This week on Better Call Saul, things got bad for Jimmy. I mean, it got really bad at the end, so IF YOU DON’T WANT SPOILERS… don’t read no more. Okay?
The episode opened with Chuck. Yes, Chuck. Chuck is still alive. Patchy doesn’t know why. Patchy hates Chuck because he’s so… CHUCK. Anyway, Chuck’s got this weird guy living with him now, playing solitaire with casino cards. The guy explains why there’s holes in the cards, that they drill the cards at the casino, yada yada yada. It was WEIRD.
So while this is going on, Mike hunts down the DUM DUM POOH POOH HEADS who put a tracking device in his gas cap. And it took a lot of AWESOME detective work. Mike was basically Batman, okay? So he tracks these dudes to a restaurant called… YOU GUESSED IT… Los Pollos Hermanos. Of course, Los Pollos Hermanos is FAMOUS from Breaking Bad.
So Mike’s figured out that something kinda sketch is going on there.
At the offices of Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler, Jimmy is painting this weird stock market crash symbol on the wall. It’s the logo he designed for McGill-Wexler, when he wanted to be law partners with Kim, before Kim was like, “NOPE!” It just shows that Jimmy is holding on to that dream, probably because he’s sharing an office with Kim and they’re so close to each other all the time and they help each other out. Well, Kim helps Jimmy. Jimmy doesn’t actually do a lot to help Kim. And, Jimmy ran a TV commercial that’s bringing him A LOT of business. Kim was definitely jealous about that.
Jimmy takes out an ad for a paralegal and the first person who applies is named Francesca. She looks at Jimmy’s wall painting and says, “You’re a little crooked.” HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! This is funny because anyone who watched the first two seasons of Better Call Saul or the last few seasons of Breaking Bad ALREADY KNOWS that Jimmy is a little crooked. On a technical note, the line itself was clever but it was a tad on-the-nose, not typical of the writing on this show.
Anyway, Jimmy hires Francesca even though Kim doesn’t really want to. Jimmy puts Francesca on the desk and gives her some coaching. “Be folksy,” he tells her. Bring the sunshine. Mention Cracker Barrel, cause old people love Cracker Barrel HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! And that’s when Mike calls, and Mike does not appreciate folksy sunshine AT ALL. Or Cracker Barrel.
Mike’s definitely more of an Irish pub kinda guy.
Anyway, Mike calls and Jimmy leaves. He doesn’t tell anybody, he just goes. It’s starting to look like Jimmy’s running the show, even though they’re supposed to be independent and splitting the costs. Independently, Jimmy has created a TV commercial, painted over the rainbow in the waiting room and replaced it, AND hired a paralegal for both of them. Kim probably feels like she’s no better off than she was at HHM. If she doesn’t completely feel like that, she’s at least starting to.
Mike calls Jimmy and asks him to stake out Los Polls Hermanos. Jimmy does, and that’s where he meets Gus Fring. GUS FRING IS THE GREATEST VILLAIN IN TELEVISION HISTORY, okay? Patchy needs to make that clear. This guy looks like a nerdy little restaurant manager but Patchy’s pretty sure he’s more evil than the Joker and more ruthless than Dick Cheney. Jimmy’s digging through the trash, looking for incriminating evidence for Mike, and Gus walks up and is all like, “Can I help you?” So Jimmy slips off his watch and pretends the clasp is broken. Gus digs the watch out for Jimmy, hands it to him, and is all nice and police. But Gus knows. GUS ALWAYS KNOWS.
Then Ernesto shows up at the law offices of Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler. He calls Kim and asks her to meet him outside. He’s really nervous. He tells Kim about the tape Chuck made of Jimmy confessing to forging documents. Kim freaks out, takes money from Jimmy, and is like, “I’m your lawyer now, okay? We’re protected by attorney-client privilege.” And she confronts Jimmy about the incident with Chuck. Jimmy admits everything. He tells her that Chuck was broken and he couldn’t let his brother be broken, so he confessed. Even though Chuck is Chuck, Jimmy loves Chuck. Then Kim tells Jimmy that Chuck recorded it and Ernesto heard it, and it was a set-up to take Jimmy down.
