Better Call Saul 507 – JMM
It doesn’t take long into JMM’s runtime for the smoke to clear on the real reason behind Kim’s startling question from last episode. The Wexler/McGill union is one not borne out of love but of the complexities of the law. In retrospect it seems fitting that Kim and Jimmy would tie the knot to essentially give each other immunity if they were forced to testify against each other in the Mesa Verde land dispute. The couple who take pleasure in running scams pull off the ultimate one as an insurance policy against any legal hot water they may find themselves in down the line.
Jimmy doesn’t have long to enjoy marital bliss before Nacho reaches out with a request. Facing a murder rap, Lalo needs a lawyer and Jimmy is the man for the job. Lalo proves to be a tough client though as he refuses to accept a plea bargain or a trial to get him out of trouble. Jimmy doesn’t quite see the wisdom of Lalo’s position and it takes some sage advice from his client to help shift his way of thinking, particularly if he’s to continue representing members of the Salamanca cartel.
While Jimmy deals with the Lalo’s troubles Kim tries to brace herself for the unexpected. In the aftermath of the botched land negotiations Kim and Richard meet with Kevin and Paige to review the outcome of the matter. Kevin lets his true feelings be known and spares no quarter when going over Kim’s shortcomings during the matter. Kim appears to take Kevin’s criticisms in stride but his final shot at her regarding Jimmy seems to be more than she can take. After processing Kevin’s barbs and leaving the meeting she returns to the boardroom and proceeds to illustrate the many times he was at fault for not following her advice. Unfazed, Kevin agrees to meet Kim and Richard at a later date with business as usual. The move, which could have jeopardized the firm’s deal with Mesa Verde, catches Richard off guard but reaffirms Kim’s ability to stand up to people in positions of power. It also solidifies her relationship with Kevin, a man who favours strength above all else.
JMM deftly chronicles how characters deal with untenable circumstances. Jimmy and Kim artfully try to dance their way through difficult situations and the stress that accompanies them. Mike, relaxed and reconnected with his family battled those demons as well until he came to the realization that accepting his lot in life was the best way to survive, both physically and mentally. Nacho hasn’t quite reached Mike’s level of Zen just yet. Itching to get out from under the cartel he worries about how that decision would end up causing his father harm. Nacho wants Mike to help him out, particularly now that Lalo is out of the picture, but when he lets it be known that there is an order to burn down Los Pollos Hermanos, it’s soon clear that the crime lord’s tentacles extend far from his jail cell.
Mike isn’t the only one who sees things clearly. Gus, Kim and even Howard all have moments of clarity that allows them to make decisions that ease the turmoil they are swimming in. Jimmy, however, isn’t as fortunate. Not necessarily because he can’t reach their level of accepting what is before them. In fact, it’s the opposite. Jimmy’s rant at the end isn’t really at Howard, but at himself. Realizing the harm, he caused by playing a part in Lalo’s release and the pit of vipers he’s being dragged further into, when he meets Howard the outburst is more his frustration of what could have been instead of what is. Sometimes people are able to see things clearly but by then it’s too late.