Better Call Saul: Namaste
March 10, 2020 11:25 AM - Season 5, Episode 4 - Subscribe

As Jimmy doubles down on Saul Goodman, a deeply conflicted Kim brings him an interesting proposition. Gus makes a sacrifice in order to play the long game. Mike attempts to smooth things over with his family.

‘Better Call Saul’ Recap: Bowled Over -- Jimmy gets a job offer, Mike’s family reunion is thwarted, and Kim sees Jimmy in a new light (Alan Sepinwall for Rolling Stone)
A review of this week’s Better Call Saul, “Namaste,” coming up just as soon as I give the deep fryer another cleaning…

“Yesterday was bad. Today, I’m gonna fix it.” —Kim

The main action of “Namaste” picks up the morning after “The Guy For This” ended. Kim and Jimmy are hungover from their night of drunken vandalism, and as they head out for work, Kim is dismayed by the sight of all the broken bottles they’d tossed from the balcony. Last week, when Jimmy discovered the mess he’d made by dropping his ice cream cone on the curb, he shrugged it off and walked away. So it’s not surprising that he tells Kim to let the building association handle the detritus in their parking lot. But after Jimmy has peeled out in his Suzuki Esteem for another day as Saul Goodman, Kim grabs a broom and, in her tailored suit and pumps, literally cleans up her own mess. And at the same time, she works the phone in the hopes of metaphorically doing the same regarding Mr. Acker.

As much as Kim loves Jimmy, and as willing as she is to swim in ethically murky waters with him at times, she’s ultimately a much more responsible and compassionate person than he is. She doesn’t have to do either of these tasks. As Jimmy says, someone else will sweep up the glass, while her legal responsibility on the business front is to Mesa Verde, not this stubborn old man who repeatedly insulted her. But she knows both of these messes ultimately fall on her, and she won’t be happy unless she pushes the broom herself.
Better Call Saul tours the majestic culverts of Albuquerque as Gus swallows a painful loss (Donna Bowman for TV/AV Club)
First things first: Hank and Steve aren’t totally off the mark with their musings on the etymology of culvert. The Oxford English Dictionary says it is “recent” and its origin is “obscure”; some have suggested it is named after a person. But a Dutch-French hybrid is a possibility: couler (to flow) + vaart (a boat journey or canal). And now, back to our regularly scheduled recap.

We don’t see much cross-cutting on this show, so the centerpiece of “Namaste” is quite remarkable — a chase sequence with Hank and Steve pursuing the guy picking up the money at the dead drop while Gus waits for word that the guy has gotten away clean. This is a high-stakes moment for the Fring enterprise. Here’s a man who is all about mitigating risk, insulating himself from the drug business with layer after layer of legitimacy and misdirection. In this gambit, he not only has to give up three bags of cash, but run the risk of arrests at levels in his organization that could be tied to him. He protects his people by providing diagramming a getaway play for the pickup, abandoning a truck and the cash. But if things hadn’t gone as expected, that could have gotten the DEA far closer to Los Pollos Hermanos than Gus wants to imagine.

As events beyond his control play out in the desert, he responds by clamping down control in the restaurant. Poor Lyle, the manager, scrubs that fryer over and over, trying to make the boss happy, as Gus stares at the burner phone that will tell him Operation Culvert came off. When Gus sends him home, Lyle wants to know “do you think it’s okay? Is it clean?” Gus isn’t willing to call this success — just “acceptable.” He hates the tradeoffs of playing defense against Lalo. You can’t say it’s good. You can only steel yourself to accept the discipline of what it had to be.
Music from the episode via Tunefind
posted by filthy light thief (38 comments total)
I have a number thoughts, but I want to start by saying the use of one of Aphex Twin's Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments ( tracks (diskhat ALL prepared1mixed 13) as a spy-style scene was fooking fantastic.

Now I'm a bit obsessed trying to find lots 1102 and 2375 (Imgur). Tucumcari of today (Google maps, map view for ease of seeing street structure) doesn't really look like that. The blocks are longer rectangles, and there's a bit of water flow from east to west, as seen in the green-shaded area and the water patterns on the land, but if there is a north-south irrigation/ drainage way along the eastern-most boundary of lot 2375, it could be part of Tucumcari. It feels familiar, but I can't find a match.

