Better Call Saul: A Good Magician Never Reveals His Secrets

Lewis Jacobs/AMC
Lewis Jacobs/AMC

After last week’s heart wrenching, Mike focused episode I was skeptical if this season had already peaked. Thankfully, Better Call Saul continues its climb upwards, with this week’s episode being another fantastic entry in the series.

While we wrapped up some of the issues surrounding Mike and the detectives from Philadelphia looking to put him away, Jimmy took center stage once more. But more on that later … I have been interested since the show’s inception to see how Mike and Jimmy’s relationship would grow into what we would see in Breaking Bad, this week was no disappointment. Mike has always been a character to keep others at arm’s length, yet his odd relationship with Jimmy keeps their dynamic fresh. The duo very much embody the “don’t ask, don’t tell” mentality, choosing to deal both in the day and the shadows. Having Mike break into the Kettleman’s home just to steal the embezzled money for Jimmy really harkened back to the days of future “Mr. Fixer” Mike. I’m happy that the creators have tempered themselves with showing Mike’s talents, choosing to still only give us the briefest of glimpses.

The scene where Mike breaks into the home was probably one of the finest examples of how this show succeeds in both a story telling aspect and a cinematography one. Better Call Saul has never been one for handholding; rather letting us, the viewers, decide for ourselves if the various acts are morally right. Yes, Jimmy did have Mike break into the Kettleman home to retrieve the stolen money, but was the action truly worth the risk? Is it OK to steal from thieves if it’s to save yourself? It’s why this show is so interesting, for despite Jimmy trying to “do the right thing,” his actions always end up hampering him in the end. Jimmy walks a fine line between good and evil forcing us to choose what the right choice really is.

The shows lighting and music are to get a special nod this week, as it presented some of the best cinematography on television. The use of lights and shadows really emphasize the moral tightrope walk Jimmy is constantly preforming. Smooth jazz supplements entire scenes that could have, in other cases, been exposition dumps. This once again, reinforces the idea of viewer choice and our part to play in the show as a whole.

Lewis Jacobs/AMC
Lewis Jacobs/AMC

Though this week may have continued the darker tone, we were not left without some fantastic moments. It still cracks me up that Jimmy fakes the voice for his secretary, despite being quite the successful lawyer in elder law now. While I know where Jimmy will eventually end up, the sight of him trying to make an “honest” living through the elderly is endearing. I like that Jimmy isn’t trying to get murderers, gangsters, and drug dealers off of their charges yet, and still has much of a wide eyed hope for his future. Sure his attempts at being the good guy bite him in the ass, but you can’t help but root for him. Jimmy may be the physical embodiment of morally grey, but his relationship to Kim helps humanize him. Kim has been a fantastic addition to the series, and it’s great to see that even she needs to lean on Jimmy every once and a while for support. With Kim not in Breaking Bad it really has to make you wonder what happens between these two? I love that Jimmy has someone that understands the struggling, beaten down life he has, so I am highly curious as to what will happen between them. If anything.

Going forward the only thing I want to see more of is the relationship between Jimmy and his brother Chuck grow more. Their chemistry seems off at times, and really we still know so little about their lives together. Chuck was just hospitalized for his “condition” and yet Jimmy seemed more than content to just ignore his brother completely. We know how much Chuck means to him, it’s quite clear with the lengths that he is willing to go for him. Just Chuck always feels brushed off story wise and a character that is more underdeveloped than the rest of the primary cast. That being said, another fantastic episode that kept the momentum going from last week.

From the Law Offices of James McGill

  • The Kettleman’s being referred to as Ned and Maude Flanders (The Simpsons) couldn’t have been more accurate.
  • Jimmy’s custom bingo cards are hilarious. Is it bad I want one now?
  • Mike doing his first real job for Jimmy.
  • Cinematography and score were stunning.
  • Come on Kim take the job! Jimmy offered you the corner office!

Are you enjoying Better Call Saul as much as we are? Do you want to see more between Jimmy and Chuck? Sound off in the comments below!

 

Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10 p.m. ET on AMC.