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Does Magicians Understand Ramifications for Assault Survivors?

Shailyn

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Content Warning: this review discusses spoilers, character death,  and themes of sexual assault as depicted on the show

Killing Reynard? Bringing Alice back to life? Everything we’ve been waiting for this season is happening in “Ramifications” (02×12). But, they just might massacre a character or two in order to do it. Figuratively. Also, literally.

Recap

So, with Alice’s Shade trapped in Julia’s big, soulless chesthole, she and Quentin travel to Antarctica to visit an old friend. Help me Obi-Wan Mayakovsky. You’re my only hope. He’s the only magician powerful enough to work the spell it would take to splice Niffin Alice back with her Shade. Guilt tripping the man about his indirect involvement in Alice’s death doesn’t hurt either. They get Niffin Alice into a cage, they do the hokey-pokey and they turn themselves about (not really), and then BOOM! Naked, but very much alive Alice is reborn! Also, she’s a grump. Apparently she’s peeved at Quentin for cutting her magical Niffin adventures short.

For the remainder of this episode, you shall see Alice darting about Mayakovsky’s halls, hunching over stacks of papers as though she were on to the next incandescent lightbulb.

Meanwhile, Penny and Sylvia are playing Mission: Impossible over at the Library of the Neitherlands. Sylvia found the back door to the Poison Room. Turns out its just another magic portal fountain somewhere in the Neitherlands.

Using Penny’s Traveller skills, they find it in a hop, skip, and a jump. Sylvia’s raring to jump in, but it’s not for the reason you think. Apparently, Sylvia stumbled onto a big secret the Librarians are trying to keep hush-hush. The books of anyone who is currently alive are all missing their last twenty pages. Their endings are missing, and the Librarians don’t know why. Just that whatever causes it, it’s coming. And soon.

With Eliot banished back to Earth and Margo running amok in fairyland trying to find Fen, Castle Whitespire has turned into stoner central. That’s right, with the Brakebills gang gone, that leaves Josh as the last remaining Child of Earth. Which makes him High King. Doesn’t take long for things to get real. Margo appears to Josh while he’s magically stoned and demands he get her the fuck out of fairyland.

One small catch. Prince S turns up, and he’s none to happy that his father’s disappeared without explanation. Doesn’t help to be told that his father’s actually just a rat now. The Lorians slit a bunch of guards’ throats, while Josh and the advisers run for cover. Guess Josh decides now is as good a time as ever, because he up and drinks the magic potion and poofs out of existence and into the fairy realm to save Margo and Fen. And leave his advisers to die, probably. Very heroic.

Now that Alice is taken care of, Julia and Kady reunite forces to take Reynard the fuck down. They have Senator Gaines (aka John) now on their side, but demigod though he may be, John’s going to need a bit of training before he can take on Reynard. His training montage gets, eh, a little cut short though. Upon returning to his office, he bumps into Reynard, who has a little gift for him. How pretty! It’s his wife’s ear.

Guess Reynard has known this whole time about John teaming up with the Brakebills gang. And yeah, this is more of a Se7en situation. What you see in the box is what you get. Devastated, John decides enough is enough. He’s not waiting any longer. He brainwashes Kady into killing him and performing a ritual that will harness his powers so she and Julia can use them to off Reynard. No pressure.

Meanwhile Eliot’s tracked down Quentin only to find out, whoops! Quentin and Julia traded in the Fillory button to the magic sewer dragon for tickets to the Underworld. Now they’re out of a ride back to Fillory. Only, not all hope may be lost. Magical sewer dragon lady said there was still one portal left to Fillory they could use. The first one. Aka, the very Narnian-esque grandfather clock the Chatwins used to travel to Fillory in the first Fillory and Further book. They track down the clock to the home of an avid Fillory collector, only to find it’s none other than fucking Umber himself. He’s been hiding out in Vancouver ever since the Beast scared him off from Fillory, the coward.

After a lot of talk, Quentin and Eliot aren’t able to convince Umber to come back and fix Fillory, the world he created. But they do get him to give them the clock. They’ve got their ticket to fantasy land back. But if Umber’s not coming back, and his brother Ember seems intent on fucking the place up purely for his own entertainment… what are they going to do to fix it?