Of course, if it really is an aerial photo from circa 2004, that's 16 years of development.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM on March 10, 2020 [8 favorites]

It seems clear that the thesis of this episode is that Kim Wexler wants to be what Jimmy McGill -- sorry, Saul Goodman -- offers up as an excuse for himself. Granted, this has been set up for several seasons now: Kim's turn to public defender work is quite a contrast from Jimmy's dependency on it in season 1 and his vicious hardball with both clients and judges in this season. And Kim's willingness to pull scams and to color outside the lines is, increasingly, about trying to help the little guy, about being there with a slingshot when a Goliath like Mesa Verde shows up.

Jimmy's always been different, and he's different in that same way tonight: while he's willing to stand up for the little guy, the little guy has to be someone he's personally attached to. Often that's been Kim. More often it's been Jimmy McGill. "Namaste" throws that into quite sharp relief, less with its somewhat clumsy metaphors. Yes, Kim will actually clean up her own mess when it affects strangers or even hostile outsiders like Mr. Acker with whom she can empathize, unlike Jimmy, who only seems to do that when the collateral damage involves someone he likes or for whom he feels personally responsible, like Season 3's Irene.

And yes, as thrilling as line-crossing is for them both, for Kim it's either an addictive diversion followed by a morning full of regrets, or a final resort when legitimate avenues have been exhausted. For Jimmy -- for Saul Goodman -- the world cannot be trusted and the scam, the blind, the dodge are the first, last and only liens of defense. If Jimmy wasn't always this way, he was always -- what's the word? -- slipping in that direction.

This episode seems intended to remind us of that about both him and his foil, the gruff and professional Mike. Both of them have now rejected the largesse of a potential patron, but one whose past actions -- and whose associations with past pains and acts of self-betrayal -- make accepting that patronage personally unacceptable. And both, in different ways, do stupid, destructive things in this episode. But Mike seems headed towards self-destruction, and is haunted by his keen awareness of how hard, or in some cases impossible, it is to repair the harm he's done. Jimmy, in contrast, tends to lash out when he's reminded of where he's gotten himself or of painful places he's been. We see it in this episode with the bowling ball attack on Howard's car and with the way he brazens his way towards getting $4000 from those two dimwits with the 50% off card.

That Jimmy -- well, Saul -- is now perfectly happy to advise someone to emotionally extort their grandmother suggests where he's ended up, or at least, to answer Howard's question, who Saul Goodman is and why Jimmy McGill can't be him anymore. Or, more accurately, why Jimmy McGill won't be him any more. In bringing up Christie Esposito, in taking the blame for tainting the McGill name and offering Jimmy a do-over, even in calling him "Charlie Hustle" again, Howard thinks he's reminding Jimmy of who he wanted to be.

But, of course, these are just reminders, to Jimmy, of his need to be Saul Goodman. Jimmy McGill's last pitch for himself -- and, incidentally, for Christie -- got through, but Jimmy's just not there anymore, at least not for anyone besides Kim. (When he tells Howard only is friends can call him Jimmy, but Howard can, too, we're reminded that Kim appears to be the only actual friend on that list.) Saul Goodman is what's left, a gaudy false front through which Jimmy McGill can get things done, but with the safety of a blind, a dodge.

It's Saul Goodman who calculates his visibility so he can trash Howards' car, the vanity plate and general luxuriousness suggesting -- to Saul/Jimmy, at least -- a way of injuring Howard where it hurts, right in the image. And it's Saul who finds a near-double for his client -- a client who, rather like Jimmy himself, was stealing from the till -- to force a mistrial. And it's Saul Goodman who recruits a client through a cracked door, obscured from vision, with the bizarre "visual aid" of bestiality porn.

