Better Call Saul: Bingo
March 17, 2015 7:39 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

An old friend reaches out to Mike. Jimmy eyes some real estate.

Mike settles in for a ballgame and some apples while he waits for an illuminating moment.

Jimmy does the "right thing" and takes one for Kim to get her back on the Kettleteam.

Jimmy: It's like the 25th Hour with Ned and Maude Flanders!
posted by mandolin conspiracy (61 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This show is probably watchable without Breaking Bad, but every episode so far is better when you know where the characters will end up. In particular, I enjoyed this glimpse into the world of a Jimmy McGill law firm- offices with windows, a conference room, and not one mention of an inflatable Statue of Liberty.
posted by aabbbiee at 8:44 AM on March 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

What a fine actor Bob Odenkirk is. The last 30 seconds, when he took the phone call, had me in tears for his lost dreams.
posted by essexjan at 10:26 AM on March 17, 2015 [17 favorites]

It's the first tie Mike does something underhanded for Saul, and honestly, I wish we had 10 minutes of Saul talking him into it. It would have broken the flow of the episode, but you know there's a conversation there that you want to be a fly on the wall for.
posted by Catblack at 10:49 AM on March 17, 2015 [7 favorites]

Yes! I really wanted that conversation to happen and it feels like a missed opportunity to skip it entirely. Especially given the distance between them at the beginning of the series, and the characters, and all of that. Whose idea was it? Who had to talk who into what? Honestly, it feels like we missed the first kiss of a romantic couple in a will-they-or-won't-they sitcom setup.
posted by aabbbiee at 11:08 AM on March 17, 2015 [9 favorites]

Mike ask Jimmy to do something underhanded first when he had him spill the coffee on the detective, and then again when he had him lie about finding it in the parking lot. Mike could be considered the corrupting influence here.
posted by Mick at 11:37 AM on March 17, 2015 [8 favorites]

I would have loved to have seen that conversation as well. I do think that Saul and Mike are a good match. Both with a commitment to their version of ethics, and both with a long history of crooked activities. Slippin' Jimmy meets Anti-hero Cop.

I'll miss the Kettlemans. Especially the missus.
posted by quince at 12:02 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

For some reason the Kettlemans remind me of the Swans in Best in Show - at least as far as their crisis management style goes.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 2:59 PM on March 17, 2015 [5 favorites]

This seemed hurried, I didn't buy the jump from Saul helping Mike grab a notebook to Mike helping Saul break and enter to steal 1.5 million dollars. If I hadn't seen Breaking Bad it would have been a real WTF moment.
posted by skewed at 4:34 PM on March 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

1. My reaction to the series so far: the whole is so much less than the sum of the parts. There are many bits of genius to like and admire, but it's not grabbing me with any where near the intensity that Breaking Bad did. But I'm more than willing to give it time.

2. One could make a case that the show finally passed the Bechdel test with this episode, with Kim Wexler and Betsy Kettleman in the conference room talking about the plea deal. It's not a very strong case, though: talking about the plea deal isn't quite "talking about something other than a man," since the central concern of the discussion is whether or not MISTER Kettleman is going to jail.
posted by Corvid at 6:38 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]

If previous episodes were about how the characters are lying to themselves, this is an episode of delusions deflated and the harsh insistence of reality. In some cases, characters acclimate well -- Chuck realizing he can't go on living as he has and trying to work on himself as best he can, Mike's grim resignation, and Mr. Kettleman realizing that his children are more important than keeping up the charade.

But Jimmy and Betsy Kettleman, the characters who keep doubling down on self-deception, have it the hardest. And the funny part is, throughout the episode they're quite good at seeing through one another's illusions. It really does take one to know one. This episode convinced me that the two characters really are parallels in certain ways. Betsy is better at pulling off the illusion of respectability, an illusion Jimmy aspires to conjure around himself, but Jimmy is far better at gulling and manipulating the outside world.

Of course, there's the other theme here, and Jimmy's air quotes raise the question explicitly: what's "the right thing?" For Jimmy, it's surrendering, with protests and disgust and unearned self-pity, to the miserable truth that his latest shortcut has cost him even the proceeds of his more honest work. (He had to replace the money he'd already spent, after all. That's a lot of wills and PD jobs.) For Kim, it's doing her job well and picking the best options she has. For Hamlin and Mrs. Kettleman, it's protecting self-image, even if that means pushing around a perceived inferior to get there. And for Mike, it's offering himself up to the judgment of people he respects or feels a (genuine) debt to. Egoistic satisfaction, professional codes, personal loyalties, and pragmatism all define these characters' ideas of "good."