Back in the Poison Room, turns out everything is — you guessed it — poison. Penny and Sylvia have very limited time to find what they’re looking for before they evolve into a mass of talking boils. Penny grabs the god-killing book, but Sylvia won’t come with. She’s found her book, and read to the end of it. She doesn’t make it out of the Poison Room. And if Penny stays to save her, he dies too. Looks like he’s got no choice but to Apparate his ass out of there, where he promptly collapses on the Brakebills clubhouse floor.

Julia forges a magic bullet out of John’s demigod juices, and she and Kady conjure up a plan to lure Reynard to them. Turns out what Reynard has really been after this whole time? Our Lady Underground, aka Persephone. Some shit went down between them, and now whenever some poor saps like Julia, Kady, and the Freetraders try to summon her, Reynard crashes the party and “punishes” them. Trying to get her attention. Charming. They whip up a storm system big enough to look like Persephone is ascending from the Underworld. Sure enough, Reynard takes the bait. Julia’s got the god-killing gun leveled at his head, when, guess who else decides to show up. Our Lady Underground. In the flesh.

She pleads with Julia to spare Reynard’s life. He is her son, and that’s why he’s been “lashing out” — if it deserves to be called that — all these years. Plus, she’s been aware of his raping and pillaging this whole time, apparently. Because she abandoned him on Earth. Reynard and Kady are both frozen, so they get no say in the matter. But Persephone persuades Julia to spare Reynard’s life, then promptly whisks his ass away to the Underworld.

Julia’s pittance? Her Shade. I guess Our Lady Underground feels a soul is due compensation for taking away her justice.

Review

Two HUGE bombs have just been dropped on our heads. 1) Alice is alive. 2) We got our “showdown” with Reynard. So, why does none of that feel satisfying?

Strangely, every single interaction with every other iteration of Alice in the last season has felt more genuine and powerful than getting Alice back “for real”. We’ve been working how hard towards this, for an entire season? Just to get a naked, super angsty real Alice pop into existence five minutes into the episode?

It feels undeserved. I supposed you could claim this whole season has been a build up to the moment, but this is the kind of shit you end on. Instead, we watch Quentin and grumpy Alice dance around each other the entire episode. What was the point of getting rid of Niffin Alice if we’re not really getting rid of Niffin Alice? Not that I was expecting Alice to be head over heels for Quentin after getting ripped apart by magic, or even slightly in the realm of “okay”. But… minus the possible bloodthirst and ungodly amounts of magical power… what’s changed, exactly?

As for the Reynard situation. Don’t get me started.

First of all, John’s death? Wow. Out of left field. One second, the guy’s wife is dead. The next, he’s using his god-juices to brainwash Kady into killing him? I guess the takeaway here is supposed to be that his motive was revenge. That he was willing to do anything to get back at Reynard for murdering his wife. But he couldn’t have stuck out the magic practice just a little bit longer?

In terms of character development, I don’t feel we were really at a place yet to justify that kind of rash decision making. Before her severed ear was being presented to John in a cute little box, we had literally only seen him and his wife together once before. It was when he accidentally god-brainwashed her. Don’t get me wrong. I feel for the guy. But forgive me if I wasn’t really seeing the train of motivation there.

Also, let’s talk about the fact that The Magicians writers didn’t flinch away from depicting Julia’s assault, but suddenly when gutstabbing John is on the table, they decide to pull the Hitchcock method out of their toolkit? We seem to be backpedaling here.

It only gets better. Can you guess why? It’s all for naught. Julia and Kady get their shot to kill Reynard, and what does Julia do? She flubs it?! Because suddenly Persephone decided to show her ass and claim Reynard as her son?

This move is all kinds of wrong, and it feels… just so ignorant. For Julia to have lost so much, even with the lack of a Shade, I do not buy that she just gives Reynard mercy. Of course Reynard has a mother. All rapists have mothers. That doesn’t make them, oh, I don’t know. Not rapists?

It might be another story if Persephone had stepped in and been like, “Whoa there. Honey, you’ve done enough. He’s my responsibility, let me punish him.” Nope. Persephone isn’t dragging him down to the River Styx to wash his mouth out with soap. She’s literally just giving Reynard what he’s apparently wanted this entire time. She’s taking him home.

Yet we’re meant to believe that Julia is content with all this.

