Alex Casey recaps the seventh episode of Lightbox’s much anticipated Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul.
After last week’s slam dunk of an episode, I am feeling pretty confident in saying that Better Call Saul is one of the most interesting and unique telly shows on offer at the moment. Take the wonderful opening credits, for example. So bizarre, so against the trend of these extraordinarily long sweeping sequences that launch music careers and employ their own department. Much like show itself, the Better Call Saul opening credits are like nothing we’re seeing on TV at the moment.
Here’s a great interview with the creators about why they decided to make them look purposefully crappy. As Gilligan himself says, “I think the idea is that Saul Goodman is a man who hires the lowest bidder when it comes to making television commercials and such.” With that in mind, it makes perfect sense that the Better Call Saul titles look like they were made at the MOTAT Special Video FX exhibition circa 1998.
Onto the episode itself. Checking in at Camp Chuck, the guy is working hard to build up a resistance to electromagnetic forces. He’s loving it, laughing heartily to the two minute mark and then nearly collapsing and have to waddle inside. Jimmy is banking up huge boxes of files at Chuck’s place, there’s no room left at the inn/nail salon. He’s looking into buying a bigger office, keeping his eye on this swanky number downtown.
Poor Jimmy gets shut down after trying to poach Kim to join his team. Kim still owes her own firm a little more of her time after they paid for her college and the like. Seems so often Jimmy forgets about adult responsibilities and the external factors that other people have pressing upon them. He’s so keen to get his ducks in a row he forgets that there could be other people feeding the ducks the whole time. Some of the ducks have babies. Some of the ducks have electromagnetic disorders.
Kim’s big case at the moment is getting the Kettleman’s the best possible outcome for their embezzlement case. She manages to whittle down their charge from 30 years to 16 months. This ain’t good enough for Betsy Kettleman, who still maintains their innocence (despite being caught red handed with a huge duffel bag of stolen cash money). She fires Kim, and they immediately seek legal counsel elsewhere. I think I might know who they are going to give a call…
Answering his phone in his borderline offensive woman receptionist squeak, Jimmy is next up on the chopping block for the Kettlemans. Lest we forget he took a $30,000 cut of the stolen dosh, and is therefore just as guilty as they are. Always getting himself in trouble, isn’t he.
Cue a noir-style series of shots as Jimmy figures out what to do with Kim:
Cue accompanying stakeout from a deeply blue tinged Mike:
Sneaking into the Kettleman house, Mike uses elite UV technology to trace fingerprints to the bag of money under the sink. It’s an extremely long sequence, stripped of all dialogue and lathered in funky funky beats. It’s playful, and Mike is certainly very blue. “Am I correcting in assuming we’re even now?” Mike asks Jimmy, playing quit pro quo with their respective skills in lawyering and break and entering. With the bag in his possession, the Kettlemans have no way to act cool once they know it is missing. Betsy is deranged, “you stole from us, we’ll have you arrested!” She’s a real freak, I think Patton Oswalt summed it up best:
Tuco had moral “code.” Fring had discipline. Walter White had mortality. Betsey Kettleman has NO code, zero empathy, no fear. Terrifying.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 19, 2015
Slowly they come to their senses, and realise they have to turn themselves in. What this means for the incriminated Jimmy remains to be seen, for now he’s just going to bask in his new corner office. Oh wait, did I say bask? I meant kick the shit out of the door and then sit pensively, waiting for the next disaster.
The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.