This Better Call Saul review contains spoilers.
Better Call Saul Season 2 Episode 7
There are wolves and sheep in this world, and Jimmy has spent his life hiding the fact that he’s the former. He’s a square peg in an office of round holes, an eyesore in a sea of aesthetically pleasing business suits. After two weeks spent idling in place, focusing on the interior lives of its other characters, Jimmy is back in the forefront this week, moving the plot forward dramatically, and doing it as only he knows how. From this point forward, Jimmy won’t hide the fact that he’s “colorful,” and he’s got the matching ties to prove it.
The cold open this week is used to supplement the story that Chuck told about Jimmy’s childhood, but here we see Jimmy’s huckster genesis through his own eyes. In a flashback, we see the young Jimmy McGill have a Batman Begins moment, except instead of watching his father’s murder, Jimmy just watches his dad’s dignity die. It’s an interesting and melancholic scene of a kid losing his innocence and helps to contextualize why Jimmy behaves the way that he does.
You know, behavior such as forcing your perfectly decent, reasonable boss to fire you just so you can retain your signing bonus. Yet again flawlessly utilizing a stylish montage, we see the birth of the future Saul Goodman’s gaudy sense of style. Suits with flash and acting like an ass is all that it takes for Cliff to give Jimmy the boot, but not before he exasperatedly wonders aloud why Jimmy would ever sabotage such a good thing without ever giving it an honest try. Jimmy knows that the man is right, but just like Chuck has said in the past, he just can’t help himself.
It may be an immature move, but it’s good intentioned, as Jimmy uses his newfound unemployment to give an earnest pitch to Kim why they should join forces and start their own firm. In Jimmy’s eyes, Kim is just making a lateral move instead of taking a plunge and attempting to become her own boss. Right down to his mock business card, Jimmy gives a convincing speech, until Kim asks exactly what kind of lawyer he’ll be, and one look at Marco’s ring renders him incapable of telling the truth; he’s going to do things the Slippin’ Jimmy way. Though Kim finally gives him encouraging sign of the strength of their relationship, she turns down his offer to be partners.
So its goodbye to the Benz and back in the Esteem, so long to the apartment with tacky ball decorations and back to the nail salon, but Jimmy’s got his coco bolo desk and his smile, so that’s something. And just when you think Jimmy’s finally going to start metamorphosing into Saul Goodman, Kim returns with a second offer. It turns out that Kim realizes that Jimmy is right; Rick Schweikert is just a less handsome Howard Hamlin, and the view from the top of the parking garage isn’t much better than the dark of the HHM basement lot. Kim poises a different plan; the pair become solo practicing lawyers under the same roof, sharing an office space, Wexler AND McGill, not Wexler McGill.
Kim and Jimmy working separately but parallel will likely fuel plenty of great stories and I’m happy that Jimmy is getting at least partially what he wants, but with a lot of things on this show, it’s bittersweet. We know that Kim isn’t working in the same strip mall that Walter White one day visits Saul Goodman in, so its obvious the whole venture is doomed.
Meanwhile, Mike and Jimmy reconvene as Mike begrudgingly follows through with Hector Salamanca’s orders and retracts his statement linking Tuco to the firearm. Closing elevator doors cut our reunion short, and Mike continues the rest of the episode on his own, visiting his daughter-in-law’s potential new home, realizing more money will be needed, though that doesn’t seem to be what’s worrying him. Mike is bubbling inside with anger knowing that he was strong-armed by some thugs, and continues to spy on the Salamanca business from afar. It’ll be interesting to see how this conflict escalates, especially knowing that all parties, barring Nacho, a seemingly neutral party, survives.
With only three episodes left, Better Call Saul seemed to pivot in a new direction this week. Jimmy ended the episode with a smile, but how long that smile will last is anyone’s guess. Something tells me HHM may not take Kim’s exit kindly, and will likely blame it on a certain Irish lawyer.