This is a massive injustice to her character. What’s worse, it takes what I had hoped to be a beautiful arc that addressed sexual assault, trauma, and recovery in a very real and nuanced way and completely fucks it. To me, without any further context, this scene literally represents what is wrong with the way sexual assault and its survivors are understood by society today. If Persephone knew Reynard was going around raping women to try and “get her attention”, that’s when she should have stepped in. When Reynard was raping Julia.Not when Julia had the barrel of a gun trained at Reynard’s head.

The only thing Persephone could have done to even try to rectify this cruelty was to tear him limb to limb herself. That would be true justice. Although Julia might deserve the revenge, it would keep her soul clean. Persephone would pay the price for permitting her son to rape and murder, and claim that responsibility finally. And Reynard would be out of the picture.

I’m not sure how The Magicians recovers from this. Setting aside the disappointment with Alice and the bizarrely anticlimactic death of John, as it stands, this is nothing more nor less than character massacre.

“Ramifications” ends with Eliot asking Quentin, “What’s next?” before the Fillory clock. And indeed, I’d like to ask the show writers that very same question.

What’s next?


Images Courtesy of SyFy

Shailyn Cotten is a New York-based novelist, screenwriter, and undergraduate studying film at the School of Visual Arts. If you can’t find her perusing used bookstores, or buying up games in a Steam sale that she likely won’t ever play, you might be able to find her doing something productive, like writing articles for The Fandomentals, creating content for her YouTube channel Shai, or writing blog posts for her website, shailyncotten.com.

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Television

Netflix Is Resurrecting Avatar: The Last Air Bender…In Live Action

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Water…Earth…Fire. Long ago, the three books lived together in harmony. Then everything changed when Shyamalan adapted. Only the Bryke, masters of the franchise, could stop him. But when the world needed them most, they vanished. Ten years passed, and the fans discovered the new Avatar: The Last Airbender, from a streaming service called Netflix. And although their hype generating skills are great, they still have a lot of budgeting before it’s ready to adapt.

It’s been a solid decade since Avatar: The Last Airbender, considered by some to be the best children’s cartoon of all time, aired for the final time. Since then it’s lived on in comics and novels (there is no movie in Ba Sing Se). The sequel series, Legend of Korra,  which definitely didn’t  affect the writers on this site at all, also wrapped in that time but joins its parent show in the pages of comics, for better or for worse. But now, 10 years after our last on-screen adventure with the “Gaang,” Netflix announced via Twitter that they would be resurrecting the iconic series, with the original creators, and begin production. Not only that, but it would move from the world of animation into the flesh and blood world of live action.

Since the show and its successor wrapped, Bryke (a.k.a Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino) and company have kept themselves busy. Konietzko has been busy working on his Threadworld series of science fiction graphic novels while Dimartino released his debut novel Rebel Genius. Netflix has taken several veterans of the Avatar into the show. For example Aaron Ehaz, the Emmy-nominated head writer from ATLA, recently debuted his own series, The Dragon Prince, for Netflix; and veterans of both ATLA and LoK Lauren Montgomery and Joaquim Dos Santos are the showrunners on Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Master Playwright Pu-on Tim, however, has yet to top his magnum opus

The new show, according to the scant information we have, will be a remake of the original show but not a direct translation. According to Bryke, who will be executive producers and showrunners, the new Avatar: The Last Airbender will “build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building.” While the core story of the show will likely not change, it’s clear that Netflix is allowing a great deal of freedom to alter the show as they see fit, with the benefit of a decade of hindsight and story changes. They also remain committed to a “culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast” for the program, most likely a response to previous (similarly named but definitely not related to the show) live-action programs that may or may not have turned Tibetan and Inuit coded characters white.

The only glimpse we have at the new show depicts Aang and Appa on the frozen wastes of the South Pole

The new show will be a partnership between Netflix and Nickelodeon as a part of Netflix’s lineup of shows aimed at children and families. It will enter production early next year. Keep an eye out here on the Fandomentals for news and, eventually, dissection of every little thing we learn when we learn it.

Are YOU excited for a new Avatar: The Last Airbender show? What are some things you want them to change? Is there anything they should leave alone? Sound off in the comments.


