Four Letter Nerd

Better Call Saul Season 2, Episode 7: Inflatable

We’ve been approaching this tipping point for awhile now. We weren’t sure where Kim and Jimmy were heading respectively, but we knew it couldn’t stay the way it was. Since Jimmy ran that commercial in “Amarillo” and their respective firms showed them the boxes they intended to keep them in for the foreseeable future, we knew at some point, Kim and Jimmy were going to change the respective course they were taking.

And now, not only has that course been altered, but those courses seem tied to each others. Yes, I know, Kim wants two separate law practices under the same roof. But do we really think that’s going to happen? I think we all know “never the twain shall meet” is not going to apply here. Of course there’s going to be more cons and clients that crossover and work with Kim and Jimmy together.

And we also know this partnership is not permanent. This “too good to be true” arrangement is actually “too good to be true.” Jimmy will go out on his own and Kim will be…well we don’t know where Kim will be. But we know she’s not staying with Jimmy

But let’s not worry about that just yet. Instead, let’s celebrate the birth of “Wexler and McGill” while taking a look back at our earliest memory on the show to date.

 

Young Jimmy

A young boy climbs up on a ladder and takes down the playboy from the 18 and over rack in a general store while he pretends to sweep. This could only be a young Jimmy McGill working in his dad’s general store. When Chuck told Kim this story two weeks ago, I was hopeful we would have flashbacks in the near future, and my wish was granted!!!

Recall that Chuck said one summer, while he was home from college looking over the books, he discovered $14,000 missing. And of course, Chuck believes Jimmy is the one who took the money. Now, I questioned whether Jimmy was really responsible for his father’s debts. And at first, it really looks like he’s not. Father McGill is a very generous, kind-hearted man, and everybody knows it. That’s why a “grifter” comes in claiming he needs money for cab fair because his car is broke down and he’s spent all his money on his epileptic son’s medicine. If he doesn’t get this medicine to his son, he’s worried the boy will have another seizure. But he doesn’t trust his car. So he just wants cab fair.

Jimmy doesn’t believe the story for a second and points it out to his father. And while watching the till, Jimmy refuses to provide the man with any products until he presents him with money first. The grifter leaves, but gives Jimmy some advice before he goes, saying “There are wolves and there are sheep. Which one are you going to be?” Now, we can’t be for certain if this is the first time Jimmy steals, but he decides to be the wolf right here, taking the 8 dollars the man just paid for cigarettes from the cash register (or “dibbing and dabbing,” as Chuck described it). I guess Jimmy did have a part to play in that missing $14,000 after all. But it was also good to see the part Jimmy’s upbringing (watching his father get taken advantage of time and time again) played in his transformation to Saul Goodman.

Young Jimmy

A young Jimmy manning the cash register at his father’s general store.

Goodbye Davis and Main

The overbearing babysitter, the stifling of creative freedom, and the general discomfort with the life he was leading were all factors that led Jimmy to finally call it quits at Davis and Main. But Omar, Jimmy’s assistant, wonders how Jimmy could leave behind a nice office, a nice car, and a wonderful apartment (once again, another lawyer admiring everything Jimmy is rejecting).

Resignation Letter

Jimmy and Omar (Omar Maskati) discussing Jimmy’s resignation.

But most importantly, Omar points out the bonus money Jimmy would lose if he quits the firm. So Jimmy rethinks his resignation and, thanks partly to the inspiration from the suit one of those inflatable tube men (the family guy commercial ran through my head that entire scene), heads down the fast track to getting fired at Davis and Main.

Jimmy's colorful suit

Jimmy sporting one of his many colorful suits in his attempt to get fired at Davis and Main.

Colorful suits, juicing in the break room, choosing not to flush (can’t believe THAT was the subject of the big speech “Cool Guy Cliff” was making in the promo for this week), and playing the bagpipes in his office all led to the inevitable call into Main’s office. Cliff states his regret for not firing Jimmy weeks before when he could’ve done it with cause. But instead, Jimmy gets keep the bonus money that came with his contract. He does tell Cliff he’s a nice guy, to which Cliff responds with “Well I think you’re an asshole.” I am sure that will not be the last time Jimmy/Saul is called that.

Hello Schweikart and Cokley?

While Jimmy was ending his time at HHM, Kim was mulling over the offer she received last week from Schweikart and Cokley, the firm that represents Sandpiper. And she seems ready to make the plunge and take the deal. A resignation letter is written and ready to be submitted and the interview seems like a formality. But then Jimmy comes bearing an offer: partner at “Wexler, McGill.” He wants to start his own firm with Kim. But one question seems to be the deal breaker for her. She asks what kind of lawyer Jimmy will be at their new firm. And to Jimmy’s credit, he is honest. He tells her he’s going to have to be himself (which if he wasn’t going to be himself, then what was the point of leaving Davis and Main in the first place?). Yes, Jimmy tries to lie. But he just can’t get the words “cross those T’s” out and informs Kim what he’s going to be as a lawyer from now on.

