Summary: Kim and Jimmy go spend the night at a hotel to be safe from Lalo and they contemplate their next moves. Kim goes to work the next day and gets 20 new PD cases. She meets with Howard who warns her about Jimmy but she laughs in his face. Jimmy visits Mike who tells him that it has been arranged for Lalo to die at night. Jimmy tells Kim it's safe and they spend one final night at the hotel, though Jimmy is visibly shaken and wants to go home. However, Kim convinces him to stay and pushes him towards coming up with a massive con on Howard so that they can collect the $2 million of Sandpiper money. Jimmy is surprised by Kim's sudden shift in character. Lalo takes Nacho to his home in Mexico and has him meet Don Eladio for a promotion. Nacho gets a call saying that he has to open a gate at 3AM. Nacho desperately manages to escape Lalo and his guards and opens the gate, letting a hit squad into Lalo's home. The squad kills everyone in Lalo's household, but Lalo manages to escape and kills them all, however he gets one of the squad to send a message that they managed to kill him. He sees that Nacho's body isn't there and angrily storms off.
The Good: Jimmy's dilemma throughout this episode is easy to understand. He screwed up massively by getting involved with Lalo, he feels immensely guilty for putting Kim's life in danger and he so desperately just wants to be safe again. So the Jimmy we see in this episode is a far cry from the bold and confident man that lashed out at Howard in "JMM". His recent experiences have changed him, and they've made him consider the possibility that he actually is bad for Kim. He tries talking about it, and he is clearly considering doing something drastic to correct this. Having Lalo come to Kim's house with a gun was the final straw for Jimmy.
But what's most surprising about all this is how Kim reacts to what just happened. She seems so normal. She takes the news of Jimmy's shooting surprisingly well, she seems quite nonchalant about getting back to work, and when Jimmy tries to discuss serious matters, she tempts him away by daydreaming about conning Howard. It's alarming and quite shocking to see this change in character for Kim. I think just about everyone was expecting that Kim would have been on the verge of leaving Jimmy, if not already gone, but this season pulled quite a twist by having Kim stay. The show has transformed Kim's arc into a tragic story of a character who isn't able to control her impulses and continues to fall further and further into the morally questionable world. This is perfectly clear when we see her seriously suggest ruining Howard's career for her own personal gain, a remarkably unethical move that the old Kim would never have even considered. Just look at how she fell apart when she and Jimmy tore Chuck down in "Chicanery". This is so far removed from the Kim we knew and it completely took me off guard. What this episode succeeds most with is making us look back at Kim's character arc throughout the series and question what the purpose of everything was. Just looking back on season 5 makes it evident that this season was as much about transforming Kim as season 4 was about transforming Jimmy.
The toughest part about this episode is that it had to make Kim's transformation feel organic. It had to make sense, and that's where Kim's horrific experiences in "Bagman" and "Bad Choice Road" come into play. She has committed her life exclusively to the things she loves most: PD work and conning people. We can see that Kim's mindset has been taken over by spending too much time flirting with the idea of conning with Jimmy. But the more she was exposed to it, the more she wanted to stay in that world. And now she has given into the temptation. And Jimmy is stunned by this. The final Jimmy/Kim scene was a masterful piece of work that directly paralleled Jimmy's "s'all good man" moment at the end of season 4. Only this time it's Kim who changed and Jimmy who's left feeling small and confused. Of course the horrible irony is that had Kim changed like this back in seasons 2 or 3, Jimmy may have been happy about it. But after all that just happened? Jimmy and Kim are on very different pages right now and it should be interesting to see how this new version of Kim will affect their relationship going forwards.
Then we get to the excellent Nacho/Lalo story which provided most of the episode's suspense and action. Clearly Kim's words have gotten to Lalo and so his first move is to ensure that Nacho is trustworthy by giving him a much more solid position amongst the cartel. But this puts Nacho in a deeply uncomfortable position. He's entered the hornet's nest and is surrounded by enemies everywhere, and yet he is being told to act like a double agent to set up Lalo's death. It's all very tense stuff for Nacho. One of the standout scenes for me was his improvisation to Eladio. He forces himself to pretend to care about joining up with the cartel, but he injects a little bit of truth when talking about what he really wants. It's a lovely little scene for Nacho who doesn't typically get many opportunities to express himself. Then towards the end of the episode, there's a lovely sequence that's filled with tension as Nacho tries to escape Lalo's house only to run into him outside in the middle of the night. The acting here is outstanding, and the suspense really builds up as we start to wonder if Nacho can actually make it out and if Lalo is actually going to die by the end of the episode. Thankfully for Nacho
This episode was a very big one for Lalo who we get to learn a lot about. He's such a charismatic guy and we see that on display while he chats with his housekeepers and when he sweet-talks Eladio. Tony Dalton portrays Lalo's cheeriness wonderfully well and makes him so much fun to watch. But that makes him all the more terrifying by the end of the episode when the laughs are all gone. After a fantastic action sequence where Lalo takes out the hit squad, we get the wonderfully foreboding moment where he realizes that Nacho has betrayed him. The final shot of the episode with a vengeful and angry Lalo storming off to make things right is stellar stuff, and I can't wait to see how he will try to exact revenge on Gus and what he may have planned for Nacho.
There was one specific detail that I really loved. Jimmy doesn't want to have mint chocolate anymore. It's fair for him to reject it considering the last time he had it was right before he was introduced to Lalo.
The Bad: The only complaint I have about this is that it doesn't really feel like a season finale. Sure, it's hard to follow up the sheer action of the last two episodes, but this one felt a bit too heavy on the set-up for my liking. I would have liked to see more resolution in this episode so that season 5 could feel a little more complete.
The Unknown: How is Nacho going to get out of Mexico? Will Lalo catch him? What would Lalo do with him? What's Lalo's new plan? Will he continue to pretend that he's dead? Will Gus believe this?
What does Kim's change in character mean for her future? What happens to her before the events of "Breaking Bad"? So much is up in the air after this episode.
Best Moment: There's plenty of choices to pick from. I'll go with Nacho's escape and conversation with Lalo which was wonderfully tense television.
Character of the Episode: It's a very tough choice since just about everyone is brilliant here. I think Lalo deserves it the most.
Conclusion: This was a great finale with several welcome surprises. This season has been all about subverting what we thought we knew about the show, and this finale fits that trend perfectly.
The season as a whole has been tremendous. I think this is easily the best season of the show yet. The combining of the show's two worlds made this feel like the most important season so far, and it gave the story such focus and suspense that the show hasn't really accomplished in previous seasons. The character growth was as spectacular as ever and every character's journey was engaging to watch. Jimmy's descent into Saul Goodman was tremendous fun in the first half of the season, and there were some genuine twists in the second half to keep us on our feet. Kim's journey also took a lot of surprising turns and I think this was the highlight of the season as Kim has consistently been one of the best parts of the show. And the Nacho/Lalo/Mike/Gus story was also much improved. I felt that the balance between these stories was much better than in previous seasons, and all 4 characters were given plenty to do and were very enjoyable whenever they were on screen. As a whole, this season worked tremendously well, with the final 5 episodes being absolutely excellent. I'm very excited for season 6 and I'm curious to see how else the writers can explore these characters.
Summary: Jimmy eventually makes it back to Albuquerque, and Kim is relieved. Mike tells Jimmy to keep things quiet and lie about what happened. Jimmy pays the bail money and says he had car trouble. Nacho picks up Lalo who is ready to go back to Mexico. Jimmy returns to Kim and doesn't tell her about the shootings, but Kim find Jimmy's mug with a bullet hole in it. Eager to hide his PTSD from Kim, Jimmy goes back to work and finds it difficult to recover. Kim reflects on everything and decides to quit Schweikart & Cokely and pursue her pro bono work. Meanwhile, Mike informs Gus about what happened and Gus deduces that Bolsa sent out the attack to help protect Gus' business. Nacho drops Lalo off at the same border crossing but Lalo decides to stick around when he realizes that he didn't pass Jimmy's car and eventually finds it in a ditch with bullet holes in it. Lalo drops by Kim and Jimmy's place and interrogates Jimmy, asking him to tell the story of what happened over and over again. Mike watches over everything with a sniper. Jimmy is intimidated but Kim steps in and chastises Lalo for his sloppy operation. Lalo leaves and tells Nacho that he has a new plan and that they are going to Mexico.
The Good: What a terrific episode. The central theme of this one is obviously choices, more specifically bad choices. This episode is spent examining the consequences to Jimmy's choices, showing us how his involvement with the cartel has thrown his life into complete chaos. On the other hand, we get to see Kim making some bad decisions which will likely result in serious blowback, similar to what Jimmy is going through right now. The episode is gorgeously executed, exploring this theme in visually impressive ways with some outstanding pieces of editing.
Jimmy's dilemma is easy to understand. We saw what he went through and we understand what the problem is for him. He needs somebody to talk to about what he experienced, but having been given a reality check from Mike about involving Kim, he can't afford to go to her. The bulk of the episode is spent exploring this conflict inside of Jimmy. We can see him dealing with PTSD in numerous scenes and he is desperately searching for an escape, even going as far as to go to Mike for help with it. But nothing is helping, and his lies to Kim feel half-baked at best as he tries to will himself to leave her out of it, horrified of the consequences of bringing her into the criminal underworld. Their argument towards the end of the episode is a wonderful exploration of this idea. We can see Jimmy desperately trying to keep Kim distant to protect her, which is why he is so insistent that Kim stays with Mesa Verde. In a way, he's talking to his past self in this scene, trying so desperately to prevent Kim from making the same horrible mistake he made, trying to keep her out of this life. Because he knows better than anyone right now that becoming a friend of the cartel was a significant mistake, one that he can never undo.
