Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Jimmy Faces His Consequences on Better Call Saul

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After last week’s intense climax to Better Call Saul, Jimmy was left in a situation he couldn’t avoid. No way to run, no way to talk himself out of it, nothing to do but face the music. On the other side of things, Mike followed his trail back to Gus Fring but was led to a place of Gus’s choosing. Now both characters are left to face the consequences building throughout the show’s first 2 seasons. Consequences leading them closer to the people they were when Walter White entered the drug dealing business.

Excuse me, drug manufacturing.

Spoilers for 3×03 “Sunk Costs” below


We start this week with a Los Pollos Hermanos truck driving along, and a pair of shoes dropping from the power lines. This is relevant, I promise. And relevant to Mike, who picks up where he left off last week. After answering the phone left on the road, Gus meets him there. Gus makes clear that he doesn’t want Hector killed but does want to affect his business. Mike still wants to hurt Hector and offers his services.

Meanwhile, Jimmy calls his office to cancel his appointments while he waits for the police at Chuck’s house. Chuck gives him a speech about this being good for Jimmy, and how he wants to help him. Jimmy says that next time Chuck gets sick he won’t be there and Chuck will die alone. The cops come and Jimmy is processed and placed in jail. His DA “buddy” who was jealous of his Davis & Main gig shows up to watch.

I can’t remember his name, and frankly there’s a reason for that.

The next morning Kim wearily gets ready for her day. She is apparently sleeping at the office and going about hygienic tasks at the gym near the office rather than go home. When she arrives at the office she finds Ernie waiting. He was fired and tells Kim what happened with Jimmy. Jimmy is brought before a judge and the charges read to him, most seriously a felony carrying a potential 18 months in prison. Kim arrives after he places a not guilty plea, but Jimmy refuses her help to defend himself.

He makes bail and returns to the office, where he explains to Kim what happened. He does not want her help with the case because she’s so busy with Mesa Verde and doesn’t want Chuck’s trick to ruin their business. The episode shifts to a physician’s office, where Mike meets with the physician. Mike asks him for a package Gus called ahead about, and Mike stuffs it in the trunk beside a sniper rifle.

Back in the courthouse, Jimmy rather bluntly bribes his DA buddy with a burger and fries for info on the prosecuting attorney for his case. Turns out Jimmy’s too close to all the local DA attorneys from his years defending clients and were “conflicted out”. They brought in an outside prosecutor named Hay. Possibly misspelled, they don’t exactly spell it out.

Hay shows up to meet with Chuck and she asks him some questions about the incident. Chuck asks about her strategy and says he hates doing this. He has an alternative besides a trial he wishes to try.

Mike takes his “package” out to the desert and stuffs the drugs within into a shoe. He ties the laces and throws them over a power line. I told you it would matter later! One of Hector’s trucks shows up later and stops near the shoes. When they go to hide their guns in the desert, Mike starts firing his rifle in the air. After a few shots, Hector’s goons assume it’s a gunfight somewhere nearby and go about their business. Mike shoots the drug-filled shoe as they pass underneath so the powder sprinkles on the truck.

When they reach the United States-Mexico border that night, a detection dog notices the powder and the two men are arrested.

Back at Wexler-McGill, Kim joins Jimmy for a smoke. He tells her he was offered a pre-prosecution diversion, which means that if he confesses to the charges he will face no jail time. He just needs to avoid any further crimes for a year. Turns out this was Chuck’s idea. The confession will be immediately delivered to the New Mexico Bar and Jimmy will almost definitely lose his law license.

The episode ends with Jimmy and Kim united to fight.


Another week, another great episode for the McGill brothers.

Ever since we learned of Chuck’s role in killing Jimmy’s HHM ambitions, Better Call Saul fans have wondered about a potential court battle between the two. Chuck was so important to Jimmy staying Jimmy, and their split started him back down the road to Saul Goodman.  Now it appears we’re getting McGill vs. McGill, and I can’t wait.

Let’s just say I think there’s more to Chuck’s PPD offer than the fate of his brother. He wanted the private investigator present when Jimmy broke in for a reason. Jimmy can tear apart Chuck with ease. He has hundreds of stories to tell about Chuck’s “electric allergy” and the episodes it causes. There are verifiable incidents calling Chuck’s testimony into question.