But we know from That Other Series, and from Jimmy's final scene, that none of these are inherently ethical good: loyalty can be misplaced (as Kim' and Chuck's loyalty to the firm is misplaced) or become an excuse (as Mike's will); professional codes can conflict with good choices (as Jimmy's most "just" actions in this episode and in the Tuco storyline play out in quite unprofessional circumstances); and pragmatism can really be a byword for mere ruthlessness (as Mike's wearily pragmatic side is usually at odds with any sort of moral compass) or shortsightedness (as Jimmy's money-grubbing, get-rich-quick approach to everything consistently plays out).
posted by kewb at 6:48 PM on March 17, 2015 [12 favorites]

I don't think there was a long conversation between Jimmy and Mike. There was a conversation, but it was short and punctuated with phrases like "doing the right thing." That ties into kewb's insight as to the theme of the episode.

Mike was a bad cop. It's implied in his own (utterly fantastic) episode that he was one of those bad cops who killed people for similar reasons. The death of his son hit him particularly hard because he knew he might have been the person who killed someone else's son. He's trying to make it good but he's like a dry drunk and it doesn't take much of a push to get him back in the old habits, exercising those old skills.

If the theme of the episode was Not Lying To Yourself Any More, Mike had his plate of that too. He did what he did to do good. But it got him into old habits. Jimmy turns out to be Mike's first step back on the road from reformed bad cop to not just bad but fuck it not even a cop any more. We all thought it was Gus who somehow recruited him, but it's Jimmy who will make Mike ready to accept Gus's offer. Because money for his grandaughter. Shame that didn't work out.
posted by localroger at 8:07 PM on March 17, 2015 [4 favorites]

I thought the actress that played 'Betsy' shined here in two parts: the moment she starts crying (which was really convincing - it is hard to fake crying. I know, I know - they're actors. But some are markedly better at it than others); and when she did that hilarious comedy-leap from the sofa to check on the money upstairs. Super-funny.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:04 PM on March 17, 2015 [13 favorites]

And then there were those scenes at the beginning with Jimmy, once he knew Chuck was ready to get back to work, just happened to need Chuck's place to store those files.

Also remember his dream included having Kim as a partner.
posted by arzakh at 4:19 AM on March 18, 2015

Agree with jcifa. I hope we haven't seen the last of Betsy Kettleman. That actress was terrific and she really nailed the domineering/overprotective spouse vibe.

Also, I really loved the Office Space in the role of What Could Have Been if This Weren't the Darkest Timeline. The look on Jimmy's face after Kim rebuffed his partner overture gave me the sense that even though he didn't say so directly, the office was more for her than him, to the point where I wanted to scream RUN AWAY KIM AND ESCAPE THE 2500/YR BILLABLE HOUR REQUIREMENTS. You just know Hamlin would be the type to tell her it's 1800 but really expect 2500 and her eternal soul.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:32 AM on March 18, 2015 [4 favorites]

Maybe I'm still hung over from Breaking bad, but for me Mike's job title isn't "bad cop" so much as "cleaner." He cleaned up a mess in Philadelphia, but he didn't quite get it all so had to deal with some fallout last week. He promised to pay the bill for Jimmy's help with that, and that's what he's doing this week: he's paying back in kind by cleaning up Jimmy's Kettlemans mess for him. He was not corrupted by Jimmy in a long backstage conversation. The conversation was: Jimmy: "Here's my bill." Mike: "Okay." He's no more corrupt now than he was back in Philadelphia when he was breaking into a cop car to plant a weapon or shooting two people dead. There's nothing corrupt about taking back the Kettlemans' stolen millions so that Jimmy can send them to the DA and get Kim back into good graces at the Hamlin firm. Mike's not profiting from this and neither is Jimmy. It's not stealing. It's just cleaning up another mess caused by incompetents, one that cannot be cleaned up legally because key players are incompetent and insane. The only way to make everyone whole is to take all major decisions out of the hands of the Kettlmans, who are not rational and therefore do things like kidnap themselves, hide in a tent with a dufflebag full of money singing B-I-N-G-O, fire Kim, hire Jimmy, and refuse to hear the word "deal."
posted by Don Pepino at 8:06 AM on March 18, 2015 [15 favorites]

Am I right in thinking: the bearded man in the bathroom at the Kettleman-meeting diner, in the background of Jimmy's call to Kim... was one of the mugshots on the wall in the opening scene?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 8:18 AM on March 18, 2015 [13 favorites]

I was really wondering what the payoff for the Most Wanted wall was going to be but I missed the guy in the bathroom. I'll have to rewatch to make sure.
posted by scalefree at 8:41 AM on March 18, 2015

I hope the Most Wanted wall is connected to something because the way that scene was shot was waaay too forced for me. Like they were aiming for something artsy and didn't succeed. I found it off-putting. If it ties back in, then all is forgiven.

