“Wexler v. Goodman”.
|Posted: 23 March 2020 at 9:00pm | IP Logged | 5
Well, this was a powerhouse episode. Lots of continuity, here, both subtle and not.
Lots of fun to see Mike do his thing and nudge the police in Lalo’s direction for the murder of Fred, that poor TravelWire agent, at the end of last season. And, in a nice in-joke, one of the books Mike examines at the library is THE LITTLE PRINCE, which is Jonathan Banks’ longtime nickname for Thomas Schnauz, who wrote this episode.
Nice to see Ed Begley, Jr. return as Cliff Main. Jimmy’s increasingly petty and pointless attacks on Howard underline the fundament shift in his personality. All of his inhibitions and his desire to lead a straight life are evaporating. Being Saul Goodman allows him a release value to unleash his most vile instincts (not unlike Walter White and Heisenberg), which includes embarrassing Howard with the hookers in public and in front of Cliff. After five seasons of slow, careful development, we’re finally starting to see what drives Saul Goodman, and what that persona does for Jimmy on a psychological level. His hairline is also receding more and more, which will of course lead us to that infamous combover/mullet that Saul was rockin’ during BREAKING BAD. And he’s playing “Smoke on The Water” on the guitar when Kim comes home, a callback both to season one’s “Marco” (as was his rubbing Marco’s pinky-ring before meeting with Howard, two episodes ago), and his rebellious past.
Based on the end of the previous episode, I had a feeling that Kim’s strategy would be to use the origin of the Mesa Verde logo against them, and that certainly played out here. The surprising thing is that she actually tried to close Pandora’s Box beforehand and call the whole thing off. Er, to uncall Saul, so to speak. The opening teaser is very interesting, in that we finally get a real glimpse into Kim’s childhood, and see her stubbornness and strength of will even at an early age. I’m getting the vibe that her inevitably-destructive relationship with Jimmy is perhaps an attempt to make up for literally walking away from her toxic mother. The final line of the episode does give that idea a certain credibility. More on that in a moment.
The big confrontation at Mesa Verde is immensely satisfying. And absolutely horrifying. Jimmy struts in and goes full-Saul Goodman for the very first time. The arrogance, the swagger, the dirty tricks, the cheap and tacky showmanship. We’re reminded of the Sandpiper residents’ commercials from season two, echoed here in the most perverted way possible. Back then, Jimmy pushed the boundaries with his emotion-tugging commercials to try and help his elderly clients. Here, he’s using random strangers and actors to slander and extort Mesa Verde, full-stop.
And he wins.
Which leads us to the crucial final scene, which has also been a long time coming. Kim is actually aware of the situation. She’s knows what she’s gotten into. Jimmy already conned her once, when he gave his “sincere” speech about Chuck at his reinstatement hearing before the New Mexico State Bar. Then, he twisted her arm into lying to her own client. And now, he’s kept her in the dark, ostensibly to protect her, but has also stabbed her in the back. I’m reminded of how Chuck told Jimmy that he believed that Jimmy really did care about people and really did believe that the ends justified the means, but that people would inevitably get hurt. Once again, Chuck’s self-fulfilling prophecy about Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree being “like a chimp with a machine gun” comes true.
Kim knows the score. She knows that this will keep happening. And, yet, she...proposes marriage? Could it be that something is fundamentally broken inside of her, too? Enough that she’d desperately want to go all-in on this relationship?
Now, it’s been noted that, back in BREAKING BAD, Saul casually mentioned his “second wife”. Based on the events of BCS (and its relatively short timeline in relation to BB—we’re currently about four years away from Walt getting diagnosed with cancer), many have wondered how (or if) that little dangling bit of continuity would be dealt with. Ignored? Retconned? Revealed to be one of Saul’s exaggerations? Perhaps not.
Great episode with great performances all around. The season’s gear just shifted. Buckle up. Here we go.
Edited by Greg Kirkman on 23 March 2020 at 9:10pm