February 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Better Call Saul “Bad Choice Road”

Season Five, Episode Nine

So, I came to a conclusion with this episode that, perhaps, Better Call Saul has been a love story this whole time.

I don’t hold any illusions that Jimmy and Kim will make it work in the end, mostly because what little I’ve seen of Jimmy as “Gene” shows he is alone with no Kim in sight anywhere.  Setting aside the fact that Kim was an original character to this show and I do not recall Saul Goodman even mentioning a wife to Walter White, and the end result is I know this relationship is quite likely doomed.  But given how good these two characters are together, won’t that make the eventual split feel even worse?

Anyway, here’s how I came to the realization that this was a love story:  the episode opens with another split screen, similar to the one from a different episode showing the pair doing similar things, sometimes even interacting, but suggesting they were growing apart.  Here, the split screen shows Jimmy walking through the desert to survive while Kim does her own thing at home.  That is, until the exact moment Jimmy gets cell phone reception and can call her, and the relief she feels is palpable.

By the by, I was pleased when Lalo actually commented that Kim is clearly out of Jimmy’s league.  I’ve been saying that here, only half-serious, but here’s a character in-universe who has never met her before but says the same thing after a brief encounter in the previous episode.

But it is because of the emotional bond the two have that Jimmy will lie about why he was away so long while Kim will realize he’s lying but tend to his injuries anyway.  It’s a bond where Kim will come to Jimmy’s defense when Lalo shows up at their apartment looking for the real reason Jimmy got back as late as he did since his story doesn’t quite measure up to the details Lalo found out in the desert.  It’s Kim’s defense that gets Jimmy off the hook with a dangerous cartel boss who may have just been looking for someone to hurt after watching the embarrassment of Hector Salamanca, one of the most dangerous men in the area, is carted off to a birthday party for an elderly resident at his nursing home.

Still not sure what to make of Lalo, but this episode also shows Mike might care for Jimmy even as Jimmy is realizing what a terrible situation he’s in.  As it is, Mike’s basic outlook is they both made decisions in life that led them here.

Yeah, but Kim didn’t.  Not as much.  She’s not completely innocent, but let’s face it:  this universe seems to specialize in telling stories about how the criminal decisions of some end up hurting all kinds of innocent loved ones,