Better Call Saul is, when you look at it in a macro sense, a tragedy. Jimmy McGill starts off the series as a happy, idealistic lawyer with dreams of helping people. He may still have some of the same selfishness and bravado that we see in Saul Goodman, but we do still carry the belief through much of this that he is a good man.
After watching the latest new episode that aired on AMC Monday night, there were still glimmers of that hope, but also indications that they were fading. To make matters even worse, it is clear that Kim Wexler’s own hopes are fading to go along with it. While Chuck and Jimmy seemingly did their best to hammer through some of the finer details of their criminal case, she is smart enough to realize that Chuck isn’t done trying to screw his brother over just yet. Jimmy agreed to a deal that could include his disbarment, and she is able to determine that there is another recorded tape out there that Chuck may be using as his own personal ammo. Clearly, this is a man trying to prepare for every possible scenario to hurt Jimmy, and this little bit of knowledge is valuable in stopping him.
We continue to be very much impressed in Kim’s ability to read other people. She’s smart enough to steer clear of so much trouble, which is why it remains so interesting that she struggles to steer clear of Jimmy arguably the most dangerous person to her of all. While these characters only took up a small percentage of the episode, they were brilliant during every second we saw them.
As for elsewhere in the episode…
Gus’ biggest standout to date
In this episode, we saw the real origins of the partnership he eventually forges with Mike Ehrmantraut after Mike uses some of his craftiness in order to further ensure that Hector’s crew is decimated by the DEA. The group does try to retaliate by turning up to Los Pollos Hermanos and initiating a standoff with some of the employees. Gus eventually takes care of them in the aftermath of their trauma, further proving that he is a great boss on the surface. This entire episode was excellent at showing off the facade of Gus, someone who excels at putting on the illusion of being put together and having people believing that he really has the best interest of others at heard.
As for Mike, his own element of facade came with Stacey and Kaylee, where he got a brief reminder of what he liked to think he was fighting for. Subconsciously with Mike, though, this remains very much about his own desire to get in the action and allow himself to feel like he is a part of something more than stickers.
Our overall take
Better Call Saul season 3 continues to be strong, even if it is slowly paced at times. The biggest issue with Monday’s episode was the opening, which had a nice Breaking Bad callback but wasn’t quite necessary for another other reason. The back and forth between Jimmy and Chuck right now is the series’ strongest element, in part because of the performances and also because we still have no idea how it ends. Grade: A-.
What did you think about Better Call Saul season 3 episode 4? Be sure to sound off with some of your thoughts now in the comments!
Meanwhile, be sure to head over here to get a further preview now for what is coming up on the show next. (Photo: AMC.)