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Purgatory is Paradise on Wynonna Earp

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Wynonna Earp Season 3, Episode 8 Review “Waiting Forever for You”

It’s date night in Purgatory this week, which mean’s nothing will go as planned, demons will show up, and maybe someone will lick a potato. That’s right, this week brings us the infamous potato licking scene from the S3 trailer. Just why does Robin lick a potato? Let’s find out.

OMG, What?

I dig the sibling dynamic between these two.

We open on Wynonna teaching Jeremy how to play pool. He leaves her to deal with Charlie, whom she’d ghosted after last week; she tells Jeremy to lock up Bulshar’s ring, then agrees to dinner with Charlie. Bulshar, meanwhile, raises the previously-buried-alive-in-salt Constance Clootie, aka the Stone Witch, from the dead. He hands the mummified Constance a long, serrated blade, telling her not to fail him again. Kate has kidnapped a man for Doc to eat, but he leaves, preferring to hunt for himself. Jeremy invites Robin to a “big gay dinner” hosted by Waverly. On the hunt, Doc attacks Robin in the woods.

“What you want to do is aim right for the placenta stain, which should drive the seven ball straight into that corner pocket-slash-stirrup.”—Wynonna

Doc brings Robin to Jeremy because he tastes “like fouled earth” and might be ill. Charlie and Wynonna’s dinner date is going awkwardly when Jeremy interrupts to explain about Doc being a vampire and biting Robin. Wynonna takes Charlie along to hunt vampires. Charlie traps Doc in a holy-water-soaked rope while Wynonna confronts Kate. At the homestead, Jeremy/Robin meet up with Waverly/Nicole for dinner. Kate tells Wynonna that Doc is responsible for turning her into a vampire. When she came to America looking for freedom, Doc helped protect her from a man whose fortune she refused to read. At Shorty’s, Charlie and Doc bicker about Wynonna until mummified Constance shows up.

“You should at least get to know a lady before you try to kill her.”—Kate

Doc and Charlie take on the mummy. In the fight, Doc realizes it’s Constance and has Charlie call Wynonna. She ignores the call. Kate continues her story of the past, how she left Doc with Wyatt to return to Hungary when he was dying. At the homestead, Waverly and Robin banter until Robin goes all weird talking about seeds in the ground that Bulshar can talk to. In the dining room, Bulshar’s ring (that Jeremy locked up) appears up in a biscuit Nicole is serving. Robin runs off. Doc and Charlie try to throw mummified Constance in the well; instead, she steals their car.

“What do you think a potato feels when it’s in the ground?”—Robin

Waverly, Nicole, and Jeremy find Robin in the barn, half-naked, picking at his bite wound, and talking about ‘fertilizing the soil.’ Constance finds Kate and Wynonna but leaves them be. Doc’s struggling bloodlust leads to him asking Charlie to punch him. In the barn, Robin snaps out of his trance, then Constance shows up and digs around Doc’s things. Waverly puts on Bulshar’s ring and inadvertently uses it to magically throw Constance out of the barn. However, Constance stole three tarot cards from Doc, who had stolen them from Kate after Sheriff Clootie came to her for a reading. He had asked her to help him find something in the Ghost River Triangle, and she refused to read his future. Constance delivers the cards to Bulshar: Past, the devil; Present, the lovers; Future, the tower.

“I touched tentacle goo and made a lightning rod out of spoons.”—Waverly

Wynonna and Kate find Constance, and Wynonna ends her life. Charlie and Doc square-off over Wynonna. Meanwhile, believing her and Bulshar’s fates are linked, Wynonna asks Kate to read her tarot. Nicole and Jeremy try to remove Bulshar’s ring, which is stuck on Waverly’s finger. They discover that her wearing it has made a word appear on the band. Wynonna interrupts with the results of her reading: the devil for the past, the tower for the present, and the lovers for the future. Wynonna says he is looking for the first two lovers, Adam and Eve. Jeremy interjects with the translation of the word on Bulshar’s ring: garden of paradise. Robin arrives just in time to tell them Bulshar has already found the Garden of Eden.