But you know what we don't see? Sal getting ripped apart verbally by that judge. hat is behind closed doors, discreetly handled, while time-lapse shows two things -- the steadfastness of Kim's loyalty to Jimmy and to her ethics, the law be damned -- and the ghostliness of everyone else. A time lapse like that in which the person in the foreground, Kim, isn't sped up or ghosted out like everything else in the shot, is camera trickery, of course, a composited shot so Rhea Seehorn doesn't actually have to sit there for an impractically long time. And this reminds us of the visual trickery Saul has just pulled, and the general trickery and artificiality that is Saul Goodman. This creature of protective unreality -- he's literally a fictional persona for a fictional character -- naturally lashes out when anything gets too real. And so, again, Howard's car, meet bowling balls.

Contrast Mike and Kim, whose efforts to fix a wrong they've done, a regret they've allowed to consume them, leads to some bookending: both of them wake up rueful, similarly lit in a hazy, hangover-like state (booze-related for Kim, beating-related for Mike). The two professionals, out to do a job for the big guys, but held back by their regrets.

And compare Saul Goodman and -- wait for it! -- Gus Fring, of call people. Two false fronts, both of whom lash out at people trying hard to please them, because all they can see is what they didn't want happening anyway and what they determinedly want receding a little further from view. Gus and Saul both have broadly sympathetic reasons for becoming who they've become, and both are not only avenging past hurts, but trying to preclude future ones. I'm sure they both imagine they're "not bad," to quote Jimmy on his courtroom antic, which isn't the same thing as being good, and isn't anything like true. Why feel the pain yourself when you can get someone else to do it for you, and blame them for it?

In the end, then, this is an episode about false fronts, twinned selves, and the tensions between them: Mike and his past, Kim and hers; Saul running away from Jimmy McGill and Howard Hamlin (and, really, Chuck McGill), and Gus running away from once more feeling like the victim of a Salamanca. (That Howard seems to imagine he can see Jimmy as a new Charles McGill also explains, I think, that he gets his rear windshield busted in the end of the episode; his desire to look backwards and imagine the past can be redeemed is due for a shattering).

It's not hard to see why,. as the AV Club notes, the episode's most attention-getting sequence cuts between a person trying to escape capture and the steel mesh of a fry trap, or why less attention-getting shots show Kim framed in the small window of a courthouse door or Mike framed through chain-link fences, in a narrow doorway, and then inside a nested set of walled yards. Saul and Gus, masters of the double-blind, can pop a latch on a gate, arrange a back way out after a set of steel bars are removed, and misdirect both the eye and their unwanted, repeated pains at someone, something else.

So who is Saul Goodman? Someone for Jimmy McGill to hide behind. But probably not someone for Kim to hide behind. There's barely enough room in that enclosure for Jimmy, let alone Jimmy and Kim, any more than there was room in Saul Goodman's closet for Kim's professional wear a couple of episodes ago.
posted by kewb at 4:26 PM on March 10, 2020 [12 favorites]

Don't have anything to say except for how much I love every actor on this show SO MUCH. Bob Odenkirk is a fkn treasure, Rhea Seehorn too.

Actually wait I do have a question. Can someone ELI5 what exactly is the play among Lalo, Gus, Nacho, Krazy 8, and the DEA? I get that Nacho's basically a double agent at this point (and Krazy 8 is, also?). Somehow I lost what was going on here (in Sepinwall's words): "Gus deals with his anxiety as he waits to see if Victor and Tyrese can complete the con job that Nacho has set up with Hank and Gomez"--what was the con job? How does Gus benefit, and when he does, how does Lalo not know that Nacho talked to Gus?
posted by torticat at 4:28 PM on March 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

So, basically, Lalo knows Gus is playing some kind of long game against the cartel, but the cartel doesn't care as long as Gus is bringing in money. Then, Lalo and Nacho's guy Krazy-8 gets arrested. Lalo works out that he ca have Krazy-8 rat out Gus's money drop locations, there by costing the cartel money and removing Gus's protection from Lalo.

Since Nacho is under Gus's thumb, he reveals Lalo's scheme to Gus. However, he cautions Gus that removing the money from the drop locations will make it clear to Lalo that someone tipped Gus off about the scheme. So gus is forced to allow the money to be captured by the DEA and police.