All Images courtesy of Nickelodeon and Netflix

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Sherlock Sacrifices For Love In Elementary Finale

Veronica

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Finale time! Will my wild theories turn out absolutely right or tragically wrong? Who knows! But wrong. Definitely completely I was wrong.

Last episode ended with the dramatic revelation that the season baddie, Michael the Vaguely Creepy Serial Killer, was beaten to death. The lead suspect is Joan. The episode begins with FBI Agent Mallick interviewing Joan. She hasn’t been arrested yet, but the FBI has questions.

Joan doesn’t have a reliable alibi. That would be too easy. She was alone with her mom, who has dementia. Mallick thinks that Joan fixated on Michael. She wanted revenge on him for the way that Michael hurt Sherlock, his victims, and Joan herself. But Mallick has more than just motive to back up her suspicions.

The FBI has a tape. Michael called his friend from the last episode, Bazemore, to try and explain his actions. That puzzled me, because last episode, Michael said that Bazemore ODed. I assumed that Bazemore died and that was why Michael attacked Joan rather than continuing the cat-and-mouse game. I can’t figure out whether this was a continuity error, my misunderstanding, or somewhere in between.

Anyway. Michael called Bazemore and they have it on tape. As he’s talking, he’s interrupted mid-sentence. He says Joan’s name, and then there’s the sound of a beating. That sure sounds suspicious. Joan can’t explain it.

So back at the brownstone, she and Sherlock meet with a defense lawyer. She warns them that Mallick is a dangerous opponent. Then she literally doesn’t show up again for the rest of the episode, making the whole scene supremely unnecessary.

Alone at last, Sherlock asks Joan if she killed Michael. If she did, he’ll help her get away with it. But Joan insists she didn’t and in turn asks Sherlock if he did. Also no. Thus, they are left with finding the real killer. They can’t expect much, if any, help from the police, who will be under pressure from the FBI.

Nonetheless, Sherlock asks Gregson for the files on Michael’s murder. Gregson refuses. He says that if Joan is innocent, the evidence will prove it.

Sherlock isn’t willing to wait for that. He breaks into the morgue and steals the autopsy report on Michael. He also performs his own autopsy and takes pictures of the corpse to show to Joan.

There’s severe head wounds caused by a blunt object. That could explain why he said Joan’s name on the tape; maybe he was just confused. Also of note is that someone neatly stitched up his stab wound from Joan. Joan doesn’t think it was done in a hospital. It reminds her of emergency medicine of the kind that would have been performed in the Vietnam War. Wow, that’s a really specific thing to just know off the top of your head, but okay. It gives Sherlock an idea.

He goes to an NA meeting and sidles up to an older man named Denny. They met before at a meeting. Denny was a combat medic in the Vietnam War and he too knew Michael. When Sherlock starts asking questions, the guy gets shifty, but with some pressure he agrees to talk to Sherlock privately.

Denny hadn’t known that Michael was a killer. Michael had simply shown up on his doorstep, bleeding, with a story about an altercation with a drug dealer. Denny obligingly stitched Michael up and let him crash on the couch. He was still there in the morning, gone by the evening, and shortly later Denny heard on the news that Michael was a) dead and b) a serial killer. He was scared of getting in trouble himself so he didn’t go to the police. Sherlock promises to keep him out of trouble if he’ll just help Sherlock in return.

The dynamic duo investigates Denny’s house. It’s the last place Michael was alive…and maybe dead too. Sherlock finds traces of a lot of blood that was cleaned up in a hurry. This could be the scene of the murder. When they spray Luminol they find traces of footprints. A woman’s footprints, the same size as Joan’s shoes.

So now they know where Michael was killed. But once again, the clues point to Joan. How did the killer even know where to find Michael? Sherlock proposes a theory. Agent Mallick is the real murderer. Perhaps she was afraid that she would never catch Michael. Killing him was the only way of stopping him. Now she’s pinning it all on Joan. That would mean that our two detectives can’t go to the FBI with this new crime scene. It would only be used to further frame Joan.

That is, if the crime scene was even still there. But it isn’t. Sherlock persuaded Denny to burn his house down and gave him money in exchange. Joan is furious but Sherlock angrily stands his ground. He’ll do what he has to in order to protect her.