I love Betsy too. Kim is not as interesting. She's very much in the role of the straight man. Which is needed, I guess, just boring. She has to be the responsible one, putting in the hours at the big firm, doing the right thing. I wonder if she'll ever get involved in Jimmy's shenanigans. She knows what he can get up to, with her smirk at his billboard stunt. Probably not though, she's too invested in being a normal person. Unless there is a major character arc for her which seems... unlikely. This is Jimmy's story.

One other thing: The Kettelmans already spent a lot of money based on Jimmy's comments on their living room furnishings. And Jimmy already spent a lot of money. So won't the DA be expecting more money than they gave over?
posted by bobobox at 9:34 AM on March 18, 2015

Honest question, based on some discussion about this in the threads about the early episodes: how are people feeling about the treatment of female characters at this point? Kim's character has emerged from the shadows, both literally and figuratively.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:54 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'm hoping the treatment of female characters will cure my hangover from Breaking Bad's treatment of female characters.
posted by Don Pepino at 10:36 AM on March 18, 2015

Wait, that's confusing. I mean the way Jeeves cures a hangover. Not "hair of the dog."
posted by Don Pepino at 10:40 AM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

bobobox, I think Jimmy's comments about the furnishings were because of the state of it the last time he was there, which was to see the house staged for the kidnapping.
posted by minsies at 10:41 AM on March 18, 2015 [5 favorites]

Yes, the comment about the living room was about its un-disheveled state. Jimmy replaced the money that they gave him - that was a BIG point. There's also a comment about the Kettelmans never being able to SPEND the money. There's no missing money.
posted by destructive cactus at 11:06 AM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

The second time Jimmy visits the for-lease office, it's fascinating to suddenly see all the flaws in the rooms: cracks along the skirting, peeling paint, gaps under the doors. The sunshine, what there is of it, is weak, and the glorious view he showed Kim is limited now to traffic passing on the motorway, not blue skies. After Kim's refusal, the space becomes seedy and has none of the romanticised touches we saw of it through his eyes. I really loved that.

Maybe it follows his "you are what you look like" mantra. With Kim, it's bright and full of potential. Alone, it's dingy and sad. Not to mention out of his reach without the Kettlemans' money.

And the Bingo card advertising, just adorbs.
posted by tracicle at 11:30 AM on March 18, 2015 [17 favorites]

They said they gave Jimmy $30,000. He had $10,000 left in a cardboard box and he used it as bait to find their stash. I think Jimmy spent the other $20,000 and didn't replace it. The Kettlemans just have to eat the loss because if they try to incriminate Jimmy, he will incriminate Betsy.
posted by isthmus at 11:38 AM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

Am I right in thinking

I may not be. I'm partway through the Insider podcast, and they've discussed both the bathroom scene (the bearded man is one of their Teamsters, who also appeared as one of the junkyard assistants in Breaking Bad) and the mugshot opening without drawing any connection.

The opening: it's all about the pan down over the mugshots onto Jimmy's face, the same framing on both. Per the podcast: it was written as a horizontal pan, but the set didn't work that way.

They have Julie Ann Emery, who plays Betsy Kettleman, on the podcast, and she's interesting and very actor-ey: she and Jeremy Shamos did a lot of "discovering the characters' inner life" roleplay together. A lot of discussion of how they worked together and how much of it is non-verbal: "she can control Craig with just a touch of her hand".
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:41 AM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]

I think Jimmy spent the other $20,000 and didn't replace it.