But unfortunately for Jimmy, Kim has already made her choice. We've seen Kim's appreciation for Jimmy's cons since the beginning of the show, going all the way back to Jimmy's billboard stunt in "Hero". She started off completely opposed to going against the law, but as she spent more time with Jimmy, she grew more and more attached to the life of scheming and conning. If she was going to exit this world, she would have done so back in "Wexler v. Goodman", but instead she married Jimmy. She has made the same mistake that Jimmy did, walking into the morally questionable world with open arms, and it's already too late for her to go back. Her meeting Lalo and quitting Mesa Verde is just putting the nail in the coffin. And I pray that this won't end up being a literal metaphor for Kim. She has been the heart of the entire series, and one of the main hooks of the show is hoping against all logic that somehow there is a way out of the incoming tragedy for Kim. But as the show has progressed, the threat has become more and more real. At first it was just a fear of Kim being heartbroken, but now I am genuinely concerned for her life.
This episode legitimately made me think that Kim may die, which is an amazing accomplishment. Despite this being a prequel, I did not have any idea what was going to happen in the final 15 minutes of this episode, and that gave me some of the absolute best tension-based drama I have ever seen, up there with some of the most brilliant moments of "Breaking Bad". With Kim quitting Mesa Verde and dedicating everything to Jimmy, this felt like it could be the end of her character arc. There was very real suspense in the final sequence, and that made the whole thing so much more visceral than I thought it would have been.
The build up for the final 15 minutes is tremendously well done. Jimmy begins the episode cooking up lies for everyone, and yet nobody ends up believing it. There are always holes (literally), and both Kim and Lalo are able to see through them quite easily. The basis of these two lies is crucial for the final scene to work as well as it does, so these lies needed to be established and seen through in a logical fashion. And the writers absolutely nail that aspect. Kim stumbling upon the mug with the bullet holes makes perfect sense as the mug would be the least of Jimmy's concerns after what he went through. And Kim not telling Jimmy anything fits with what we know of her. She is genuinely scared about what he has to say, but she isn't able to forget about it and tries to gently prod him into telling her. Lalo on the other hand also gets some nice development. We see him prepare to go back to Mexico, but one last visit with the poor, helpless Hector neatly demonstrates why Lalo really does not want to leave. Does he really want to leave his uncle in the hands of Gus Fring? And so Lalo is hunting for any reason to stay in New Mexico, and he gets his reason when he starts thinking about Jimmy's story. After a little investigating, he quickly finds some concerning evidence, and now the stage is set for a nail-biting final confrontation, a life-or-death interrogation scene in which everybody has pieces of the puzzle, but nobody can see the clear picture. The question quickly becomes what pieces are going to be revealed, and who is going to be hurt/killed in the ensuing chaos.
The sequence in the apartment executes this suspense masterfully. The scene starts out as an argument between Jimmy and Kim and it makes you think that the argument is going to play a significant part in the climax of the episode. But then Jimmy keeps getting phone calls and it's clear that something is about to happen. The there's a knock on the door and Jimmy picks up a call from a desperate Mike, who is desperately trying to get to Kim's apartment before things go too badly. It's Lalo at the door and the stakes of the scene are immediately apparent. Tony Dalton puts in a tremendous performance here and Lalo is terrifying to watch as he pokes around like he owns the place, even going as far as to terrorize Jimmy's fish. The scene is so frightening because of its implications. The last 2 episodes saw the wall go down between the legal world and the criminal underworld, the wall that had been established since season 2. And in this episode we get to see elements from both sides mix together and interact. Lalo feels like an invader in this scene, and the clear-cut boundaries between the two worlds of this show are no more. The entire time I've watched this series, I was looking forward to seeing how both worlds would eventually come together. I didn't think that it would be so well done that I would find myself yearning for both worlds to be separate once again so that Kim would no longer be in such danger. This fear added so much to the suspense in the interrogation. The fear, mixed with the sense that Kim's life is in danger, mixed with the lies that established the foundation of this interrogation, led to a scene that had nail-biting tension. What's more, this scene managed to maintain that tension for 15 minutes, which felt like an absolute eternity (in a good way).
The resolution of the scene was also perfectly done. Jimmy is evidently shaken, and he isn't capable of making stories like he usually is. His fear is palpable and it's causing him to stop working. And so Kim steps in, and she tells Lalo off the way that she may deal with anyone else in her world. It's an outstanding character moment that both amps up the tension and shows us how largely out of her depth Kim would be if she were to get involved in the criminal underworld. Luckily for her, Lalo didn't do anything stupid, but who knows what Kim will get mixed up in next.
There were a few smaller things that made this episode even better. The score throughout the episode was fantastic and built dread in a wonderfully subtle way. The opening montage was a terrific callback to "Something Stupid" and was also quite rich in symbolism, going as far as to show us a wall being broken down with Kim covering both sides of the screen by the end of the sequence, symbolic of how Kim is now part of both halves of the show. I do like the reveal that Bolsa sent the men to take Lalo's money. I wonder how this will play into the overall arc of the story, but it does complicate the cartel drama which is becoming more and more prevalent as the show goes on. Lastly, I liked seeing Mike stand up for Nacho, who is unfortunately finding himself more and more trapped in his current life. Here Nacho gets a moment of bliss when it seems like Lalo is finally out of his hair, but it's a literal moment as Lalo quickly returns and Nacho now finds himself taking a drive to Mexico. At least Mike is on his side, but Gus isn't relenting about keeping Nacho as his guy. Mike even tells Gus a version of the iconic "fear" line from "Breaking Bad", which raises a very interesting question (see: The Unknown).
The Bad: Nothing.
The Unknown: How does Gus come to believe that fear is not an effective motivator? Does his affiliation with Nacho backfire somehow? What does this mean for Nacho?
What are Jimmy and Kim going to do next? How will they react to Lalo's interrogation? Will Jimmy end up telling Kim the truth?
Will we be seeing Tuco again? It's mentioned that he will be out of prison in about a year.
What is Lalo planning to do now? Why is he going to Mexico?
Best Moment: Everything in the final 15 minutes. Simply spectacular television.
Character of the Episode: Kim.
Conclusion: Another outstanding episode. This season started patiently, but these last 4 episodes have been incredible with some of the best character writing and drama the show has put out. This episode was a masterclass in tension and it provided what I think is the most memorable sequence of the entire series. I wasn't sure how the show was possibly going to be able to follow "Bagman", but this was a near-perfect follow-up that has me extremely excited for whatever is going to happen in the season finale. So far, this season is looking like it could very well be an all-time classic.
Summary: Jimmy decides to pick up the $7 million for Lalo if he is paid $100,000. Jimmy tells Kim who is immediately against the idea of him going out, but Jimmy decides to go anyways. Jimmy collects the money from the Salamanca twins but on his way back he is ambushed by several cartel men who prepare to kill him. A mysterious sniper saves Jimmy, who is caught in a gunfight which destroys all the cars in the area. One man escapes the carnage in his car and the sniper is revealed to be Mike. With Jimmy's car trashed, they walk across the desert together, dragging the money behind them. Jimmy almost gives up several times but Mike keeps him going. They encounter the one survivor hunting for them and Jimmy goes out as a distraction while Mike snipes him. Near dead, the two of them continues heading back to civilization on the road. Meanwhile, a concerned Kim goes to Lalo to try to find Jimmy's whereabouts but he doesn't divulge any information to her.
The Good: I'm a firm believer that television is at its best when we get standalone episodes that are satisfying on their own, telling a complete story. This results in a rich emotional experience that other episodes of television cannot provide. With that being said, I think that this episode of "Better Call Saul" was a fantastic exploration of a standalone story that gave me my most memorable experience with the show yet. Everything about this was immaculate, from the storytelling, to the drama, to the acting, to the directing. It all clicked together beautifully to create what I think is the best episode of the show by far.
I'll start at the beginning of the episode. The early scenes give us all the information we need to understand what is going on. Lalo needs the $7 million and Jimmy has to go get it. But there is a lot of time spent focusing on the choice Jimmy makes at the start of this episode. He doesn't have to get the money himself. Lalo even says that he can find somebody else to do it. But the greedy part of Jimmy, the part that wants him to be a friend of the cartel, can't let it go. In the end he chooses to do it at a steep price, a decision which sets everything in motion for this episode leading to some pretty dire consequences for Jimmy. But he has no reason to think about that. He says as much to Kim who is immediately afraid for him about what he is about to do. But Jimmy won't listen to it as he has already made up his mind and is ready to live on a high.
And live on a high is what he does, albeit briefly. He goes out into the desert as calm as ever and he meets with the Salamanca twins to get the money. The scene is shot really well and we can see that Jimmy is trying his best to make a positive impression to become the friend of the cartel. It all goes over smoothly, and Jimmy is practically bursting with joy as he comically sings a variation of 99 bottles of beer on the wall on his drive back. But what this episode does magnificently is how it turns Jimmy's joy into such despair so suddenly. The whole episode had a building sense of unease as it went on, and it all built up to this horrifying moment where Jimmy nearly dies and finds himself in a violent shootout. The scene is outstanding, and it perfectly captures how horrifying it would be to find yourself caught in such a dangerous life-and-death situation with no control over anything. I really love the focus on Jimmy in this scene even though all he's doing is hiding on the ground, too terrified to move. Bob Odenkirk's acting really sell the fear in this moment and it takes what is already a pretty entertaining gunfight and elevates it to something much greater than that. The consequences for Jimmy's decision arrive in blistering fashion, and for the rest of the episode he is left facing the chaos that stems from his new status.
