‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 Premiere: Cross to Bear

Aug 06, 2018 · 104 comments
Cussonnet (France)
Just an observation...during the beginning credits the fish in the tank is an orange Oranda goldfish which turns to be a yellow colored one throughout the episode ...a little mistake.
Mary (LA)
As for episode 2? 60 minutes wasted. Come on guys, I love this show.
Vent (Providence)
Just an observation...the name of baseball team that Mike was watching on TV was the Albuquerque Isotopes which happened to be what was on the Omaha cabbie’s air freshener.....and of course, “isotope” is a term of chemistry...love these little details.
Derik Lattig (Fort Worth, Tx)
Cab driver is a survivor of Jacks gang we haven't met yet; He wasn't there when Walt gunned 'em down. Speaking of Walt I suspect we'll see Cranston in a Gene Flashback as he and Walt are at the Vacuum guy waiting to be embedded. Odenkirk was seen this past spring in the same purple shirt he was wearing in BB's 'Granite State' and wig. There's also a report of an uncredited BB member visit in the first three episodes of Season 4.
JJames (Florida)
Jackie Ocala I think the cab driver is from the DEA
ashley (kentucky)
Can we all try to focus on comments on the article not becoming a fan fiction conversation of the show. Read the article and write a comment about it....
Flo (pacific northwest)
@ashley To each his own. I come hear to read about the show and what people think of it.
ashley (ky)
not 9ne comment on here is about this article. only FANS of the show bragging about their favorite parts, characters and how brilliant the writers and directors are. it's a good show. but all in all it's not really about anything but your entertainment. so stop pretending that you have more than an opinion. but there are real life issues that effect some people and they like me will not watch the rest.
ashley (ky)
why do my comments get a " hey it's just a TV series" reaction and the rest of you describe it like it's your best friends life story. it's a sad day when the entertainment of most of it appears NYC and CHICAGO by the comments is this melodrama that feeds off the success of a truly BAD breaking bad. mildly entertaining but honestly as a species we can do better than drag ourselves through the dirty secrets of fiction al characters on a sitcom. read a book NYC
Clint (Des Moines)
FYI to the writers - there is no Lowe Memorial Hospital or Cottonwood Mall in Omaha. I get it, don't use real business names, but in the past the show has done a better job of maintaining authenticity in the setting.
Guillermo (Albuquerque)
Don't know about Lowe, but the Cottonwood Mall reference is an inside wink from the writers. It's the name of the mall here in West Albuquerque where they've filmed several scenes for the show, most notably all of the Cinnabon scenes...
Helen (Maryland)
The bit where Mike-posing-as-Barry was asked to sign the birthday card for a Madrigal employee was up there with "Office Space" as comment on contemporary corporate culture. I'm still giggling.
Ben (Utah)
Excellent episode and great build up to Jimmy's ice cold absolution. I disagree that this is some zero sum emotional game for Jimmy. I'm more sympathetic. Chuck and Howard both treated Jimmy like garbage. He's more than happy to lay the guilt on Howard, and I am too. Be free Jimmy! Be free!
David (Ma)
@Ben Agree, basically, though I think it's simplistic to suggest he's "free of the guilt" now that Harry feels terrible. His cavalier act was simply designed to show condescending Harry that not only is Jimmy not predictable, he's also not a friend. Jimmy's got his own internal guilt and was utterly loyal to Chuck, despite the ruthless treatment at his brother's hand and is (I think) "owning" his brother and everything that happened and deciding when and how to process the tragedy. I assume he'll clue Kim into his latest mood swing which no doubt is a symptom of some sort of change, plan, or agenda.
Brian (CT)
I wonder what function Howard's character will serve this season. Maybe he will bring Kim back to the firm. Maybe Howard will try to take Kim away from Jimmy.
Mr. John (New Orleans, LA)
I feel better now that "Saul" is back. I watched the season opener again this morning. One burning question about the track. Who is tickling the ivories (literally) on "The Shadow of Your Smile"???
Canadian fan (Vancouver, BC)
@Mr. John Closed captioning says it was Oscar Peterson.
Mr. John (New Orleans, LA)
@Canadian fan - Thanks a lot. I love Oscar and have seen him in concert several times over the years.