He explicitly replaced it with his own money - something he pointed out to Mike as he threw it into the bag.
posted by Grangousier at 11:45 AM on March 18, 2015 [6 favorites]

The Kettlemans just have to eat the loss

Huh, I saw it differently. Jimmy added another bundle of cash to the bag after Mike brought it to him. My impression was that he had sacrificed both what was left of the retainer/bribe plus what he'd made as a result of the elder-law opportunity in service of "doing the right thing" for Kim: that for the deal to work, and so for Kim to get back on track at HHM, the embezzled money had to be returned in full.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:46 AM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]

(ah, on non-preview, what Grangousier said.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:46 AM on March 18, 2015

Another bit from the podcast. Betsy Kettleman is costumed as sudden-new-money: her skirt suit in the pilot is deliberately an odd color and slightly ill-fitting. She aspires to the Hillary Clinton image but can't quite achieve it.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:51 AM on March 18, 2015 [2 favorites]

Okay, I rewatched. He used his remaining $10,000 as a lure, and then he piled on more money when Mike brought the bag back. Such a do-gooder.
posted by isthmus at 1:02 PM on March 18, 2015

Ah, thanks for clarifying the money thing. I didn't realize he was doing so well with the elders that he had broken even with his advertising costs. That was a big stack of files he dropped off at Chuck's though so.
posted by bobobox at 4:29 PM on March 18, 2015

Poor Jimmy. Crime doesn't pay after all, does it? Perhaps now you will straighten up and fly right. Right? Right?

I really liked the detail of the office seeming shabbier on the second visit.

Betsy is better at pulling off the illusion of respectability, an illusion Jimmy aspires to conjure around himself, but Jimmy is far better at gulling and manipulating the outside world.

I thought Betsy was a really accurate portrait of a certain aspect of upper middle class ladies culture that equates respectability and power with rigid, unswerving positivity to the point of fetishization of positivity. I love how her lines were scripted.
posted by bleep at 7:44 PM on March 18, 2015 [3 favorites]

There are many bits of genius to like and admire, but it's not grabbing me with any where near the intensity that Breaking Bad did.

Interestingly, I'm having the opposite reaction. I like this so much more than I liked Breaking Bad so far. But I will confess to feeling that Breaking Bad didn't really live up to its hype so maybe I'm not the best judge. (One could reasonably ask why I would bother watching this if I didn't think Breaking Bad was all that great. I don't know. But I'm happy I chose to give it a chance.)
posted by primethyme at 7:55 PM on March 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I agree, I am enjoying this much more than I enjoyed breaking bad.
That might be because I cam to breaking bad late (after it had all aired) and was a bit spoiled by the hype. Also of course having it all available is different to the week by week drip feed with time to discuss in between.

But whatever the reason I am enjoying BCS more. I think it helps that the central character is sympathetic. I found Walter White quite unlikeable straight off the bat. I hope that's not why though, it sounds like the sort of advice a terrible cliché network executive would give.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:54 AM on March 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

I thought Breaking Bad did live up to the hype and yet I'm liking this more than I liked Breaking Bad. Basically, this show has become a better-than-life replacement for life. Like heroin or cross stitch. Normally I don't let things in like this because of the obvious and terrible danger, but this franchise overwhelmed my defenses and now it is long past too late. If it starts to suck, I'm sunk. I'll move to New Mexico and start haunting that lady's neighborhood and throwing pizzas on her roof until I'm arrested and put somewhere where I'll be taken care of. I'll get them bulk at Costco so I can throw several per day. My aim is bad. I'm going to need a lot of chances.
posted by Don Pepino at 6:54 AM on March 19, 2015 [6 favorites]

Just listened to ep 107 of the Insider podcast. The interview with Julie Ann Emery was pretty great.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:35 AM on March 19, 2015

It kind of seems like Jimmy is, in terms of identity issues, the opposite of Walt. So much of BB was about Walt's transformation as a person as he enacted his plan and kept hungering for more money and power; this show so far seems to be about transformation too. However, when Walt was forced to change his identity near the end of the series, he didn't even accept it, he insisted on returning to keep going with his old life and old problems. He was too invested in his life and his plan and his ego. In contrast, Jimmy seems fluid. As a con man, he had to act all the time, and then when his problems caught up to him and he had to start a new life, he did it. And now it looks like he's doing it again and again, willingly and successfully, and we know that he'll continue to do it, with increasingly higher stakes. At least that's how it looks to me so far. If I'm wrong about all that, then that'll be interesting too.

On a different note, I'd gotten a feeling that this show would deepen my appreciation of BB, and so far it is. All the stuff with Saul on BB, especially early on ("put a dollar in my pocket—both of you") is only getting funnier, sadder and more meaningful. Saul's criminal Rolodex on that show now seems highly impressive. And one of my favorite bits with him, in which he buys Jesse's aunt's house from his parents for less than half their asking price, seems much less surprising.

