Better Call Saul, Season 1, Episode 5 (Alpine Shepard Boy).
“Even your lousy days seem more interesting than my good ones”.
As Jimmy ventures from one client to another, we really see how the desperate “Slippin’ Jimmy” exists in his career as a lawyer. He either exaggerates his interest in the exploration of American citizens, mockingly supports the patent of a talking toilet or nabs as much money as he can from an elderly woman. Jimmy isn’t clean as he says he is, but thankfully it provides a surprising humorous insight. Chuck doesn’t approve of the dishonest lifestyle, yet quite frankly Chuck is in no position to criticise considering that he’s stolen a newspaper (replacing it with $5 of course) and refused to allow police entrance to his house. Chuck’s condition has been treated differently throughout the series, it’s been portrayed as a serious condition, it’s been treated comically, and now it’s being shown to us in a realistic perspective. Of course his electromagnetic phobia is nothing but a psychological treatment – but now that it’s explicitly been said, his character has evolved from just a over-the-top character to a psychologically struggling character.
Chuck isn’t the only character who is changing onscreen. Jimmy is influenced by Kim’s suggestions of focusing on a specific type of cases. Due to the heroic acts Jimmy had accordingly committed, he’s almost idolised as a brave young man by the elderly, who are seen as nothing but easy money. They die, they get scammed, they need their will testimonies. Of course it would be Jimmy to target the elderly, knowing that they could be the cause of a major cash flow.
But more importantly, by Jimmy continuously looking at the bigger picture, we begin to see the ambitious character and marketing direction which Saul Goodman would do – “Need a will? Call McGill!”. Jimmy is finally on the right path in his career as he becomes more of a risky competitor to Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill, even if it means focusing on elderly law.
Now there’s Mike. The major bad-ass character from Breaking Bad that’s done nothing more than dispute about parking stamps. His constant appearance in episodes isn’t just a cameo to create a nostalgic effect to fans, but instead to show how someone so simple in your life can later affect it. Moving from just his stall, he lurks in his car watching an unidentified woman and is then at home, but receives a visit from police officers whom he recognises. The pacing of focusing on Mike for the final five minutes can seem oddly placed in the structure of the episode, but instead it clearly forms a link to the upcoming episode. Which lawyer would help defend Mike other than the one and only Jimmy McGill?
“Need a Will? Call McGill! So give me a call if you uhh…”
So now Chuck, Mike and Jimmy have a clear character direction in progress – leaving the audience to wonder how do all three lives help support the overall narrative? It’s clear that wherever Mike goes, he brings trouble along the way. Therefore as we can presume that Mike will in fact give McGill a call, they’re likely to alliance in the future, henceforth leading Jimmy back to his “Slippin'” route which Chuck doesn’t approve of. Each factor all become relevant as it connotes that some form of conflict between the three characters is bound to arise in the future.
+ “You’re completely disgusting, do you know that?!” … “Hey buddy, you’re the one with the sex toilet”. You tell him Jimmy!
+ Kim and Jimmy really work well together, their scenes are always interesting to watch. I just hope that more is delved in their character dynamics.
– Filler much? I’ve appreciated the slow tone of the series, but other than the changing career paths there isn’t much to take in from this episode.
– I’d also like to take this opportunity to apologise for having the website suffer from a week absence of posts. Things should return shortly.