Dave (New York, NY)
I wonder what, if anything, will happen to Howard's payout to Chuck of ~$9M pursuant to their partnership agreement. In the last episode of S3, Howard told him "you won" and handed him a check for $3M, "the first of three". Will Howard make good on it to Chuck's estate, and if so, who will get the money? Presumably Chuck had a will- he was too detail-oriented to risk dying intestate- and until recent events, may even have directed his possessions to go to Jimmy, his only living relative. It's possible he kept his ex-wife in the will though. I'm just wondering if Jimmy has a windfall coming his way courtesy of HHM, or if HHM will just sweep that arrangement under the rug.
Elwyn (Sydney)
@Dave It will be interesting to see the result of this. (The impression I had was that Howard did a lot of preparation for buying out Chuck. He had to use his own finances and secure loans to be able to afford the buy out. H must have discussed and got authorization for the buy out from the HMM Board of Directors before the meeting.) Chuck's buy out is definitely something the Board of Directors knew about. Furthermore, Chuck's departure would have been well-known since many HMM employees witnessed it. I can't really see Howard quietly acting as if the buy out never happened. And if he did and got found out, he would have to deal with more damage control - remember that episode where he tells Kim he has been dealing with damage control with clients for three meals per day?
Kate (Miami)
Does anyone share my suspicion that the receptionist at the hospital was not some innocent chatterbox, but was there to either confirm Gene/Saul's whereabouts or stall him until the Gangsta Cabbie From Albuquerque could get there?
ashley (kentucky)
@Kate it is called an epilogue... a dream a prodrome, its not as relevant as you think. and as relevant as it is. it just is.
EAS (Colorado)
Good recap and really great comments, all of you! I have been waiting anxiously for this new episode (14 months from last season is too long). For me, I nearly jumped out of my seat when the scene with the Madrigal employee that Mike duped started - "There's Walt!!" They had me fooled when they showed him from a distance in front of the White-looking house. : ) It still makes me wonder if a Walt/Jesse/Hank cameo is in the works.
Charles Sager (Ottawa, Canada)
Did anyone else enjoy the aptness of the opening song? I'd never heard it before but "We Three - My Echo, My Shadow, and Me" (perhaps originally sung by Sinatra but performed in this episode to mesmerizing effect by another artist), seems to star "Gene" as the "echo," "Saul" as the "shadow," leaving of course Jimmy as the "me." I'm sure the song signifies something in a show whose creators have shown an obsessive eye for such things; perhaps not what I'm suggesting here but something else. Ideas anyone? Also, the burning embers wafting over the bed where Jimmy and Kim have been sleeping was simply beautifully done. Great art, all of this.
My Echo, My Shadow & Me (NYC-Adjacent)
That was The Ink Spots and their version hit the charts the same time - Dec. 1940 as Sinatra’s.
darneyj (Hague, NY)
John (Minnesota)
My read on Chuck's psychological illness is that it is triggered when he does something cruel to Jimmy. His psychosis returned with fatal vigor almost immediately after he tells Jimmy, "I don't want to hurt your feelings. But the truth is, you've never mattered all that much to me." This was foreshadowed a bit earlier when Chuck, speaking with the doctor (played by Clea DuVall), has a moment of clarity, but doesn't quite make the connection about his illness. “What if it’s all in my head?" he said. "And if that’s true, and it’s not real, what have I done?” He seems to understand he is punishing himself but can't quite come to the realization over what. His initial illness likely hit after he blocked Jimmy from working at HHM. After Jimmy gets the best of him at the bar hearing, Chuck rebounds until he delivers another dose of cruelty to his brother. That in turn brought a fatal dose of psychological punishment on himself.
ashley (kentucky)
@John Chuck in a wonderful Catch 22, is the sane and unsung hero of all. he may not have the cancer excuse to enter a world of crime and drag his family down, he may not be mike who is so bitter from his sons death that he can switch to being a criminal as long as he justifies being able to support his grandkid. No Chuck is a bit better than that. many may conclude his was so insane, but i wonder about the integrity of al the other characters? and remember no one makes anyone else suffer. they choose it. Chuck got better ... everyone else is just headed to BAD
ashley (ky)
one could argue that by not forcing chuck to seek treatment Saul enables him to stay sick in a world where no one wants a mental Illness but everyone wants cancer so they can justify making meth. anything and everyone is to blame...ce la vie
Doug (Michigan)
Great opener, guys. We already know a lot about where things are going, but the journey is a delight. Watching Jimmy delaminate, a process already underway, will be painful, but necessary. We already know Saul is doomed.
