Previously on Better Call Saul, ‘Five-O’
Starring: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Michael McKean, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian | Director: Larysa Kondracki
After the absolutely stellar episode that was “Five-O”, the narrative refocuses on our titular hero (of sorts). Jimmy continues to defend Mike with a swagger even Ehrmantraut can’t help but appreciate (but he’d never tell you). The bond between the two is tenuous, yet both have a respect for each other’s relative talents. Talents of which will be put to the test as McGill continues to struggle with doing what’s right and what’s easy.
Finding a fairly profitable niche in composing and notarizing wills and other documents for seniors, Jimmy appears to found a bit of happiness in his life. Even his brother Chuck (McKean), who was frightened at the potential outcome if his “condition” isn’t remedied, has taken it upon himself to desensitize his aversion to electricity. The dynamic between the two has been in want for a few episodes, but what little rapport we see of the siblings is a nice change of pace between the sheer ridiculousness and heightened tension that’s commonplace on Saul. Witnessing Chuck’s painful reactions since his breakdown absolutely frustrates and saddens Jimmy; he further encourages Chuck in returning to his former glory by dropping a few boxes over from the office. As much as Jimmy wants Chuck to resume working at HHM and reacquire his stake in the firm, Jimmy simply wants him to feel some semblance of happiness. Unfortunately for James, that beam of sunshine he’s been feeling lately will be lost in the icy stare of a ridiculously obstinate housewife.
There’s something about the Kettlemans (Julie Ann Emery and Jeremy Shamos) that grates on the nerves yet compels the viewer to stay along for the ride just to see how deep their denial looms. Clearly neither one is playing with a full deck, but Betsy is a real card. Jimmy knows they’re guilty. Kim and Harry know they’re guilty. Hell, the shift manager at A-1 Car Wash knows they’re guilty! Betsy’s vehement insistence that she and her husband are innocent is ridiculous to the point of awe. Poor Kim (Seehorn) has to deal with this pair of jackaloons who continue to convince themselves that they deserve 1.6 million dollars (if they had it, which they don’t, by the way, for the zillionth time… but actually they do). As affable and reasonable as she can be, Betsy takes the reins and flips everything upside its head and resorts to bring her brand of crazy to Jimmy.
The fantastical amount of gall and privilege Betsy exudes is beyond reason. What made her so frayed in the first place, to make her drive her husband (you know she did) to embezzle millions from the state? Does Betsy even love Craig… or her kids? Between her and Skylar, is it a New Mexico thing? Betsy Kettleman is the type of five-alarm mania that makes great television, however it’s most effective in small doses. It’s difficult to tell if we’ve seen the last of the Kettlemans given how much they’ve been a large part of the first season. One thing’s is for certain: Betsy is more than likely to do anything or give up anyone to get her way.
Slippin’ Jimmy’s next gambit will be in ‘Rico’, airing next Monday at 10pm on AMC.