The rest of this episode really drives home how much of a transformative experience this is for Jimmy. After this, he will never be the same again and that much is made clear with several effective uses of imagery and symbolism. The destruction of Jimmy's Esteem is a powerful moment to exemplify this, as is the reveal that Jimmy's iconic mug was shot and destroyed amongst the chaos. Some of the key things that we have come to know and love that represent Jimmy McGill have been destroyed beyond repair, and like with Jimmy himself, there's no way to restore them to the way they were before. Another fantastic piece of symbolism was the return of the space blanket. Initially Jimmy refuses to take it from Mike, still unwilling to revisit his grief for Chuck in even the tiniest of ways.
Jimmy's story throughout the episode is simply stellar. He was broken by the shootout and the rest of the episode is a journey for Jimmy to try to put together the broken parts of himself in a way that will pave the road ahead for him as Saul Goodman. We see this idea explored throughout the episode. Jimmy is exhausted and in denial for much of the episode, and Mike, who must look like a vicious murderer in his eyes now, is the only voice of reason. Mike keeps Jimmy going and even surprisingly shows his more vulnerable side in a fantastically powerful speech made even more devastating by recalling Mike's fate in "Breaking Bad". Mike's words encourage Jimmy to not give up. He needs to find something to live for and he needs to find who he is more than anything else. After all, who cares if he dies as long as he has something to fight for. And it's here that Jimmy reassembles himself. He takes the little pieces he has left, the broken shell of himself, the space blanket representing Chuck, and the piss-filled Davis & Main water bottle representing his legitimate legal career and sets out to forge his new identity. And of course he starts by pulling a con to kill the man who is hunting him and Mike. Jimmy uses a piece of his past (the space blanket) to manipulate the driver, and after the driver is dead he takes a triumphant drink of lousy Davis & Main piss to keep himself alive. It's a wonderful transformative moment for Jimmy that will likely have a drastic impact on the character going forwards. And as a final touch, the last shot of the episode tells a terrific story as the space blanket representing the old Jimmy who cared about his brother is stepped on and shoved aside after being used one final time. Jimmy is on a new path now, a path where there is no place for Chuck or his past self.
Finally, I get to Kim who had a very significant presence in this episode despite not actually being on screen much. After Jimmy innocuously told her about the Lalo situation in the last episode, it was a seemingly small moment where Jimmy finally decided to communicate with her. I had interpreted the moment as a key moment in their relationship. But Mike confirms that Jimmy telling Kim about Lalo may have been one of the biggest mistakes he has made, one that could have horrific consequences for Kim down the road. Now, Kim has been dragged along into the criminal underworld with Jimmy and it's not a place she wants to be. This much is established when Kim meets Lalo later in the episode. The realization of where Kim is was pretty horrifying when it happened, and the implications of her speaking with Lalo are immediately evident. This is legitimately dangerous ground for Kim to travel and we do not want to see her going down that path. The start of her scene with Lalo sees Kim in control. She treats the meeting with Lalo like she is still in the legal world of lawyers where the law is respected, and Lalo is initially timid and subdued when he thinks that he is out of his comfort zone. But once it becomes apparent that Kim is entering Lalo's world, control over the conversation shifts drastically to the now confident and charismatic Lalo. Lalo quickly beats Kim into submission and proves that she does not belong on this side of the show. But now, Jimmy's crucial decision to go pick up the $7 million has caused the wall between the two halves of the show to permanently crumble, and the effects that this will have on somebody like Kim who thrives on the legal half are scary to think about.
The Bad: Nothing.
The Unknown: Who was that at the auto shop that ratted on the twins? Who was informed about the money? Who was it that tried to steal it? Was the ambush tied to Gus? Don Eladio? Could there be another new player to worry about?
Why was Mike following Jimmy? I like the subtle reveal that he used the gas cap tracker from "Mabel" to keep track of Jimmy. But why was he following him? Was he suspecting an attack of some kind? How did he know?
What's next for Kim now that she has met Lalo? I'm concerned about her future because I don't imagine that this will be the last time they meet? How will Lalo deal with Jimmy knowing that he told Kim about their business?
How will Kim react to Jimmy when he finally turns up?
Best Moment: It's difficult to choose since there were 3 widely different stand-out scenes. The first is the initial shootout which was a fantastic achievement of directing. The second is Mike's speech, the most emotionally resonant moment of the episode for me. And the third is the ending sequence of the episode which featured a wonderfully complex character turn for Jimmy filled with symbolism. I'll let you guys have your pick from these three moments.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy. This was certainly one of Bob Odenkirk's best performances yet.
Conclusion: Simply outstanding. This episode is a huge turning point for the series and I couldn't be more excited to see what direction the show goes next. There is so much to love about this episode from the execution to the outstanding character arc that Jimmy was given. This season has been tremendous so far. It started patiently with quality character work and storytelling, but these last 3 episodes have been incredible. I can't wait to see what is in store for us in the next 2 episodes.
Summary: Jimmy and Kim get married and they vow to communicate better with each other. Kim patches things up with Mesa Verde after Kevin blames her for what went down by fighting back against him. Jimmy is immediately called by Nacho and goes to meet the imprisoned Lalo who wants out on bail. Jimmy and Kim have sex later and Jimmy tells her about the Lalo case. Meanwhile, Nacho reports to Mike that Lalo has ordered him to be in charge and to burn down a Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant. Mike decides to take a new approach to deal with Lalo and he meets with Jimmy. Gus has a Madrigal meeting and meets with Peter Schuler regarding their plans. He assures him that things will go smoothly. Gus and Nacho work together to burn down one of the restaurants. Jimmy follows Mike's instructions and manages to get Lalo out on bail by bringing up witness tampering by Dave Clark. Howard confronts Jimmy about how he has been getting attacked, Jimmy responds by lashing out at him.
The Good: This was the most united episode the show has had since season 1 outside of "Chicanery". The major storylines all intersected each other and events in one half of the episode ended up directly influencing the other, which was immensely satisfying to watch. Even though Jimmy did join up with the cartel storyline back in "The Guy for This", that episode didn't feel like it was the momentous combination of the Jimmy half and the cartel half of the show. On the other hand, this episode does feel like that combination, and because of that it somehow manages to feel even more significant than last week's fantastic episode.
This episode was doing a whole lot of things. First up, it explored the fallout of two key moments in the previous episode: Kim's proposal of a marriage and Lalo's arrest. The episode wastes no time in jumping right to it. The cold open is a lengthy sequence of Jimmy and Kim's wedding. There's no fanfare, no guests, no honeymoon, not even any rings. It's as cold and rushed as a wedding could possibly be and it is plainly quite awkward. Jimmy and Kim are happy enough, but you can see Jimmy's worries that perhaps this should have been a bigger moment. The fact that Jimmy is only communicating to Kim about her desires on the day of their wedding is telling enough of the problems in their relationship. This wedding is an attempt to rectify that since they have both vowed to tell each other everything going on in their lives, but if they aren't even communicating the day of their wedding, who's to say that they ever will communicate properly? This wedding seems like a horrible idea and even though both Jimmy and Kim are hopeful, it's hard to imagine this ending well. The key tragedy of Kim is that every time we think she's getting closer to finally leaving Jimmy for good, she ends up sinking even deeper with him. It hasn't had any major consequences yet, but now with Jimmy being open to Kim about his newly made cartel connections, there has never been more danger for her.
The other big fallout was from Lalo's arrest. This was such a pivotal moment in the last episode because it completely upended and opened up the Gus vs Lalo conflict in a new way, promising something fresh and unexpected in the continuation of this storyline. And that's exactly what we got here. Lalo's arrest has ramifications on everyone because it didn't end up being a solution. It just changed what the problem is, and now everyone is left scrambling trying to come up with an actual solution. Nacho hoped that he could get out, but Mike immediately shuts down any chance of that happening in the near future once it becomes apparent that Lalo is still a threat. Gus thought that he would soon be able to resume business on the meth lab, but at the end of the episode he finds himself angrily burning down one of his own establishments with Nacho to keep Lalo at bay, taking yet another hefty business loss. And Jimmy is getting it worst of all, as his job to represent Lalo leads him into a whole new conflict that is an absolute joy to explore.
It's fair to say that Jimmy McGill hasn't emerged too much this season. Much of what we have seen is the vile nature of Saul Goodman at work, following nobody's rules but his own with one goal: profit, no matter what he has to do to ensure that he does. But now Jimmy is faced with a serious moral dilemma, one that he hasn't had to face before. He has a massive opportunity to earn more money than he has ever desired, but to do so he has to join up with the cartel, crossing a bridge into dangerous territory he never even imagined he would explore. Saul is more than willing to join forces with Lalo and do this, but Jimmy is very skeptical. We get to see his morality come back in the intimate scene with Kim. Instead of continuing to keep his secrets, he actually opens up to Kim about how Lalo offered him to become a friend of the cartel. Ironically, being pushed further into being Saul Goodman has brought back a little bit of Jimmy to the surface. And unfortunately the two opposing sides of Jimmy make him more unstable than ever. The final few scenes of the episode are outstanding television. We see Jimmy flicking between himself and Saul Goodman at a moment's notice, first in the courtroom, and then later with Howard. His guilt that he feels for Fred's family is contested with his desire to earn Lalo's respect and make a truckload of money for himself. There's a fantastic reflective shot, one of the best shots of the series, that perfectly shows how fragmented Jimmy is with his two personas pulling at him. And it's here, at the worst possible time, that Howard shows up and Jimmy launches an incredible speech on him, the episode's defining moment (see: Best Moment).
