Title: Better Call Saul: “Expenses”
Air Date: May 22st, 2017
Genre: Drama, Crime-Thriller
The question that has been on everyone’s mind since the beginning of Better Call Saul was answered last week, with the introduction of Saul Goodman’s productions. But while the name was introduced, the next question was just when we’d see the exact characters personalities traits and morals be brought about?
The start of the episode might as well have been titled Jimmy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, as we are given an interesting look into the repercussions of Jimmy’s sentence in the form of his community service. Shows often have the characters get away scot free with matters as severe as murder with little to no consequence – for the sake of keeping the show going – so it’s nice to see real world effects happen after his trial.
One after another though things go wrong for Jimmy in the episode, including an indifferent community foreman, his crappy car, having to shower with wet wipes and not being able to sell more than one commercial – or less – at a time. Despite all of this, Jimmy is still left with enough humanity to pay his film crew, even after the makeup artist feels guilty enough to try and give him the cash back.
The comparison of Kim and Jimmy’s expenses really drives home Jimmy’s caring nature, and his stubbornness, as well when he refuses to not only let Kim know he is struggling but even pays for Chinese. We see a little taste of smart ass Saul pop up when he references the indifferent foreman in regards to the delivery boys tip – despite his facial features showing he felt bad about it beforehand – stating that the “$1 could be $0.”
Mike’s generosity is also on display this episode, as he takes money out of his own expenses – even if it’s illegal – to pay for the cement for the church playground. Watching his stubbornness to do it all himself be broken down by other church members was also nice, and also provided some neat insight into making the concrete so that the kids don’t slip on it when it’s hardened.
The former cops quick smile down at his hands is a nice continuation of how happy simple, hard work for a good cause makes him feel. It’s made especially noticeable when he immediately becomes sullen when dealing with the returning pharmacist fool Daniel ‘Pryce’ Wormald.
Despite being such a minor character, Wormald’s Better Call Saul return to tie into Nacho’s nitroglycerin plan – the equivalent to the ricin from Breaking Bad – is immensely satisfying. It’s even more so when Mike is brought back into the fold, especially how he came to the decision to help Wormald after hearing the Church woman’s story about not know where her husband’s body was after his death, just like the civilian Salamanca killed.
Callbacks and closing loops are something that Better Call Saul has done extremely well the entire series, so it’s not surprising that they continued to do it so well in this episode. Even Mike checking the gas cap is an extremely gratifying form of continuity.
Like most smokers, we’ve seen Jimmy and Kim bond over their cigarettes as a matter of (literally) blowing off some stress. This episode really brought to light just how stressed each one of them really was, enough so that their age of old game of spot the mark returned.
Comparing the first time they played last season – and executed – versus this season is hard to watch considering how different the two seemed to approach it. Most of the time Kim’s seen it as an innocent game of what if, instead of trying to take money from people.
While Jimmy has always been the instigator and has always come off as a robin hood esque steal from the rich give to the poor, this time it was different. Just the way he looked and sounded throughout the end of the exchange, mixed with the look on Kim’s face and her reaction – and their choice to put it in focus – showed this isn’t the same Jimmy we’ve seen the first two and a half seasons of Better Call Saul.
There have been inklings of Saul Goodman laced throughout Better Call Saul, but there’s always been more Jimmy in him than Saul. Each tear in that malpractice office felt real, especially considering all of his hardships throughout the episode, but whether they were real at first or not, the outcome was truly malicious and reeked of Saul Goodman.
The cards he was dealt throughout the whole episode, the way he reacted to his usual game, and the angry smirk on his way out of the door shows that like Walt’s “Say my name” moment, Jimmy has officially broken bad, and it’s all good man.
Did you catch last night’s episode of Better Call Saul? If so, what did you think? What scene or scenes did you like the most? What are your predictions for the rest season 3? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check back each week for the lead-up and coverage of the shows next episode immediately after it airs on AMC at 10 PM EST.
- Continuity and Callbacks
- Kim's emotions
- Saul Goodman taking over