Ben (Austin)
When Jimmy is looking at the want ads in the intro, there is an ad for a Laser Tag salesman. A nice Breaking Bad Easter Egg and I think the first Lazer Base connection in Better Call Saul.
Kathleen (New York City)
Is it ok to let others know about the podcast the creative team does - Better Call Saul Insider Podcast? Its free film school and wonderfully entertaining especially if you like all the behind-the-scenes-film-geeky stuff. My only burning question is, who was the cab driver? Does anyone know the actor? And observation: The little tune Jimmy whistles at the end - Walter did the same thing in Breaking Bad after the seeing the news on TV about the missing boy Todd murdered. Wonder if it was the same tune? Oh, and Ali of course.
Robert McEvily (The Bronx)
@Kathleen - I recently watched the first season of HBO's "The Deuce;" the cabbie's eyes looked to me like Don Harvey's eyes, who plays a uniformed patrolman on that show. (I just checked his IMDb page - it was him!)
jazz one (Wisconsin)
Great in moments / parts. Dragging in others. Saw Bob Odenkirk directed (produced?) this one. Have no idea (and too lazy to look it up) if he's done this before. Personal observation/opinion though: normally actors directing / producing themselves isn't as good as actors just acting. Hope overall it picks up, and evens out in terms of pacing. 'Cause it's one of my favorites.
J Henderson (Taos, NM)
About the air freshener in the cab-- Saul asks to go to the Cottonwood Mall, which is in Albuquerque, so he is already there.
Ben (Utah)
@J Henderson I think it's a generic Cottonwood Mall. Yes, it's filmed there at the Cottonwood Mall in ABQ, but the cab says Omaha and this part of the story is in Omaha. I think it's simply a nod to the real mall.
What happens to Kim? What will happen to McGill/Goodman/Takavic? These are the two ends of the timeline which keep us intrigued, especially since all the other player's fates are writ. (I'm not overly interested in how Nacho plays out.) Seeing Gus and Mike do their thing keeps us entertained; as well as learning what brings Mike to the state of uber-hitman. I thought the cabbie was not a man on a mission as much as an Albuquerque transplant wondering where he'd seen his passenger before. And as for Ali v Lee, those of us of a certain age remember the 1976 debacle that was Ali v Inoki. Muhammad's legs took a severe bruising from Japanese wrestler Inoki's kicks (he broke a foot in the match.) It was called a draw.
Lola (Santa Barbara)
@IMPROV What happens to Kim is my number one question as well -- but I think Nacho's story is also well worth following. Nacho's story line last season (highlighting his relationship with his father) was very strong, as was Michael Mando's performance. And the Gus-Nacho interactions are fraught with tension. In a show filled with scary characters, Gus's glares are among the most chilling.
Louise (Cape Cod)
Great episode! I'll miss Chuck though I have heard we will see him (Michael McKean) in some flash back scenes! Love him! Also, was I projecting or was the house belonging to the "stolen badge employee" Walter White's old/new house?
Catherine (Costa Rica)
@Louise, yes, I thought so, too, and the father and son bore a superficial resemblance to Walt and Walt junior. Although, on looking it up, the houses are quite different. Just playing with us, I guess.
TJ (Seattle)
@Louise Re: WW's house. That's what I thought too. 'Barry' looked similar to WW sans hair. It's a different house, however. I think the White's purchased their house before BCS started. I bet the similarities were a tease on the show's part.
Alan Dean Foster (Prescott, Arizona)
Still a great show...although I am getting a smidge tired of watching endless shots of people making coffee. Edit together all the coffee and food shots from BCS and BB and you'd have a regular food documentary....
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Alan Dean Foster Gosh, what a funny comment. Love your sense of humor Mr. Foster.