And I'm dying to find out more about him and Kim.
posted by heatvision at 3:11 PM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]

It's probably worth remembering, as far as comparing BB and BCS, the tagline to BB was "turning Mr. Chips into Scarface," but the tagline for BCS is "what problem is solved by becoming Saul Goodman?"

Some of the most difficult moments of BB concerned Walt acting out of what we had come to expect of his character as this transition unfolded. Hints were dropped that Scarface potential was always a hidden beneath Walt's carefully suppressed Mr. Chips persona, but it still stretched credulity on occasion.

I don't see BCS as having that particular problem, though. Saul is already very clearly the person we know he will be when his future self meets Walt. This is more about situations and opportunities.

We know that he will somehow lose or drive away or be driven from the friends he has now, including Kim and Chuck, and he will embrace an identity as "the kind of lawyer guilty people hire." I suspect this ep won't be the last time we see a dream shattered on the road to that place.
posted by localroger at 3:21 PM on March 19, 2015 [4 favorites]

I just realized that Julie Ann Emery (Betsy Kettleman) played Ida Thurman on the FX Fargo. She kicked ass in both roles.
posted by futureisunwritten at 5:40 PM on March 19, 2015 [5 favorites]

I don't see BCS as having that particular problem, though. Saul is already very clearly the person we know he will be when his future self meets Walt. This is more about situations and opportunities.

I agree, I've seen lots of comments about "Jimmy McGill slowly becoming Saul Goodman" but he really seems like the same person. He just hasn't had the level of compromise-to-his-ideals or the level of success (such as it is) of his Breaking Bad character yet. And I think he'll be a much better (criminal) lawyer by then.

Ultimately he's kind of a heroic character instead of an anti-hero like Walter White. Walter wanted what he deserved, what he was entitled to. Saul just seems to want to be a lawyer and help people, even if he's stuck with helping drug dealers and workplace injury scammers.

Saul doesn't even seem to want money - he wants to impress Kim and wants to "look successful" but doesn't want to be rich. You can see that in BB when he has enough of Walt and Jesse's money hidden in the back of his office that he could run away with it and do quite well, but even with the money he makes from Walt he keeps the strip-mall office. (Probably because it's next to a nail salon, which he seems to have a thing for).

I can imagine Chuck still being around in the BB timeline -- Saul certainly had plenty of off-camera time when he could have been delivering bags of ice -- but Kim has to be long gone, or he'd still be trying to impress her.
posted by mmoncur at 11:16 PM on March 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

The first office scene was heartbreaking enough, knowing that he winds up as Saul in a strip mall. Then the second office scene.

THEN the realization that something's going to destroy his beautiful friendship with Kim.

Ugh, this is going to be unbearable, isn't it?
posted by whuppy at 8:49 AM on March 20, 2015 [6 favorites]

Bold prediction: Jimmy's arc will be described by the aphorism "no good deed goes unpunished."
posted by whuppy at 8:52 AM on March 20, 2015 [6 favorites]

I don't think I can see Chuck being around in the era of Saul Goodman. Remember his reaction to the billboard stunt -- not to the rescue stunt or the trademark infringement, but to the fact that it was advertising. Jimmy knew he felt strongly enough about it to make stealing the paper look like a good idea. Something has to make Jimmy not care about this disapproval before he would be able to become Saul.
posted by localroger at 10:57 AM on March 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

Jimmy and Kim's relationship seems to have something like a brother-sister feel. Cousins maybe? Childhood friends? Have the podcasts given any hints about this? (I haven't listened to them, yet.)
posted by Corvid at 2:21 PM on March 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

I find it endearing that he wants to make Kim a co-founder and name partner. And give her the cushy corner office. The legal world is still a super sexist place, so maybe it's not a big thing but it's kind of cool. Jimmy's not a bad dude.
posted by naju at 5:37 PM on March 20, 2015 [3 favorites]

My sense was that Jimmy and Kim were law school classmates, but I don't have any evidence to support this theory.
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:32 PM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think there is at least one, and probably more than one, Jimmy and Kim backstory episode in our future. There are a lot of open possibilities there and it doesn't look like any of them are "previous sexual relationship."
posted by localroger at 7:51 PM on March 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

