Better Call Saul “Bali Ha’i”

Better Call Saul S2E6: Bali Ha’i”

In the sixth episode of the second season of Better Call Saul we contrast people who are at turning points and perhaps heading in different directions. Kim finds herself in a critical spot, halfway between returning to the beaten path and starting something brand new, Jimmy is just about ready to call it quits and not look back, and Mike has to tread waters very carefully for the safety of himself and of his family.

“Rebecca” as I stated in my previous review did such a great job giving Kim well deserved screen time and she dominated the screen while she was on it. Kim continues to play a prominent role in Bali Ha’i” and it is just as entertaining to watch. Kim has reached a crossroads. Chuck did stay true to his word and got Kim out of the doghouse but she doesn’t mind coming in a few minutes late to listen to Jimmy sing the episode’s namesake to her over the phone. We’re not quite sure what Kim does want at this very precise moment but she could use a little clarity. She is rather unsure of herself and while Jimmy does represent a fun rebellious side, he also represents clarity. Jimmy is always so confident in his decision making which is something Kim is having a little bit of trouble with. As she unpacks she doesn’t even put her law degree back up. Perhaps she thinks that HHM is not her long term future anymore.

As if Howard giving her tedious monotonous and hopeless errands and cases for her to run wasn’t enough to lean Kim towards leaving, she gets even more incentive to go towards that direction. Kim’s professionalism to keep fighting through and keeping it classy despite an obvious winless scenario impresses Rich Schweikart, partner at Schweikart and Cokely and head of the Sandpiper defense. He invites her to lunch and gives her an offer that may prove tough to refuse. Rich admits that he’s had his eye on her work for a while now and would love to set up an interview with the other partners to see if they could get Kim a job over at his firm. He even offers to pay back the remaining balance on Kim’s tuition debt to HHM himself. A promise of mattering, being shown respect, and better using her talents is an extremely enticing offer. Kim initially is hesitant to set something up but she takes his card and may be calling it in the future.

Feeling stressed out about the decision she has looming, Kim decides to blow off some steam by running a scam. She calls up Jimmy when she’s sure she’s got this guy hook line and sinker and Jimmy immediately drops his work with Erin to drive an hour from Santa Fe to Albuquerque to join in Kim’s scam. Jimmy’s mind is currently a whole lot clearer than Kim’s right now. I loved watching the cold open for the episode. The point was made and made well, Jimmy is through with the big law firm lifestyle. He can’t sleep, can’t eat and can’t even stand those ball things anymore as he hilariously plays soccer, basketball, and other random sports with the balls in the wee hours of the morning. To wrap it up, he takes his things for work early in the morning and heads back to Albuquerque and the nail salon and to his boiler room office and his couch bed. Only then is he fully at peace and can finally go to sleep.

After another successful Viktor with a “K” and Giselle scam nets the two a ten thousand dollar check, they spend the night at Jimmy’s apartment and we get the perfect frame of how they’re both feeling. Kim tells Jimmy that she’s unsure of what she should do next while Jimmy thinks that it’s a no brainer she should leave. The two part ways for work, Kim still indecisive and Jimmy finally reaching his point of no return as he breaks the far too small cup holder and storms off. If Jimmy goes back to trying to fit in at Davis and Main, I would be extremely surprised.

While career decisions take the center stage for Kim and Jimmy, Mike finds himself in deep and murky waters where his life and his family’s life hang in the balance. Mike heads home to find a Salamanca crew member awaiting his response to Hector’s offer from last episode. Mike says no even after an ominous are you sure question from Hector’s goon. Hector then ups the ante by sending some goons over to scare him inside his house but they stand little chance against Mike and he kicks them out saying next time they should try harder. Hector accepts Mike’s challenge and sends the cousins from Breaking Bad to threaten Kaylee’s life and they do so eerily from a rooftop near where Mike’s family is staying. Family is where Mike draws the line so he sets up a meeting with Hector to settle things. Mike agrees to take the gun charge but ups the price to fifty grand after Hector initially said all money is off the table for waiting until this point. Got to love that Mike basically got Hector to pay fifty grand for a hit (albeit a failed one) his own nephew. With the deal though, Tuco will be out of jail a lot sooner than Mike expected and we see Mike’s code of honor. Knowing he didn’t hold up his own end of the deal, he gives Nacho half of the money. I can’t imagine this is the end of the Salamanca’s on the show so who knows what will happen next here.

Other Thoughts

My car is actually the same make and model of Jimmy’s company car and I can attest to the fact that those cup holders are in fact, much too small.

It doesn’t get said enough but the cinematography on this show is excellent. The tracking shot showing Howard and Kim’s walk to the conference room was very well done.

Nice contrast between HHM and Schweikart where you wouldn’t expect it. Rich takes Kim out to a nice lunch when she’s not even an employee while Howard demands that Kim work through her lunch hour and he doesn’t even tell her this himself.

Commercials! Good to see some old school ones in the Chia pet commercial and a Billy Mays infomercial. And on a less cool note, Davis and Main did their own commercial for Sandpiper residents, the same format and design as the mesothelioma one and it aired at like two in the morning. Say what you want, Jimmy’s way of doing the commercial probably got more clients.

Clarity is hard to come by and it doesn’t help that big decisions are looming for all of Better Call Saul’s big players.

Grade B+

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