Better Call Saul S2E8 “Fifi”
In my previous review of “Inflatable” I noted at the end that Chuck had been reduced to riding the bench for a bit and I was dubious as to whether there would be enough time with three episodes remaining in the season to give him a larger role. Those concerns however, flew out the window in “Fifi”. Jimmy accepts Kim’s offer to work in the same building but as two separate practices and then does something shocking, Kim formally resigns from HHM and eyes Mesa Verde as her first client, Chuck shows how far spite can motivate someone, and Mike sits in his car some more. Let’s take a closer look.
After an awesome cold open that we’ll get into later, Jimmy and Kim find themselves celebrating their new future together (kind of) as Jimmy has accepted Kim’s pitch. Now all she has to do is resign from HHM. Jimmy in Jimmy fashion suggests that he leave a resignation note for Howard ahead of time so by the time he gets it, Kim will have been able to secure Mesa Verde without Howard beating her to it. Season two has developed Kim’s character so much and done it so well so we all know that Kim isn’t going to do that before she tells Jimmy that very same thing. She’s going to do it her way. The next day Kim heads over to HHM and shares a humanizing scene with Howard. He was anticipating that she would leave but assumed it was for some other firm. When she tells him that she’s venturing out on her own, Howard is a bit surprised and looks a little envious. He admits that right out of law school, he wanted to do the same but his father pressured him into coming into the family business and law firm so he did it. He wishes her all the best and like a machine, as soon as Kim leaves, he gets Mesa Verde on the line to retain them with Kim now gone. Kim rushes to do the same and through a pitch focusing on the fact that her complete undivided attention will be on Mesa Verde, she is able to convince them to go with her. Kim has been beaten down a lot in her career this season so this is a genuine win that seems to be with no strings attached, good for her.
Unfortunately for Kim, the stars had written another script. Howard goes over to deliver the news to Chuck that they lost Mesa Verde and while he initially seems disappointed, he doesn’t seem obsessed over it. Things change however, when Howard mentions that Mesa Verde is going with Kim, who has started her own firm and will be working in close conditions with Jimmy. At that point we really see just how spiteful Chuck can be. As soon as he hears that piece of information he is willing to put his health in danger just so Jimmy can’t spectate success through Kim. Chuck tells Howard that they are going to schedule a last effort pitch to Mesa Verde at HHM, and Chuck will be there with all the lights and phones on and even no space blanket.
We already know that Chuck is a great lawyer but he turns on his salesman mode as he masterfully uses underselling and backhanded methods to re-secure Mesa Verde as a client of HHM. Howard can’t even get through complimenting Chuck on how impressive the sales pitch was before Chuck collapses from the electromagnetic waves that surround him. Not wanting anyone even associated with Jimmy having a client motivated Chuck to go through all of this and as soon as he knows he won, he was able to collapse with all his energy spent, mission accomplished. If Chuck had one more minute in him, I’m sure he would say he was proud of himself.
I don’t blame anyone for thinking that Chuck is a real bad guy after this and I don’t want to sympathize with him but I can understand his train of thought. I’ve said numerous times that he loves his brother and if Jimmy wasn’t a lawyer I think the whole dynamic of their relationship changes. The law is the one thing Chuck holds more sacred than family so when Chuck tells Jimmy that it’s nothing personal and that he would care for Jimmy if their roles were reversed, I wholeheartedly believe him.
The thing is, for Jimmy, after Kim becomes a casualty of Chuck’s spite for him, he can’t help but makes things personal. As bad as Chuck’s actions were in this episode, Jimmy ups the ante in retaliation. As Chuck rests and recovers from the draining meeting with Mesa Verde, Jimmy sets out to ruin Chuck’s professional reputation and maybe get Mesa Verde back for Kim while he’s at it. Jimmy secures the Mesa Verde files and heads on over to an all-night copy store and goes about committing big time crimes, in particular, changing the address for Mesa Verde’s expansion request form and putting the doctored file back in the box replacing the original. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to see Jimmy do this but what I can’t understand is the backhandedness of it. Jimmy has always been family first and the fact that he did this all under the pretense of watching his ill brother overnight, maybe this signifies a huge change in the relationship. The one tie they had was that they were still family. This might be the thing that finally pushes this relationship beyond saving. Get ready, because this is going to be an explosive finish to the season for the McGill brothers.
Not enough happened in Mike world to delve too deeply into it during the review. Mike continues to scout the Salamanca’s but we do finally get to see what he’s got planned. He’s building a spike strip and is even getting some help from his granddaughter on the pretense that it’s a sprinkler hose for the rhododendrons. Isn’t this grandfather granddaughter bonding time just adorable?
Jimmy is in fact making a commercial. The crew, along with a client that owes Jimmy a favor head over to a military plant and Jimmy cons his way into using a World War II plane (it’s called Fifi) as a backdrop for the commercial. The brave military men think they’re taking a picture with a World War II veteran when they’re really taking a picture of a guy who got caught masturbating in public. Hilarious.
How about that cold open? Must have been five or six minutes there and it was simply a gorgeous tracking shot to show us how the Salamanca cover business, Regalo Helado makes its trips smuggling drugs or money across the border. And he makes this trip often. You think Mike’s entry point may involve these trucks?
Quote of the day: Jimmy’s old client and fake WWII veteran. “Public masturbation. Total bullshit!”
Bold actions are taken by the McGill brothers that may make this relationship unfixable once and for all, Mike prepares for his own bold action after episodes worth of intense preparation.