Jimmy isn't the only character being explored in meaningful ways. Kim gets a fair amount of development as she deals with the failure of the Acker case. Kevin is understandably angry and shames Kim and Rich for their poor performance, and the meeting ends on uncertain terms. But then Kim does something really surprising. Taking a page out of Jimmy's book, she loses her professionalism and goes back to Kevin's office, telling him how things really are. Rich evidently feels quite awkward about Kim's unprofessional display and is left gaping as Kim rips on Kevin. And yet, the honesty works. Kevin decides to continue with Schweikart & Cokely and Kim gets a taste of the success that Jimmy's methods bring. It's a very interesting development that continues to send Kim further and further away from being a good, ethical lawyer, into something more questionable.
Mike also gets some really good content here. I've been critical on how poorly his early season arc was handled, but this episode resolves some of my biggest issues with his character. In his scene with Stacey we finally get a good reason why Mike decided to join up with Gus, and it makes far more sense than anything else I had thought up. Mike simply decided to stop pitying himself and trying to be righteous. He simply has to do his best with the options he has, and his time spent reflecting at the village in Mexico allowed him to come to this conclusion, deciding that even though Gus' cause may not be the right one, it's the best option that he has. I still feel that this explanation did come too late and that this story could have been told in a much clearer way back in "Dedicado a Max", but this explanation did improve my views on Mike's overall story. Looking back, I can now understand the purpose of Mike's time in the village and it does have more emotional resonance now than it did during my first watch of the episode. Every time I question the writing team's decisions, they always manage to make up for it and I'm left trying to remind myself not to doubt them because there is always a satisfying story being told.
There were plenty of other little things I really liked about this episode. The presentation of this was spectacular and it was the most visually striking episode of the season thus far. I was pleased to see Mike and Jimmy reconnecting again, and Jimmy's response to him on the phone was perfect comedy. The cameo of Peter Schuler was a wonderful addition to the episode that allowed some more insight into the business side of Gus' operation while also hinting even more at his mysterious past in Chile (see: The Unknown). I also loved the callback to Schuler's food tasting that he did in "Breaking Bad". Another really great callback was the mention of Jimmy's two former marriages. Lots of people were theorizing that Kim may become Saul's second ex-wife who was described in "Breaking Bad" as having been caught having sex with Saul's step-dad. Confirming that Kim would be Jimmy's third wife both served as a fun Easter Egg and also gets people to stop thinking about the possibility of such an absurd event happening in the show. Finally, I'm once again wowed by this show's continuity, using minor story beats previously used to play a major role. I would never have imagined Mike's role as Dave Clark to be used in such a big way to get Lalo out on bail, and the pieces slid into place so perfectly in this episode. Little details like this really raise the show to a whole new level.
The Bad: Nothing I would call bad.
The Unknown: What is Gus' relationship with Schuler? What happened between them in Santiago? The show has been giving us more and more teases of Gus' past and I'm starting to think that we may actually learn about what happened in Chile.
Why does Mike want Lalo out of jail? Does he have a plan to take care of him? If so, what is he going to do?
Where is the money that Jimmy has to pick up? I imagine that transporting $7 million would be quite complicated.
Why is Jimmy feeling so much guilt about Fred's family? Does it have something to do with the plan that Mike gave him? What is Jimmy going to do to clear Lalo's name?
Best Moment: Jimmy's encounter with Howard was absolutely fantastic. I'm really glad that the show didn't portray Howard as a fool and that he was able to figure out that Jimmy was the one who was sabotaging his life. It made sense for Howard to confront him to inquire about answers, but you also get the feeling that Howard maybe wanted to help as well, talking about how Jimmy is in pain. But unfortunately, bringing up pain was the worst thing he could have done. Jimmy is frustrated by Howard's ability to have moved past Chuck's death, which already gives him plenty of reason to despise him. But also, Howard is the biggest reminder that Jimmy has of Chuck. So now when he is caught in this vicious moral struggle, the shadow of Chuck is the worst thing he could possibly see. So Jimmy completely lashes out. He is vicious and hateful towards Howard, spitting venomous words at him, even doubling down on blaming him for Chuck's death. This isn't entirely rage directed at Howard though, it's also rage directed at Chuck. He's trying to show superiority over Chuck, embracing his new persona as Saul Goodman and ragefully shouting down at Howard how he has ascended to a whole new level that doesn't need to be held back by any ghosts of his past. The scene is masterfully executed and is a definite highlight of the series for me.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy.
Conclusion: Another absolute cracker of an episode. While this one didn't quite have the emotional intensity of the previous episode, it delivered in other departments, providing us with an outstanding examination of Jimmy's internal conflict while advancing the story in clever new ways that leave you craving for more. This season is firing on all cylinders now.
Summary: In flashbacks, a young Kim refuses to get a ride home from her tardy, drunk mother. In the present, Jimmy works on filming various commercials but Kim comes to him, telling him she changed her mind about their plan. Jimmy is hesitant but relents in the end. However, after humiliating Howard using some hookers he represented, Jimmy decides to go through with it anyways. Kim gets Kevin and Paige to meets with Jimmy to discuss terms, but Jimmy goes against Kim's wishes and shows Kevin commercials that will tarnish the reputation of Mesa Verde and also brings up that he will set up a copyright infringement case against them. Jimmy leaves and Kim and Rich get hard to work in an attempt to fix this. Kevin leaves and meets with Jimmy, Jimmy offers Kevin terms and he accepts. Later, Kim returns home and lashes out at Jimmy for conning her like that. She is prepared to break up, but then suddenly suggests that they get married. Meanwhile, Nacho gives Gus more intel and Gus assigns Nacho to report to Mike from now on. Mike goes back to Lalo's attack at TravelWire and gets Lalo's car to be identified as a prime suspect. He arranges it so Lalo is discovered by the police and is arrested.
The Good: This episode knew how to build intrigue the way "Better Call Saul" does best. We're often treated to scenes of characters working on a project, but we're often missing a few key details to fully understand what they are doing. This episode utilizes that to its fullest effect in the Jimmy/Kim storyline. We start the episode by seeing Jimmy filming various commercials, though we don't know what he plans to do with them or what his approach is to stick it to Mesa Verde. This intrigue is immediately established early in the episode, and it's very important that it is established. Since we know that there needs to be a pay-off down the line, we know not to buy into the idea of Jimmy shutting down the operation just because Kim says so. We know that these commercials have to be shown at some point, and so we can anticipate that Jimmy isn't going to back down. But in this case, it isn't bad to know where the story is going. Knowing that Jimmy isn't going to adhere to Kim's wishes allows the episode to overflow with tension as we wait for Jimmy's game to be revealed and for the inevitable impact that it's going to have on Kim.
Everything boils over at the meeting, which ended up being one of the episode's two incredible scenes. Everything is fine early on, but we are just waiting for the ball to drop. And when it does, it is awesome. The look on Kim's face when Jimmy drops the 4 million on Mesa Verde tells the whole story. Jimmy absolutely dials it up in this episode, embracing Saul Goodman to his very core. He's charismatic, unyielding and a complete asshole throughout the entire sequence. And Kim looks shellshocked when she realizes the storm that she's caught in. She tries to usher Kevin out of the room, but Saul can't be stopped and he says all of the right things to ensure Kevin stays and that he can take complete control of the meetings. Then we get the reveal of what he was working on. The slanderous commercials and Jimmy's "smoking gun" of copyright infringement are tremendous, and the episode lays on how significant this is with expert performances and even better cinematography and editing. The slow zoom on Kevin's face as he festers in his own frustration was such a powerful shot that truly captured how much chaos Saul left in his wake. Kevin's decision to just cut a deal with Saul and end it all was completely understandable, and it was the perfect end to another perfect con.
But while executing a perfect con is enough for Jimmy to be happy, it's nowhere near enough for the flabbergasted Kim, who looks like she has been through a trauma by the episode's end. She returns home to Jimmy, horrified and confused by what just happened. For the second time, Jimmy played her and unlike the last time, this one was intentional. Jimmy's moral flexibility has gradually gotten worse and worse as the show has gone on and now Kim gets to see firsthand that the man she loves is never going to fix this. He has been spiraling rapidly ever since Chuck's death and now he has taken it too far. So Kim lashes out hard at the end of the episode, having had enough of Jimmy's lies and deceptions, having had enough of this relationship that has done nothing food for her. She seems like she is ready to storm away from him no matter what he says to her, the same way she refused to get into the car with her mother at the start of the episode. But there's just something about this relationship. Something that makes it so Kim just can't walk away, no matter how many reasons she has to do so. And so when she tries to put her foot down, she says something completely unexpected that causes the story to make a complete u-turn. What if she and Jimmy get married?
What makes this episode's story so damn effective is how the characters don't have to spell out their motives to us. There are so many ways to interpret the scenes in this episode (especially that stunning final line) and that's shown by how many unique takes there are on this episode. It's an episode that is open for interpretation which allows it to have extra depth that other episodes of the show don't have. all of thsi combined, the unpredictability, emotion, suspense and deep character development ensure that this is one of the show's finest episodes, one that will have a profound impact on the story as a whole.
