‘Better Call Saul’ Continues to Reign Supreme (TV REVIEW)

[rating=8.00] “Amarillo”

Jimmy is his own worst enemy. We already know that at some point he’s going to shed this sheep’s skin and resume his slippin’ ways and the wait is torture; every moment that he’s sitting with the big shots as a legitimate lawyer you can see it all slinking away from him. Jimmy is a good guy, Jimmy is a nice guy, but he’s not an honest guy and here lies his downfall.

The relationship between him and Kim is tricky but only because she chooses for it to be. Kim has this incessant need to drag Jimmy along with her as she climbs the corporate ladder knowing full well of his desire to please the people he loves (i.e., her and Chuck). After last season Chuck is no longer a part of that list meaning Kim is really the only thing keeping him grounded. After he fabricated evidence for Wormald, Kim made it very clear that she wants nothing to do with his lifestyle, and yet, she was very good at conning that douchebag Ken. Kim may think she has the best intentions for Jimmy, but all she’s doing is primping him for her own interests. After all, who could be with someone like Jimmy? She demands more from her reputation than what he could possibly do for it.

Kim and Jimmy

Mike’s life got a little more complicated this time around. His daughter-in-law is suddenly really paranoid. It probably has a little something to do with having a dirty cop as a father in law and a dead cop as a husband, but who are we to judge? Mike’s guilt over his son’s death will keep him taking care of Patsy Paranoia and his grandbaby until his dying day, but is it worth the price of his soul? He sure seems to think so. After staying up all night to guard the lives of his family he makes it just to time to his day job at the police station, only to immediately run back at the slightest note of urgency. Though there was no way their lives were in danger, P.P. is convinced someone is shooting at her house. Mike insists on getting them out of there, and it becomes apparent that the only way he can hold on to the lifestyle he wants for them is by taking on high paying side jobs that aren’t exactly kosher.

Mike takes a job.

Mike is actually terrifying; he’s the type of person that would break all your fingers because you cut him off in traffic five years ago. But his weakness is his family, and ultimately it will be his undoing. Mike’s commitment mirrors Jimmy’s failings in that neither of them are able to see what their callous actions are doing to their lives, and they won’t; it’s like they’re wearing blinders. For Mike it will end in his death, and for Jimmy a fate worse than death. There’s a reason those early season Cinnabon scenes are in black and white; they’re devoid of all life.

Even when Jimmy’s doing the right thing he’s still finding a way to bend the rules. In this case he was so pissed at Chuck’s implications about his practices while he was in Texas that he stumbled his way into the solution and pulled the trigger before he knew what he had. Kim points out over and over again that Davis and Main is the best job he’s ever had, and rather than find himself at the mercy of a boss he can’t relate to he tries to go over him hoping that in the long run things will just work themselves out. Jimmy’s need to please becomes a nuisance, and though it was nice to see the call back to last season’s “Alpine Shepherd Boy” his quick thinking actions are what really make him Saul. The commercial’s success is representative of that, and while there’s no doubt it will lead to a catalyst in the Sand Piper case it will most certainly set him on a new path.

At the end of the episode we’re left with both Mike and Jimmy’s uncertain fate. They’ve both just made a decision that will impact their lives, the product of which will keep them intertwined for longer than either would have thought. Expect the next week to be a tizzy of “who does Nacho need gone?” as we’re almost certainly about to run into another Breaking Bad character.

Part of what’s keeping this show so interesting is that it’s odd in a way that makes you look at it from all sorts of different angles. Think of it as modern art, twisted and dark with a tilt that makes you uncomfortable, while also evoking a sense of wonder, beauty, and awe. From the camera angles, to the script, to the choices made by the actors in each scene, there’s an off kilter presence that’s keeps the audience wondering what it is that they’re looking at while quickly declaring it a work of genius. Either we’re all pretentious beatniks, or we’ve joined a revolution in television that’s quickly over taking the monotony we’ve been subject to as the viewer for years. In any case we’re all in.

Mike and Saul

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5 Responses

  1. What I love about this show is that it has me rooting for Jimmy to do the right thing all the while knowing it’s going to go so bad at some point. Brilliant writing.

  2. Love this show…you can feel the suspense building up and know sh*t is about to hit the fan!!

    Cant wait for Gus to enter this world.

  3. I started watching this show even though I had never seen “Breaking Bad” and was delighted to find that this show stands well on its own. In fact, I tried to watch “Breaking Bad” recently, but couldn’t get into it. I think “Better Call Saul” is a superior show. I am a former litigation paralegal and found the lawyer and law firm portrayals to be spot on.

    1. I agree, Better Call Saul is good enough to stand on its own and be successful. I would just encourage you to give Breaking Bad another shot. I did not watch it while it was airing but went back on Netflix and picked it up there. I was the same way at first. I just couldnt get into it. But, after a while it took off and I was hooked. If you stopped watching early in the seasons, I would recommend giving it another shot.

  4. I just love this show. I was a huge fan of Breaking Bad and just knew that Better Call Saul would be a massive success. From the outstanding writing alone I knew it would please. Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks killed it in Breaking Bad but have taken their crafts to the next level. I have seen both of them in many things over the years but they outdo themselves in each episode. Even the supporting actors and bit players are great. I especially loved the older women in the Amarillo episode. The one on the bus who Jimmy is courting to sign with his firm and the lady who appears in his Davis & Main commercial are terrific. Kudos to the writers, directors and actors who have outdone themselves again this season. Can’t wait for more!

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