Gus does, however, use his advance knowledge of the raids to avoid having any of his people followed or arrested by setting up an escape plan for his courier. So while Gus is out $700,000, law enforcement does not have any leads on him.
posted by kewb at 5:23 PM on March 10, 2020 [11 favorites]

And, of course, Gus has protected his mole in Lalo's organization, Nacho, from discovery, albeit at the cost of a lot of money...thanks to the Salamancas, who he already hates bitterly.
posted by kewb at 5:24 PM on March 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

I suspect Gus will make his next payment to the cartel like nothing happened. That would put Lalo in a bind. He’ll have more reason to believe that Gus has another source of money. But, Lalo can’t tell the cartel he knows this because his only evidence involves him ratting out Gus’s money drops to the DEA. Now, Lalo will have to think of another way to get at Gus without he cartel finding out what he’s up to. And Gus’s man Nacho is right there to feed Lalo whatever info or suggestions Gus wants.

Also, if I remember right, at the beginning of Breaking Bad, Gus was already buttering up the cops and DEA with free Los Pollo Hermanos food and donations. Last episode, Nacho told Gus that Saul knows the names of the DEA officers. So, now Gus has a second line he can follow that ropes in Saul and puts Gus in the good graces of the Feds.

The only people who know Lalo’s plan are Lalo, Nacho, Krazy 8, and Saul. Lalo will end up dead. Nacho and Saul will work for Gus. Krazy 8 was still informing to the DEA in Breaking Bad until Walt killed him in the first season.
posted by chrisulonic at 6:06 PM on March 10, 2020 [6 favorites]

Hank Schrader, Amateur Linguist ("culll-VERT") and Spelunker* ("Shall we spelunk?").

* There was that thing with the mineral collecting in Breaking Bad...
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 6:16 PM on March 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

Still overwhelmed by the episode, agree with it all (oh, man Lyle must be paid WELL).

Where the hell is Mike and why? I can't expect Gus got him out ...
posted by tilde at 6:22 PM on March 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

I guess we kind of know now what will be the undoing of Kim and Jimmy (and very likely Kim’s career.) I’m still flabbergasted he actually went and set himself up to be Kim’s opponent. Unless they’re both conspiring together (and we weren’t privy to the planning) this move says just about all you need to know about how little Jimmy actually values Kim.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:10 PM on March 10, 2020

Maybe Gus did. Maybe Gus' move will be to promise to Mike that he'll personally vow to take care of Stacey and Kaylee if/when anything happens to Gus. Who knows, maybe Gus will set up Mike to have some trippy Carlos Castaneda ayahuasca experience to process through his grief and guilt. Gus appreciates useful people, but he also doesn't hesitate a moment to use them, as with the hapless Lyle, unwittingly catching some of Gus' anger during the money drop. And Mike, as we (and Gus) already know, is intensely useful.

As for Jimmy and Kim, I'm not sure how Acker v. Mesa Verde (or vice versa) would actually play out, but I cannot imagine that the two of them living together for years would be anything like a secret if either of their clients got suspicious for any reason. I don't think that this would be the end of them; I think that we've already seen the beginning of the end.


- Why would Howard, of all people, get that license plate? Did he get his mojo back through yoga or something?

- Loved seeing the 50% guys. They're like disposable versions of Badger and Skinny Pete.

- I've occasionally toyed with the idea of doing a Route 66 drive, because it goes/went through my home town, and of course if I did I'd spend some quality time in the ABQ, but it's kind of cool to see that it also goes through Tucumcari.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:26 PM on March 10, 2020 [2 favorites]

Isn’t Mike now in Gus’s recovery place in Mexico?
posted by iamkimiam at 11:28 PM on March 10, 2020

I’m still flabbergasted he actually went and set himself up to be Kim’s opponent. Unless they’re both conspiring together (and we weren’t privy to the planning) this move says just about all you need to know about how little Jimmy actually values Kim.