Of course, it will still be tough since Hamlin and the PI saw everything. What happens if Jimmy completely discredits Chuck in a cross-examination, capped off with revealing the aluminum lining underneath his suit?  Maybe Jimmy can’t beat these charges entirely but he can destroy Chuck in the process. Chuck knows that for certain. Hamlin probably does as well.

We’re probably looking at mutually assured destruction here.

Not that I completely doubt Chuck’s well-meaning words. I’m sure he truly does want the best for his brother beneath his vindictive jealousy and bitterness. That doesn’t excuse the jealousy and bitterness. Not at all. He can spout good intentions all he wants but we’ve seen the ugly truth behind his actions. Frankly, it’s a bit sickening whenever he opens his mouth anymore. All Chuck cares about is society regarding Jimmy is putting him in his place, where Chuck can lord his superiority over his screw-up brother.

It doesn’t matter to him what role Chuck plays in Jimmy being a screw-up.

So here we are. Chuck doesn’t want Jimmy practicing law and will apparently do anything to stop it. They’re going to trial over Jimmy’s actions last week. We know for a fact that Chuck fails, because Saul Goodman is practicing law come Breaking Bad time. I can’t wait to see where this goes now. At the same time I dread seeing this fight happen. Neither Jimmy or Chuck is the kind of truly vindictive, soulless monsters deserving of this fate. No matter what happens, both brothers will suffer.

I’ve always known that would eventually happen. It doesn’t make the coming conflict any easier to watch. It sure makes Better Call Saul compelling, though. Nothing like heartbreaking family drama to keep me enthralled.

In fact, it’s so compelling that the Mike storyline is beginning to wear on me.

Mike’s storyline is certainly good, and I love seeing Gus Fring back on my television. As usual, Mike’s antics this week were intriguing, well filmed, and well executed. The problem is…what does it matter to Jimmy? And what does Jimmy’s story matter to Mike? This remains a minor but noticeable flaw dragging Better Call Saul below the best dramas airing, such as The Americans. Between Jimmy and Mike, Better Call Saul always wars between two different styles of show which don’t connect the way they need to.

Sure, they’ll team up from time to time (like last week with Jimmy’s terrible surveillance of Los Pollos Hermanos). They’re in the same city and come across each other. Ever since season 1’s Kettleman scheme, their storylines might as well not exist together. Little would be lost if they never saw each other. To be clear, these separate storylines are outstanding and it makes sense why they never come across each other. They live in separate worlds.

I just hope Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould can eventually find a way to tie together their separate strands. Presumably this will occur when Saul Goodman is full-on criminal lawyer using Mike to help his schemes. Right now we have two separate shows taking place within the same hour of airtime. Both those shows are outstanding. I prefer Jimmy and the law stuff, while others will prefer Mike’s adventures alongside Gus Fring.

Which half any particular viewer prefers is not the point. At some point Better Call Saul will hopefully change so viewers are no longer deciding between them at all because they became cohesive halves of a stronger whole. Otherwise I worry Better Call Saul will always be that show which hung around just below the truly great shows I’ve seen.

That would be unfortunate when it’s so close to jumping alongside them.

Other  Thoughts:

  • Victor and Tyrus! It’s a small thing, but I love the continuity this shows with Gus’s organization. Only Walter White could eventually tear them down.
  • I also loved seeing Gus talk about Hector, knowing how much he hates him and why.
  • Kim Wexler remains amazing. She’s ride or die for Jimmy. She sees the good in Jimmy that Chuck blinds himself to. Of course, she also blinds herself to the bad and I can’t help but worry what will happen to her as a result. Mesa Verde is doing a number on her, clearly.
  • “This isn’t a normal week.” Says Jimmy to the receptionist who ends up working for him during his Saul Goodman days and makes the fake phone call to Hank which saves Walt’s ass.
  • Just how old were those cigarettes in Jimmy’s glove compartment?
  • Mike failing to hook the shoes on the cable was fantastic. Nice to see him not excel at something easily.
  • If you ever doubt how loveable Jimmy is, just think of how loveable he has to be for every single DA prosecutor to be too conflicted for his case. They know and love the man, what can he say?

Images Courtesy of AMC

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