This week’s Better Call Saul episode “Pimento” saw all the game pieces that have been moving all season begin to reach their finish line.
- Mike took his first real job as the Mike of the Breaking Bad future; as we suspected, Mike was probably always a bad ass for the ages
- Clear evidence was given to prove what fans already knew in their gut about Chuck’s intentions for Jimmy’s career
- Kim still played both sides following her dysfunctional career path one minute and being a friend to Jimmy the next- but took some real risks to be a real friend with hard truths to deliver
A trail is being marked which sees Mike and Jimmy embroiled in the darkness of the underworld career opportunities that initially, seem a nice option to the distaste they’ve each gotten for the straight world. They’ve now both been brutally betrayed and heartbroken by their love of family and their honest attempts at good careers playing (mostly) by the rules. Both have a streak of the rebel and a sense of being more deserving than their lot in life. Both are unrooted, single men without families of their own to ground them into normalcy. Both are ripe for it.
Nacho made his return in a black market pills/money exchange with an even more hopelessly white, middle aged, khaki wearing, entitled, nerdy yet sinister and cold blooded criminal than Mr. Kettleman or early Walter White. Those running shoes!
This scene gave Mike the chance to deliver a truly beautiful summary of his worldview; and that of the show. For Mike, there are bad guys, and there are criminals, and there are a lot of negotiations and deceptions both internal and with others along the way as people dance along a knife’s edge of those little nuances they need to apply to their work. Mike is stepping directly, and clear-eyed, into a life of crime in order to create a legacy for his lost son and provide for his granddaughter. He does increasingly bad things for what is a noble reason, in his view. Jimmy has tried as hard as he can to leave Slippin’ Jimmy behind (ignoring the natural talents of The Grift that are impressive in their way) only to be screwed over by his brother who he’s cared for like a saint, who sticks the knife in deep by telling him “you’re not a real lawyer”. All those bags of ice, all those steaks that Chuck likes, and he still has the nerve to be a snob from inside the darkness of his messed up fortress, while his loyal brother is, essentially, homeless. Now it begins to click in a way that can be understood from the outside; the sorts of betrayals that can turn a good man, a wounded man, bad. Or, if you prefer, criminal.
It doesn’t look like we’re going to be playing seniors’ Bingo anymore as the dark games begin. With only one episode left in the season, will it be dirty bombs and desert near death experiences? Or will these men continue to negotiate the world on their terms while dodging attacks closer to their hearts? Watch a sneak peek of the season finale HERE.