Better Call Saul “Bingo”

Better Call Saul S1E7: Bingo

A scene that resonated with me in this seventh episode of the first season of Better Call Saul finds Jimmy and Mike on top of the Kettleman money, all 1.6 million dollars of it. Mike asks Jimmy what it is that he’s doing. Jimmy says he’s doing the right thing, in a slow disgruntled manner accompanied by air quotes. This whole “doing the right thing” thing proves to be a recurring theme for the episode. Let’s roll around and see why.

The Kettleman’s make their return after the detestable couple took a seat on the bench in last episode, “Five O”. They find themselves at HHM, Kim has scraped tooth and nail, working relentlessly and it has become apparent that there is simply no way that the Kettleman’s can be proven innocent, anyone with eyes can see it. With that piece of knowledge in mind, she comes up with the best possible deal, one that almost anyone would be happy to have. A maximum sentence of 30 years is what awaits Craig if they take their ill-fated case to trial. Luckily, Kim has got a deal that can get him down to sixteen months. For Kim, it’s obvious that this is the best course of action, this is what’s right and yet…

Everyone’s entitled to an opinion, no matter how stupid it may seem to appear from anyone else’s perspective. This is where we find the Kettleman’s. While no wants is blushing at the idea of having to spend sixteen months in prison, it seems like a pretty sweet deal when we were talking three decades in the slammer. The problem is, that’s still not what’s right for the Kettleman’s. They deny and deny and deny, whether they have made themselves delirious to the point where they believe what they’re saying or they expect people to believe them if they just keep repeating it is irrelevant. They insist that they did not steal the money and it would be wrong to take the deal. Taking the deal involves taking a lesser jail sentence yes, but it still requires that you plead guilty. Pleading guilty if you insist time and time again that you are in fact not guilty, is not right in their eyes. Frustrating to watch yes but they aren’t doing anything out of character. So when Kim says that the deal is their best, and only option, they don’t listen, instead they head back down a familiar road and call up Jimmy.

Jimmy is surprised to find the Kettleman’s back at his doorstep. Wondering why they’re back they tell him that HHM treated them like they were guilty (I wonder why). They insist that that he be their lawyer and they insist that he has to exonerate Craig, no plea deals whatsoever. Jimmy has no desire to do this and he cares for Kim greatly. After finding out she got a big time demotion for losing a case from people who cannot be convinced to take what was a wonderful deal, he has to do what’s right and what’s right is to get the Kettleman’s to go back to HHM. The catch being that the plea deal involves handing back all of the money, even the bribe money. Jimmy has to give up a very large sum of money and hand a case over to the firm he hates because that firm just so happens to have a person he cares greatly about, and for Jimmy that’s what’s right.

Being right doesn’t always feel good though. After an elaborate heist to get the Kettleman’s money away from their home and into the district attorney’s hand, Jimmy should feel better. He did right by Kim, who he cares a great deal for. But for Jimmy in this case, being right means giving up some on your end. That bribe money was going towards a luxurious office in a fancy building. Jimmy was getting ready to invest in himself. Jimmy has always tried his best to do what was right, supporting his brother through his condition is a tremendous burden and with everything else going on in his life, doing what was right this time was the straw that broke the camel’s back as he breaks down and takes his anger out on what should have been his new office door.

Other Thoughts

Chuck took some big strides in this episode as he is getting used to electromagnetic waves by standing outside! I would love to see Chuck back in the real world, to see him in his setting as a lawyer. We are told he’s a good lawyer and plays it by the books but it would be nice to see it in action.

Mike seems to be clear of the Philly double murder thing for now. He left it in the hands of Stacey to decide if she wants to tell the cops anything, I find it very unlikely she will do so.

Jimmy’s plan to get the Kettleman money back employs Mike as he owed Jimmy one after the coffee incident. Great montage here as Mike bides his time waiting for the Kettleman’s to go to sleep, eating apple by apple leaving cores on the wall, great music choice too.

Word of the Day, Cocobolo: A tropical American tree with hard, reddish timber that is used chiefly to make cutlery handles. Jimmy wants a cocobolo desk, mostly because the name is fun to say.

Doing what’s right is what everyone is trying to do in “Bingo” but doing right is different for everyone and it greatly effects the dynamics of the show.

Grade A-

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