Season 1, Episode 4 – “Hero”
TV Review by: Mark Salcido
Since this entire series is essentially a giant flashback, I’m going to differentiate when the shows go further back into Jimmy’s life by calling it an ALPHA FLASH.
I’m sure you’ve seen the episode so we don’t have to recap everything. Let’s just hit the important parts.
The Alpha Flashbacks seems to become a staple of the show that I like more and more. This one especially for two reasons: 1. The obvious but clever meaning of the name Saul Goodman. Say it slow with me “It’s All Good, Man”, very nice touch. 2. Jimmy had a partner in one of his scheme that I’m pretty sure is an example of term “Chekov’s Gun”.
When we come back to the Kettlemans, Jimmy and the revelation; the back and forward is priceless. Everyone is either trying to stumblingly explain or stumblingly gain something for their own selfish needs. It’s completely hilarious when the Kettlemans try to justify their thievery by considering it a form of reparations and even throwing in the word “slavery” to further their justification. So of course the Kettlemans try to bribe Jimmy with a few blocks of hundred dollar stacks. Jimmy only believes himself to be a good man, instead wants them as clients. But the Kettleman’s won’t budge and cement their stance with the comment “Because you’re the kind of lawyer guilty people hire”…ouch. There goes another kink at of “Good Guy Jimmy” armor.
As the show progress, Jimmy continues to mold further into Saul Good man. One example is Jimmy pushing back when Nacho, still not believing Jimmy’s innocence, by straight calling Nacho an idiot. Even demanding that Nacho “Thank” Jimmy for suggesting how next time not to get caught.
Jimmy, taking the money bribe from the Kettlemans, still doesn’t want believe himself to be a crook. So what does he do? Considers it as lawyer and consolation fees. “Upon this rock I will build my church” he tells himself. It’s great how he uses some of the cash to still give the finger and steal some business from the well established competition of HHM and Howard Hamlin played by Patrick Fabian. If you can’t beat them, be like them. Up comes the comical lookalike Hamlin and HHM billboard advertisement and down comes the summons to stop the trademark infringement, delivered to Jimmy by Kim.
The interaction between Kim and Jimmy continues to grow with each episode as potential love interest which is great on an awkward subtle level. She leaves message for Jimmy for a possible date, he mentions to her that she’s worth more than where she works and that “somebody cares about here… (Fake Cough) Jimmy. It’s like one or the other wants to make the first move but the awkwardness slows it to a steady crawl.
The show also is going back to the classic Breaking Bad formula of “coincidences” for their characters. When Jimmy is ordered by the courts to bring down the billboard, he takes an opportunity to have a film crew record him in front of billboard. As he’s trying to spin this into a “David VS Goliath” story, a worker hired to remove the billboard, almost falls to his death. Jimmy, being a HERO, leaps into action to save the worker while onlookers gather around. Media picks up the story and the clients come knocking for Jimmy’s services.
Lastly, we finally step into Chuck’s fragile mind as he steps out of his comfort zone just to fulfill his need for the local newspaper that Jimmy was trying to hide from Chuck. The moment he makes that first step out of his, the camera goes from steady cam to extreme shaky close up with jarring music and sounds that rushes you right into Chuck’s head and back out.
Chuck, who’s been suggesting Jimmy create his own legacy and not use his brother’s, finds out about the billboard and the issue of trust between the brothers is now set.
It seems like Jimmy may be already beginning to burn more bridges and bits and piece of his “Good Guy” persona as he tries to build his empire. The words this rock in “Upon this rock I will build my church” quote might eventually have to be changed to “these bones” with the path Jimmy is setting for himself.
Come back for more dissection of the mind and world of Saul Goodman.
“Better Call Saul” airs Monday nights at 10pm on AMC