Louise Phillips (NY)
I have learned to be transfixed by the details which matter so much in this intentionally slow-moving drama. Listen to the footsteps. Loud. Paced. Purposeful to convey character's state of mind. No quick cuts and beauty shots. Long angles and lingering views. Still I never know what's going to happen next. Genius!
Kate (Miami)
The end scene when Jimmy lets Howard take the blame for Chuck's relapse, and Kim looks at him sharply because (I think) she knows the truth, makes me feel Kim will not leave the series in some dramatic exit. She won't be killed or die of an illness or be banished somewhere. She will spend the season being confronted by more disappointments like this one and she will finally just give up and get out to save herself.
T (Kansas City)
Wow! Still one of the best shows on television. Vince Gilligan and his writing directing acting team create fabulous detailed narrative that is utterly engrossing. I have loved the complex intense relationship between the brothers, though Chuck was always easy to hate. It was fascinating that every time he hurt Jimmy or screwed him over he would have a massive setback or incident, and they wove his history in to current day that shows the genesis of some of his problems. I LOVE the intensely psychological threads that run through everything Gilligan does, with all his characters and every actor superb! It's a rare show that makes every character 3 dimensional, but Mr Gilligan, Mr. Odenkirk, Ms. Seehorn and every other actor writer director producer manage to do this. We binged the first 3 seasons again before the premiere and it was well worth it. If you've never seem this show, watch it! It's fabulous!!! Massive kudos to Better Call Saul, and yay we already know it's renewed for season 5!!!
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@T I completely concur that BCS is "one of the best shows on television" and might I add that your comment was the best of the lot. Shocking that it wasn't deemed a NYT Pick for it truly is worthy of one. Nicely stated T!
Rob Kantner (Mt. Pleasant, MI)
@T - While taking absolutely nothing away from the brilliance of Vince Gilligan, it should be pointed out that (as Mr. G has stated repeatedly), he has only scantily been involved in BCS of late. Peter Gould, the co-creator and executive producer, is the showrunner, and IMHO the lion's share of the accolades go to him.
Cynthia (New York)
David Segal: Beautiful recap. Thank you!
Steve (New York)
I know that the writer is a commenting on a fictitious show but he still shouldn't ignore reality. To describe Chuck's illness as being "psychosomatic" is ludicrous. He was psychotic, i.e., out of touch with reality, with paranoid delusions. To say his problems were due to a psychosomatic illness is like saying somebody with lung cancer was simply having a cold.
Chris (New York)
@Steve While I absolutely appreciate what you are saying, I think that the point of the writer was that Chuck's illness has been demonstrated to absolutely be in his head, rather than being an actual physical aversion to electrical currents.
Steve (New York)
@Chris I think you misunderstand the term "psychosomatic." It simply means that the symptoms are caused by an interaction of psychological and physical factors. It does not mean that the symptoms are totally due to psychological factors.
joe Hall (estes park, co)
Once again Vince Gilligan delivers. Btw if you noticed he decided to go to Madrigal after he looked at his check from them. NOTE: the check was for just over 10k and that can cause a problem for Mike since those deposits have to be reported so he needs a real cover to explain his income, that's my guess anyway.
The Old Netminder (chicago)
@joe Hall Good point. Now can someone refresh me on the deal with Madrigal? I know they show up in Breaking Bad, but I don't recall what Gus has arranged for Mike.
Alan Dean Foster (Prescott, Arizona)
@joe Hall: good catch, but...was it a requirement for banks to report deposits over ten grand the year this episode supposedly took place?
Alex Kent (Westchester)
I’m no expert, but I thought the filing requirement applied to currency deposits, not checks.
The Chief from Cali (Port Hueneme Calif.)
This had to be a slow start. Each character had to recalibrate itself to gear up for Jimmys change to Saul. Nacho, Mike and Jimmy all are on separate paths that will in time meet. As viewers we know this series has at least one more season after this one. (Hint like Breakng Bad) If you want to know how much hate Gus has towards Hector, go back and look at the episode Hermanos in Breaking Bad. There you will see the intensity that these characters have, the scorn that Hector shows towards Gus
Dry Socket (Illinois)
Chuck was extremely smarmy, insulting and cruel to Saul and I'm glad he's gone. A thoroughly pitiful, arrogant and self-important man. A true attorney... Ba-Bye Chuck.
ashley (kentucky)
@Dry Socket So glad you don't have any relatives or friends with a brain disorder, mental illness, autism or even sensory disorders. they are so common is it possible that you maybe don't know any real human beings to have empathy for? And it is a good thing because you seem like the kind of person that would make them want to kick a lantern over.
