On Better Call Saul season 3 episode 5, Jimmy McGill managed to remind us of one thing: He is a brilliant attorney. He’s probably also a terrible person.
Then again, there are plenty of reasons why Jimmy became the man that he is in Saul Goodman during the era of Breaking Bad. Specifically, look at Chuck. Here is a man so consumed in his jealousy and rage at his brother that he was willing to anything in order to stop his brother from being at attorney. The entirety of the episode tonight was spent watching the hearing at the Bar, where it seemed going in as though Jimmy was destined to lose his license and, consequently, his career.
Instead, what we saw was potentially the most brilliant bit of legal work that we’ve seen from Jimmy in three seasons. Through the arrival of Huell (he’s on the show!), we saw Jimmy plant a cell phone battery in Chuck’s suit pocket. From there, he was then able to prove that Chuck’s condition is largely a product of his mind in front of the jury. He was able to testify for almost two hours with a strong electric current on his very person, and he never felt any sort of pain as a result of it. Just as Chuck set up Jimmy with the recording, he set Chuck up in turn and was able to make a compelling argument that his taped confession came when he was concerned for his brother and wanted to ensure he was okay. By presenting Chuck as mentally ill, he continues that narrative further.
This episode certainly shows further why Jimmy would become Saul, but also why Chuck would be out of the picture someday — Jimmy humiliated him at court. Granted, it’s not like Jimmy would have ever done this had Chuck not cornered him, but it did still happen. Chuck threw up the lob, and Jimmy swung it out of the part. We didn’t see the verdict tonight, but all signs points towards him getting to keep his license.
Beyond the cause and effect of this superbly-written episode, we also got some further backstory into what happened with Rebecca, including Chuck’s attempts to cover up his illness in front of her, and Jimmy bringing her back as further ammunition for his case in the courtroom. We saw a man with a full arsenal of tools, and someone who knew what he was fighting for. In protecting his case, he also potentially protects Kim with Mesa Verde, as well. There was some concern as to whether or not the blowback from this would lead to losing them as a client.
The best episode of the season; while we do love Mike, this episode also proved that sometimes the jaunty pacing of Better Call Saul can be its own worst enemy. In sticking to one story from start to finish, the AMC series delivered a hyper-intelligent, well-acted hour that may be one of the best episodes of any show in 2017. Grade: A.
Based on the preview, the words “Saul Goodman” are about to be spoken…
What did you think about Monday’s new episode of Better Call Saul? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments! (Photo: AMC.)