{TB Talks TV} Better Call Saul Review: “Hero”

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Tweetable Takeaway: The worm has turned for Jimmy in this week’s Better Call Saul. It’s all good man.

Airtime: Mondays at 10pm on .

By: Jeff Iblings, Contributor

It’s all good man! Jimmy begins to diverge into Saul Goodman territory in this week’s installment of . We know a few things about what Jimmy was like before he moved to New Mexico to become a lawyer. The nice thing is we get more and more glimpses of a younger Jimmy and the shenanigans he’s up to in each new episode.

Tonight we see Jimmy the scammer. You have to put it to the man, he has a way of orchestrating an elaborate ruse like no one else. It’s his gift for gab mixed with his tenacious knack of being able to see all of the angles. In Cicero, he and a crony rip off out of towners with a fake Rolex swindle. It’s funny, and works like a charm. When his co-conspirator gushes about loving to watch him work, Jimmy says, “It’s good for making beer money, that’s about all.” Tonight we get to see what happens when Jimmy uses it for bigger things.

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So far, everything in the series has been about Jimmy’s internal conflict. He’s the screw up, scam artist, and just scraping by brother of a partner in a prestigious law firm. Sure Chuck is nuttier than hell, but still, he’s gotten Jimmy out of a pretty big jam in the past and his expectations of good things for Jimmy mixed with his approval are very important to the younger McGill.

While he tries to walk the straight and narrow, the battle between his true nature and the desire to be like his brother is interesting to watch. Right now, he’s shut up in a nail salon, living in a tiny room like a monk in a monastery. It’s almost as if he has secluded himself from the outside world to avoid temptation. Even though he’s tried to remove himself from these influences, they still come searching him out.

We’ve already seen what happens when he deviates from Chuck’s expectations. The shit hits the fan. His ruse with the twins, the near miss with Tuco, and now the threat of Nacho hangs over his head and adds up to a trouble he can’t avoid. When the Kettelman’s offer him a bribe to not tell anyone he found them with the embezzled money, you know Jimmy won’t be able to last much longer.

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The difference between Jimmy and the usual con artist, is that Jimmy knows how to sell it. He can make the dirty money he took from the Kettelman’s look clean, but he’s no better than the Kettelman’s. They think all of the money they took was owed them for the husband’s hard work, his unpaid overtime, and working during holidays. They’ve deluded themselves. Jimmy does the same thing with the same money, when he proclaims to himself “upon this rock, I will build my church.” He’s given up on becoming what his brother expects and instead recognizes himself for what he is and will always be, Slippin’ Jimmy.

You have to hand it to him, he’s a master manipulator. The way he worked the billboard to both piss off Hamlin and maximize it’s viewership potential with the staged rescue and the billboard as a backdrop, is a work of fucking genius. He’s done it, he’s on his way to being the slippery and successful lawyer we know him as in Breaking Bad. Hell, there’s even a shot in the tailor shop where he sees a bright orange dress shirt on the wall. It pulls him in like a magnet. It’s gaudy and flashy, like the type of lawyer Jimmy is going to be.

He tries to class himself up with an expensive suit that’s the mirror image of Hamlin, but he’ll never be the kind of lawyer people will look up to. Mrs. Kettelman said it herself, “You’re the kind of lawyer guilty people hire.” He may have it in him, but he’s made his choice. The only thing keeping him from embracing his destiny is the disappointed voice in the back of his head that sounds like his brother Chuck. Unfortunately for Jimmy, he won’t be able to hide it from Chuck forever.

Courtesy AMC Television

More thoughts:

  • The scene with Chuck running outside under the astronaut blanket was hilarious. I loved the dueling POV’s of Chuck’s experience with the electromagnetism versus the woman watching him steal her paper.
  • The fact that Kim is secretly rooting for Jimmy over her own boss is pretty heartwarming. Jimmy may seem like a really lonely person, but he has a real connection with Kim.
  • “The worm has turned”. Jimmy has certainly decided he’s no longer able to continue with his passive existence as a public defender. With the backing of the Kettelman bribe, he now has the confidence to go after what he wants. Sure it will likely not all be good fortune, but that’s what makes watching this show fun.

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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 of Jeff’s Better Call Saul reviews here.
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