And I haven't even talked about the other subplots in the episode yet. First up is Jimmy's continued sabotage of Howard. These scenes manage to be both hilarious and hard to watch. It's funny because the ideas that Jimmy cooks up to attack Howard are excellent, and sending some hookers to meet him in order to embarrass him and hurt his reputation is a hilarious idea. Even funnier is when we see him relishing what he's done to Howard. But it's still hard to watch. It's painful because this petty asshole is not who Jimmy is supposed to be. Jimmy is a con man, but this outright unnecessary sabotage is pure Saul Goodman. Howard doesn't deserve to have this happen to him, but Jimmy does it anyways. It's certainly one of the worst things he has done in the whole series, up there with the stunt he pulled with poor Irene back in "Fall". And the episode clearly paints to us that the glee he got out of conning Howard here was one of the deciding factors to him choosing to go through with the Mesa Verde plan anyways. Jimmy can be a good man, but whenever he dips his toes into the sweet illegal territory, he just can't help himself.
Lastly, we get to the Mike storyline where there are some very big happenings. For one, Mike is reunited with Nacho, finally giving Nacho a little glimmer of hope. With Mike's help, he does have a genuine chance to escape, and I'm excited to see what will come of their alliance. The rest of the episode focuses on Mike's plan to get Lalo arrested, which was another big twist that completely reshapes the direction of this season. I've been critical of Mike's storyline (see: The Bad), but he is always at his best whenever he has a job to work on. It's a blast seeing Mike pose as a private investigator, worker in the police office, and even as a police officer himself in order to secure Lalo's arrest. Furthermore, I absolutely love that the logistics that brought Lalo down were his irrational actions back in "Winner". I was harsh on Lalo's chaotic actions in my review of "Winner" (an episode I actually love even more now) because I thought that they were small instances of sloppy writing. But I'm extremely impressed that Lalo's actions ended up bouncing back on him, and it was these reckless maneuvers that have resulted in him being taken off the streets. This was such intelligent writing, and it made the story much more satisfying than it had any right to be.
The cameos from detective Tim Roberts from "Breaking Bad" and Cliff Main were very welcome.
The Bad: Mike's character arc in the first 5 episodes of this season ended up being quite the disappointment. This episode feels like it jumped ahead to a point where Mike is now loyal to Gus without actually giving us any good reason for him to actually be loyal to him. It makes Nacho's comments about why Mike is working for him feel like they hit the mark. We're supposed to believe that Mike has good reason to work for Gus, but we aren't given anything more than revenge. I'm disappointed that there wasn't more to Mike's journey towards working for Gus, and I honestly think that showing Mike spiraling downwards was a waste of time that could have been used to develop their relationship more.
The Unknown: Why did Kim suggest getting married? Is it because she can't bring herself to end their relationship and has resigned to sticking by him? Or are there more reasons for this?
What happens now that Lalo is busted? Will the Salamancas send more men into America? Will Lalo go to Jimmy in an attempt to free himself?
Best Moment: It's a real toss-up between the meeting scene and Kim's outburst at the end of the episode. I think I'll go with Kim's outburst because that ending was so unexpected, but both scenes were equally fantastic in my eyes.
Character of the Episode: Kim, though Jimmy is a very close second.
Conclusion: What a wonderful episode. This was exciting and emotional, and completely changed the direction of the show multiple times with some spectacular twists. I'm genuinely unsure how the story will proceed from here, and the uncertainty really excited me. This is a game-changer of an episode to throw out halfway through a season, and I really appreciate the ambition for the writers to do something like this.
Summary: Jimmy starts putting legal roadblocks on the eviction of Acker, frustrating Kevin who simply wants to get the place torn down. Kim lets him know that Jimmy is working for Acker but Kevin refuses to take her off the case. Kim tries to get him to consider relocation, but Kevin is too stubborn and the plan backfires. Kim decides to take things a step further and gets Jimmy to find someone to investigate Kevin's personal life. While working on the investigation, Rich visits Kim and reveals that he suspects that she is up to something. Caught off guard by this, Kim lashes out at Rich. Meanwhile, Mike stays at the small village and recovers, helping the old lady taking care of him. Gus eventually comes by to visit and they speak. Gus asks Mike to work with him, using Mike's understanding of revenge as a motive.
The Good: This is a very focused episode, only cutting between two storylines: Jimmy and Kim's attempt to get Mesa Verde to relocate and Mike's stay at the Mexican village. Both storylines are similar in how they get the central characters, Kim and Mike, to make some critical decisions that will have a huge impact on their futures.
Kim's story is easily the highlight of the episode. Kim has been one of the biggest dramatic hooks in the series since we are completely unaware of what awaits her in the future, and we can only hope that it isn't anything too bad. But she always seems to be at risk for something going wrong, and it usually seems to be Jimmy's fault. But now things are quite different. This hole that Kim finds herself in is entirely of her making. She didn't need to work against Mesa Verde but she chose to do it anyways, and now when faced with every opportunity to stop, she continues to push it further and further. Kim is risking so much for such little reward and it's scary to watch her make what could be a series of fatal mistakes that may cost her the career she has worked so hard to build. This episode builds up that tension so well as Kim continues to make bad choice after bad choice, and it all culminates in horrifying fashion when Kim learns that her boss has not been fooled by Kim's plan. Bubbling with fear and anxiety, she explodes at him in front of everyone, leaving her poised in a very uncomfortable position heading into the next episode.
Where the episode works so well is that is makes us understand why Kim is making these horrible decisions. We know that she empathizes with Acker and doesn't really care much for Kevin, so emotionally she wants Acker to have some sort of victory. But she is stuck representing the wrong side. Realizing how far she is from the job she wanted to do (representing the little guy) is soul-crushing for her, so even if she isn't aware of it herself, it's clear that a part of Kim is trying to tank her own career to punish herself for joining up with the rich and ignoring the poor. She has betrayed her own morals already, and that's why she now finds it so easy to bend the rules and break some laws in this episode. For once it isn't Jimmy that's making the choice to cross the line, it's Kim. And it's all because she regrets all the decisions she has made to come this far. It's tragic, it's relatable and it's scary to watch. We can only hope for the best for Kim, but with her current mindset she seems well on her way towards tragedy.
The episode had a lot of humour as well which I appreciated. It's always a joy to see Jimmy and Kim at work on a con. We never really know what Jimmy is planning, but seeing the results of his schemes is always a blast. His escalating stunts to fight off the construction crew were hilarious with some really absurd jokes. The imitation scene was brilliant and it nicely displayed how much closer together Jimmy and Kim always are whenever they are working a con. Lastly, Mr. X's cameo was an excellent piece of comedy, and a welcome return of a character we last saw in "Pimento".
Lastly we get to Mike's storyline, which is pretty solid. This isolation is exactly what Mike needs to get over his self-pity and start returning to the man he is supposed to be. Following a nice cameo from Dr. Goodman, Mike is forced to accept that he can't go anywhere and he is annoyed by this. Being as stubborn as he is, the fact that he is being taken care of by somebody else is frustrating for him and he makes every attempt to find a way out before settling in. When he settles in, we see him acting like himself again. He helps the lady taking care of him and keeps him self busy doing handyman jobs, and all seems fine. Then Gus arrives and we can see the rage on Mike's face when he hears his voice. Mike doesn't respect Gus at all. To Mike, Gus is simply a business associate, a man he doesn't even like. Their relationship is quite far from what we see in "Breaking Bad". The final scene of the episode gives us a hint of how they will end up making peace. Gus once again shows a deeper side to him by revealing that he funds this village as a memorial to Max. I can only imagine that Max had a desire to help the poor, having been poor himself and Gus is keeping Max's dream alive by donating to this village. Of course he doesn't explicitly say any of this to Mike (see: The Bad), but it's a nice touch to his character. The final moment of the episode shows us what I can presume is the reason why Mike joins up with Gus and it makes sense. Mike has been motivated by revenge for much of the series (revenge against Matty's killer and against Hector) so he will understand Gus' plight.
The Bad: Unfortunately I feel like Mike's story didn't quite work. This episode was the perfect opportunity to stage a transformational arc for Mike to make us understand why he would join Gus and to make us emotionally invested in their relationship. But the episode just didn't commit enough to do that. What we got was a simplistic story that works well enough. But considering the standards that this show sets, that is nowhere near enough. The problem is that we don't have enough context for why either character would trust the other. Mike can understand revenge, but is that really enough for him to set everything aside and go back to working for Gus, the man whose work lead to Mike having to kill Werner. And why does Gus care so much about Mike anyways? We need to know more about these two characters to make this relationship work. If this scene is just the start of their relationship, I suppose it's fine. But the way the scene is presented, it feels like this is supposed to be the big moment where Mike chooses to work for Gus, and I just don't buy it. I think that it would have been better had Gus been more open to Mike about his past and who he really is. That could have helped build a bond between them, but the show is far too interested in keeping Gus mysterious which I feel isn't necessary at this point in the story. In the end, I'm left very disappointed by Mike's story in this episode since it should have been so much more powerful than what we got.
The Unknown: Would Stacey really be okay with Mike suddenly vanishing like that? Presumably it has been a few days since she last saw him.
What did Kim discover that gave her hope for framing Kevin? Is it something to do with copyright infringement involving the Mesa Verde logo?
Now that Rich knows about Kim's schemes, what is he going to do about it? What is Kim going to do? Is she going to try to back out or will she keep on recklessly trying to save Acker?
Best Moment: Kim lashing out at Rich in front of the whole firm for telling her his suspicions was a brutally tense scene to watch. I'm afraid for Kim and I can tell that she's afraid for herself in this scene, having to directly face how unethical and self-destructive her actions have been.
Character of the Episode: Kim.
Conclusion: The idea of running two parallel character stories was excellent and it should have resulted in one of the show's better episodes. But this ended up being another middle of the road episode due to the drastic difference of quality between both stories. Kim's story was fantastic, with some of the season's best content, but the Mike story was disappointing. Hopefully it's just a fluke and the rest of this season can deliver much stronger content.
