|Posted: 30 March 2020 at 11:21pm | IP Logged | 8
Another powerhouse episode. First things first, we learn immediately that Kim’s wedding proposal was solely intended as a legal defense mechanism to avoid incrimination. Or was it? We’ll see.
Also, we finally get the answer to Saul mentioning his second wife in BREAKING BAD, since his two prior dissolutions are mentioned here. Which makes Kim his third wife.
Lots of fun to see Herr Schuler, again. As you’ll recall, he had a very memorable death-by-portable-defibrillator in BREAKING BAD, after mindlessly munching on Franch-dipped nuggets in the wake of Gus Fring’s operation being exposed. Here we learn that he was already extremely nervous and on edge about Gus’ operation, which neatly sets up his eventual suicide in BB. There’s also another fun continuity nod, with Lydia saying that she’s not knowledgeable about prison killings, which of course is ironic foreshadowing for season 5 of BB.
Meanwhile, it’s ominous to see Mike happy (or as close as he can get) by admitting out loud that he’s “playing the cards he was dealt”...by serving as Gus’ fixer.
Great moment when Kim marches back into the meeting room to show Kevin her spine and get her job back by telling him the truth.
The sequence with Gus willingly sacrificing the Los Lunas location of Los Pollos Hermanos in order to maintain Nacho’s cover is a lot of fun.
The core of this episode, however, is most definitely Jimmy’s continued moral erosion. It was a joke at the beginning of this season when he came up with the “Justice Matters Most” slogan for his personalized “JMM” suitcase. Now, Lalo lays out Saul Goodman’s future by giving him a new motto: “Just Make Money”. And we get those lingering moments where Jimmy really and truly struggles with his guilt over watching the Whalen family suffer as he knowingly presents a fake family for Lalo and the evidence of Mike’s witness tampering is order to get Lalo out on bail.
It’s no accident that the key scene of the episode—the final scene— occurs during one of those silent moments of reflection, as Jimmy silently watches the family and again struggles with his guilt. And that’s when Howard walks up, and Jimmy, as is now his way, deflects his pain and guilt into righteous anger aimed at hurting someone else. It’s a credit to the show’s writers that Howard has put two and two together, and already knows that Jimmy was responsible for the bowling balls and the hookers.
And then we get an incredible acting moment for Bob Odenkirk, as Jimmy explodes at Howard, focusing all of his frustration and pain on an innocent man who genuinely wanted to make amends and offer him a job. It’s become increasingly apparent that Saul Goodman is the persona which Jimmy uses to mask his pain and guilt, and no scene thus far has underlined that more than this one. Howard comes up to him at exactly the wrong moment, and he flat-out says “you killed my brother”, because he can’t emotionally handle both his guilt over the Whalens AND his continued guilt over his own role in Chuck’s death (which, of course, was the real trigger, not Howard).
This amazing final scene stands in direct contrast to the other (more subtly amazing scene), where, in a real and tender moment of vulnerability, Jimmy tells Kim about Lalo asking him to be “a friend of the cartel”. These two scenes really do show the two sides of the character, and makes Jimmy’s inevitable shift to full-time Saul that much more tragic. As with Nacho, he’s become a pawn in the cold war between Gus and the cartel, and things are going downhill fast.
Three more to go. Things are getting serious, now.