out of anything. The problem is his fake billboard heroics haven’t drummed up the kind of clients he was hoping for.

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It makes for funny moments as he goes from meeting to meeting. The first person is a wealthy libertarian nut that wants to break away from the United States and turn his 11,000-acre ranch into a separate country called The Sovereign Sandia Republic. It sounds like an easy $500,000 payday, until he tries to pay Jimmy with fake money he’s already printed for his country.

The second, and my favorite client, has made a toilet that says really sexually charged things to kids every time they poop in it. It isn’t until his final client meeting with an old lady making a will mainly filled figurine assignations, that Jimmy falls into his new business … Elder Law.

He maybe wouldn’t fall into this line of work if it were not for Chuck stealing his neighbors newspaper, being mistaken for a tweaker, being arrested, and then slipping into a coma from all of the electromagnetism he’s subjected to. There’s a nice little scene in the hospital where a doctor played by Clea Duvall proves to Jimmy that Chuck’s problems are psychological and not physical by turning on an electrical device while Chuck is distracted.

Jimmy has a sneaking suspicion that all of the crap that’s happened to Chuck in the last 24 hours is his fault. If he hadn’t hidden the paper from Chuck, perhaps he wouldn’t have stolen the neighbors paper and ended up in the hospital. If he hadn’t pulled the stunt with the billboard, he never would have had anything to be ashamed about to hide the paper from Chuck in the first place. He’s afraid of Chuck’s judgment, and doesn’t want him to think Slipping Jimmy is back. The guilt kicks in.

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This leads to what I assume is Jimmy’s short-lived foray into Elder Law. Once again, Jimmy takes on the persona of another lawyer to get work, and this time it’s Matlock. He copies Matlock’s look and persona to win over the resident’s of a retirement home. “Need a will? Call McGill” is the slogan on the bottom of all of the Jell-O cups he hands out. It’s a funny turn of events, but something tells me it won’t last. Whenever Jimmy tries to go legit, something always tugs at him and pulls him back to his true scam artist nature.

For the first time in the series, we get to see a little more of Mike’s life, than as just a parking lot attendant. After his overnight shift, he stakes out a woman’s house who I assume is his estranged daughter. I’m guessing the only reason he left Philadelphia for New Mexico was to follow her out there. Based on the look the two exchange, it seems like she’s afraid of him. Trouble has followed Mike to New Mexico as well. Some old colleagues from the Philadelphia Police Department come knocking on his door. The show ends ambiguously, but I’m guessing something he did as a policeman has come back to haunt him.

More thoughts:

    • Kim and Jimmy seem to have a closer and closer relationship, with plenty of flirting involved. Does something bad happen to her before the events of Breaking Bad occur, or does she escape it all and move away?
    • There are shots in the show that are breathtakingly beautiful. Mike in the diner reminded me of a Hopper painting.

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  • I love the use of the theme song from The Third Man while Jimmy has on his Matlock persona at the rest home.
  • Since Jimmy has just given Mike his business card before the cops show up, will Jimmy get Mike out of a big jam and solidify their relationship?

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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

Keep up with all Jeff’s Better Call Saul reviews here.
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