This is an odd read. Kim comes to Jimmy explicitly to get him to do what he does. She asks him how it went and how he got the guy on board.
posted by Automocar at 6:41 AM on March 11, 2020 [15 favorites]

I'm sure Jimmy is doing exactly what Kim wants with the Mesa Verde case. But I'm confused about how long that's going to work. Surely folks know about Kim and Jimmy's relationship? For that matter Mesa Verde used to be represented by HHM, surely someone in town knows Saul Goodman is the brother to the M in HHM? Maybe the plan is not to run the grift in plain site, maybe Saul is only ever visible in Tucumcari.

I'm more confused by Mike's turn. He's so upset for murdering Werner that he's now setting himself up for a late night beatdown and stabbing? Straight up suicidal? Maybe after he fucked up with Kaylee and was rejected by Stacey he feels he's got nothing at all left. Mike's always been portrayed as pretty stable though, it seemed a fairly far leap for him.

Jonathan Banks, the actor playing Mike, is looking really really old lately. He looks at least a decade older than the Mike in Breaking Bad. (The actor is 73). I keep being distracted by the skin on the back of his neck, scaly and full of hyperpigmentation. I hate to be unkind. People get old, skin does that, but I'm wondering if some of his aged look is makeup.
posted by Nelson at 7:42 AM on March 11, 2020

Where the hell is Mike and why? I can't expect Gus got him out ...

Maybe Gus (or Lalo?) had people following Mike, and they grabbed him after the beatdown? Otherwise Mike would have ended up in a regular hospital if someone had seen him beaten down and called 911, or dead on the sidewalk if not.

I was confused by Jimmy's bowling ball strike on Howard's car. He's planning this at the pawn shop before he meets Howard for lunch - why? The last interaction they had was a chance encounter and the lunch invite, but no real conversation.
posted by mikepop at 7:56 AM on March 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

He's planning this at the pawn shop before he meets Howard for lunch - why?

I'd have to watch again, but it might be a time jump from the middle of the timeline of the episode.
posted by tilde at 8:15 AM on March 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

re: Jimmy and Kim and Mesa Verde: Jimmy's taking the client (and just imagine Chuck spinning in his grave at how he got his foot in the door!) was absolutely Kim's idea. Kim having the best intentions, and it may not be The Thing, but will almost certainly be A Thing in what ends up destroying Kim-and-Jimmy. Because, crystal-ball speculating I also expect to be surprised by and later say WRONG, PAST ME!, it's Saul Goodman's case now, and things will skid to a place where it's a choice between a "win" by epic Saul Goodman fuckery that screws over Kim, and not taking the win for her sake. And he'll take the win.
posted by Drastic at 10:37 AM on March 11, 2020

I'm more confused by Mike's turn. He's so upset for murdering Werner that he's now setting himself up for a late night beatdown and stabbing? Straight up suicidal? Maybe after he fucked up with Kaylee and was rejected by Stacey he feels he's got nothing at all left. Mike's always been portrayed as pretty stable though, it seemed a fairly far leap for him.

He's always seemed less like the version of "pretty stable" that has really good coping/emotional processing skills, though, and more like the version that just sweeps stuff under the carpet. Plus, he got into crime because he realized that he couldn't help Stacey and Kaylee on a parking lot attendant's salary, and then he loses it with Kaylee. So, yeah, he's probably trying for suicide by guys that are already pissed off at him.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:34 AM on March 11, 2020 [4 favorites]

He's planning this at the pawn shop before he meets Howard for lunch - why?

The pawn shop scene was the cold open, and it was a flash-forward to a point later in the ep, after the lunch and before the bowling ball bombing.
posted by torticat at 2:44 PM on March 11, 2020 [3 favorites]

Thanks for your answer, kewb, think I got it sorted out now! Clarify this for me, though? "removing Gus's protection from Lalo"
posted by torticat at 2:46 PM on March 11, 2020

My take on the bowling balls is that Saul is saying "GTFO with anything McGill," with a side of "fuckin' hippies," and to that end I think Howard must have had a transformation after Jimmy's "well I guess that's your cross to bear," and Chuck's death in general. I mean, he did seem genuinely affected about everything, contrary to Big(gish)Law stereotypes.

