Better Call Saul-2nd To Last Episode

Are you watching this?

If not, maybe you want to stop reading. Or maybe you’re never going to watch “Better Call Saul.” I tried watching “Breaking Bad” and couldn’t get into it. It was overhyped as the best TV show ever, which it definitely is not. Production values were low, although the acting was great. I realized all of this when I ultimately blew through the seasons on Netflix. I gave it a try a few years back and got hooked.

I’m a member of the club.

But the story of Heisenberg and Jesse Pinkman is different from the one of Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler.

“Better Call Saul” is their story. Jimmy and Kim’s. And it’s both prequel and sequel. Sequel in black and white, so you realize it is such.

So last night…

And, once again, if you watch the show and haven’t seen this episode you can stop right here…

Kim is working in Florida. She’s given up her legal job in Albuquerque. She’s become a drone. Kind of like Jackson Browne’s “Pretender.”

But it takes a while to realize this.

She’s got a new guy. You think it’s her husband, although ultimately you find out he’s not.

And they’re talking like a couple. Kim’s now a brunette instead of a blonde. They’re talking about Miracle Whip and this is when you realize… This guy is a dolt.

As a guy, and I can speak authoritatively, you always think you’re not good enough. Not good-looking enough, not rich enough. And if you try and compete… You will always find someone who scores higher than you in those categories. You want to give up.

Or you set your sights lower.

And then you watch Kim and this new guy…

And it’s instantly clear why she was involved with Jimmy. The excitement, the wit, the fun. Those aren’t that easy to find. You can find a guy with a great car, with enough money to blow on not only a barbecue, but vacations. But will that ring your bell, stimulate you?

And then, after the backyard football party, these two have sex. And it’s not ugly sex. And it’s not hate sex. It’s relationship sex. And you’re squirming, because she was married to Jimmy, how can she do this?

And then you realize she’s shut off her mind, she’s shooting lower, living the paint by numbers dream. Until she disconnects and is by herself. She needs to be able to be her, and she can only do this when she is alone.

Magic. Intelligence. All the things that are hard to quantify, people are attracted to those. And if you have them you can win, assuming you’re willing to play.

And then Jimmy calls Kim at work, at her new job at the sprinkler company in Florida. Kim is not a drone, she appears to be a designer, she’s got her own office. But everybody there is going nowhere fast, caught up in their own little world, slacking at work.

That’s the way it is for most people. Either the work itself is just too boring or their sights are set low or both. Their expectations are not that high. Then again, do they know something the high achievers do not? That it’s really about everyday life, having some laughs, as opposed to being or trying to be rich and famous?

And Kim can’t talk to Jimmy. Because despite everything we’ve seen previously, the new boyfriend, the sex, she still pines for her ex. She can’t get over him. Sure, she can’t get over what they did together, she’s got a bout of conscience, and that’s important, and hard to ultimately believe as she takes action, but really this is all about Jimmy.

Jimmy can’t change. He is who he is. The looked-over brother. The one who wasn’t a winner. Who not only didn’t get the love, but was put down by his brother Chuck. All his life he was just average, with no attention, and as a result he turned to a life of crime…what did he have to lose?

And even when he becomes a lawyer he gets no respect. Because he didn’t go to the right school. He’s not puffed up like the blowhards in their fancy offices that their clients are ultimately paying for. Jimmy has heart, he can relate to the downtrodden clients that the other attorneys overlook on their way to riches with the corporate bros, and as a result he lands on a case that will deliver more money than the ones the big timers focus on. And then they pay attention.

This is how it happens in Hollywood. You’re nobody, you show some glow, the ability to generate bucks, and the entire industry appears at your doorstep, ready to make you a star, or a bigger one. And you think these people are your friends, but they’re not. You’re just a product, and when you’re washed up they’ll transfer their allegiance to another. It’s like you’re a buggy whip and then the automobile is introduced. You’re a Hula Hoop in the era of video games.

Jimmy just can’t get any respect.

But he will represent those nobody else will.