Summary: Kim resolves to fix Acker's situation and makes a proposition to Kevin and Paige but they decline. Unwilling to give up, Kim approaches Jimmy, who has been using increasingly unethical actions, with a proposition. Jimmy had a meeting with Howard who gives him an offer to work at HHM. Jimmy is pretty unwilling to join HHM and immediately accepts Kim's offer. Jimmy becomes Acker's representative to fight against Mesa Verde. Jimmy goes to Howard's house and throws bowling balls onto his car. The DEA watch over Gus' dead drops and capture 3 guys and $700,000. Gus falls victim to anxiety as he awaits a response from Victor signifying that the plan was a success and nobody too major was busted. Mike tries to reconcile with Stacey and is unsuccessful. He provokes the gang people again and is beaten up and stabbed. He later wakes up at an unknown location likely in Mexico, having been saved.
The Good: This was another strong episode of character exploration that gave the characters genuine conflicts to deal with and made this season's central storylines become a little more clear. A great example of this is the Jimmy/Howard storyline that is told throughout the episode. It's telling of this whole conflict that the first thing we see during the scene where Jimmy meets with Howard is Jimmy toying with the ring he got from Marco. As ever, Jimmy is trying to balance out his inner conflict of the good lawyer vs the con man. We haven't seen this uncertainty from Jimmy this season, but now it emerges as Jimmy likely has a good idea of what Howard has to say and remembers how all he ever wanted back in season 1 was to just work with HHM. But it only stays for a brief moment. Pretty quickly, Jimmy ends up distancing himself from Howard during their discussion. He's unnerved by Howard being the same egotistical businessman as before, especially considering how much he has changed as a person since Chuck's death. Not only does Howard's offer to work at HHM clash with Jimmy's desire to play Saul Goodman at court, but the essence of how Howard has returned to normal clashes with Jimmy's unorthodox method of moving on where he became an entirely new person. For Jimmy, Howard represents one final chance for him to stay Jimmy McGill, get over his problems, and to achieve everything he could have dreamed of back in season 1. But Jimmy rejects all of what Howard stands for by the end of the episode where he gleefully throws bowling balls at Howard's car (set up by a wonderful cold open that builds mystery in a classic "Better Call Saul" way).
It has been an absolute joy to see Saul in action. It looks like Jimmy's dealings with Lalo and Nacho in the last episode actually had a very positive effect on his mind. He dipped his toes into the criminal underworld, had a heavy payday, and he wants to succeed like that again. The way he manipulates the two junkies early in the episode is superb, proving that he isn't above sacrificing his own clients to get more money. His ethical values are all but gone, as we see once more in the courtroom where he uses underhanded tactics to get a mistrial. Jimmy enjoys doing this more than anything, and he's becoming more and more destructive than ever, especially with how he commits wholeheartedly to his new life as Saul.
And as always, Kim can't seem to escape Jimmy's destructive nature. Once again, we see Kim turning back to Jimmy's sly methods in an attempt to help one of her clients. It's a horrible thing to see because Kim is risking her career in a big way by conning Mesa Verde, one of her own clients, in an attempt to help Acker, something that she feels she has to do. Now there isn't anything wrong with Kim wanting to help Acker, knowing how much she relates with "the little guy". But going to Jimmy seems like a huge mistake. She's expecting to face up against Jimmy in this case, but she's going to get Saul Goodman which won't be good. This episode emphasizes a fundamental difference between Jimmy and Kim. Jimmy is happy to make a mess without any regard to whoever is left to face the heat or clean it up. But Kim does care about the consequences of her actions, and I get the sense that this fundamental difference between both of them will lead to a lot of conflict. It's only a matter of time before Jimmy takes things too far in this case, and I'm very afraid about the blow-back that this will have on Kim.
The stuff with Gus was also very impressive. Gus has gotten some development throughout the show, but it hasn't been anything that we couldn't have already guessed about him. But here we get a new insight on his behaviour, as he sits at his desk, brimming with anxiety and taking it out on poor Lyle, who is left scrubbing the fryers for a man who will never be satisfied. Gus has almost always been in control when we have seen him. But here is one of the very few times where Gus' fate rests on the actions of others, and the idea of not being in control eats him alive. It's a wonderful bit of development that is subtly included, and wonderfully edited into the episode as we intercut between the DEA's operation and Lyle scrubbing. The inclusion of Hank and Gomez was pretty fun as well. They played a specific role in the story, so their inclusion certainly wasn't just fanservice. But we also got a nice tie-in to "Breaking Bad" as we see the over-the-top Hank providing a rousing speech after being disappointed that he hasn't yet busted the guy that we know he ultimately will. It felt like a conclusion for Hank and I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't appear again in the series.
Mike's story was very curious in this episode. His story continued naturally as he fell further into grief and self-loathing. In this episode we see him get rejected by his family, and having no motivation to do anything else, he purposefully looks for a fight so he can get beaten up and punished for what he has done. Mike has hit a new low and looks like he is ready to die for all he has done. But the ending of the episode provides a very interesting twist with Mike waking up in an undisclosed location, having been saved by somebody unknown. This is a good cliffhanger that provides an intriguing mystery. I'm intrigued to find out who has Mike and how they will help Mike get back to working for Gus.
The Bad: There's nothing bad about this. But one thing I have to note is that despite this season being very enjoyable so far, it hasn't succeeded in engaging my emotions to the next level in ways that the show has done before. Usually the show has turned some pretty ordinary episodes into something terrific by providing some outstanding scenes ("Slip" and "Breathe" are good examples) or by emotionally engaging me into a character's plight ("Rebecca" and "Quite a Ride"). This season hasn't quite hit that level yet. I'm sure it will in future episodes, but it's worth noting that these early episodes have been missing that spark.
The Unknown: How will Gus' anxiety be explored in future episodes? Will he somehow overcome this flaw before "Breaking Bad"?
Where is Mike? The way the scene is shot suggests Mexico to me. What happened to him at the end of the episode? Who saved him from the beating he was taking? Was Gus watching him? Was it Lalo who was absent this week? Or was it somebody else entirely?
Best Moment: Jimmy and Howard's meeting was wonderfully well done. The acting was top-tier and the scene brilliantly conveyed both Jimmy's conflict and Howard's transformation.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy.
Conclusion: There's no better show on television right now at exploring inner conflict. Not a whole lot happens in this episode, but there is some stunning character exploration as the season makes some very important moves towards setting up its climax. The first 4 episodes haven't been the show at its absolute best, but they have laid very important groundwork in a wildly entertaining way. This season has started very well.
Summary: Nacho takes Jimmy to meet Lalo. Lalo recruits him to help with Domingo's arrest. Jimmy meets with Domingo who is questioned by Hank and Gomez. Jimmy forms a plan with Domingo who ends up giving Hank and Gomez the location of Gus' dead drops, moving Lalo's plan forwards. Jimmy tells Lalo and Nacho that he doesn't want to do more work with them but he finds himself trapped in their business. Nacho tries to buy out his dad's shop to get him to leave town. However, his father sees through this and refuses to run away. Nacho reports Lalo's moves to Gus who decides to do nothing, unwilling to risk Lalo determining that somebody leaked information to Gus. Mike continues drinking and breaks the arm of a guy who attacks him. Kim is called in by Paige on her day off to deal with Acker, an old man refusing to leave his house so that the land can be used by Mesa Verde. Kim snaps at him after he pushes her to the limit and storms off. However, she comes back with kindness and tries to help him, only to be rebuffed once more. Upset, Kim returns to Jimmy and they throw beer bottles off the balcony together.
The Good: While the first two episodes set up the story for the season, this delved more into what I've come to expect from this show: interesting exploration of the various characters and the relationships they have with each other. This episode spent time with several key characters, showing us what their lives are like and detailing the conflicts they are dealing with using some clever metaphors and top-tier directing.
Jimmy's story was really well done. Bob Odenkirk had a great episode all around as he conveyed Jimmy's fear and discomfort as he gets pulled back into business with Nacho, now being introduced to the dangerous Lalo. Jimmy goes back to the awkward discussion he uses with Tuco as he deals with Lalo and it's very engaging to watch. Better yet is how Jimmy's demeanor completely changes once he hears that he had only been brought to Lalo for legal services. Despite that, working with Lalo and Nacho still isn't something that Jimmy wants to do. Sure he gets a good payday out of it (one that he hilariously undershoots), but is it worth getting into such a dangerous world for this? Unfortunately Jimmy is left with no choice but to step into this world, and he's left in the same predicament as Nacho. He doesn't want to be involved, but just like that ice cream cone, there's absolutely nothing that he can do to keep the ants away.
The origin of Domingo as a snitch is enjoyable to watch. Hank and Gomez make very welcome returns, and it is a pleasure to see them back on the screen. Unlike most shows, this one does fanservice extraordinarily well. These little Easter Eggs aren't here for no reason, in fact they play a crucial part in the story. Regardless of if you have seen "Breaking Bad" or not, the scenes where Hank and Gomez grill Domingo are engaging, and it's consistently interesting to see how Jimmy is going to get Domingo out of his situation. The solution with Gus being thrown under the bus makes perfect sense, and it continues the cold war between Lalo and Gus in an interesting way.
