Title: Better Call Saul: “Slip”
Air Date: June 5th, 2017
Genre: Drama, Crime-Thriller
Flashbacks are considerably hard to do well in any format, so it’s certainly an accomplishment that any time I see a flashback in Better Call Saul, I am immediately excited. That shouldn’t really surprise me though, considering that the entire series is, in a sense, a flashback for part of Breaking Bad.
Getting to see Jimmy’s old buddy Marco was a definite treat, but the most important cameo was Mr. Mcgill’s old convenience store, now a rundown mess. Not only did we get to see it, but it also added more exposition regarding Jimmy’s father and his good nature. It’s been emphasized in previous episodes, but it really is vital to the story and the man Jimmy becomes as Saul.
Throughout Better Call Saul, Jimmy has battled with the personality traits passed down to him by his father, that of being kind and good-natured, and the ones that the con artist displayed that took advantage of his father. The coin story just reinforces how difficult that battle is for Jimmy, despite Marco’s claim that everyone loved his family and the store, especially when they are sitting in it while it’s abandoned.
As always, Mike’s first scene was one of the most interesting parts of the episode, from a cinematographic and narrative aspect. One of my favorite aspects of his scenes comes from the silence and patience behind them, as he never talks when he is alone and a lot of the actor’s scenes take place while he’s alone. But this scene in particular really emphasized how a lack of context could make it that much more interesting.
Despite spending multiple seasons with his character, I still couldn’t entirely understand why he was doing his best Stanly Yellnats impersonation digging holes out in the desert. It’s been well displayed that Mike’s conscience gets the better of him, despite some of the questionable work he is doing. Seeing that he went out of his way to find the innocent man’s body after all this time really reinforces his morals and convictions.
From the outset of “Slip,” I was curious to see just what the episode would be about, and how it would tie into the title. It wasn’t at all surprising when Slippin Jimmy made his return after being shafted by the Guitar store and the Community Service Foreman. Coupled with his conversation with Marco from the beginning, these scenes all really help emphasize just why he turns into Saul Goodman without having to monolog like so many shows in the current market rely on.
One of the first signs that Jimmy was turning into Saul came at the end of the last episode at the malpractice agency, as he went out of his way to cause trouble for Chuck. While we might still see the repercussions of that scene – as Howard mentions it in the last scene of the episode with Chuck in it – it was interesting to see Chuck’s progression with his illness instead, and just how genuinely happy the possibility of feeling normal again felt for him.
“Slip” was also the first episode of Better Call Saul that has ever seen the calm and collected Howard Hamlin slip and lose his temper. Patrick Fabian portrayal of the character has been fascinating so far, as we’ve seen him evolve from an apparent stereotypical antagonist for Jimmy and Kim to a much more complex character throughout the show.
Kim’s constant drive to push herself is also interesting to watch as well, but there is certainly foreshadowing that it’s going to take it’s toll on her, as she couldn’t even remember that she hadn’t seen Jimmy in two days. It’s ironic that it’ll probably happen because of Jimmy too because she sees him supposedly working so hard to cover his end – while he is really conning – so that she doesn’t have to cover it.
Nacho was this episode of Better Call Saul’s standout though, bar none. Watching the prep work for mixing the pills was reminiscent of Breaking Bad. It was also nice to see him attempting to put the pills in the jacket beforehand, not only because of how cliche most shows approach hard tasks like this by trivializing them but knowing the stakes of messing it up.
All of this, combined with the build up and preparation from previous episodes of Better Call Saul, made the scene where he puts the nitroglycerin pills he made in Hector’s pocket considerably nerve racking. The way he went about things going into it too, practicing the toss, breaking the AC so Salamanca takes off his jacket and the improvisation when getting the original ones, was marvelously done.
As the episode ended, we get another glimpse at the mutual respect between Gus and Mike that blossoms into a considerable partnership in Breaking Bad. “I would not take money from your family.”
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 as it winds down? 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.
- Mike's conscience
- Slippin Jimmy
- Pill Prep and Execution