June 18, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Better Call Saul “50% Off”

Season Five, Episode Two

Man, Don Hector is figuring out how to use his bell to communicate.  I never thought I would have wanted to see that, but now that I am, I am largely pleased with that fact.

That more or less describes my feelings for this show in general.

By this point, Jimmy is basically in full-on Saul Goodman mode.  He’s out hustling for clients.  He’s using those ill-advised coupons for 50% off to potential clients, something Kim seemed kinda antsy about, and when one pair of knuckleheads decide that a 50% off coupon is a good excuse to commit as many non-violent crimes as they want, it leads to an arrest that leads Lalo Salmanaca to send an unwilling Nacho to find a good lawyer or something.

Poor Nacho is stuck between Lalo and Gus.  It can’t be good to be him.

Whether or not Jimmy’s role in the arrest of Krazy-8 will come to light, or if Jimmy even realizes he is indirectly responsible for that, remains to be seen.  I can’t see Jimmy taking too much heat for it, but it doesn’t look like there’s a single member of the Salmanca clan that wouldn’t kill someone at the drop of a hat anyway.

Alright, that’s a Jimmy plot, and Kim’s regrets amount mostly to her saying she doesn’t want to lie to her clients, something Jimmy agrees to.  Jimmy has always been respectful of Kim’s boundaries.  At least, so far.  This is Jimmy McGill, and he can be impulsive, but for all that this is Jimmy’s show, there are other characters I don’t write much about since, well, it’s better to watch them than to write about them.

I’m referring to characters like Mike.  Mike has long been a fairly stoic character who maybe gets mad once in a while, but he doesn’t always show it.  Heck, he seemed annoyed more often than not on Breaking Bad, and while there’s a layer of thinly veiled disgusted aimed at Jimmy from time to time, he’s never gotten angry enough to, say, knock the crap out of him like he did to Walter White.  That Mike is basically a live-and-let-live kinda guy.

This Mike is hurting because of what he had to do to Werner, following Gus’s orders, and between that and Kaylee’s innocent questions about her dead father, Mike ends up snapping at the one character that he has ever shown genuine affection for across two shows, namely Kaylee.  I remember some online comments late in Breaking Bad‘s run, asking if there were any completely and unconditionally happy scenes left, and one person observing Mike had a nice day out with his granddaughter.  Here, Mike snaps at her for things she has no idea about while he’s babysitting, and she won’t come out again.

Mike is still that stoic guy, but when the stoic guy loses it, it’s hard to watch.

It’s moments like this that show this series is doing what Breaking Bad couldn’t by taking fun, if maybe two-dimensional, characters and expanding on them to make them more human, and that’s what I think I like best about Better Call Saul.