Meanwhile, the FBI is still chasing Joan. Mallick and some other agents interview Bell. He staunchly defends his friend, even when Mallick threatens to use the case to torpedo his chances with the Marshals.

Bell doesn’t like to be threatened. Shortly after the interview, he meets with Sherlock privately and hands over the police’s files on Michael. The two men share a tense moment of friendship and wordlessly shake hands.

Michael’s body was lying in a pile of trash. When murder victims are found in landfills or dumpsters, the trash around their body is cataloged for clues. In Michael’s case, that trash is interesting. Joan and Sherlock know the murder was in Queens. Yet, his body was among trash from Harlem. How does that happen?

Joan and Sherlock check out a facility for garbage trucks and chat with a particular sanitation worker there. When the two first began investigating Michael’s case, you may remember that they discovered a man who had been convicted of one of Michael’s murder. With Sherlock and Joan’s help, he went free. This sanitation worker, a mechanic for the trucks, is the father of that man.

Sherlock thinks that fact is important. Obviously the mechanic has no reason to be fond of Michael. Maybe Michael’s killer recruited his help in disposing of the body. The mechanic could have stolen one of the trucks, driven out to Queens, picked up the body, then dumped it. That could explain why the trash was from Harlem.

The mechanic angrily denies it. First of all, the truck facility is guarded and all the trucks are GPS tracked. There’s no way that anyone could steal one. Secondly, if someone did kill Michael, he thinks that person is a hero. He isn’t going to help anyone, even the people that saved his son, catch Michael’s killer.

As the detectives continue to explore the facility, Joan wonders if maybe it was the other way around. Rather than taking a truck to Michael, maybe the killer brought Michael to the truck. It would be easier to sneak a body in than a truck out. If so, there facility has security footage. Her face would be on camera.

But nothing’s ever that easy. When Sherlock and Joan ask the guards for the security footage, they discover someone beat them to it. A law enforcement officer came to the facility and took the tapes, leaving behind no copies. Sherlock suspiciously asks if the agent was Mallick.

But it wasn’t Mallick. The cop was a man named Gregson. Are you thinking, “ohh nooo” yet?

Captain Gregson returns to his home to find it tossed. Sherlock is waiting in the dining room. He was looking for the tape but couldn’t find a copy. Gregson must have destroyed it.

Why would he do that? For one simple reason. Hannah killed Michael. After all, he killed her roommate, her best friend. In the time since then, she became fixated on revenge. She investigated his life, learned who all his friends were, so she knew he’d go to Denny after Joan hurt him.

It was never supposed to be pinned on Joan. Hannah didn’t even know that Michael was recording when she killed him, nor did she hear him say Joan’s name. (As for why he did that, we never really get an explanation.) She disposed of his body.

Gregson never knew of any of it until afterward. But eventually she came clean to him and he realized that her one vulnerability would be the security footage at the sanitation facility. She’s his daughter. He did what he had to in order to protect her.

Now they’re at an impasse. Sherlock demands he come clean to the FBI. Gregson refuses. He insists it will all blow over and the lack of evidence will vindicate Joan. Sherlock points out that regardless, her career and reputation will suffer. Gregson blames Sherlock for Michael’s involvement in their lives in the first place.

It’s Gregson’s daughter. It’s Sherlock’s best friend. Neither is willing to budge and they part in anger.

Sherlock returns to the brownstone and updates Joan. He thinks that they should tell the FBI anyway. They don’t have proof, but if the FBI is doing their due diligence, they should at least investigate the Gregsons. That could be enough.

But Joan understands why Hannah did what she did. She doesn’t want Hannah to go to jail or for the captain to get in trouble. She agrees with Gregson; maybe it’ll just blow over. They should wait things out. It could make her adoption chances harder, maybe impossible. But she’s willing to take that risk. Sherlock still wants to protect her, but Joan says that if he’s her partner, he should support her.

At this point, Sherlock does what he always does. He takes things into his own hands and goes to meet with Hannah Gregson herself. She too never wanted Joan to be a suspect. Sherlock tells her to confess, to admit where the murder weapon is.

The FBI come for Joan. But not to arrest her. Mallick has news for her. She’s no longer a suspect. Someone else confessed to the murder of Michael and even provided the murder weapon. But it wasn’t Hannah. It was Sherlock.

