I actually threw my hands up in the air!
I can’t quite figure out exactly how or why, but this episode left me feeling sadder than I can understand on the basis of its content alone. Almost in something approaching a state of grief.
Maybe because it’s so clear Jimmy is turning the wrong way. I love this series, and my reaction to the episode took me by surprise. Everyone involved, on every level, is doing virtuosic work.
I felt the same way, feeling that because Jimmy’s such a good person, in his way (witness how much time he spent over the season helping the one elderly woman with her will for a paltry $140), that it was tragic his decision to walk away from the Sante Fe job interview, but the more I thought about it (thinking back to Chuck’s low opinion of him as his buddy’s comments) the more I realized that there is some merit to separating the concepts of good/bad from legal/illegal.
Like Mike says in this episode to his client…I’ve seen bad cops and good criminals…
Jimmy’s decided that he’ll be a nice lawyer who is ok with being a criminal. The world isn’t black and white and neither was his decision. That made me feel better about it.
It’s a tragedy.
He’s almost got all of it, including the strongly hinted interest of Kim. Who has been impressed with how well he’s been handling a truly strong impact, and is really happy to benefit him with a link to success.
Instead, partly because he doesn’t believe in himself, he chooses not to go that path. He’s learned that he’s better than the cheap scams he used to run in Chicago. But he can’t convince himself that he’s really good enough to be interested in a solid life. The scams are also of great fun and interest to him too, of course. But that’s not the root of the reason - that’s just a weak point.
Both his need to prove himself to his brother, and his current avoidance of taking an opportunity with a big firm - a step that could prove his brother wrong and give him success in the world’s eyes - seem to come from the same place: a deep well of dislike for himself.
We’re seeing him cheapen himself under the excuse of wanting to be who he really is - and it’s so human and so tragic.
It has to be said that Better Call Saul - so far at least - shits all over Breaking Bad as a piece of motion picture art. His steady awakening/breakdown at the bingo was phenomenal television.
Also, I never thought I could imagine Mike to be any more of a badass but that scene in the carpark in S1E9 was so fucking funny.
Subtitles for his last conversation with Mike:
Saul: Why didn’t I break Bad?
Mike: You want to be the good guy.
Saul: Why didn’t you Break Bad?
Mike: Because you didn’t ask me to.
Saul: To hell with it. I’m Breaking Bad!
I dunno. I could have seen a season with Jimmy in Santa Fe, trying to live out the dream of being a respectable lawyer and becoming more disillusioned with having a fully legal, but amoral, career. Maybe even having his nemesis from the big lawsuit admit that he’s come to respect Jimmy, and how Jimmy would feel about that. But maybe Vince Gilligan & Co. have more interesting twists and turns yet to go before we finally get to Badger’s arrest.
I was dreading Jimmy joining the larger law firm, because if he did he would have to fall even farther. The thought of him suffering more really wasn’t OK with me.
Thus, when he decided to say “Fuck it all” and embrace his inner Saul-- that was gratifying, because I knew he would start becoming his own master, finally.
His mind made up, HHM cheque in his pocket, humming Smoke on the Water to himself, I’d bet he’s headed straight to the nearest vacant strip mall to set up his new office, complete with the faux columns and signature billboard. It’d begin the new season on a high note and nicely mirror his previous attempt to establish himself with the Kettleman money - there’s even a parallel to his failed attempt at winning over Kim in that he’s just been reassured about Mike’s professional reliability in all the unseemly business he may be up to. It can’t come fast enough.
I’m pretty sure there was a hidden Repo Man reference during the Jimmy and Marco con montage. When Marco says he needs help getting his wife’s car “out of this bad area,” it’s an almost verbatim quote of Bud’s first lines to Otto, which end up sucking him into the world of Repodom.
“Breaking Bad” was great of course. It took a season to really lock in. I’m once again so impressed with how this series is out of the park from the first moment.
Love this show.
I can see how compelling an idea it would be for jimmy to have taken the job and see him work in that amoral environment but he’s been through the mill enough already so it was something touching on euphoria to finally have him choose his own path and be that good criminal lawyer but a criminal lawyer nonetheless, paraphrasing what mike told walter white v1.0 last week. Besides, if we’d had a full season of him working at davies and mane i think it’d stretch believability for him then to become saul goodman.
I’m really going to miss this show until next year.
“If you build it, i will come.”
I don’t remember the incident Saul and Mike discuss in which they left 1.6M on the table,
The Kettlemans. (I’d be a bit more explicit, but I don’t see an option for a spoiler tag here.)
Thanks. I remembered that, but don’t remember Mike being involved in the
See Episode 7 “Bingo”
As far as spoilers go…mentioning leaving 1.6 million on the table would be a spoiler in itself. How could anyone make it this far into this article and further into the comments and not be expecting spoilers?
I didn’t buy it. The events of the episode didn’t add up to a convincing tipping point for me. I think they failed to convince me of 2 important things:
I don’t buy that Jimmy would think the partner track wasn’t attractive. What we’ve seen of him, he’s been THRILLED any time he’s managed to use real legal skill to succeed. He LOVED finding the big case against the retirement home. He LOVED fighting the restraining order (even if it did later turn out to have just been a softball). Why wouldn’t he want to keep going?
I don’t buy that he LOVED his old life so much. I guess we were supposed to read his attitude as not wanting to return to the lawyer life…but I think they did a bad job of selling that. They didn’t show him gleaning any sort of HAPPINESS from returning to the con. Outside of the scenes where he was putting on the acts, he was just morose. Where was the joy that it supposedly brought him?
Reading between the lines, I guess the implication is that the real draw of the legal profession was earning the respect of Chuck, and without that he doesn’t have the passion. That’s the only reasonable thing I can think of. But they didn’t SHOW that. For a show that spent 5 episodes being gloriously languid, laying everything out in meticulous detail, this change of heart was jarringly abrupt and unestablished. Like they finished the 9th script and realized, “Crap, we’ve only got one episode left, better make something happen!”
Besides, I think it would have been much more compelling to see him take the job. Really see how, despite his clear ability, that life wasn’t for him. SHOW him in situations where he’s technically doing well, but realizes that he’d rather help the “good guy criminals” than “do the right thing.” I think there was so much more to explore about straight(ish)-and-narrow Jimmy that got cut off here. Bummer.
Have to agree. The change of attitude seemed so sudden as to feel a bit out of character. Strange to see that after so many episodes of very deliberate exposition and character building.
I don’t think you need to read between the lines here, it seemed pretty clear to me that it was all about Chuck. Jimmy’s desire to please his brother, how much he looked up to him, how much shit he was willing to do for him (“you did all this for him, every day!?”), and Chuck’s betrayal was the final straw. At first it just broke him, first agreeing to hand the case over, then his bingo-breakdown, but when he went back home and hung out with Marco it reinvigorated him. The job offer came as a surprise, so he decided to take it straight away, but once the shock of that had worn off he was back to where he was after he had returned. This wasn’t something that was tacked on for the final episode, they’ve been building up to it the whole season, at times I was wondering why they were spending so much time on Chuck-related scenes, but I can see why now.
I think this was a pretty perfect season, great slow buildup, great character development, and great acting from all involved. Really surprised to see Odenkirk’s range. I’m loving this much more than Breaking Bad, the characters are so likeable, in contrast to BB where the two protagonists were assholes for the most part.