selenak: (Jimmy and Kim)
[personal profile] selenak
In which Saul takes a backseat to Jimmy again, and only some of my speculations turn out to be correct.

I was pretty sure Chuck would not survive this season, but I had thought he'd deliberately commit suicide, rather than doing so accidentally. Although: now that I think about it, it's probably not a choice he'd be able to make consciously, due to his self image and pride, but it's pretty clear his subconscious took over and drove him to self destruction, with the havoc wrecked upon the house as he searches in vain for the supposed source of electricity as the outward manifestation of what Chuck had been doing to his own life. Note that just as he's incapable of admitting to Howard he's at fault or that Howard has reason to feel betrayed, he's incapable of admitting fault vis a vis Jimmy even as Jimmy reaches out, and instead does something that's the dysfunctional fraternal flipside of what he did when Rebecca was visiting in the mid season flashback - he makes a production out of being perfectly fine and can't resist dealing out one last verbal blow at Jimmy. (BTW: as with Chuck's original verbal blow back in s1 re: what Jimmy with a law degree could result in, and most of Chuck's Jimmy related outbursts, the thing is that he's never completely wrong. He may be right for the wrong reasons, but Mrs. Landry is a case in point of Jimmy causing suffering for someone who trusted him, and feeling terribly about it after the fact. More about that in a moment.) And he's cancelling his appointment with Dr. Clea DuVall. All these people could have potentially helped Chuck - well, not Howard so much, not after all that had happened, but maaaayybe he'd have held off with the buy out if Chuck had admitted fault and expressed sincere remorse - as the end of his existence as a lawyer, which to him was the point of his life, pushes him into a last mental crisis, but he's just not able to ask them, and that has nothing to do with mental illness and everything with Chuck being Chuck.

The episode teaser is the incident Jimmy and Chuck talked about during the wallpaper scene at the start of the season, which Jimmy had misremembered as his father reading to him when in fact it had been Chuck, as we see here, and it's probably the only flashback in which the two brothers actually are enjoying each other's company without any dysfunctional undercurrents. (Incidentally, I've said this before when we first saw a photograph of them as children, the young actors appear to be far closer in age than Chuck and Jimmy come across as adults. Maybe because Bob Odenkirk has to play Jimmy as younger than during Breaking Bad when he himself is of course older? I wonder just how old each of them is supposed to be?). It made me realise that the show never gave us a singular incident that started to poison this particular sibling relationship; it was presented as something that grew through the years. But that last look back, at a Chuck and Jimmy who are close (though Chuck sounds a bit exasparated when he assures Jimmy the story will end well), still makes me wonder just when it started.

Given that Chuck tells Jimmy he, Jimmy, should just stop caring and not have regrets, and that he'd respect him more if Jimmy did that, I expect this death a further push into Saulification, because of course Chuck has just described Saul Goodman. However, in this episode, we see that Jimmy McGill does still care, and not just about Kim and Chuck (the two people who in recent years had been the ones defining his life). As I had feared, Irene Landry is still shunned by her former friends even after the settlement happened, and the relationships Jimmy ruined are still ruined when we and Jimmy check in with her. What I had NOT expected was Jimmy actually making an effort to fix that, not just a token effort, either. His first attempts misfire, and then he has the correct idea, using his talent for set up and manipulation against himself by arranging a scenario in which Irene's friends "accidentally" overhear him talking to Erin (hello Erin, last seen in s2 though referred to already in the last episode) and seemingly boasting of what he'd done. It works because it's not a lie; just the set up is. And he does it in the full knowledge that he won't be able to get these old people to trust him ever again, or other seniors; his main line of income as a lawyer has just disappeared. But Irene has her friends back. It's an utterly Jimmy gesture, and yet I don't think we've seen this variation - self destruction as salvation - before.

Kim - and Kim and Jimmy - , otoh, are far better off in this finale than I had expected them to be. The shock of her accident causes some serious reassessment in Kim. (It's also a very Kim thing that the first thing she says is that she could have killed someone, as the direct result of having spent the last two weeks with six hours of sleep, not, as Jimmy and later Francesca put it, that she could have died. They're all correct - she could have killed someone, and she could have died.) When she has the chance to jump into the next workathon to maybe still keep her second client, she has her epiphany and decides not to, instead giving herself the time to recover. Further proving she's the most functional character on the show, she also has no trouble accepting help from Jimmy (I had been a bit afraid on that account), just draws the line at him feeding her, and starts her recovery time with a movie marathon. (Kim and Jimmy as old movie fans was one of the first things established they share, other than cigarettes, and I love that it's not presented as a lonely or sulking or brooding activity but something she enjoys and which they still can share.)

Furthermore, Jimmy is now ready to say goodbye to the office. We know he'll see Francesca again, but I was surprised of the melancholy I felt at the sight of the empty office. It's the big might have been, which for a short time became real, Jimmy and Kim practicing law together, so full of hope, and we already know the next job he'll share with Francesca is being Saul Goodman, Criminal Lawyer, boasting of sleaze. But for now, he and Kim still have each other, and as I had been half afraid the finale would start their break up, I'm glad for the (temporary) reprieve.

Hector Salamanca finally has that fatal stroke disabling him, and the irony of Gus probably saving his life by giving him first aid measures may be a bit thick, but I enjoyed it. It's the most sinister life saving ever, since Gus doesn't want him to die, he wants him to suffer, and at the same time Gus is signing his own death warrant here, as Don Hector will get the last word, or rather, ring, courtesy of Walter White. But Nacho for now doesn't have to worry about his father and the rest of his family anymore, at least not from that corner. Now given what universe we're in, I doubt somewhat Nacho will take this chance for a happy ending and will get out of the gangster and drug business, which he could do now. But until the next season, one can imagine he might.


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