There was a "in next week's episode" at the end, but I couldn't really draw any mentionable conclusions from it.
posted by rhizome at 3:47 PM on March 11, 2020

Thanks for your answer, kewb, think I got it sorted out now! Clarify this for me, though? "removing Gus's protection from Lalo"

Gus's status with the cartel depends on is bringing in money. That's why Juan Bolsa and Don Eladio will stop Lalo from meddling with Gus too much. But if Gus suddenly stops bringing in money, like if the DEA gets a whole bunch of it, then the cartel will not care much if Lalo digs into Gus's operations or goes after him.
posted by kewb at 4:56 PM on March 11, 2020

Ah! Thought you were saying Gus's protection OF Lalo, and was very confused.
posted by torticat at 5:27 PM on March 11, 2020

In the cold open, before I knew about what Jimmy was planning for Howard, I thought he was coming up for new things that Kim and he could throw off the balcony. Although that's not ultimately what it was for, I really enjoyed the parallels within the story. Jimmy is a little simple about what makes him happy. This week, it's throwing things.
posted by Quonab at 8:26 PM on March 11, 2020 [8 favorites]

There's a WW2 story, probably not true, about Winston Churchill allowing Coventry to be bombed despite knowing it would happen, to avoid letting the Germans know that the UK had broken their encryption.

Gus's story in this episode reminded me of that. He knows their drops will be watched by the police, but sacrifices his money (and risks at least one of his men) by continuing to use the same drops... All because he doesn't want Lalo to know that Gus has an inside man.

And he sits at Pollos going crazy while he knows this is happening. Poor Lyle gets the worst of it but I wonder if Gus was playing a part for Lyle, keeping him there so that Gus has an airtight alibi in case things go wrong.

I guess I was right last week that Mike's encounter with the gang wasn't a kung-fu "let's show how much of a bad-ass Mike is" scene, it was Mike being suicidal. This week he tried again and had a bit more success. I don't know where he woke up but I feel like it's a come-to-Jesus moment courtesy of Gus.

As for Jimmy... this was probably his last temptation to stay on the good side of the law, Howard seems to offer him a job in all sincerity. But he doesn't want any part of Howard's charity and overcompensating for his part in Chuck's wrongs, so Jimmy goes bowling.
posted by mmoncur at 11:13 PM on March 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Lyle as an alibi. Oh, duh me.
posted by tilde at 1:07 AM on March 12, 2020 [6 favorites]

Apart from the new-age hippie associations, "Namaste" is an expression meaning something like "the sacred in me bows to the sacred in you". That is effectively the gesture that Howard is making towards Jimmy in the restaurant scene: he outlines how, while they are so different, he and Jimmy share the same profession and the same ties with Chuck . By patching things up they can both offer each other so much in terms of both business and reconciliation for past wrongs. Normally namaste gestures should be reciprocated automatically and reflexively - so cold open where we see Jimmy almost opt for a weighty Fat Buddha as a response (symbol of being poor but content) but finally choose a set of bowling balls (symbol of destruction of order - or more simply "fuck your offer") is telling.
posted by rongorongo at 1:20 AM on March 12, 2020 [7 favorites]

Mike's second walk past the gang was bravado that this was something he could handle. He was wrong (as he was with being able to control his temper around Kayle).

Saul's getting the 50% off pair to pay a lot by getting the money from the grandmother is the defining point of no return from Jimmy McGill to Saul Goodman. There's no excuse for this, especially given his history of fighting for elder people's rights.
posted by willF at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2020

Yeah, that gave me an "American Movie" shudder.
posted by rhizome at 1:25 PM on March 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

I vaguely recall Howard saying he'd started meditating in the last season, so I assumed the "Namast3" plate was a reference to that and the new more-in-touch-with-himself Howard.
posted by borsboom at 9:07 AM on March 13, 2020

Halloween Jack: Why would Howard, of all people, get that license plate? Did he get his mojo back through yoga or something?

In the BCS Insider Podcast for this, they said that Howard has come to terms with his life and actions under and regarding Chuck, thus his offer to Jimmy, and tearing up at calling him Charlie Hustle. As told, Howard did things because of Chuck that he wasn't proud of, but has come to to terms with his past. I think he really liked, and still likes, Jimmy.

