I keep saying in my Killing Eve write ups that it often feels like I am watching two very different shows smashed together into a single series. Better Call Saul sometimes feels like that too whenever the episode has a strong Mike subplot.
But today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and that sure is a good reminder that nobody can hurt you like family.
See, I keep circling back to the relationship between Chuck and Jimmy. Chuck is sure Jimmy is up to no good. Chuck isn’t even completely wrong. Jimmy is doing what he figures he needs to in order to basically survive. But me, I keep thinking the two aren’t that different, and there’s a good conflict going where it does seem as if Jimmy and Chuck do care about each other, but their individual resentments also keep bubbling to the surface. Jimmy may have been a slippery fellow from childhood, but I get the feeling he might not have been so bad if Chuck had been even the slightest bit supportive and less of a snob.
I mean, is there really much of a difference between what these guys do just because one of them looks like a professional and the other some kind of cartoon used car salesman?
Oh, and while the next phase in McGill vs McGill happens, Mike is looking to take down Hector Salamanca with a sniper rifle, stopped first by the fact he would have gone through Nacho to hit the old man and second because someone knew he was there and left a warning note. For the Nacho thing, I just chalk that up to how Mike is a consummate professional who will only do what he has to, and Nacho is basically just collateral at this point. For the other, well, we need a season three hook for Mike, don’t we?
As it is, I get the impression now much of the bad blood is Chuck’s fault for looking down his nose at his kid brother. Chuck could have been more supportive instead of basically giving Jimmy the bare minimum to survive, and the series keeps asking why.
Right now, I’m inclined to say it’s partially jealousy. The cold open, showing the death of the brothers’ mother, has Chuck alone hearing the old woman’s last words, and she was asking for Jimmy. Why? There’s no way to know because she only says her younger son’s name. Chuck clearly is hurt by the fact that he’s there, Jimmy went off for sandwiches, and Mama McGill only mentions Jimmy.
I can see how for Chuck, Jimmy is the guy who always does things wrong but rarely takes heat for it. That’s not true, of course. Jimmy fails from time to time, and as he and Chuck finally have it out over the Mesa Verde account, Jimmy is clear he didn’t do what Chuck accurately guessed Jimmy did for himself. No, Jimmy did it for Kim because she was the one who hustled to get that account while Chuck and Howard basically just sat around and let her do all the work. Kim, to Jimmy, earned that account.
So, does this mean Jimmy is looking down his own nose at his older, smugger, self-satisfied brother? It does sound like both have an idea of what it means to earn something.
Well, these guys might have more in common than they think.
I mean, Chuck recorded Jimmy’s whole confession after an elaborate set-up, so it’s not like Chuck can’t pull a sneaky con of his own…