“Nobody deserves to be somebody’s meat puppet.”—Wynonna

Kate brings a basket of breadsticks to Wynonna from Charlie. She tells Wynonna of her final run-in with Constance, after she’d returned for Doc. When Constance refused to help her find Doc, Kate became a vampire so she could search for him. Kate tells Wynonna Doc became a vampire for Wynonna then leaves to ‘find a stagecoach.’ Wynonna finds Doc in the barn, where they agree to overcome their differences to fight Bulshar together. Speaking of the devil, Bulshar arrives and blows a white powder in their faces.

Favorite One Liner: “You may have made me what I am, but that does not make you my mistress.”—Doc

I Gotta Say…

First off, some highlights. The music this episode had a Stranger Things vibe to it that worked well to set the tone for Robin’s scenes. The potato-licking bit was weird, and I don’t think worth all the pre-season freak-out, but I enjoyed his plotline. I’m curious to see the follow through on his statements about the trees ‘unwillingly’ working for Bulshar. When we first met the murder trees, they seemed sinister. To learn that they may be ‘bark puppets’ the way Constance was a meat puppet is a major revelation. I want to know more about that for sure! And I’m also intrigued by his connection to the trees and Doc’s statement about him tasting like ‘fouled earth.’ What is that about?

I’m disappointed no one made a bloody mouth pun.

Speaking of unexpected connections, Waverly being the one to end up with Bulshar’s ring took me by surprise. I’ll admit, I’m disappointed. When it found its way back to Nicole again this episode, I assumed it had something to do with her being a survivor. I liked the idea of her getting a chance to be the special one with the unique connection to the supernatural, because she so rarely gets to have the spotlight. I love Waverly, don’t get me wrong, and love seeing her get to be a badass. And the ring clearly has something to do with her angelic lineage, so it makes sense. Still, I don’t understand why the ring kept showing up with Nicole if it was meant for Waverly.

Another source of confusion stemmed from the Garden of Eden reveal. I enjoy the irony of Purgatory being Paradise, though the idea of Paradise being in America took my brain immediately to Mormonism.

But since when is the Ghost River Triangle (GRT) ‘protecting’ anything? In the first season, the show established that the GRT existed to keep the demons connected to the Earp curse in, not to protect something from being found. I understand that as the show evolves we receive new information. The GRT being a sanctuary of some kind on its own is fine. So does containing the Earp curse demons to prevent them from ravaging the earth. What doesn’t make sense is keeping the demons imprisoned in the Garden of Eden. Who would do this? Why? Chaining up demons in paradise seems like a truly bad idea. I know Andras is not known for her, ah, worldbuilding consistency, but this still baffles me.

Another highlight was seeing the unexpected team ups to come from date night, like Charlie with Doc and Kate with Wynonna. I’m not sure how well it subverted the love triangle tropes since both pairs spent at least half their time together sniping at the other for their interest in Doc or Wynonna. Still, some of their interactions were surprisingly amicable. Wynonna and Kate especially. I’m honestly surprised Kate ended up being the lover to leave, given her initial animosity. I have a feeling Charlie will not go so gently.

At the same time, I found certain aspects of the main plot arc with these four everywhere on the spectrum from annoying to…let’s got with in poor taste for now. The dialogue lampshading Wynonna blaming Kate for turning Doc didn’t make the fact of that any less an example of catty women fighting over a man. Nor did the dialogue lampshading how well Kate fits into the sexy lady vampire trope make the fact that she does fit it any less true. Someone needs to inform the writers that lampshading the use of a bad or clichéd trope isn’t subversion.

Someone should also point out that Kate’s initial description of her backstory with Doc contradicts what actually happened. Kate tells Wynonna, “Doc is the one responsible for turning me.” She then proceeds to tell a story where she willingly became a vampire to find him after he’d been thrown in the well by Constance Clootie. How is Doc responsible for her choice?