And then Kim leaves and he amps up the Saul Goodman business, his business nom de plume.

And Jimmy’s flying high.

But then come the divorce papers. They lay him low. He can’t work. All he can think about is what he’s about to lose, Kim.

And ultimately Kim comes to Jimmy’s office, to sign the divorce documents, and it’s uncomfortable. As breaking up always is. You don’t stop loving them instantly. And usually there’s no definitive betrayal. You’re still connected, and soon you’re not going to be. And Kim wants nothing to do with Jimmy in the future, which is how it is with most relationships. Sure, some people remain friends with their exes, I don’t understand it. You were so close, you shared everything, and now you continue to see each other? How do you get over the love?


You never get over them, never ever. They enter your brain when you don’t want them to. A friend of mine had electroshock therapy, one of its benefits is he forgot his past, what happened with his exes. On one level I wish I could undergo the procedure too. Because I’m haunted. WE ALL ARE!

So Kim finally signs, and just before she goes, just before she leaves the office, Jimmy yells out…


It’s so perfect. He’s feeling the pain, the separation, she pulled the trigger, he wants to fight back, stick in the dagger, and this is how he does it, by telling her he’s done, he’s over it. It’s sarcasm and truth all in one.

As for the net tightening up on Jimmy…

As for Kim unburdening herself, turning herself in, telling the truth…

It was so TENSE!

This is what we used to get in art, the tension. We had to pay complete attention. We were driven to pay complete attention. All other thoughts were squeezed out. Were they gonna get caught, what would be the consequences.

I was wrapped up in art.

Oh, you might say “Better Call Saul” is just a TV show.

But it’s more than that.

It’s Kanye without the clothes. No penumbra is necessary. They’re not selling perfume, it’s all on the screen.

And I’ve been following Bob Odenkirk since “Mr. Show.” I thought David Cross would be the breakout star. Whenever I saw Bob on screen I was rooting for him, a fish out of water, making a guest appearance. But Bob was so good in “Breaking Bad” that they wrote him a bigger part, and then centered this entire prequel/sequel show around him.

A happy-go-lucky guy who wants more. Who bucks the system that refuses to accept him. A man who loves the game more than the rewards. Because life rewards the living.

And I felt fully alive watching “Better Call Saul” last night. I hate, hate, HATE that they drip out episodes once a week. Because not only am I left hanging, the spell is broken. And the spell is key. Sure, you want to find out what is going to happen, but even more you want to be in the trance, find out what is going on with the Salamancas. Feel the tension of people almost nobody knows in real life but are carving out their place in the world nonetheless. Rest on your laurels and you’re history. You’ve got to keep thinking, inventing, experimenting.

I’m high on “Better Call Saul.”

It’s better than any drug.

That’s the power of entertainment.

Too many creators abdicate in the initiation. They play by the rules. They shoot low. They’re not willing to risk it all. The believe the Holy Grail is unattainable.

But if you’re willing to play for all the marbles, with your wits about you. Living to feel as opposed to going through the motions, observing, everybody can reap the rewards. But you’ve got to conceive of them. You’ve got to find your own path. And then you’ve got to EXECUTE!

That’s what Jimmy/Saul/Bob does. He can’t be happy at Cinnabon. He needs more excitement. And unlike an athlete, you never have to retire from crime. You’re never too old. And the game keeps changing, gets more interesting. It’s a challenge, and Jimmy is up for it.

But now he’s Gene.

But will they realize he’s Jimmy? Will he get caught?

I’m still living in the afterglow of last night’s episode.

Just like Kim Wexler. She cannot get over Jimmy McGill. Because it’s not about the trappings, but the essence. Jimmy is living life. To the fullest. He’s both charming and conniving. Astute and sometimes dumb. Ruthless and forgiving.

He’s complicated.

He’s an American. Our best self. Not burdened by history, but making it up as he goes.

You should too. Not only will you be fulfilled, but you’ll be stunned who’s attracted to you.

Like Kim is to Jimmy.

Like I am to “Better Call Saul.”

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