Jesse Pinkman introduced us to Saul Goodman when he told Walter White that if they wanted to be criminals they didn’t need a criminal lawyer but, rather, a “criminal” lawyer.
This episode’s teaser showed us Slippin’ Jimmy, whereas the rest of the episode “Slip” showed him donning the mask of Saul Goodman, complete with conning the Sklar Brothers and the community service officer. But it’s the latter of the two where he enjoyed being Saul, smiling with a handful of hundreds after assisting a low-level drug dealer.
Of course, it’s not all without a price to pay—he feigns a slip and a fall and suffers a minor back injury. And while Jimmy spends a decent amount of time on his back, his brother spends his time testing his mental strength. Chuck is determined to not waste anymore of his life with an illness that was proven to be self-imposed.
“Slip” was a bit all over the place alongside the previous seven episodes this season. The spat between Kim and Howard felt like a quick check-in just to show how things were progressing, in the same way that Chuck’s scenes felt almost inconsequential to the overall story by their underplayed manner. As viewers of Better Call Saul, we’re prepared for every interaction to amount to a greater move, like a tensely paced hybrid of chess and Connect the Dots. Howard and Chuck are finished with Jimmy, maybe, but not Kim. She is the strongest player in the game, and watching her fall will be the most painful.
But the true suspense in “Slip” came with watching Nacho swap Hector Salamanca’s medication. Nacho’s one practice shot of dropping the pill bottle into the jacket pocket failed, and the actual pill swap wasn’t as deft as he would have liked, so it wasn’t clear if he would get away with it or not. Not to mention, everyone in the room is sweating bullets so that sort of queues the audience to sweat along with them.
This week we got to see a few clever uses of the word “slip”, and next week’s episode is titled “Fall”. So who is going to fall?
I know I’ve jumped ahead suddenly, but there isn’t a whole lot to ponder here, unless we’re postulating in regards to the body that Mike uncovered. Instead, I’m thinking more of the show’s endgame. Season 3 has featured almost as many Breaking Bad cameos as there are episodes, and it feels like that’s the limit. It’s borderline rushed and gimmicky the fact they’re popping up as soon as Gus Fring enters. Even Mike shaking hands with Gus at the end felt a bit forced by the writers. It wasn’t as hard-earned as I had expected. But then again, underplaying these aspects is really the best way to go to keep it feeling natural, right?
– This was a very competent episode, and there isn’t much else left to say. Adam Bernstein directed, and he does a stellar job. That overlay of the many Mikes with the metal detector was cool, and I enjoyed how all of Nacho’s scenes appeared.
– Is Chuck going to flip his lid? Is Nacho going to live through this? Jimmy can’t be a lawyer for one year. Only two episodes left!
– The band aid tin box in the teaser: I think it’s the bandaid box from season 1 episode 1. Now we just need to see how the passport comes into play.
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