“Bad Choice Road”.
|Posted: 13 April 2020 at 9:37pm | IP Logged | 3
Another fantastic episode, and one which definitively erases the line between the Jimmy/Kim and Mike/Gus/cartel halves of the show. Or, more accurately, removes the Jimmy/Kim half of the show. Not them, literally. Just the safe and cozy world they were in. Now, it’s probably gonna be all-cartel, all the time.
It’s therefore fitting that this is the episode where Kim finally does what we’ve long known she’s wanted to do by leaving Schweikart-Cokley and Mesa Verde behind. She also tells Jimmy that she’s there for him no matter what, and is clearly now willing to ignore his lies for the sake of holding the relationship together. On the one hand, her quitting should be the triumphant climax of a long-term character arc. Her taking the tequila stopper (from season two’s “Switch”) is a potent symbolic moment, as well. But, on the other hand, we should all be screaming at her to not leave “the Yankees” behind, because we know what the other half of this show is all about. And it literally comes knocking on the door that very night, in the form of Lalo. And the two halves of this show finally merge into one, after nearly a full five seasons.
The opening teaser’s follow-up to last season’s “Something Stupid” montage (from the episode of the same name) is fantastic, and very appropriate. The original montage was, as far as I’m concerned, the best one they’ve ever done (and that’s saying something), and this mini-sequel also works incredibly well. The original montage was about the growing emotional distance between Jimmy and Kim. This one shows their physical separation in a very visceral way.
Meanwhile, Gus clearly has in mind Nacho’s previous attempts to get out from under the thumbs of both Tuco and Hector when deciding not to let him off the hook. Unfortunately, Nacho has, by necessity (due to the seismic shifts in Jimmy/Saul and Kim’s story), been shortchanged a bit, this season. Here’s hoping he comes more to the forefront in the final season.
Naturally, Jimmy (who is played with incredible vulnerability and fatigue by Odenkirk, here—so much vulnerability, in fact, that he’s off his game in court against ADA Oakley) takes exactly the wrong lesson from both his experience in the desert and Mike’s speech about choices. And his botched recitation of that speech to Kim underscores that point. He’s clearly terrified that she’ll be put in danger by his increasing entrapment with the cartel, and wants her kept safely away, on the “straight” side of things. He’s willfully blind to the bad choices that have inadvertently put him on that road right alongside him. And then Lalo comes knocking.
That final 15 minute sequence is a real knockout. Tense and unnerving. I get the sneaking feeling that they’re leading us to think that Kim might actually be capable of becoming the unseen Mrs. Goodman from between-scenes in BREAKING BAD, considering how she’s willing to accept Jimmy’s lies, and even manages to talk Lalo down. As terrified as she is, she still manages to use that razor-sharp mind which has bailed her out of far, far, FAR less dangerous situations. It’s an incredible moment, and, if I still cared about the Emmys, I’d say that Seehorn and Odenkirk should gosh-darn well be shoo-ins.
That being said, I have the sneaking suspicion that living as Mrs. Goodman is not a path that Kim can actually go down. There are only three possibilities: She stays, she goes, or she dies. I don’t really see Mr. and Mrs. Goodman having a wonderful life together in-between Sau’s dealings with Walter White, only to then be tragically separated when he goes on the lam as “Gene Takovic”. We’ll see.
One more to go, this season!