Better Call Saul, Season 1, Episode 9 (Pimento).
Chuck has had some vendetta against Jimmy across the series which is finally revealed. Since the beginning we’ve seen Chuck throwaway lines such as “Slippin’ Jimmy” and the constant disbelief that Jimmy was somewhat progressing in his aspired career of being a lawyer. Even in last weeks episode, a flashback foreshadowed that Chuck had never approved of the idea of working alongside Jimmy – we’re made to believe that Howard Hamlin was the bad-guy, when in reality it’s been the disapproving Chuck all along. Jimmy’s been criticised for being a lawyer in the past (most notably when the Kettleman’s claimed he’s a lawyer for guilty people), yet it doesn’t have as much of an impact as Chuck’s line did.
Intriguingly, this episode follows the same style as RICO, by splitting the narrative with Jimmy’s storyline and Mike’s separate storyline. It’s an odd choice for the penultimate episode in the season, yet it works more so than last week thanks to Mike’s storyline being seemingly important. Mike was also granted a noteworthy scene just as Jimmy and Chuck were. Apparently there’s a clear distinction between a “bad guy” and a “criminal”; the suggestion that a “criminal” can act upon good or bad intentions is quite significant in a universe where we follow various criminals. “Slippin’ Jimmy” could be deemed as a criminal, yet his intentions -as sleazy as they can be – often are for the right reason. Perhaps then we can consider Jimmy a “good guy”, which makes Chuck’s inability to acknowledge the goodness of Jimmy more heartbreaking.
Whilst it makes sense that Howard Hamlin had to accept Chuck’s disapproval, it seems very unlike Howard Hamlin to allow a case to slip so easily. We’ve seen this character go through extremes within the office to encourage his cases to be a success; and with the promise of a multi-million reward, I’d imagine Howard would’ve struggled with rejecting Jimmy’s offer. The episode opens up an interesting light to Howard’s character though. We’ve always had this biased perception that Howard Hamlin was the bad guy – yet now it’s evident that Chuck was the man with the reigns who’s prevented Jimmy from becoming a success. Will future episodes allow the audience to see a better side of Howard? Only time will tell.
“Two McGill boys, side by side, storming the gates, righting wrongs, taking down the bad guys.”
It would’ve been an ideal storyline, seeing the McGill’s solve cases together. However the dynamic scene where Jimmy establishes he’s done with Chuck indicates that we’re far from this possibility. The theme of “good” and “bad” really adds depth to the quote; Jimmy was deceived by Chuck who had appeared to be the “good” guy, when in reality Chuck is plainly a “bad” guy too.
The season finale is left in an open thread. We’ve seen the return of Nacho, we see Mike achieving in his criminal means, we see Jimmy and Chuck in a feud – but how will it all end? Things are left in what we can only assume will be a suspenseful climax. But of course it will be hard to have a scene that could overpower what we’ve witnessed in Pimento.
+ The space blanket is brought back in a stylish suit. Well done Jimmy.
+ Poor Kim, she’s always left in between her job at HHM and dealing with her personal relationship with Jimmy. If only she didn’t have to be so torn between the two.
+ Mike doesn’t need a gun because he had done his homework. But he also proves he doesn’t require one with his bad-ass disarming skills alone.