Opposing paths. Opposite directions. The wheels are turning on the inevitable as Kim and Jimmy’s career and life paths pivoted away from each other in “Pinata,” the 6th episode of Better Call Saul’s fourth season last night.
Kim has found her passion for law again in working pro bono as a public defender. But as a solo practitioner, Mesa Verde demands all of Kim’s time and energy. So now she’s a partner at Sweikart and Cokley, where a whole department can handle all those documents while she’s out fighting for the rights of the accused.
And with Kim at a new firm, ending the likelihood of there ever being a “Wexler-McGill” again, nothing is holding Jimmy back now. Right after receiving the news that Kim will be venturing away from their previous partnership together, Jimmy turns ruthless, tearing into Howard for his self pity and shaking down the three kids that robbed him last week.
It’s funny just how close the two passions developing in Kim and Jimmy are to each other. Both involve working with what many would consider the lower rungs of society. But for Kim, it’s out of philanthropy. While for Jimmy, it is only about the profits.
At some point, these two will come to a reckoning, and it will not be pretty. Both characters are clearly holding in emotions whenever they interact. But I suspect that when Jimmy’s less than savory activities are out in the open, the gloves will come out and this union will go down in flames.
We will get to Kim and Jimmy’s story towards the end. But let’s start with Mike and Gus as they prepare living arrangements for Werner and his crew.
“We can’t just keep them alive, we have to keep them from climbing the walls”
Gus has prepared two temporary houses in the warehouse, but Mike notices several things are missing.
Mike, in all his wisdom, recognizes the situation they have to manage: these guys will be working all day trapped inside a building with no view of the outside for 6 to 10 months. So you have to provide more than just a bed.
He recommends exercise equipment, entertainment systems, a bar, and recreational fields. Gus says to make a list, and whatever is needed will be provided.
When the crew arrives, all the things Mike requested are there, and the Germans are impressed. Mike meets with them to give them the rundown of what’s expected. But one worker, Kai, seems intent on doing his own thing. He’s one worth watching, and Mike tells his security guys in the trailer monitoring the crew to keep an eye on him.
“That’ll be you soon”
Our first scene of the night was a flashback of mailroom Jimmy and mailroom Kim, both presented as noticeably younger than anytime we’ve seen them together. Jimmy is mostly focused on an Oscar pool he’s running in the office. But Kim, who is a third year law student at this point, is focused on the cases she’s delivering mail for.
Then Chuck walks in, and everyone is giving him applause for a victory he just won in a case. Chuck found some obscure case law that allowed a family of a deceased man to cash out shares he had in a company that had been closed down. Kim is in awe of this bit of legal trickery done by Jimmy’s older brother and asks him several questions about the case.
Jimmy, who is clearly crushing on Kim, is upset he cannot participate in the conversation. So a frustrated Jimmy decides to enter into the law library, beginning his quest to become a lawyer.
“I’m thinking about criminal law myself.”
Flash forward to today and Kim’s interest in obscure case law is waning. She’s preparing more documents for Mesa Verde, but a stack of public defender files are sitting there tugging at her more.
So the next day, she does something to take care of it. Back in season 2, Kim received an offer from Rick Schweikart to work at his firm. Now, she’s hoping that offer might still be available.
She wants to start a banking division within Schweikart and Cokley. That way, she will have associates and paralegals that can handle all the Mesa Verde documents, freeing up time for her to continue her pro bono work.
Now, to break the news to Jimmy. Kim saw Jimmy’s noodling notepad where he was brainstorming logos for “Wexler-McGill” and working on name cards for the pair. So she knows he’s not going to take kindly to this. But after a little freak out away from the table and into the restaurant kitchen, Jimmy says she should go for it.
And it this moment that Jimmy is all in with his new criminal life.
“You get one warning, and that was it.”
The first step is walking into HHM and picking up his $5000 check from Chuck’s will. While picking that up, Jimmy notices Howard is still stressed out. HHM has hit some hard times financially. They had to pay out Chuck’s estate and their reputation is in shambles. So Howard has had to let a lot of people go.
But instead of feeling sorry for him, Jimmy goes all Kim Wexler on Howard and cusses him out. “You’re a shitty lawyer, but you’re a great salesman,” Jimmy tells Howard as he walks out and puts his $5000 to immediate use.
Then, Jimmy purchases a large amount of those “Pay as you Go” phones. Right before an argument with his “landlord” at the nail salon, Jimmy makes a call to get some room that is filled with Pinatas (hmmm).
Now, the last part of Jimmy’s plan to is to take care of the three guys who took all his money last week. First, he offers them a cut every night he goes out and sells. Of course, they refuse and demand all of Jimmy’s money again.
But this time, Jimmy has a plan. He leads them down into a dark alley where they think he’s trapped. Instead, Jimmy has Huell Babineax and another associate waiting for the three punks.
They are tied upside down in a room filled with pinatas, and they can hear as Huell starts knocking candy out of the pinatas with a baseball bat.
Jimmy instructs the punks to leave him alone from now on, for this is their only warning.
-I was never sure why Chuck thought it would be safe for Jimmy to work in the HHM mailroom if he never wanted Jimmy to become a lawyer. Tonight’s episode revealed why: because before that conversations between Chuck and Kim, Jimmy showed no interest in the or ability to grasp it.
-It was sad to see Jimmy receive a phone call informing him a former client (one of his first elder law clients) had died. She was the lady who wanted to make sure the Hummel figurines went to the right people. She was also the star of the Davis and Mane commercial that got Jimmy and Kim in trouble.
-I wonder if the Rolodex of Jimmy’s elder law clients will end up at HHM. He did give Howard an elder law referral.
-Mike went over and apologized to Stacey for speaking out at group to confront Henry. It also sounds like he’s not talked to Anita since that happened or been able to spend time with Kayley.
-A really great scene with Gus tonight confronting an unconscious Hector. It did nothing to advance their story. But once again, Gus confirmed that he would rather let Hector live so he can suffer than die of the infection that might take his live.
-The buzz over the warehouse scenes was disorienting, but added a nice effect to those conversations.
-The date of the episode opening flashback is sometime in March of 1993. The movie mentioned, Howard’s End, was nominated for Best Picture for the Oscar show airing March 29th, 1993. Also, Al Pacino (who was mentioned from someone else’s entry) won Best Actor that year for his performance in “Scent of a Woman.”
Next week, we’ll see Jimmy’s “side business” move forward in full force. And does Hector wake up? Find out next week.