May 20, 2024

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Better Call Saul “Waterworks”

Season Six, Episode Twelve

Kim Wexler got to meet Jesse Pinkman in this episode, ever so briefly.  When asked if Saul Goodman is a good attorney, Kim waits to answer.  She’s just left Saul’s office where he signed the divorce papers, and her reply says Saul was a good lawyer when she knew him.

Interesting take.  I can see that.

In many ways, the “Saul Goodman” people know doesn’t really emerge until the end of the series.  He’s not who he once was.  He’s, well, he’s the very guy Chuck seemed to think he was the whole time, the guy Francesca can barely tolerate, the guy who tosses insults with aplomb, and that guy is not the Jimmy McGill that has appeared in this series so far.  He’s someone else.  What was once a character is now the person.  It’s the sort of thing that would be heartbreaking to Kim during the divorce if she wasn’t so numb.

Meanwhile, in the black-and-white present, whatever Kim Wexler was, she’s not that anymore either.  She seems, well, not dead inside, but at least bland inside.  She kept her name, but she’s got a lonely suburban life in Florida with a fairly standard boyfriend, reality television, and bland jokes and gossip at work.  It’s only when Jimmy calls her out of the blue that she finally, well, does something.

Looks like she’s been this way, with the long hair that looks like it’s a different color, for six years.  She wants Jimmy to turn himself in.  He won’t.  This is the conversation from the previous episode, the one the audience couldn’t hear, the one that ended with Jimmy/Gene slamming the receiver of his pay phone over and over again in anger and frustration.  If Jimmy has gone completely callous, robbing a cancer patient just because he can, getting himself caught ultimately by Marion when she gets suspicious–you pretty much have to justify hiring Carol Burnett with something like this–then Kim is feeling enough guilt for the both of them.

Maybe she could be more of a closed book in the full-color flashbacks to the time of her divorce, but in the black-and-white present, the sort of cinematography that makes Kim look as miserable as she possibly could, she can do something about it, the sort of thing that she wants Jimmy to do but won’t.  And she won’t give Jimmy up just yet, but she can return to Albuquerque to confess both to Howard’s widow about what happened to her late husband as well as setting herself up for possible prosecution.  Then she can have a good cry on a bus (the hand that offers Kim comfort apparently belongs to Vince Gilligan’s wife).

Now, Kim wasn’t innocent of what happened.  Heck, I think she might have been worse than Jimmy in the grand scheme of things as she was the one who really wanted to ruin Howard.  Jimmy even counseled caution at first.  But seeing what Kim went through, how she ruined her own life, but it is worse because Jimmy broke her heart…

I can see Kim’s culpability and still be kinda mad at Jimmy for his part in all this.  At least Kim takes responsibility for what she did.   Kim was maybe something of a moderating influence on Jimmy, but he was bad for her in the end.  The vibrant woman in the first few seasons has been replaced by someone who breaks down sobbing on a public bus.

So, can Jimmy redeem himself in the final episode?  I’ll be finding out pretty soon.