Well, not Sherlock himself. He turned himself over to the British consulate, struck up some sort of deal with MI6, and they sent a messenger with Sherlock’s confession. Britain is refusing to extradite him to the US and if Sherlock ever steps foot in the US again, he’ll be arrested.

Joan returns home in shock and finds Sherlock there. He’s not supposed to be in the country anymore, but he had to see her before he left. This was the only way he could think of to extract all of them from this situation without anyone going to jail for it. Joan is angry he didn’t try harder to fight, but for him it was worth it to protect Joan. She saved his life and taught him his life was worth saving. They emotionally say good-bye and finally admit they aren’t just partners; they love each other.

For the final scene, we see Sherlock in England, in the famous 221B, consulting with a client. But he isn’t really paying attention to the man’s story of a runaway bride. His neighbor next door is distracting him with a tremendous noise. He storms next door and knocks. The door opens to reveal, of course, Joan.

They walk down the street together. They have work to do.

Thoughts:

  • I predicted that Moriarty killed Michael. Hoo boy, I was wrong! I absolutely did not see it coming that Hannah was the killer! That was a deft twist. It made sense but surprised me.
  • That being said, why was there so much storyline this season about Moriarty if she wasn’t going to actually do anything?
  • The scene where Sherlock and Joan said goodbye was very emotional and touching but a little silly considering that obviously they weren’t going to really part. I was sitting there tearful, but also thinking to myself, “But why doesn’t Joan just move to England too.” And she did! I was worried, though, that the line about them loving each other was going to lead into a kiss or something, especially with all that romantic crap a few episodes ago. I’m very glad it didn’t.
  • It’s intriguing that the shots of them in England felt like a natural end to the show. Except…season 7 is already in the works. Hm.
  • So wait, is this the last we’re going to see of the rest of the American cast? No more Bell? We know he’s going to the Marshals, so he’ll be okay, but no goodbye scene? That’s sad. Farewell, Bell. I’ll miss you!
  • This is our season finale, so see you all next season!

Images courtesy of CBS

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The End Arrives for Jimmy and Kim on Better Call Saul

Bo

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better call saul season 4 featured

Surely this comes as no surprise. After all, the previous two episodes of Better Call Saul made it rather clear how different their goals had become. Jimmy and Kim are two very different people on a fundamental, moral level, and however they may have fun together, the relationship was unsustainable. They simply disagree too strongly about life. I love them both, but I’m not sad to see it end here. Mainly because Kim needs to get away from Jimmy before it’s too late.

Unfortunately, she looks to be in for one last caper, and I hope she avoids running everything in the process.

Slow Death

For the third straight week, Better Call Saul started with a brilliant opening scene perfectly setting the table for the episode to come. It’s been clear since Jimmy’s blank, unfeeling reaction to Chuck’s death that his relationship with Kim would end. As the season went on it became clear the end would likely occur this season.

Most people likely expected a big blowout argument. Jimmy’s friendly relationship with Chuck ended with one. Considering Jimmy’s current side business, I assume most expected Kim to find out and lash into him about it. Or perhaps Jimmy would push further or do something “for” Kim that triggered the confrontation. It felt like a short fuse was lit between them and the explosion was inevitable.

Instead the opening scene showed us something worse; the slow, cruel death of communication and love between two people who just slowly drifted apart over the long months spanning Jimmy’s suspension. Two people who gradually stopped talking to each other, who lost the easy synchronization they once had. Two people who barely even see each other despite living in the same apartment.

It genuinely hurt to see just how distant they were in this episode. The company party at Schweikart and Cokely was every bit the equivalent of Walt’s infamous drunken rants or the horrible gym speech he gives after season 2’s plane collision. You could tell how cold and distant things had become between Jimmy and Kim. Jimmy’s escalating humiliation of himself and the genuinely nice company trip ideas Schweikart put forth was a clear misreading of the room and perhaps even an intentional one. It felt to me like he thought embarrassing Kim’s boss would somehow convince Kim of something.

By the end of the episode, they spoke to each other like old acquaintances rather than romantic partners. They barely sounded like friends. However Jimmy thought Kim would react to his ideas for Huell’s legal defense, she clearly did not react that way. Instead you had two people with very different ideas.