But back to his license plate -- I read that as a proto-typical "enlightened" (professional) white male thing. Speaking from someone who moved to New Mexico, currently lives near Albuquerque and works in Santa Fe, "NAMAST3" is a license plate I'd expect to see in Santa Fe, home to wealthy, "enlightened" white people. It being 2004, none of them even have a chance to be woke enough to realize that this term is cultural appropriation.

In short: it totally fits for a lawyer who realizes how good his life is, and is sorry for his past actions.

Nelson: I'm sure Jimmy is doing exactly what Kim wants with the Mesa Verde case. But I'm confused about how long that's going to work.

Jimmy is cagey about exactly what he did when he tells Kim, but Kim knows what she got into. As noted in the BCS Insider podcast, the timelapse was to show that Kim saw Jimmy's antics as Saul, then waited patiently for him, and still wanted Jimmy to help her out. She knows full and well how he's operating now, but she's either OK with that, or thinks he's generally operating closer to the line of legal. Or when he crosses that line, it's to fight for the little guy, the under dog.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:32 AM on March 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

gaspode, that's scarily plausible.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:16 AM on March 14, 2020

I totally thought the antique shop scene was him trying to find something to keep in his house that could be used for protection against his new dangerous client.
posted by LizBoBiz at 1:21 AM on March 27, 2020

I'm pretty behind on this but I want to say thanks to Kewb for explaining the DEA business. I got a little lost in the details.

Also (and I'm guessing it is clear for anyone who is caught up), of course Gus is having Mike followed. Their last interaction was Mike walking off the job angry and, crucially, refusing to be paid for his silence. Mike is a much bigger concern for Gus than Werner was, but Mike also has a LOT of potential for Gus (while Werner had more or less served his purpose). I think Gus suspects Mike is not going to act against him or do something stupid, but he is careful if nothing else. And it turns out Mike did do something stupid (and maybe against Gus' interests).

Relatedly, I was wondering if Mike's two confrontations with the guys hanging out late at night should be interpreted as parallel or sequential. In other words, did he plan his first trip through the neighborhood specifically in order to bring about the result of the second trip? Or were the two trips ultimately the same and whether the outcome on a given night was like trip A or trip B was not that important. He must have known the situation would escalate, and the whole thing seemed staged rather than reckless, so maybe he had some obvious (death) or obscure (?) plan to remove himself from the equation (while providing at least life insurance for Stacy and Kaylee in the first scenario).
posted by nequalsone at 8:46 AM on April 2, 2020

I can't quite remember the sequence of events, but I'm thinking: Werner > Trip A > Kaylee > Trip B, like he's punishing himself?
posted by rhizome at 10:49 AM on April 2, 2020

Except he isn't really punished in Trip A. I've seen scenes in movies etc. where a guilty character provokes a fight and doesn't fight back. In Trip A, he fought back quickly and effectively. Maybe a simpler explanation was that the fight resulting from Trip A was chance but drew him back for Trip B? Or maybe I'm overthinking it.

Mike can walk into any old bar
Find a fight without looking too hard
And he never killed someone
Just 'cause someone told him to
posted by nequalsone at 2:36 PM on April 2, 2020

I have a number thoughts, but I want to start by saying the use of one of Aphex Twin's Computer Controlled Acoustic Instruments ( tracks (diskhat ALL prepared1mixed 13) as a spy-style scene was fooking fantastic.

I loved that track in that scene so much. Thanks for the link, filthy light thief.
posted by straight at 9:24 PM on August 23, 2023

As I typed my comment at the end of the previous episode's thread, I started to just say, "With or without Kim, there's no scenario in which that guy keeps his house." But then had the thought, well, unless something extra-legal happened, like one of Saul's schemes, and added that to my sentence. And then hit post. And then thought, "That's exactly what's gonna happen."

And so I sorta slightly spoiled this episode by thinking too carefully, and totally didn't mean it as a spoiler in the previous episode's discussion.
posted by straight at 9:57 PM on August 24, 2023

« Older Book: Four Roads Cross...   |  Schitt's Creek: Sunrise, Sunse... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments