Better Call Saul S03E08: “Slip”

It hasn’t yet been established how much longer we’re gonna be seeing Saul onscreen, but as seen in this episode, it doesn’t seem like we’ve got a lot more story left to tell. Jimmy‘s rediscovered the joy of using the law unethically to get out of jams and all that’s left between him and success is the rest of his suspension sentence. Theoretically everything could be in place within the next two episodes, though it’d be rushed. It’s likely that one more season should wrap things up. Spoilers follow.

The episode opens with a flashback featuring Jimmy and Marco breaking into Jimmy’s parents’ old store to retrieve some trick coins, as the pair are goin’ a foolin’. Marco reminisces about the kindness of Jimmy’s father, which Jimmy quickly shuts down. It’s a poignant moment that further hammers home that Saul Goodman is really the result of daddy issues. Jimmy hated seeing his kind but gullible sheep of a father constantly trodden on by the world, so he became a wolf to avoid becoming like him.

Mike doesn’t feature too much in this episode, with his scenes acting strictly as a bookend. The opening finds him assuaging his guilt regarding the civilian killed by Salamanca‘s men last season. It’s a slow scene but it’s a visual treat, as seen above. You get your standard Gilligan vista cinematography.

Speaking of guilt, Kim‘s still dealing with her remorse over the tactics she and Jimmy used on Chuck in court, and is starting to act erratically. A brief scene with Jimmy later shows that there’s still an unpleasant air of formality between the two and it doesn’t seem like it’s ever going to go back to the old days.

Chuck’s back after an episode-long absence and he’s….strangely sympathetic? Trying to cure himself of his electricity allergy, he spends this whole episode in decidedly non-sinister fashion. He’s just a poor old guy trying to fix himself so he can throw a party, rather than the vindictive, spiteful brother we’ve seen since the start of the series. That might change soon as Howard tells him that word of his breakdown reached his insurance company.

Better Call Saul is a wonderful show but it’s been very light on suspense thus far, as the stakes have never been particularly high. This scene with Nacho switching Don Hector‘s meds though- legitimate nail biter. We know that Nacho isn’t in Breaking Bad, so his fate is something to genuinely be concerned about. Either he’s gonna get out of Albuquerque or…well, you know. It might be for the best, as if he’d stuck around to go up against Walter White he would have in all likelihood met the same gruesome end all his fellow dealers did. Smart move on Vince Gilligan’s part to bring in a new character rather than build up a sympathetic story around Krazy-8. Would have been kinda anti-climactic.

Jimmy’s still in a bad place but at least he’s fighting back now after the punishingly sad previous episode. He’s back to his old chicanery and it’s a welcome respite from the hopeless man he’d become. He gets revenge not only on the two guitar guys, but the community service supervisor.

Both deserving targets who get their just desserts. Though this second scam shows how Jimmy discovers that dealing with drug peddlers is pretty decent cash, readying him to meet Gus.

And that’s exactly who we see at the end of the episode meeting with Mike. The two are now officially business partners, which means by extension Jimmy is already in the fold. Personal note- I’m not a fan of the last shot. So overdone and cheesy:

Come on Vince Gilligan! The dramatic handshake close-up?! That’s a straight up Joel Schumacher move.

We’ve got two episodes left in this season, and it seems like if they do go through with a fourth season it’ll feature a time skip to get past the remaining months Jimmy has to spend suspended. Other things left on the agenda:

  • Kim is probably gonna relocate
  • Chuck is probably gonna go crazy
  • Nacho…probably not gonna be around
  • Jimmy needs the catalyst to fully turn him into remorseless shark Saul
  • Mike needs to introduce Jimmy to Gus
  • Jimmy needs to get his solo office
  • We need to find out what happens in the flash-forwards. Does that Cinnabon get finished?!