One last ride. That was the feeling I had at the end of “Something Beautiful,” the 7th episode of Better Call Saul’s fourth season.
This four year journey Kim and Jimmy have been on throughout this entire series is nearing its end, but not before their departing paths converge on one common interest: defending Huell Babineaux.
Kim and Jimmy have been drifting away from each other since the start of the season. But the heartbreaking opening scene and Kim’s lack of reaction to learning of Jimmy’s burner phone business showed further how the flame between these two has burned out.
I’ve been thinking since the start of the series that the inevitable end would be some tragic event or explosive argument between the two (and that may still be coming). But if “Something Stupid” is any indication, Kim and Jimmy’s relationship will end with a whimper, not a bang.
But for now, the pair have at least one more cause to fight together before their partnership dissolves.
We’ll get to Kim and Jimmy’s tragic tale later. But let’s start with Mike as he tries to control a crew of Germans going through a really bad case of cabin fever.
“They need fresh air and a change of scenery.”
The opening scene moved the story line ahead about 8 months, which means we are at the point with Werner and his crew where they expected to be done or close to done with Gus’s lab.
But as it turns out, they are not even halfway to completion. And the job takes a major setback when one of the crewmen (whose name is Casper) knocks over a supporting poll.
Kai, the one Mike wants an eye kept on, starts a confrontation that requires Mike speaking in German (as it turns out, that was just one of the phrases he knew) to settle things down.
The tension was thick when Mike went to visit Werner and his crew in their living quarters. All the excitement over the bar, the theater, the soccer field, etc… is gone as no one is talking to each other, and Casper (the guy that hit that pole in a forklift) has a number of beer cans sitting around his chair.
It is at this point that Werner recommends to Mike that his crew needs a “change of scenery.”
“Perhaps we should temper our expectations.”
Meanwhile, Hector is making progress. He’s up and Dr. Bruckner is practicing the mode of communication we all know Hector so well for.
But a key moment (one that Gus noticed, but Dr. Bruckner did not) will end Hector’s remarkable progress. As a nurse enters the room, Hector knocks over a glass of water on purpose. so he can check out the nurse bending over in front of him. But when Gus sees this on the video, he knows Hector is now fully aware of who and where he is.
And what better way to torture a fully aware Hector than to leave him fully aware that he is unable to walk or speak the rest of his life. The doctor even went so far as to say that at some point Hector could be able to walk and talk again if his therapy continues. But Gus says they should “temper our expectations” and encourages her to “delegate others” to work with Hector.
“Well, that was something.”
That opening sequence!!! That might have been the best scene of season 4 as one five minute sequence moves through about 8 months of time as Kim and Jimmy take their divergent paths. They quietly brush their teeth together when the scene starts. But as Kim moves into her office and routine at Schweikart and Cokley and Jimmy’s burner phone business moves forward, they eventually brush their teeth separately. When at home, Kim sits in the bed while Jimmy sits on the couch watching TV. And when the pair go to a party at Schweikart and Cokley, Jimmy pisses off Schweikart and Kim with his elaborate (and expensive) out of state plans for a firm retreat.
“Jimmy, whatever you’re doing, don’t”
Later, Jimmy, in his usual spot for selling phones, is approached by a cop in plain clothes. The cop, Officer Platt, is upset that drug dealers are being released from prison because they used burner phones sold to them by Jimmy to make their transactions.
Jimmy is unapologetic. When asked “nicely”by the cop to stop selling the phones to criminals, Jimmy refuses. The two get into an argument when Huell walks up. Huell is wearing headphones, so he can’t hear what they are saying or Jimmy’s warnings not to attack. So Huell, doing his job protecting Jimmy, hits Officer Platt with the bag Huell’s carrying.
This “assault on a police officer” will get Huell two and half years in prison, time the Cajun has no plans to serve.
But Jimmy pleads with him not to jump bail. Jimmy says he’s got a plan, and that plan is to get Kim on Huell’s case.
Kim agrees and meets with Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Ericsen, who is charging Huell with all that time. And even though Kim points out how unfair the sentencing is (even going so far as to research sentencing in similar crimes), ADA Ericsen will not back down.
On her way to meet with Huell, Kim has a revelation. She goes and picks up a ton of office supplies and calls Jimmy. Jimmy had said he was going to take care of this issue his way (whatever that means), but Kim begs him to stop. She’s got a plan, a plan we will have to wait until next week to find out the details of.
-I expected more of a fight when Kim found out Jimmy’s been selling burner phones to drug dealers. But 8 months seems to have blunted her “I care about Jimmy’s actions” meter significantly.
-Another sign of change between the pair was Kim’s flat of rejection of Jimmy’s scheme to get Huell off by defaming the character of the cop. On one hand, Kim is no longer interested in Jimmy’s schemes. On the other, Jimmy has never suggested something so dangerous.
-Jimmy only has one month before he can resume practicing law. And the current date of the show, based on the final passed drug test we see from Jimmy, is January 2004.
-“Need a Call? Buy From Saul.” We get oh so closer to “Saul Goodman, Attorney at Law.”
-I understand why Mike has such issues with Kai considering the attitude he shows Mike each time they interact. But how about Casper, the guy that knocked down the pole? He clearly has a drinking problem, and that issue is likely the reason he set the team’s progress back with the forklift accident.
-I wonder if Hector knows it’s Gus providing the care for him. And will Dr. Bruckner fight Gus on his decision with Hector’s care? I mean, she has to know Gus is cutting off Hector’s care prematurely.
Just three episodes left, and things are really picking up for the conclusion of season 4. See you next week.