The massive rug pull here is that Kim is in reality the Walter White analogue and we just saw her moment of heel turning, possibly ending up as the villian of the entire series when you take it in as a whole. All of this triggered by her realization of how much danger Jimmy was in and from standing toe-to-toe to Lalo -- but instead of being horrifed by it it's actually energizing her -- sort of a weird reverse-PTSD. It's possibly the best slow-play villian turn I've ever seen. She's almost too bloodthirsty to take down Howard, which is frightening because on the surface it comes off as glib but underneath it's deadly serious. Very much like Lalo.
|Posted: 22 April 2020 at 9:33pm | IP Logged | 4
We need more information, though. I’m not willing to see it as a heel-turn, just yet.
I think it actually comes down to insecurity, just like with Walter White. Kim had a rough childhood. We don’t yet know exactly how things went down with her mother. All we know is that Kim was forced by circumstances to become a self-made woman, and that she had at least one toxic relationship in her past. A relationship where she was forced into being the level-headed one trying to right the ship.
We’ve seen again and again throughout the run of BCS how driven Kim is. How unemotional and devoted to problem-solving and logical solutions she is. As Seehorn has noted, it’s a bit of a gender-role swap—Jimmy is the emotional one in the relationship, and Kim is the cool-headed one.
More and more, we’ve seen Kim become determined to win at all costs. She goes to Saul Goodman for help with the Acker case, primarily because she feels guilty for evicting him, and doesn’t want that emotional burden. She’s deeply dissatisfied with banking law, and plunges headlong into pro bono cases. Because she wants to help people—especially underprivileged people—put their lives back together.
She’s a fixer, someone a psychologist would refer to as a “White Knight”. And that can be an extremely dangerous thing for both parties in a relationship. More and more, we’ve seen Kim actively seek out people and situations to “fix” (with Jimmy being Numero Uno on that list) because of this childhood emotional wound she carries around with her. A deep-rooted insecurity and fear of loss. A quiet desperation to hang on to loved ones.
Seeing her break down and cry at the end of the opening teaser in “Bad Choice Road” was rather shocking, for me. We’ve seen Kim happy. We’ve seen Kim angry. We’ve seen her surprised and terrified and funny and romantic. But we’ve never really seen her completely break down in tears. She came close when Jimmy nonchalantly read the letter from Chuck after the latter’s death. She came close when Jimmy gave his “sincere” speech to the New Mexico State Bar, so he could get reinstated. She came close at the end of “Wexler v. Goodman”, when her voice began trembling—right before that problem-solving mind of hers kicked in and she proposed marriage to Jimmy.
We always assumed that she was Jimmy’s rock, the normal, stable person who would likely either die or be ruined by the birth of Saul Goodman. The reality of the situation is quickly shaping up to be something much, much worse. She might just be a damaged woman whose insecurity and fear of loss leads to both her downfall and Jimmy’s. The unwitting catalyst for tragedy.
We’ve had a number of false-starts in this series regarding the actual “birth” of Saul Goodman. As has been well-publicized, the original plan was for a half-hour comedic show about Saul having wacky adventures with his criminal clients. Then, it mutated into an hour-long drama- comedy-prequel, with the plan being to turn Jimmy into Saul at the end of the first season. But, along the way, something funny happened. Gilligan and his team fell in love with Jimmy McGill and his story, and so did we. So, they put off the birth of Saul for as long as possible, and succeeded in turning it into a source of dread and tragedy, rather than an exciting reward for viewers who stuck with the show for long enough.
I thought that the end of season four (“S’all good, man!”) would finally get us going to that place. But, despite Jimmy wearing the suits and using the name...he’s still Jimmy. A darker and more broken Jimmy, but still Jimmy. Thus, even this penultimate season has been something of a bait-and-switch, too.
I was also shocked by that shot of Jimmy sitting on the bed, looking wordlessly at Kim as she casually finger-gunned him, mirroring his own move at the end of last season. Wondering just who the woman he loves has become. And we also saw Jimmy trying to both keep Kim out of “the game” and to rein her in by telling her that quitting Schweikart & Cokley was a bad idea. More and more, he’s actually becoming the voice of reason, whereas she is becoming more and more involved in a criminal world that she’s totally unprepared for. But he isn’t.
I have a sinking feeling about all of this. Jimmy still ain’t Saul, and this pulling-the-rug-out-from-under-us bit with Kim is extremely disconcerting. We always assumed that the birth of Saul would be mainly because of Jimmy’s bad choices, and his toxic relationship with Chuck. Now, it almost looks like he’s just going along for the ride, as the woman we thought we knew ends up being the one to lead him down the path to the dark side.
Chilling. And not too far off from BREAKING BAD’s gradual revelations about what Walter White’s backstory and true motives were. One of the great things about BCS is that it’s exploring similar themes and ideas as BB did, but in fresh ways and from different angles. Both BCS and BB are Swiss watches in terms of their structure and complex, layered symbology (perhaps even the TV equivalent of something like WATCHMEN), and will rightfully be studied and puzzled over for years to come.
Also, Rob, brilliant catch with the flashback-structure analysis. I hadn’t even considered it, but, yes, we’ve always gotten the various flashbacks to Jimmy’s early days with Marco, Chuck, and Kim. Not this season. This season, we had the flashback to Kim’s childhood, which—at first—seemed to be there mainly to provide justification for her vigorous pursuit of letting Acker stay in his home, and for her continued doubling-down on her relationship with Jimmy.
But, no. All signs now point to a much longer, larger, and more insidious game that’s been playing out right under our noses the entire time. Oh, man.