Previously on Better Call Saul, ‘Pimento’
Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Mel Rodriguez | Director: Peter Gould
After an intense blowout by the McGills during the final moments of “Pimento”, the season finale has arrived with all the hopes and speculation that Jimmy will slowly evolve into the irascible, smarmy persona that is Saul Goodman. Unfortunately, anything but that occurs as “Marco” is a long slow draw that squanders the tension and pace that was laid within the last two episodes. It isn’t a terrible episode in any right, yet the lack of a satisfying conclusion could put off the faithful and leave them befuddled by its stodgy ending.
Jimmy’s cool exterior eventually cracks during a game of bingo into the mother of all meltdowns. The reason why Jimmy was locked up was never explained – for all intents and purposes, could have remained a mystery much longer – until Jimbo broke down in a room full of crotchety convalescents who honestly didn’t give a fig. Perhaps I’m a little fond of the guy, but compared to what future mischief Jimmy will accomplish and questionable morality he exhibits, sending a fax to Cleveland inside a car FROM THE SUNROOF isn’t too bad. Obviously, receiving the full force of Chuck’s disgust in “Pimento” cut deeper than he’s willing to admit.
Needing a respite from the persistent disappointment that is his personal and professional life, Jimmy returned to his old haunts to catch up and reminisce with his old partner-in-crime Marco (Mel Rodriguez). A decade may have passed since they last saw one another, but they were up to their old tricks in no time. Sadly, this is where the pacing of the episode was thrown off. Learning more about Jimmy’s history is a fine thing, but the reunion with Marco threw Saul into a lull. It was clear this wasn’t a regression on Jimmy’s part just a way to let out some steam before returning to his clients,who continue to seek his advice even though HHM has taken over the reins for their class action suit.
Due to tragic events, Jimmy’s jaunt through Cicero remains brief. Before returning to New Mexico, Kim gives Jimmy the good news about a firm requesting his services in Santa Fe. The notion that he’d be the lead council for his Sandpiper case – being subcontracted by HHM – is an equally alluring, yet suspicious prospect. As fantastic an opportunity as it may seem, Jimmy can’t help if Chuck’s fingerprints are over this. Now knowing of how insidious Chuck’s machinations were in preventing his hiring for years, Jimmy isn’t going to rely on the beneficence of others. Slippin’ Jimmy is dead and gone; it may not be long until Jimmy McGill is persona non grata as well.
Although opinions have varied on the flow and focus of the series, one can’t argue that the great experiment that is Better Call Saul wasn’t a moderate success. Try to recall 16 months ago the immediate hesitation many had about not only a Breaking Bad spin-off, but one centered on Saul Goodman. Saul Goodman! Of all the characters… Of course, Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould are more than deserving of our consideration after thoroughly entertaining and enthralling millions for five insane years.
Despite “Marco” being an uneven and rather anticlimactic finale, it smoothed out the details for season two next February (10 months?! Ugh.) with a subtle efficiency. Apologies have been made. Ties have been severed. Epiphanies have materialized with vigorous aplomb. Jimmy learned some extremely valuable lessons that cost him in a number of ways. No longer tethered to Chuck and misplacing his rage on Howard, Jimmy is now finally free to be his own man. We all know how it will turn out, but like I’ve written before: It’s more about the journey than the destination.
My only genuine concern is the inordinate amount of attempted Chicago Sunroofs that may occur during the summer.