Better Call Saul S03E09: “Fall”

Throughout most of this show we’ve rooted for Jimmy as he’s used his crafty nature to either defend himself from his brother or get out of tight situations featuring clearly defined antagonists. In this episode we see him going low – very low. We’re reminded that when he gets pushed into a corner he can very much use his talents to take advantage of innocent people. Spoilers follow.

Mike has one brief scene where he’s welcomed into the Madrigal family as a “logistics technician” for “20 weeks”, something which he’s absolutely ecstatic about.

Meanwhile his sometime accomplice Nacho loses his family as his father kicks him out of the house upon learning that he’s been working for Hector Salamanca again.

Papa Nacho is soon gonna be getting a visit from a very angry Don Hector, who just found out that his plan to force Gus to take his drug shipments backfired. Nacho’s fake pills haven’t affected him yet either so he’s still going to cause the same problems the young dealer was trying to avoid.

Chuck continues his recent trend of not being a total garbage heap as he just tries to keep himself employed. Seems like not having to deal with Jimmy’s issues turns him into a tolerable human being. Howard’s trying to forcibly retire him but Chuck’s not having it and sues his own company in retaliation. He’s holding himself together pretty well considering the stress he’s under and his ongoing efforts to cure himself from his fake electricity allergy. It’s Howard who comes off as the worse man in this situation, but even he’s not the villain of the episode.

Jimmy’s still struggling financially and goes back to Sandpiper to find out what happened with the Season 1 plot line. Turns out there hasn’t been a settlement yet, and there’s a lot of money sitting somewhere that is not Jimmy’s pocket. So he tries to sweet talk poor old Irene into settling, and when that doesn’t work, he decides to ruin her life. It’s deeply uncomfortable but necessary to show that Jimmy’s not an angel. As viewers we were all in his corner up until now because he’s only brought grief to people who deserved it. Whether it was the stuck-up dorks at Davis & Main or the community service supervisor, all the people he’s bamboozled were those who had it coming. Now he’s taking out his schemes on little old ladies and our cheers are getting fainter.

It’s true that Irene will still get recouped for her troubles and there’s no sense of betrayal because she had no idea Jimmy was pulling all the strings. Howard and the HHM crew will feel the brunt of it. It’s a hint that Jimmy’s taken another step into Saul Goodman territory, and things will only get more unsavory from here.

Kim, on the other hand, is traversing the oil-filled wilderness for a new client, and the vistas are as scenic as ever. Vince Gilligan ought to demand a cheque from New Mexico for all the tourists he’s brought in thanks to his cinematography. Or just make travel ads for the state from now on. Albuquerque: It’s Dark and Gritty here.

Anyway- Kim’s working hard and being honest and diligent and…gets nothing but headaches for it. There’s a close call early on in the episode that foreshadows a major setback for her near the end of it, and it’s a wrecking ball.

A bold continuation of a statement the show’s been making since day one: you ain’t getting nowhere in this life unless you get down and dirty. The wolves get the money and the sheep lose everything they’ve spent a week’s worth of sleepless nights on. It’s something Jimmy had to painfully realize over the course of this season, and only now we’re going to see how far he’s willing to take that mentality- and what Kim’s going to do as their paths diverge further and further.