selenak: (Jimmy and Kim)
[personal profile] selenak
In which Saul hasn't just entered the building but has taken over the office, so to speak, and it's heartbreaking. (In a great show kind of way.)



Incidentally, I should make clear that when I'm doing the Jimmy/Saul talk, I don't seriously think they're two different people. Never mind Jekyll and Hyde, Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman is not a case of Ben and Glory. (Sorry, could't resit the Buffy joke.) (Though Howard seems to think he's Smeagol and Gollum, and, hmmmm...) Saul to a degree is a persona Jimmy created, but he also is the result of Jimmy's darker traits pushed to the max.

While the good ones are in retreat. One of the endearing things about Jimmy was that for all that he tricked his elderly clients into hiring him, he did right by them, he was a good lawyer for them, and his kindness to them wasn't an act; he liked these old people. Which is why what he does in this episode is so revolting and hearthbreaking. And it needed the build up of three seasons in which we got to know Jimmy McGill, like him and root for him. We wouldn't have been surprised by Saul Goodman doing something like this, nor would it have felt like a betrayal coming from Saul. But it is a horrible betrayal coming from Jimmy.

You know, I had plain forgotten Jimmy was due a share of the Sandpiper law suit whenever it was settled, and I didn't clue in to what brought him to Irene's doorstep in the first place even when he was doing the calculations out loud once he'd left her, not until Howard spelled it out. I was so prone to assuming the best in a Jimmy & elderly client type of situation that I thought maybe HHM and their partner were acting wrongly towards their cients and Jimmy was coming to the rescue. But of course, having had his various endeavors fail in previous episodes and his ruthlessness coming to the fore more and more, it's that Sandpiper payout for himself that he's after. And to that end, he manipulates Irene and her friends in a cruel way that basically destroys Irene's life. Turning her entire small community of friends against an old woman in her few remaining years would have been awful in any case, but the fact that Irene adores Jimmy and trusts him utterly makes it even worse. And there's no sign in this episode he hesitates or feels regret about anything which he's doing. Presumably he tells himself there's no actual harm done, the friends will come back to Irene now she's settling, but if so, it would be against his better knowledge. Once you've sown distrust and dislike, it's very hard to overcome that, and Irene and her friends don't have much time left.

Among Breaking Bad fans, there used to be debates as to when Walter White crosses the moral horizon for good, with the two most often named instances were letting Jane die in her own vomit in the s2 finale and risking poisoning a child in order to get Jesse back in his corner in the s4 one. With Jimmy, right now, I suspect this episode - not called Fall for nothing - will be the undisputed winner.

Need and/or greed for money combined with pride drives the other characters to their presumable doom or at least damage in the other plots of this episode as well. Since the pills don't have the immediate effect Nacho had hoped for, he is forced to come clean to his father about having gone back to work for Hector Salamanca, and Salamanca demanding his father's business as a cover operation, and it's a quietly heartbreaking scene of its own, down to the last detail (Nacho putting the used glass into the wash before he leaves). Mike, who has prided himself on his independence, now is officially a part of Madrigal so he can get his money laundered. BTW, the Mike-Lydia encounter affirms something to me I thought during the brief Gus and Lydia scene last episode - Laura Fraser and the writers characterise Lydia slightly differently here. On Breaking Bad, she was so tightly wound and nervous, and there was a strong emphasis on her excentricities (the way she takes her tea etc.). Here, she's still precise and controlled, but also in control. You can see why Gus thought of her as a reliable ally/minion/lieutenant/whatever the right term would be.

And Kim has run herself ragged, her workoholism, perfectionism and very real income need all driving her to overwork herself during the last weeks, pulling all nighter after all nighter, till she literalyl crashes in the final scene. Thankfully, the show doesn't leave us with a "is Kim dead/seriously hurt" cliffhanger, and instead makes it clear that physically, she's more or less alright. But because of the crash, she'll presumably lose the client she shouldn't have taken on in the first place. And her relationship with Jimmy is strained now, no longer the relief it used to be; he correctly noted her state but only seems to be miffed she wasn't ready to drop all in order to celebrate with him, as opposed to being seriously concerned.

(Incidentally: the expensive booze Jimmy wants to celebrate with is the same one they scored in their first mutual con, and also the same one Gus will use to poison Don Eladio with.)

As for Chuck, he might have accepted that he's got a mental problem he needs to overcome, but he's still as hubristic and arrogant as ever in the meeting with the insurance representatives, and unsurprisingly Howard has finally had it. Also unsurprisingly, Chuck isn't willing to accept the forcible retirement "suggestion" and instead would rather be willing to destroy the firm he built with a law suit. Mind you, in his pov, he is, as he says, calling Howard's bluff, as he doesn't think Howard would be willing to risk that. And having lost all his human relationships (due to his own actions), practicing law is Chuck's entire purpose of existence, so of course he's willing to go for broke. But it's still exactly the same arrogance that drove him before (and the same pettiness). That's the same man willing to submit himself to great physical pain in order to trick his brother, alright. With Chuck, it's not money, it's Being In The Right (with capital letters) that's the irresistable lure and need, and it comes with a willingness to go scorched earth.

Finale predictions: disaster for everyone except hopefully Nacho, because whether the pills eventually work or not, Don Hector is due that stroke. And we do need someone to be better off than when they began the season! (Well, you could say Mike is, financially speaking and also because he met his favourite boss, but seeing as this is the road to becoming a man who kills without hesitation for Gus Fring and profits from the drug trade, well...)
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