Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 7, “JMM”

Midway through “JMM,” Lalo, who has hired Jimmy/Saul to defend him in the Fred Whalen murder case, suggests that the monogram on Jimmy’s briefcase should stand for “Just make money,” rather than what Jimmy tells him it means, “Justice matters most.” The dueling mottos are emblematic of the difference between Jimmy’s and what will become Saul’s priorities as attorneys.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 6, “Wexler v. Goodman”

“Wexler v. Goodman” is another excellent entry in season five of Better Call Saul, one that begins with a flashback to young Kim that reveals how unwilling Kim was to trust her very unreliable-seeming mother. It provides yet more insight into her character, but it’s bearing on the rest of the episode only snaps into focus in the final scene, when Kim is given strong cause to distrust another important person in her life: Jimmy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 5, “Dedicado a Max”

Late in “Dedicado a Max,” Gus tells Mike he’s at a crossroads, but it’s also a statement that applies to Kim, who finds herself at her own crossroads. The sentiment also applies to the series more generally, or at least, my patience with certain parts of it. While the idea of a crossroads provides this episode with some thematic unity, it’s also made me realize my feelings for a central part of this series has also come to a crossroads.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 4, “Namaste”

“Namaste” finds most of the regular characters trying to clean up messes of one sort or another. Some of the messes are perfunctory: Kim literally sweeps up the mess of broken glass she made in the parking lot at the end of “The Guy For This,” while Jimmy is hired to represent the pair of idiots who were inspired to go on a meth-fueled bender by Jimmy’s 50% off sales gimmick. The most interesting mess is the one Acker made of Kim’s moral compass, both because it’s yet another step down a dark road Kim is travelling, and because it intersects nicely with what Jimmy is going through in this episode.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Better Call Saul Season 5, Episode 3, "The Guy For This"

Early in “The Guy For This,” Kim warily eyes a beer bottle Jimmy has balanced precariously on a railing. It’s an apt character beat, because both Jimmy and Kim will engaged in their own parallel balancing acts throughout this episode, regarding various aspects of their aspirations and careers. Despite both of their best efforts, they each end up tipping the scales in their least preferred direction, Jimmy by getting drawn into the cartel world, and Kim by being forced into doing Mesa Verde’s dirty work.