Ghost of William (Fruit Cove, Fl)
@ashley Chuck couldn't have said it better himself.
shef (Boston, MA)
Ali in a rout.
randyman (Bristol, RI USA)
I don’t have much constructive to say, except… *gawd,* what a show. Sheer virtuosity in every frame; my attention was riveted for the duration. That look Kim gave Jimmy after his monstrous “your cross to bear” quip… I could almost see the light bulb go on over her head. Borrowing a line from another work of genius – last summer’s “Twin Peaks: The Return” – “This is the water, and this is the well… drink full, and descend.”
Bucky (Raleigh)
Mike's visit to Madrigal came after he saw that big number on his first paycheck. He just can't stand the idea of getting paid without doing the work. We've seen Mike turn down money several times when he didn't think he had earned it. If he's getting paid to be a security consultant, then he's damn well going to do some consulting.
Cynthia (New York)
@Bucky Yes -- there's that, but I think this was also a classic case of Mike playing chess 8 steps ahead of everybody else. The look he gave one of the surveillance cameras, like he wanted to make sure there was a record of him "working" there, seemed to be his way of making sure he's covering all his bases. He's "working" at Madrigal under his real name, and the IRS is withholding income taxes. He's on the grid and on the radar. Smart, smart, smart.
Kate (Miami)
@Bucky Agreed. Mike also cannot pass up a chance to lecture someone about what they're doing wrong. Never really liked Mike, but he's even more insufferably judgmental in this show.
KarlJ (New York)
@Cynthia Hmmm good point. It also seemed like Mike was bored to death sitting around his house watching TV
wally dunn (ny, ny)
I was surprised by Jimmy's reaction to feel light-hearted over the news that Chuck's suicide was probably caused by the disagreement over how the firm handled the malpractice insurance rate increase. Jimmy was obviously distraught over Chuck's death, and now he knew that he was probably to blame.
The Old Netminder (chicago)
@wally dunn I thought this twist was one of the few hamhanded moves in the series. I think it is supposed to be a sentinel moment in the transition from Jimmy to Saul, but it was so sudden a departure from his deep morose state.
Lori (Portland, OR)
The sad truth is that many, many mentally ill people have life long struggles even with treatment. This was referred to by his own doctor last season when he talked about becoming a full time lawyer again. That Chuck's mental health relapsed into a dark abyss after he was pushed out of his law firm seems realistic.
A. Boyd (Springfield, MO)
I love the pacing of the show. In each scene, we gain a little more insight into the central characters. The scene where Mike goes to work at Madrigal, for example, tells us a lot about the kind of man he is. He's getting a paycheck, and he wants to earn it. As we wait, we begin to get the answers to our questions, for example how did Hector Salamanca end up in a wheelchair ringing a bell? And we have to deal with our own mixed feelings about Jimmy. Sometimes, he is so gosh-darned charming. And then something like last night's punch lands: That's your cross to bear. Jimmy, it seems, is not quite a psychopath; he does feel guilt until someone else comes along to blame. Be patient, viewers. The rewards are coming.
Nick (NYC)
Did anyone else notice that the SSN that "Gene" gave at the hospital was too long? SSNs are 9 digits, in a 3-2-4 pattern. He gave 10 in a 3-3-4 pattern. Was this an honest flub or something more significant? Agree that the opening scene was very tense. My take was that the cabbie thought he recognized "Gene" as Saul, since, being from Alburquerque, the cabbie would no doubt have seen Saul's face all over bus stop and billboard ads every day. So a guy looking exactly like Saul sits in your cab, acting very jittery, you might look back in the mirror! It seems far fetched that a rude dude would come all the way from ABQ to Omaha to pose as a cab driver and just happen to pick Saul up at that moment, only to just glower at him (but not actually do anything to him). To clarify a thread from last season, I don't remember the circumstances around Nacho's plan to swap the pills. Was he in contact with Mike or Gus about this at all? I don't think so but I honestly can't recall.
