TV Review: Better Call Saul - Season 2, Episode 3
This recap/review of Better Call Saul is written with the expectation that everyone who reads this and comments below will have seen the episode already. Thus, if you've yet to see the episode in question, DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER. SPOILERS!
EPISODE: Season 2, Episode 3: Amarillo
PLOT: Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) tries to make a big impression with the partners at Davis & Main with a risky venture. At the same time, Mike (Jonathan Banks) takes steps to get his daughter-in-law out of a bad situation.
REVIEW: Based on the conclusion to this week’s episode of Better Call Saul, it looks like Jimmy’s going to be out of Davis & Main faster than any of us thought, with the episode ending on a foreboding note that suggests Clifford (Ed Begley Jr.) is going to cut him loose. This comes after Jimmy went behind his back to produce a TV spot designed to increase the number of plaintiffs in the Sandpiper case, with Jimmy shirking a respectable tone do something more in the vein of old Slippin’ Jimmy.
This all came about thinks to Chuck’s (Michael McKean) meddling, with him accusing Jimmy of soliciting clients – an ethical breach that could torpedo the case – even if that’s not exactly the case. As the teaser shows, Jimmy, while clearly skirting the edge of what’s permissible and not, uses his con man shtick to just stop short of violating any law, but achieving his result at the same time.
What’s really interesting about this episode is how it’s shown that Jimmy really doesn’t need to break the law to be a success as his ideas almost always bear fruit. However, it’s the fact that his way of business defies the respectable veneer Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill and Davis & Main go for that’s landing him in trouble. You can see why Jimmy might assume he’s better off without them, although by manipulating the emotions of prospective clients he’s dipping his toe into Saul Goodman territory and hastening his transformation. My prediction – by the end of the season Jimmy will be in full Saul mode.
The biggest collateral damage here is clearly going to be his relationship with Kim (Rhea Seehorn), who clearly disapproves of his more unsavory side and is still trying to make him respectable. Whether or not the relationship will simply peter out or come to a more cataclysmic conclusion remains to be seen. Jimmy’s relationship with Chuck is probably past the point of no return, but it’s losing Kim that’s going to be Jimmy’s biggest tragedy.
Like I said last week, season two of Better Call Saul has interesting parallels to Breaking Bad in that it’s showing a good man’s slow decline, and while Saul was mostly a comic figure on BB, here he’s nearly as tragic a guy as Walter White. Speaking of Breaking Bad, we’re starting to get into darker territory with Mike, at the episode’s end, weighing a job opportunity from Nacho (Michael Mando) which involves killing. It looks like the fixer Mike we knew is on his way back. I’d love to see Gus Fring somehow become part of the show once he gets into that world.
Breaking Bad Crossover: I didn’t notice any explicit callbacks, but Mike’s daughter-in-law seems to be on the verge of a mental collapse, imagining that she’s hearing gunshots every night. Caring for her and his grand-daughter is clearly what makes Mike get up-to-his-ears in murder for the cartel, so as much as Jimmy’s on a path to becoming Saul, Mike’s on another one of his own.UPDATE: As per JoBlo.com's own Nick Bosworth - "In the latest episode of BETTER CALL SAUL, the toy that Mike puts batteries in for his granddaughter is the same one that he used to distract the hitman trying to kill him in Season 5 of BREAKING BAD. Also Jimmy and Kim are watching the film ICE STATION ZEBRA at the end of the latest episode which later shares the same name of Saul Goodman's holding company "Ice Station Zebra Associates".