 

Jimmy offers Kim partner

Kim (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy discussing a potential business partnership.

Kim turns down the initial offer. But after the Schweikart and Cokley interview, she rethinks the offer and visits Jimmy’s “new” office at the nail saloon with a counter-offer: let’s work independently under the same roof.

They both would split business costs and ride to work together everyday. But they would practice law separately. As I’ve stated before, this just seems “too good to be true.” But we all have the benefit of hindsight. Kim doesn’t have that, so it appears like a great compromise to get out and practice law on her own but not have her work tainted by Jimmy’s “colorful” law practice.

Say Yes

Jimmy considering the offer Kim makes at the end of the show.

 

Reunited: Mike and Jimmy

I think Mike can officially refer to Jimmy as “my attorney.” For the third time, Mike calls on Jimmy for representation, this time to recant his statement regarding the gun found at the scene where he took the beating from Tuco.

Now Hector “ding-ding” Salamaca thought Mike’s background as an ex-cop would get him off easy. But Jimmy’s not going to let Mike take that chance, officially repealing the statement but refusing to say the gun was his.

The lawyers in the D.A’s office asked “Were you threatened or paid off?” Mike says “Why both, of course.” Well, no he obviously didn’t say that (though it’s 100% true). But Mike seems hurt by the fact that he did not achieve the job Nacho hired him for. Of course, there’s also the whole “this guy’s uncle sent his creepy twin nephews to threaten my granddaughter and now I’m getting his jail sentence lessened” thing likely going on in Mike’s mind.

- Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/ Sony Pictures Television/ AMC

Mike (Jonathan Price) and Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) discussing the recanting of Tuco’s gun charge.

Mike’s Regrets

Mike further bemoans his failed mission with Tuco when Stacey shows him the house she’s looking at. And once again, just like every other change in life Stacey brings to Mike, this place is going to cost more money. Now, I don’t know Mike’s exact thoughts at this point. But I am sure Tuco rotting in prison for a shorter sentence as opposed to dead + $50,000 without the cartel at his back comes to mind. He ends the episode where it ended last week: at the restaurant the Salamaca’s do business end. But this time, he’s spying things out with a likely revenge plot in mind.

Observations

-Has anyone else noticed how deceiving some of the “next time on” clips can be? And I think this week’s (though not the first time they’ve done it) takes the cake as the worst so far. Cliff’s big speech warning his entire office was about not flushing the toilet following a number 2? Let’s hope there’s not a lot of trickery involving the scenes for next week, because several appear to be huge moments.

-Kim mentioned in her interview with Schweikart and Cokley that she’s from the midwest “between Kansas and Nebraska.” I wonder if her past and how she could’ve been the “wife of a gas station owner” will be the subject of any future flashbacks (it did seem mighty specific).

-Once again, major props to Mike for maintaining his attitude about “the job,” telling Jimmy to bill him even when Jimmy offered his services free of charge.

Breaking Bad References

-A fairly lame one tonight (though you have to give credit to Vince Gilligan and crew for the maintaining of even the small details between the two series). The realtor who shows Stacey and Mike the house is Stephanie Doswell. She hosted a pair of open houses in Season 4 and noticed Hank’s wife, Marie, stealing a spoon and a picture frame.

 

 

 

 

Questions

-How successful will “Wexler and McGill” be out of the gate? What effect will working under the same roof have on Kim and Jimmy?

-Of course, I’ve written this review under the assumption that Jimmy would accept the counter-offer. I can’t see a scenario where he doesn’t. But what if he doesn’t?

-How will all the spurned big name law firms respond to Kim and Jimmy starting their own practice? Will those new clients Kim got for HHM be willing to follow Kim to her independent practice? And what will become of the Sandpiper case?

-Will we see any more flashbacks of Jimmy and his father? How about some footage of young Chuck helping out at the general store? And we will see any flashbacks of young Kim in the Midwest hanging out at the “Hinky Dinky?”

-What does Mike have planned for Hector? And does that plan have anything to do with the wheelchair Hector resides in when we see him in Breaking Bad?

Jimmy’s on his own again and, from the looks of the preview for next week, we are going to get some of Jimmy “being himself” right out the gate. It should be a blast!!! See you next week.

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Jeff Merrick

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