It was 9 digits - he just recalled/recited them 3 at a time, which was odd/suspicious....but the ER clerk was not, just a little flighty in the middle of a night shift.
Nancy (NY State)
@Nick Remember goofy Pryce (stolen baseball card collection)? He supplied Nacho with the pill-matching Ibuprofen, and Mike was aware. And yes, that SSN question at the hospital was off, but I didn't hear it as you did with the 3-2-4 sequence wrong, I heard it as one digit short.
SRY (Maryland)
@Nick He could just be a guy who happened to relocate from ABQ to Omaha at some point, and who works as a cab driver, and who recognized Jimmy/Saul/Gene. You've got to figure Saul had some dissatisfied clients over the years.
Alan Chaprack (NYC)
Make no mistake: I love the show. But, it's becoming more and more difficult watching actors in this prequel look older than they did in "Breaking Bad."
Nick (NYC)
@Alan Chaprack Ha I sort of agree. Mike's granddaughter looked way older in this episode than she was by the end of Breaking Bad - very puzzling casting choice.
Jcp (New York City)
@Nick Mike’s granddaughter, and her apparent age being off, has been a long running source of consternation online since the series began. At this point, I almost feel like they are trolling the audience by casting a girl who is obviously the wrong age. Since its well within their means to find a girl who appears the age she should be, I would have to assume they are doing it for a reason.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
Granted, the premiere of the 4th season was anything but riveting and played out at a snail's pace, this storyline will pick up and then suddenly, BAMB, people will be saying, "I didn't see that coming". It is always a wonderful treat to see Jonathan Banks and I simply love Bob Odenkirk, so I am not complaining in the slightest. Besides, the writers are merely setting up the storyline for the season (hopefully it will unfold a tad faster than last night). The choice of Oscar Peterson’s “The Shadow of Your Smile” was perfect. All of the music selections chosen for every season of "Better Call Saul" has been absolutely incredible. As to the” hypothetical Muhammad Ali-Bruce Lee fight”, although Lee was faster, Ali was as strong, tough and big as a Mack truck and the hits from Lee would probably have felt like nothing more than gnats buzzing around his head.
John Sears (Undiscloed)
@Marge Keller Some might consider the slow pacing of BCS an attribute. Not every drama needs to be chock full of action scenes. Indeed, the loving character studies offered up by the producers and showrunner is one of the reasons I adore this show. The other, of course, is the cinematography.
Robert McEvily (The Bronx)
I think Bruce Lee would've been quick enough to avoid Muhammad Ali's most powerful punches. Ali was awfully fast (so he'd land some jabs), but I think Lee was faster (so he'd eventually win on points, in a decision). Just my $0.02. And $0.02 more... For me, the slower the pace of the show, the more I enjoy it. The BB/BCS creative team has earned that luxury, and I think they always use it in the most absorbing ways. A lesser show wouldn't have bothered with the scene of the father fixing his son's bike, then fumbling to find his security badge. When your mind works to put together what's happening, and why it's happening, it feels a lot more like the pleasure you get while reading (rather than watching TV). Combining those pleasures is the best!
Alex Kent (Westchester)
I recently finished binge-watching “Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul” on Netflix and am thrilled that Season 4 has started. My favorite character is Mike. Don’t ask me why.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@Alex Kent I completely agree. I think it's partly because of his unique code of justice and there's no grey in his color wheel. You always know where he stands.
SUE (Michigan)
Sorry, I loved this series but this first new episode was SOOOOO SLOWWWWW that I almost fast-forwarded. Great recap-thanks. Sure hope it picks up next week.
The Chief from Cali (Port Hueneme Calif.)
@SUE I agree with you. Then again, this episode ties up what happened in the last series three ending. Hope with you that the coming episodes will show us the change from Jimmy to Saul.
Ben (New Jersey)
@SUE...Relax, soak it up slowly...so much in life comes so fast...luxuriate in the in the warm feeling of outstanding performances by every person you see...the plot doesn't matter...remember when it's over ....it's over... and it's back to paying attention to our insane President.