It's endearing and sweet that he offered her a partnership, yes, sure... but also the Kettlemans clued him in that his image was not going to be enough to sustain a legitimate practice and he needed Kim to bring her air of respectability. I'm on to your charming ways, Slippin' Jimmy, you're not reeling me in!
posted by bleep at 7:58 PM on March 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think that Jimmy's will prove to be a tragic story. Right now, he's probably as close as he'll ever be to respectability/ happiness/ success/ whatever it is that he wants. He's barely holding on, though, and those things are juuuust out of his grasp. I can't see him fully becoming Saul without losing Chuck and Kim first. I think it's bound to happen, and it's going to be heartbreaking.
posted by Shohn at 5:27 PM on March 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

I think that Jimmy's will prove to be a tragic story.

Recall the opener of the series. The audience knows from the beginning that he ends up managing a cinnamon bun franchise in a mall.

The draw for me is how high he manages to climb, and the specifics of how he managed to do it.
posted by porpoise at 12:49 AM on March 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm curious to see if by the end of this series Gilligan et al will be able to leave Saul managing that Cinnabon, or if they might take the chance to give Saul a new ending.
posted by gladly at 6:51 AM on March 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Oh, I will be so. mad. if they do that. SO MAD.
posted by bleep at 10:36 AM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

I can imagine Mrs. Kettleman returning for "revenge" or something. It really seemed like she would go for the money, even at the expense of decades of her husband's life.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:06 AM on March 23, 2015

I think there is at least one, and probably more than one, Jimmy and Kim backstory episode in our future. There are a lot of open possibilities there and it doesn't look like any of them are "previous sexual relationship."

I thought they were friends with benefits. She knew about Robot Sex Voice or whatever it was called. Unless that was an inside joke. I thought it was just good old weird romance.
posted by GrapeApiary at 1:19 PM on March 23, 2015

I noticed another tidbit about Kim rewatching this episode. When Kim turns down Jimmy's invitation to form a practice with him, she mentions that she literally owes HHM -- she says they put her through law school. That hints at 2 things about Kim:
1. she probably wasn't Jimmy's classmate at the University of American Samoa Law School, cause that's not the sort of education that a firm like HHM would sponsor. (But maybe, they were both at a respectable school -- Kim graduated, but Slippin Jimmy got tossed out?)
2. there must be some sort of familial relationship between Kim and H, H or M, because AFAIK law firms don't put students through law school.

And another clue re Kim: when she and Jimmy are with Chuck in the hospital room (a couple episodes back), Chuck says that he's known Kim for about 10 years. Which would mean she's not Jimmy's sister, or cousin.

Maybe Kim is really Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, mole woman?
posted by Corvid at 2:27 PM on March 23, 2015

Unless that was an inside joke.

I'm giving this series enough credit to think that there's an adult non-sexual relationship that -- while not devoid of sexual tension -- that actually exists. Because it works for the drama. That's somehow driven by other things, like conflicting personal and professional loyalties and drives.

So maybe this series gives its fans enough credit that they can actually handle that level of complexity. That makes it that much better, if that's the case.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:29 PM on March 23, 2015

Corvid: One could make a case that the show finally passed the Bechdel test with this episode, with Kim Wexler and Betsy Kettleman in the conference room talking about the plea deal.

Rhea Seehorn on the “Better Call Saul” boys’ club: “I feel surrounded by fiercely intelligent, strong, courageous women” - there are some very minor spoilers, but Rhea talks about the women behind the scenes that make it seem like less of a boys club.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:00 AM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting that Seehorn article, FLT. It's very apparent that the talents of women are contributing strongly to this show. That's a fine thing, but it's not enough anymore. It's quite sad, and infuriating, that the show even needs this sort of defense. There are a lot of great women behind the scenes? Terrific. Why are there so few IN the scenes?

It's past time to be expecting that more of our great entertainment be representative of how non-male people actually participate in the world. This show wants credit for having a strong, three-dimensional female character with agency? Why can there be only one? Why would we think that's enough? Why not have two or more such characters, enough that they sometimes end up interacting with each other without the mediation of a male? Either the men behind this show are not capable of imagining that, or they're not brave enough to try it. I think it terrifies them.
posted by Corvid at 1:43 PM on April 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

It would be cool if it was Hannah Hamlin instead of Howard.
posted by bleep at 2:04 PM on April 9, 2015

Yes! The billboard stunt would have been even more fun with Jimmy trying to look like Hannah Hamlin.
posted by Corvid at 12:15 PM on April 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

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