Multiple times this episode Kate and Doc underscore the point that no one tells him what to do, no one controls him. He makes his own choices. At the same time, Kate denies herself agency in her own choices, giving all the responsibility and blame to Doc. She blames Doc for ‘making her’ become a vampire because she loved him so much. She blames Doc for her choice to leave him behind to go to back to Hungary. And, she blames Doc for not chasing after her, even though he believed she left him and didn’t care about him anymore. It’s his fault for not knowing she wanted him to chase her and instead going to Constance for eternal life after Wyatt also abandoned him.

The show portrayed Kate blaming Doc for her choices while simultaneously denying herself agency for making them. Doc wasn’t responsible for turning her, she made a choice. To see a woman denying herself agency because she was chasing down a man on a show that’s widely lauded as feminist doesn’t sit well with me.

Especially a Black woman.

This is where the plot moves from unconvincing and frustrating to at the very least insensitive and in poor taste. I’ll come back to agency in a second, but first I want to address Kate’s backstory as a Black daughter of European nobility.

On the one hand, I applaud the show for bringing attention to an aspect of history that’s often overlooked. The whitewashing of people of color from European history is a significant problem in the way we, meaning Western white people, tell history. With white supremacy a growing problem in our society, audiences need to know that people of color existed in Europe for centuries and were more than slaves. They were merchants, business owners, and nobility. They were courtiers, courtesans, and people of influence. With all the choices available for a backstory, they went with one that brings attention to the erasure of non-slave Black folk in Europe. For that, I give them props.

On the other hand, this backstory exists in the same season that has brought us the swapping out of one Black love interest for another, the death of the only primary character of color/love interest for the protagonist, jokes about a Black woman’s nose and lips, and a “sexy vampire lady” played by a Black woman. Kate is the most sexualized character on the show right now, and with everything else about her character, that aspect leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In that context, her backstory feels like an attempt to be ‘woke’ without doing due diligence elsewhere in the series.

Moreover, this very same episode gives us a story where a white woman ‘grants independence’ to a Black woman who then says ‘independence didn’t take’ when she goes off looking for her white husband. And then the Black woman ends up leaving so that her white husband can be happy with his white lover. Just…yikes, writers.

Y I K E S.

Wynonna Earp desperately needs to do more than lip-service for its characters of color. Black fans deserve more than a historically woke backstory over halfway through a season that doesn’t feel like it’s taken the time to screen jokes and plotlines for potentially problematic implications. The writers need to watch their language about characters of color, what jokes they’re telling about them, and how the characters end up leaning into potentially harmful tropes. So while I applaud them for giving her a backstory that reminds audiences that Black people were nobles in Europe, there’s so much more work to be done. I said it when Doc was killed off and I’ll say it again: Wynonna Earp desperately needs to hire Black writers.

I’ll end on a positive note. I thoroughly I appreciated the women-loving-women and men-loving-men solidarity this episode. Big Gay Dinner may not seem like a big gay deal, but it is. We rarely see queer folk being friends with other queer folk and just…hanging out. Being friends and doing things together. I hope we get more scenes like this. Not only do we have four canonically queer characters on one television show, they’re all friends. That’s truly special.

I see you, Andras

  • How were Kate and Constance able to hold Peacekeeper without it burning them? Or would they just not have been able to shoot it? I seem to remember demons can’t even hold the gun. Oh well. Another week, another forgotten aspect of Peacekeeper’s lore.
  • Yay, women comparing pain. Fun.
  • Can we please stop using gendered slurs against women on a show widely proclaimed as feminist?
  • Is it me or has Waverly has gotten…shallower? The Waverly we met in S1 with her jean shorts, braid, and shotgun wouldn’t have cared if the ring were a ‘princess cut’ or not.
  • Do the Present and Future cards being different for Bulshar and Wynonna mean anything?

See you next week for “Undo It,” where we might be getting another AU-style episode, as Bulshar promises Wynonna will watch the world burn for eternity. Sounds hellish!


Images courtesy of SyFy

Bi, she/her. Gretchen is a Managing Editor for the Fandomentals. An unabashed nerdy fangirl and aspiring sci/fi and fantasy author, she has opinions about things like media, representation, and ethics in storytelling.

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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

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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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