The Old Netminder (chicago)
@SUE I wouldn't mind the slow pace if there were 20 episodes a season. But this was one-tenth of the season, and almost nothing happened. Sometimes it seems like the clock is being run out, as when Mike or someone else is constructing something, or Mike is toodling around the warehouse, or Howard is reading the whole obit. Folks, not everything about this show is perfect!
Rob (Long Island)
I have always been wondering, just what attracts Jimmy to Kim? Dose she just feel so sorry for this wounded loser that she can not get away? The undoing of this relationship, is what will result in the creation of Saul Goodman.
Ken Hughes (Arlington VA)
@Rob I think you may be right that the end of this relationship may be the undoing of Jimmy and turn him into Saul or to put it another way the kind and loving aspects of Jimmy's charactor will be undone as Jimmy's dark side takes over. Kim's seems too good for Jimmy, but yet Jimmy is kind and loving, especially as he tenderly attended to her needs as she recovered from her injuries and he's intelligent and sensitive. I don't think Kim has any notion what an outstanding and remarkable woman and human being she is. Rhea Seehorn has done a remarkable job as an actress bringing this charactor to life. Ali beats Lee. No contest. He's bigger and at least as fast as Lee. The best heavyweight boxer in history. Lee's outstanding but he can't fight successfully so far out of his weight class against the Greatest.
Nick (NYC)
@Rob It does seem like an odd relationship, to be sure. But attraction works in mysterious ways - surely you know some seemingly mis-matched couples in your own life? I think in earlier seasons it was established that, like Jimmy, Kim is a frustrated lawyer. Like Jimmy she is from a lower/working class background and therefore feels out of place amidst the upper-crust vibe of HHM, she is heavily indebted by her law school expenses, and her career with HHM never quite took off like she may have hoped. Not too dissimilar to Jimmy's circumstances.
Cynthia (New York)
@Rob Toward the end of last season, Jimmy says, "I'm not good at building things. I'm good at blowing them up," (or something close to that), referring to the Sandpiper debacle with the sweet old ladies. I'm getting the feeling that, consciously or not, Jimmy is trying to blow up the relationship with Kim, especially since Chuck said in his last conversation with him, "Jimmy, that's what you do. You hurt people." And because of everything else Chuck said, that HAS to have ripped out another chunk of Jimmy's otherwise well-intentioned heart, making a bit more room for Saul to take over. I think that, on some level, he's making it easier for Kim to leave him so that he doesn't destroy her, as I believe he thinks he destroyed his brother, and Marco, and his father, and everyone else he's loved. Jimmy never told anyone about Marco's death, or all the horrible things Chuck said that last time they saw each other ("You never really mattered to me all that much." --- OWWW!!!). Jimmy will never know that his mother's last words were his name, over and over. This is part of the same pattern for both brothers. Which leaves me wondering, how do two apparently very nice, normal, kind, Midwestern people raise such broken sons? There's got to be more we don't know, and may never know. I hope that doesn't turn into an itch we can't scratch. :)
D Priest (Outlander)
Better Call Saul is beautifully paced, but like many I grow impatient. This season, I considered letting it go and waiting the year or so till it hits Netflix, but I gave in because it resonates for me. That resonance comes from watching Jimmy’s plans and efforts come unglued as his world fractures and the people he cares for fall away or die. It is the resonance of Chuck’s broken-hearted suicide when, no longer able to cope, the wing of madness brushed too close. It is the resonance of seeing the utter futility of planning anything, and that success is just a brief hill that leads to a dark valley, that the shelf life of happiness is short and life is long. Too long.
Elysse (Boston)
@D Priest Impatient for what? Please don't tell me the shoddy state of the entertainment business's output has deadened you to the joy of a beautifully-written, well-though-out story? Not everything has to be, or will even be at all, resolved quickly. Just be glad there's a group of people that care enough about the work they produce for our enjoyment. Its practically non-existent in what passes for entertainment today.
