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.
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.
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.
- 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.