Nacho has a very good episode as well. For the first time since "Coushatta", we get a good look at what his house life is like. Nacho has everything that he could possibly have wanted. He has money, drugs, girls, cars and a big house to top it all off. But we can see on his face that none of this brings any joy to his life. The house is shot in such a dull lighting, and the camera almost never gets close to the characters, making the house appear empty and lifeless. It's obvious that Nacho has no desire for any of this. He's met by his father and we learn that Nacho had tried to get his father to leave, likely in an attempt to get him away from the threat of Gus murdering him. But Manuel is smart enough to see through Nacho's plan and he refuses to leave. It's heartbreaking to see the state of their relationship. Nacho clearly wishes to reconnect with his father, while Manuel clearly wants to see his son escape from the cartel business he's involved in. But this episode makes it clear that there is no escape for Nacho. If he runs, Gus will kill his father. If he goes to the cops, he will never be safe, a point that's also hammered home by Jimmy trying to ensure that Domingo doesn't get killed for being a rat. All that's left for Nacho to do is to keep on surviving and hope that he can keep both Gus and Lalo satisfied. It's a horrible place for Nacho to be trapped in, and it's easy to sympathize with him.
Kim also gets a chance to really shine in this episode. We return to her never-ending inner conflict and we even get some fascinating details about her past. Learning that Kim used to be poor neatly explains why she enjoys PD work so much since she is able to help less fortunate people, just like herself. But it also explains why being the main attorney helping Mesa Verde is so difficult for her. Being the lawyer working for a rich law firm isn't at all what she wanted to do, and it reflects poorly on her character. Kim wants to be there for the people, the last thing she wants is to be viewed as a smug corporate lawyer. It's telling of who she is that Kim isn't able to put Acker off her mind after she snaps at him. She comes back, looking to help sort out his situation. But he's already decided that she's a horrible person and he rejects her help. It's a heartbreaking moment for Kim that shows us exactly why doing independent work is so appealing to her. She doesn't want to be part of the big law firm, in fact she gets much more joy out of simply helping others. This takes us to the ending scene with Jimmy. The two of them are in a precarious place in their relationship. They don't talk about their lives and their struggles and instead just have fun testing the law together, the makings of a pretty toxic relationship. But that's what makes it so fascinating to follow them. The show makes it so tough to see where their relationship is going. One episode I'm left thinking that Kim is bound to leave Jimmy soon, but the next I'm wondering if Kim is actually able to tolerate Jimmy's complete disdain for ethics. This show is keeping me on my toes, and I'm left fearing for Kim's fate. The entirety of Kim's story this week took full advantage of my attachment to her and made me fear for whatever is about to happen to her. Despite very little happening, the show gets the most emotion out of every moment, making me just as hurt as Kim when things go badly with Acker.
Mike's story is progressing well enough. There isn't a whole lot to bite into in this episode, but it's some solid progression of his guilt over Werner's death. He goes through life without a care in the world and engages in conflict when it isn't even necessary. It's evident that he thinks very little of himself now, and he's now reached a new low.
The Bad: This episode isn't quite as suspenseful as it tries to be. The opening scenes with Jimmy aren't frighteningly tense because we already have a good idea of what Lalo wants with Jimmy. Jimmy is scared out of his mind, but we aren't scared at all. That creates a bit of a disconnect between Jimmy and the viewers, and that prevents the scene from being as good as it could have been had there been more mystery as to why Nacho had picked up Jimmy.
The Unknown: Does Kim want out from Mesa Verde? It seems like she hit a breaking point with Acker, so I wonder what her next move is. Will she leave Schweikart and Cokely? Also, is Kim jealous of Saul? She seems dismissive of Saul in her brief talks with Jimmy, but I have to wonder if she is jealous that Saul is doing the exact job that she wants to do more than anything.
Has Manuel been set up for death? If he isn't going to leave, then I don't see any other fate for him unfortunately.
How much of this whole thing did Lalo plan to frame Gus? Could he have somehow staged Domingo's arrest as well?
How is Gus going to handle the DEA finding his dead drops? How will this change his relationship with the cartel? What is he going to do to stop Lalo?
Best Moment: The final moments of the episode were wonderful. Jimmy and Kim have both had a crazy day that pushed them to their limits. But they both come home and don't say a word to each other about it. Instead, they silently blow off some steam by flirting with the law together, as always. No matter how far their lives sink, they always go back to each other to break some rules together. It's a pretty destructive relationship, and I'm left feeling very nervous about what awaits Kim.
Character of the Episode: Kim.
Conclusion: This was a quieter episode than the first two but I actually enjoyed it a bit more. This show excels at character work, so this episode played to the show's strengths. It has been a quiet start to the season, but the storytelling remains terrific.
Summary: Jimmy takes Kim on a surprise trip to an open house where they smooth things over between them for the moment. Jimmy begins working as Saul Goodman and tackles countless cases quickly, going as far as to break down an elevator to stage a meeting with Suzanne to discuss clients. Nacho's threatened by Gus who orders him to gain Lalo's trust to learn his intentions. After an unfortunate drug bust which ends with Domingo arrested, Nacho sneaks into the stash house to get rid of the cocaine before the DEA can find it, earning Lalo's respect. Mike has started drinking again and lashes out at Kaylee after being reminded of his guilt. After Jimmy leaves court, he's picked up by Nacho.
The Good: This was probably one of the funniest episodes of the show. The opening sequence was hilarious, and it was edited to perfection. It's goofy fun that we don't normally see from "Better Call Saul", but it fit right in with the changing dynamics of the show. The rest of this episode had plenty of moments that continued the comedic tone, whether it was the comical way that Domingo was busted by the cops or Jimmy's overly dramatic acting as he stages an elevator breakdown to finish up some cases with Suzanne. It was a refreshing change of pace, and made this episode pretty memorable. The infusion of comedy and drama has become less frequent with this show as it has gone on due to the show's darker tone in the past few seasons. However, it's telling of how good these writers are that they are able to squeeze in these laughs without taking away from the serious tone that permeates much of this episode.
But that's not to say that this episode can't be serious. Instead, it seems to take pleasure in mixing the serious with the comedic. Take the ending cliffhanger as an example. This is a huge moment for the show as Jimmy and Nacho have reunited for the first time in almost 40 episodes, finally beginning Jimmy's journey into the criminal underworld. The show understands the significance of this moment - the entire 50% off opening sequence provides a direct link from Jimmy to the Nacho storyline as a wonderful piece of foreshadowing - and the scene is shot in a dramatic way. Yet we still have the joke with Nacho refusing to allow Jimmy to enter his car with an ice cream cone. It's a brilliant case of humour mixed with a serious tone, and somehow it doesn't feel jarring since my emotional reaction flowed naturally throughout the scene.
Jimmy's storyline was terrific in this episode. There is a wonderful open house sequence that may seem like a complete waste of time on paper. But in execution, it turns into a wonderful exploration of the Jimmy/Kim relationship, giving the characters some time to get past the troubles that came from Jimmy's change into Saul Goodman. I thought that it was telling how Kim refused to work with Jimmy when he was trying to sell her an apology, only coming around on their trip to the open house when they start messing around and ignoring their day-to-day life. It's clear that these two love each other and that there are still plenty of reasons for Kim to stick with Jimmy. But there's still conflict bubbling under the surface that needs to be explored.
The remainder of Jimmy's story focuses on him enjoying his new life as Saul Goodman. He's a force in the courtroom, going from person to person and concluding cases as casually and flippantly as he possibly can. And how wonderful was that single shot of him in the courtroom? This show never stops with its innovative cinematography to add a little bit of extra flavour to the scenes. What's evident from the two Saul Goodman sequences is that Jimmy loves this new life. He's free to be himself like never before, scheming and conning his way to success while still serving his clients. This is the lifestyle he's dreamed of and it tastes just as sweet as he imagined. But it's going to be short-lived. Saul Goodman is destined to be drawn into life as a criminal, despite what Jimmy may want. The dropped ice cream cone at the end of the episode is symbolic of this. Before Jimmy is able to fully enjoy the wonders of his new lifestyle, he's going to be thrown out of his depth, and once that happens there is no going back. And it looks like that time is now.
This episode spent a lot of time on Nacho's storyline, which was done very well. Gus' chilling threat early in the episode set the tone very well for Nacho. He wants nothing more than to go on living quietly, but with Gus' veiled threat on his father, he has no choice but to do some of the riskiest and most reckless stuff in order to gain Lalo's trust. Nacho isn't given very many lines of dialogue, yet it's always clear what his intentions are and what the inner conflict is that he's dealing with. The emphasis on visual storytelling is "Better Call Saul" playing to its strengths. Furthermore, what makes Nacho so engaging to watch is that we don't have to be told to sympathize with him. He's such a morally grey character and it would be easy for the show to try to force us to like him. But the show never does that. Instead we choose to care about his internal struggles without there being any telegraphed attempts to get us to like him, and that makes this story all the more satisfying. On top of that, we get an outstanding sequence where Nacho tries to sneak the cocaine out of the stash house. We understand why he's doing it (to gain Lalo's trust) but it still seems like a stupid and scary idea. This scene mixes the nail biting tension of Nacho getting caught with some wonderful levity as Lalo commentates the whole escapade, resulting in a unique and immensely enjoyable sequence that sticks to this episode's theme of blending in humour with drama.
The last storyline to dive into is Mike's. Mike had a quiet episode, but still a very effective one. We get to see Mike fall back into his drinking habits, and the guilt over what he did to Werner is evidently eating him alive. Jonathan Banks communicates this all so perfectly, and the tragic scene where he lashes out at Kaylee is hard to watch. The poor girl is only wanting to learn more about her father, but her attempts to do so bring Mike's guilt over what happened to both Werner and Matty to the surface, and that has dire consequences. I'm not sure where Mike goes after this, but it should be interesting to see what he has to do to resolve his inner dilemma.