Jay Broni (Brooklyn)
@D Priest Aesthetic concerns aside, this is a series in which a slow storytelling pace is in everyone's interest. It's an unusual circumstance in that we all know where BCS is headed and what its end point is. Hypothetically, one could get this story to the beginning of Breaking Bad in a few episodes, but if there are going to be two more seasons of BCS, then a slow roll seems the way to go.
John (Annapolis)
Great job summing up the first episode. It had been quite a while so I also appreciate the recap of season 3. There are so many plot lines and they run so deep think I really would have appreciated AMC running a season 3 marathon just to get back up to speed. In any event glad the show is back, enjoyed episode 1 even if it was a bit slow cleaning up old business. Agree that we start to see Jimmy turning into Saul at the end. Hope the show picks up it's pace.
Polemic (Madison Ave and 89th)
@John All the episodes from the previous seasons of Better Call Saul are available (free of commercials) on Netflix. Of course, Netflix does cost a small amount to be a member, but it is well worth it not only for Better Call Saul but to also be able to enjoy the full Netflix experience. My wife and I did a "binge watch" of Season 3 a week or so before the opening of Season 4. It cleared up so many loose ends. It's worth it to go do that now for full enjoyment of the current season.
n (san francisco)
@Polemic Also available in the library if you don't want a Netflix subscription.
ashley (ky)
the ending of this show is the end of me watching it. all it does is focus in on the negatives in our world. the article doesn't even mention that mental health parity and a law firm that would get insurance and treatment for a founding partner of the firm who had starting getting better. not only is this show a slap in the face of our legal system, our corporate values, our human values, our legal respect, it pretends to represent a real world. and it is horribly depressing to watch a brilliant man with a mental illness self destruct due to the knowledge that he knows the law, yet he has not one lawyer in his huge firm who will take on the insurance companies? that's basically it...the end, now on to breaking bad, which while creative was the most depressing show ever made maybe side by side next to this is us. whoever wrote this garbage should use their energy on mental health parity laws....stop writing triggers for sadness
tomjoad (New York)
@ashley It is a TV series. An excellent TV series, but still a TV series.
Casey (New York)
@ashley The Mental Health Parity Law has nothing to do with this. The insurance company was raising the rates for their malpractice insurance. Chucks mental issues, that are now documented after his breakdown in court, could leave him wide open for lawsuits from clients who feel they were not properly represented by Chuck do to his mental issues.
Marge Keller (Midwest)
@tomjoad I concur completely. I don't recall anyone criticizing nor labeling Rod Sterling's "Twilight Zone" as garbage, especially after the episodes about the menacing doll that talked or the electrical appliances that turned their own power on and off and evidentially killed the housewife. These shows are not documentaries, they are fictional television dramas meant purely to entertain. If someone feels anything other than entertained, then clearly, "Better Call Saul" is not the TV series to watch.
ashley (ky)
another note to the writer of this article...."those pesky little electric circuits" are not what drove chuck insane. chuck was a genius, if you listen to his obituary and pay any attention. the world and the laws that threatened to keep him from getting treatment kept him from getting well he was never " insane" he was tortured, depressed, and had a brilliant mind. I'm sorry you missed that
Polemic (Madison Ave and 89th)
@ashley "Insane" describes Chuck's condition quite well. It gets into the realm of PC when we are afraid to use words that best describe certain situations or states of mind. Let's don't "go crazy" banning useful descriptive terms.
Nick (NYC)
@ashley Actually the show has made a point of blurring the lines between Chuck's predicament as an actual illness and his own arrogant personality. He may have had an affliction, but he definitely took liberties with that affliction to extract favors and concessions from other people (he got his own manservant from HHM!). There have been times when he was faking it or putting on airs (like when he secretly recorded Jimmy) and other times when it seems like the whole thing is a scam (the cell phone was in his pocket for the whole bar hearing and he didn't know). His electromagnetic phobia was more an expression of his paranoia and egoism.
Debnev (Redding, CT)
@ashley It's entirely possible to be both a genius and mentally ill; in fact, there's anecdotal evidence, as well as research, suggesting they may be related states of mind. Are you a lawyer? You seem awfully focused on the role of law in the plot of this show. The "real world" is often terribly depressing, illogical, and nonsensical. Human behavior is confoundingly complex. That, more than "the legal system and corporate values," is the major thread running through this series.
See also