There is a sadness to watching Jimmy this season, and I’m not sure how much of that sadness is directly linked to the death of Chuck. There’s little doubt that Chuck’s death has hung over this season like a dark cloud and while it may not seem all that impactful to Jimmy we can’t deny that all the major moments this season have been centered around Chuck’s passing. Episode one was Jimmy throwing the blame on Howard. Episode two was Kim going at Howard for the way Jimmy was being treated. Episode three dealt with the letter that was left behind. A letter that Kim may have switched out with one of her own to spare Jimmy any further pain. To relieve him of having to receive that middle finger from the great beyond. But that’s the thing though, there doesn’t seem to be any real pain or grief coming from Jimmy.
It would be easy to associate Jimmy’s actions as a way of forcibly ignoring the real-life trama that is staring him down. His brother is dead. He is alone. Granted, he has Kim, who is not only the backbone to his sanity but the emotional heartbeat of this show. Rhea Seehorn delivered another outstanding performance this week, filled with raw emotion that nailed all the tiniest nuances, this week as she tries to protect Jimmy, but I think she might be protecting him from the wrong things right now. Jimmy needs to be protected from himself, and then maybe he can address the emotional hell he’s currently in.
The end result of Better Call Saul is Saul Goodman, that’s something we’ve known since the show was conceived, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t look at Jimmy and think he was beyond crimes like this. His plan to break into the copy store to switch out a little collectible should be something that he’s far above at this point in the game. This is Slippin’ Jimmy nonsense. The type of stupid idea that blows up in your face, and all for what? Four thousand dollars? In the grand scheme of things that doesn’t seem like a scam that’s worth all this trouble. Mike passes on it because he’s a professional, and Jimmy should be conducting himself as one also. Yes, the scene is funny in the tense “I can’t believe this is happening” kind of way, but it also serves as a reminder that Jimmy is drowning without Chuck. The very existence of Chuck was enough to keep Jimmy a bit more cavalier about his scams, but with him gone, Jimmy is throwing caution to the wind. Of course, this scheme is a way for him to ignore Chuck’s death, and maybe his way of giving the finger to Chuck now that he’s gone, but it’s leading towards a darker path.
I have little faith that Jimmy will re-attach with his emotions. Bob Odenkirk has done such a tremendous job of presenting us with the shell of Jimmy McGill but the light, the good humor, and the flash are absent. This is a man who has sunk deep within himself the further and further he sinks the more difficult it will be for him to emerge. This clearly is your avenue to Saul Goodman taking control, a man who is self-serving and void of emotion, but what does that mean for those around Jimmy? Especially Kim Wexler. I’ve lived in great fear of what happens to Kim since the show started, and while I always thought she died pushing Jimmy further into the abyss, what if it’s something worse? What if Jimmy pushes her away by being Saul. A man unwilling to accept reality and can’t understand the good things in life when they’re in front of him. To see Kim emotionally destroyed is far worse than watching her die at this point.
Elsewhere, Nacho earned his stripes with Gus and the rest of the Los Pollos Hermanos gang. There was no way Nacho could return to the Salamancas without his buddy, and faking a highway ambush seemed like the most reasonable play to keep Nacho in the good graces of the Salamancas while also explaining why Arturo is no longer among the land of the living. Michael Mando gives an excellent performance here clinging to life as he’s left bleeding out in the desert. There’s a sadness to Nacho. A man who probably knows he could do better than the life he’s chosen but can’t free himself from its shackles. His attempt on Hector’s life failed and now has got him in a situation where he’s spying for Gus Fring. Nothing about this sounds like it’s going to have positive results for Nacho. Especially with Gus in full ruthless mode.
And why shouldn’t he be? The fall of Don Hector has opened a door of opportunity for Gus that didn’t exist before. In fact, this episode set the foundation of the rise of Walter White in a roundabout way. With a possible war on the horizon, one self-created by Gus, there is no product being shipped. With no product being shipped Gus is told to look into hometown dealers. All of this is a part of a carefully structured plan that will eventually blow up in Gus’s face, literally, but it was fun watching the seeds of his empire start to settle. The meeting with Gale was a fun easter egg aimed to remind us that Gus is closer to building his laundry mat cooking station while also driving home what a monster Walter White is. How could you possibly kill this loveable, element singing, goon?
“Something Beautiful” was an episode that watches the show and it’s characters descend a little deeper into the darkness. From Jimmy’s collectible switcharoo to Nacho getting shot all the way to Kim and her possibly switching Chuck’s letter our characters are all in some pretty dark places. As the Breaking Bad timeline draws nearer we know that the light will only get more muted, at this point we have to start asking ourselves, who can survive the darkness?
What did you think Geeklings? Were you disappointed to see Jimmy revert back to such petty scams? Did Kim switch out Chuck’s letter? Can Nacho survive his new employment status? Sound off in the comments. If you’d like to talk more Saul with yours truly then you can find me on the Twitter @iamgeek32. I’ll see everyone back later in the week with my episode preview. In the meantime, I hope the rest of your week is all good man!
Images from AMC