The Bad: I don't think there was any problem with the content we got in this episode. It was all very good stuff. But when put together, something about this episode felt off. There are so many storylines going on, and everything didn't quite flow in this episode. Things felt disjointed, without a focused story pushing things forwards. It's here where the episode's biggest strength (its humour) becomes its weakness, as the humour ends up only adding to what already feels like a pretty cluttered episode. Every individual scene worked, though the overall package felt like it was missing the focus it needed to really deliver.
The Unknown: What is Lalo planning to do about Gus? Hector told him to go after Gus' money. How does he plan to do this?
I liked that we got to learn how Domingo got his nickname. It was a harmless bit of fanservice that did actually fit in the episode. I wonder if this arrest is what leads to Domingo becoming a DEA informant. I really appreciate that the show has been quietly developing Domingo in the background. Will we actually see him become the Krazy 8 that we know from "Breaking Bad"?
What does Nacho want with Jimmy? Does this have to do with Lalo's plans for Domingo? I suspect that Nacho will want to recruit Jimmy to get him out of custody.
Best Moment: Nacho getting the cocaine out of the stash house. A wonderfully original sequence that was shot perfectly and blended humour and drama in a tremendously fun way.
Character of the Episode: Nacho.
Conclusion: This ended up being a great episode that finally merged Jimmy's story to the cartel story. The use of humour was a highlight of the episode, and there was plenty of interesting character exploration to set up the remainder of the season.
Summary: Gene escapes from Omaha for a few days, unsure if his cover is blown. After a while, he returns safely but is discovered by Jeff, the taxi driver who recognizes him. Jeff plans to stay in touch with Gene who panics and calls Ed looking to vanish again. But at the last moment, Gene changes his mind. In the present, Kim is shaken by Jimmy's change to Saul but she accepts it. Jimmy runs a promotional stunt with his final cell phones and gets in touch with a lot of new potential clients. Kim runs into Jimmy while working a PD case and Jimmy gets Kim to run a con to get her client to make the right choice, unnerving her. Meanwhile, Lalo enlists Nacho's help and discovers that the cocaine being sold is stepped on. Lalo meets with Bolsa and Gus, and Gus explains that Werner stole his cocaine and he had him quietly killed, diluting the cocaine with meth in an attempt to keep things unnoticed. Gus also explains that Werner was working on an innocuous construction project but Lalo doesn't buy it. Mike dismisses the Germans back to Germany and quits working for Gus.
The Good: Like most season premieres of this show, this was a slow episode that patiently explored a change in character dynamics while wrapping up loose ends from last season and setting up the plot for this season. It certainly won't be the best episode of the season, but it's still an enjoyable watch.
I'll start with the opening Gene sequence, a staple of the season premieres. As usual, the sequence was a terrific self-contained watch, furthering Gene's story and highlighting his paranoia. We see Gene on-the-run after his tense encounter last season, and he's ready to leave at a moment's notice. This is the first Gene scene we have seen that doesn't open with a musical score. The music represents Gene's monotonous Cinnabon lifestyle, and with Gene starting off in such a place of bother, the music isn't there. At least not until Jimmy returns to his normal lifestyle, but even then the music only lasts a short while, symbolic of the increasing pressure on Gene and how the Jimmy/Saul hiding beneath him is eager to emerge. Gene is living under constant threat now, and the confrontation with Jeff was exemplary of that. The scene was frighteningly tense giving Gene a good reason to want to disappear once again. He calls Ed (R.I.P. Robert Forster) looking to leave. But he changes his mind and decides to solve the problem himself. This is such a great way to end the Gene sequence, suggesting to us that the Gene lifestyle is no longer viable for Saul/Jimmy. He's going to try to come back, and it should be a blast to see what he does next. But unfortunately, we'll have to wait until next season to find out.
Jimmy's transformation into Saul Goodman went forward in full force. This episode sees Saul in his element, dressed in colourful suits, making sleazy business deals and spitting out charismatic lines of dialogue. There isn't a hint of Jimmy in this episode, as Saul rapidly spirals out of control with his questionable marketing schemes and complete disregard for ethics. It's as much of a shock for Kim as it is for us to see Jimmy instantly become this colourful new character and break through every one of the restraints that held him back in his last stint as a lawyer. Perhaps the best example of this is Jimmy's new 50% off deal. It's evident to everyone watching that this deal sounds like a horrible idea since it sounds like Jimmy is encouraging felonies, and Kim points this out, concerned about Jimmy's reputation. But Jimmy completely misinterprets her meaning, thinking that Kim is referring to his financial situation rather than his reputation. As Saul Goodman, he's unable to comprehend the idea of ethical behaviour and that creates a divide between Jimmy and Kim throughout the episode.
The relationship between Kim and Jimmy has always been codependent. Kim would keep Jimmy in check whenever he toed the line between legal and illegal, while Jimmy would provide Kim with an escape from her lawful lifestyle by teaching her how to toe the line by pulling small-scale cons. Jimmy would lean too far towards the illegal side of things, while Kim goes too heavily on the legal side. But together, they struck a perfect balance in between both. What this episode establishes is the destruction of that balance. Kim could handle Jimmy, but Saul Goodman is something else entirely. We see the scales tip in this episode as Kim fails to reign in Saul like she ordinarily would. Kim can no longer reign in Jimmy, as shown when he goes through with the 50% off deal anyways after being faced with the loss of a few potential clients. And Jimmy is able to pull Kim to morally gray territory with ease, getting her to actually con her own client (see: Best Moment).
In the other half of the episode, we see Lalo continue his investigation on Gus. This story remains a lot of fun, mostly due to Tony Dalton's charismatic performance as Lalo, portraying him as this suave and consistently unpredictable maniac that isn't afraid of anything. Lalo's presence puts immediate pressure on Nacho. Nacho, similar to Kim, is feeling the pressure of his position. With his split loyalties, Nacho finds it increasingly difficult to prevent a war and escape from his current life. Even though we don't see him very much in the episode, his dilemma is clear as day as he tries to cooperate with Lalo without betraying Gus. Offending either of these two could be a fatal mistake for Nacho.
We get to see the consequences of Werner's escape in full detail in this episode, and I'm pleased by that. Instead of rushing past to the next big scene, "Better Call Saul" takes its time to explore consequences, as it always does. To contend with Lalo, Gus comes up with an elaborate lie, one that is well thought-out and consistent with the carefulness we have come to expect from Gus. Though a small oversight (the lack of a south wall) is enough to keep Lalo on Gus' scent, and it should be interesting to see where Lalo's investigation will take him, and how Gus plans to deal with him.
Mike on the other hand is really feeling the guilt from killing Werner. Kai tries to sympathize with what Mike does, and for his troubles he gets a hard punch. But when Casper angrily insults Mike, he doesn't get punched. Mike knows full well that Werner did not deserve to die, and he's not at all comfortable with what he had to do. Jonathan Banks does a superb job in this episode portraying Mike's unease, and that makes Mike's decision to leave Gus at the end of the episode feel like a realistic choice.
The montage of Jimmy giving phones away was terrific. This show always impresses with its editing, and this was another prime example of clever film-making. I particularly enjoyed the details of Jimmy exaggerating Huell's sentence, and also of Jimmy ringing a bell, signifying that he'll be getting involved with the cartel very soon. As a final point, the return of Bill and the film crew were two very welcome cameos, and Jimmy's publicity stunt was a joy to watch.
The Bad: The cartel half of the story is bogged down by the prequel problem. Lalo's investigation would be much more engaging and exciting if Mike and Gus' futures were uncertain. There would be more drama and excitement if there was a possibility that Gus' plans could get out to the cartel. But since that possibility doesn't exist, the story isn't as dramatic as it could be. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the story and find it skillfully put together. But I can't help but feel that this should be better than it is.
Being a season premiere, this episode is very slow and not a whole lot happens in terms of character, and there aren't even as many chances as usual for the show to wow us with its directing, cinematography and editing. Granted, there's nothing wrong with the content we were given, but there isn't anything particularly special about it either.
The Unknown: What is Gene planning to do to deal with Jeff? Will he be channeling his inner Saul Goodman or his inner Jimmy McGill?
What's with the stepped on drugs? Did Gus somehow plant these to help make his alibi of Werner's escape make more sense?
Lalo mentions that Hector killed Gus' boyfriend. Has it just been confirmed that Gus is gay? Also, what happened in Santiago? I wonder if we will actually learn about Gus' backstory.
The 50% off deal sounds like a horrible idea, and I imagine we'll be seeing repercussions from this very soon. The question is, what's going to go wrong?
Best Moment: The end of the episode sees Kim trying to convince Bobby to take a deal for 5 months in jail time, which is the obvious best choice. But Bobby refuses to accept this, convinced that going to trial and risking 2-4 years in jail is the smarter idea. When Kim vents to Jimmy about this, Jimmy's immediate instinct is to con Bobby into making the right decision. Kim is horrified, unwilling to let Jimmy's cons interfere with the job that she loves doing. She finally sends him away and returns to Bobby... and ends up conning him anyways. Kim loves it too much, and finds herself unable to resist giving in. Afterwards we see Kim escape into a quiet, monotonous staircase, away from the colourful hallway and takes a moment to catch her breath, horrified by what she has done. Dealing with Saul isn't the same as dealing with Jimmy, and Kim is most certainly feeling the pressure.
Character of the Episode: Saul. It's a blast to see this crooked lawyer back on the screen.
Conclusion: Another season of "Better Call Saul" starts with a strong yet unspectacular premiere. This was everything it needed to be and I enjoyed watching it. The foundations have been laid for season 5 and I can't wait to see what comes next.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.