Almost every character on Better Call Saul has been attempting to deal with new changes in their lives and this week each of the main cast take steps that will move them closer to the people they are destined to become. For some, we know where their path ends but for others the destination is less clear. Either way, it’s thrilling to watch.
For Jimmy McGill, “Slip” predictably finds him back into his old conman roots. Frustrated when the twins who own the music shop he is trying to unload his ads in turn him down yet again Jimmy goes back to one of the oldest tricks he knows, he plants a loose drumstick on the floor and slips on it. Naturally, given the luck Jimmy has had lately, he actually hurts his back but at least he unloads the rest of his ad time.
Elsewhere, Chuck is attempting to make a speedy recovery from his, now confirmed, mental condition but while he’s seeing a doctor and setting goals for himself he’s attempting to breeze through it much too fast. He’s pushing himself and sooner or later it’s all gonna come crashing down. Chuck may have been given irrefutable proof that his electromagnetic sensitivity is mental but he’s treating it like a physical illness that he can rid himself of with perseverance and the right medicine, that might work in small doses but what’s gonna happen when he enters a court again, as he wishes to do?
Thoughts like those might also haunt Howard Hamlin, who shows up briefly this week to verbally duke it out with Kim over what he feels is a betrayal by defending Jimmy in court. Kim counters that it’s Howard’s own fault if he spent these last few years misleading clients about Chuck and his condition. She’s not wrong but it’s clear she only says it to assuage her own guilty conscious.
Spurred on by Howard and a deteriorating situation with Jimmy, Kim takes on another client despite already having her hands full with Mesa Verde. Like Chuck, Kim is pushing herself and it’s setting up an equally devastating fall.
With so many pieces moving into place for the final two episodes of the season it’s a little stunning that the episode still manages to create a scene as tense as the one with Nacho. After getting advice from Mike last episode, Nacho spends hours in his father’s shop practicing for the moment where he’ll slip the new pills into Hector’s coat pocket, failing each attempt. We eventually find him at the restaurant with Hector, counting money as always and what transpires is exhilarating as we see Nacho quickly and covertly switch out the pills, only faltering slightly before successfully dropping the new bottle into Hector’s pocket. Michael Mando does a terrific job with almost no words and commits fully to the gravity of the situation he’s put himself in.
The various characters mentioned are all struggling to keep their heads above the waters of their various problems but while they might have taken on one wave, a whole storm is approaching them.
Bits ‘n Pieces
- I didn’t mention Mike but he has a talk with Gus about laundering his money so he can give it to those he cares about. It looks like a true partnership is coming from the two.
- It’s interesting that Jimmy has developed back problems as we see him resting his back on the floor of his office numerous times on Breaking Bad.
- It was nice to see Mel Rodriguez back as Marco in the opening flashback.
- The flashback also offered some true insight into how Jimmy saw his father and his kindness to others. There’s an ugliness in his words that we haven’t really seen from him and it even makes Marco a little uncomfortable.
Jesse Swanson is a would-be writer, podcaster and funny guy who covers TV shows of all shapes and sizes. You can find him on Twitter @JesseSwanson