When Kim found out about Jimmy’s side business, she barely reacted. She clearly gave up long before then. Why bother reacting emotionally when she gave up that emotional detachment long ago?

And yet, this is Kim Wexler. She does not give up. She puts in the effort no matter how hard it looks. I don’t know what plan she wants to put in motion to end the episode, but it’s clear she’s trying one more time to rediscover what she and Jimmy lost. This stubborn refusal to give up is what worries people about Kim’s fate. She sure worries me. As Jimmy keeps moving further and further into the criminal world, will he drag a stubborn Kim along with him? Can she cut him off in time?

I think she will. I think this new scheme is a last ditch “have a baby for the marriage” kind of move, whatever it is. In the end, it won’t work. By the end of the season the relationship will be over and they’ll convince themselves they’ll stay friends. This “friendship” will consist of a few shared words at the courthouse when Jimmy’s defending drug dealers and Kim’s doing PD work. By some point next season it will be over for good.

But first we have the latest Jimmy/Kim caper.

Magic Markers

Let’s be clear about one thing; Kim’s not involving herself in anything illegal. Let’s kill that notion. If this episode made anything clear, it’s that Kim is not willing to put her law career in any serious jeopardy for Jimmy. Especially not for Jimmy’s bodyguard.

So what exactly is her plan? I’ve seen a few good theories, but by far the most compelling one to me was protesting. She’s planning to make a racial issue of the prosecution’s insistence of a max sentence for Huell. This is Kim’s Atticus Finch moment. She sees a chance to make a real name for herself using a real case striking at a larger societal issue. It’s everything the judge told her should would never get earlier this season.

Would that  work? I suppose Kim would have reason to think so or she wouldn’t do it. Saul Goodman would do this, but not Kim. So why did it come to mind? Did she notice that all the reduced sentences she mentioned to the prosecutor involved white people? Did she find some questionable history in the cop’s record? I guess we’ll find out.

Then again, maybe that’s not her plan at all. I’m curious what others think her plan will be. Considering how many markers she bought, some kind of public demonstration must be involved. Why else would she buy all that?

Whatever her idea, I imagine it will be a huge stretch. Huell attacked a cop and has a criminal record. This cop specifically arrested him before. This is a loser case with a ton of downside. Kim’s good, but is she that good? I assume that no matter her plan, she does have ideas of making a name off of it. But will that name be good?

I suppose knowing the inevitable destination of Jimmy’s life makes me nervous to see Kim partner with him one more time. We’ve seen time and again how Jimmy causes destruction for those closest to him. Has Kim’s loyalty pushed her into something she thinks will make her famous but will instead make her infamous? Is it possible this ruins her new gig at Schweikart and Cokely?

Kim’s idealism is one of her most admirable traits, yet I worry it will cost her dearly now. Or maybe not. Maybe this will be the kind of landmark case like Chuck has. After all, it seemed to have been Chuck’s death and eulogy that inspired her towards this new direction in her law career. It’s possible she now sees a chance to make her name just like she hoped, and to truly become a champion of the greater Albuquerque community now. That lure may be enough to override her common sense regarding Jimmy and his schemes.

If there’s one thing I’m sure about, it’s that Jimmy will take an immoral, possibly illegal slant to Kim’s plan. No matter how she protests, he’ll do it. And when it blows up in his face, he’ll learn nothing.

Other Thoughts:

  • Gus discontinuing Hector’s treatment so that he’ll stay in his current state of disability is the most cold-blooded thing anyone on Better Call Saul or Breaking Bad has ever done. Honestly, it’s borderline if not outright cartoonish. I’m not sure I actually like this development at all.
  • To be honest, there’s something a bit sick and exploitative about the Hector subplot at this point. Gus’s need for revenge is fine, it’s not like anyone considers him a good guy in the story, but there’s no counterbalance for Hector’s mindset here. He’s the equivalent of an overly abused voodoo doll at this point, and it’s getting problematic.
  • Don’t mind me, I’m just stuck over here in season 2 when Jimmy and Kim brushing their teeth together was the most adorable scene on the show.
  • Mesa Verde opened a Nebraska branch. I wonder if it will come into play for the Gene subplot.
  • Jimmy’s Saul Goodman cards are quite similar to his eventual lawyer cards. It’s a nice touch.

Images courtesy of AMC

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