Jimmy McGill died that moment.
Patchy loves Jimmy. It’s really hard to explain. Not like, oooooh Patchy wants to marry Jimmy. NO!!!! Patchy feels a lot like Jimmy sometimes. Patchy knows what it’s like. People don’t believe in you. People say you’re crazy and won’t amount to anything. Patchy’s never seen an actor portray that kind of hurt before. NEVER. Bob Odenkirk is an incredible actor.
So, Jimmy found out that Chuck set him up. And Jimmy had a lobby full of clients, so Jimmy went out and pretended to be happy. He brought the sunshine. And as soon as the last client walks out, the storm clouds came. All that happy was an act. And even though Bob Odenkirk played it so that you could tell the happy was an act, it HURT SO BAD when that last person left and Jimmy’s pain came flooding out like a broken dam. It made Patchy cry. Not a joke. Seriously, tears in the eyeballs.
Last week, Patchy talked about how Jimmy got in trouble and Chuck bailed him out, moved him to New Mexico, and put him to work in his big fancy law office. And how Jimmy did correspondence school to become a lawyer himself. And how Chuck has resented him for it ever since. Well, even though Hamlin was mean to Jimmy at HHM, Hamlin was impressed with Jimmy. And so was Kim. And that’s why what happens next hurts so bad.
See, while Jimmy is finishing with clients and wearing his happy mask that’s slipping off like clown makeup in a rainstorm, Hamlin is sneaking to Chuck’s house. Chuck made him park far away and go through people’s yards and climb over fences because he didn’t want Jimmy to know Hamlin was there. And Hamlin defended Jimmy to Chuck. Hamlin tried to tell Chuck to forget about the tape and to let it go. Hamlin even called Chuck’s live-in bodyguards excessive and wasteful. Hamlin tried to do the right thing for Jimmy.
But Chuck… OHMYGOSH… CHUCK KNEW ERNIE WOULD TELL JIMMY ABOUT THE TAPE!!! The whole thing was a SET UP!!! That’s why Chuck had bodyguards. That’s why Chuck called Hamlin over. He’s convinced that Jimmy would break in to steal the tape in the middle of the night and they were going to catch him RED HANDED.
They didn’t need to. As soon as Jimmy got off work, he went straight to Chuck’s house. PATCHY HAS TEARS TYPING THIS!!!! Jimmy banged on the door and Chuck told Jimmy to go away!!! But Jimmy kicked the door down. Jimmy ran to Chuck’s desk, found the tape recorder, ripped out the tape, and destroyed it in front of Chuck. And Hamlin. And the weird creepy card guy bodyguard.
It’s hard because Jimmy spent two seasons taking care of Chuck. Chuck can’t leave the house, he’s afraid of electricity. He doesn’t have a refrigerator. Jimmy brought him food. Jimmy brought him everything he needed. Jimmy helped him come up with the idea of putting tin foil or mylar or whatever it is inside a suit because Chuck thinks the foil helps him not be attacked by electricity. Jimmy has done so many little things for Chuck. Jimmy could have had Chuck put in a psychiatric hospital in season 1, the doctors begged him to, but Jimmy refused. JIMMY LOVES HIS BROTHER.
CHUCK TRIGGERED JIMMY.
When Jimmy broke in Chuck’s house, he was screaming every profanity he could. JIMMY WAS HURTING AND THAT WAS HIS ONLY WAY TO EXPRESS HIS DEEP PAIN.
Chuck’s betrayal was intentional. It was meant to hurt Jimmy. And it did. And not only that, it was meant to make Jimmy do something stupid so he’d be disbarred.
See, the reason the show is called Better Call Saul is because in Breaking Bad, Jimmy has his own law practice as Saul Goodman. Kim is not in Breaking Bad. Jimmy McGill dies before Saul Goodman can exist. And every tragedy in Jimmy’s life is pushing him toward that death.
The episode ends with Jimmy standing there in front of Chuck, Hamlin, and creepy card guy. They all witnessed multiple crimes. Breaking and entering, assault.
What will happen next week? Jimmy goes to jail. And Patchy’s heart breaks for Jimmy.