Better Call Saul S1E4: “Hero”
Money plays a pivotal role in this episode of Better Call Saul. Jimmy starts by making money in what can only be Saul style, he then receives some money and goes on a spending splurge. And lastly, Jimmy is in line to make even some more money after some hard work the only way he knows how to do it. Let’s take it step by step.
“Hero” starts us off like most Better Call Saul episodes up to this point, with a flashback. The scene, Jimmy’s hometown of Cicero Illinois. An honest night out to the bar with a friend with an undisclosed name turns into a vintage Slippin’ Jimmy scene. Jimmy and his buddy who plays a very inebriated man in an alley who can’t even get up, pull a clever scheme. Drop your wallet a little ways away from the scene for the undisclosed friend to grab, Play helpless drunk, Jimmy notices a fancy Rolex on the drunk’s wrist. The undisclosed friend offers all of his own money for the Rolex and bolts. The watch is a fake and Jimmy and his partner in crime come out a few hundred in the clear. We don’t get a timestamp on this but I would have to imagine this is before last episodes flashback with Jimmy in jail. If he made a living pulling these kind of shenanigans you can see why Chuck might be a little fed up with his younger brother. There’s still a couple fake watches so might we be returning to this?
In the present, we kick things off immediately where we left it off last episode. The money the Kettleman’s stole is right there on the ground. No longer can the Kettleman’s deny that their hands are dirty in this. Jimmy notes to them, like a good lawyer would that this money is a big bargaining chip. If they cooperate and hand over the money when prompted to do so, they will have a better chance of getting off as lightly as the law allows. Still this stubborn couple does not budge. Jimmy then asks the question one more time, if they continue to insist that they are not guilty, they should hire him as he already knows about the money. The Kettleman’s then retort that Jimmy is “the kind of lawyer that guilty people hire” and offer him a bribe to keep quiet. Never mind the fact that these idiots are in fact guilty, this hits home for Jimmy. Trying to play lawyer by the rules and doing it the right way hasn’t quite worked out for him so far, and it’s not from a lack of trying. He’s best as a rebel, doing things the Saul Goodman way. He takes the bribe and has a little fun with it, Saul style.
After making the money look legit, Jimmy decides to get some revenge on Howard over at HHM for suggesting he shouldn’t use his name and he goes all out. We’re talking all out copycat. A big fancy billboard on the interstate, featuring Jimmy in Howard’s suit, tie, even hair style and the HHM logo swapped out with JHM but with the same font, color and everything. And to top it all off, the billboard is right off Howard’s exit for work. Kim gives fair warning that Howard will bring this to court for copyright infringement but Jimmy is playing with house money and says bring it on. Much like many other things so far, it doesn’t go Jimmy’s way and he has to take the billboard down.
Now Jimmy doesn’t stand for this. After trying his luck at the presses, selling his story as a classic David vs Goliath story, he strikes out everywhere. He looks towards the amateur market and hires some students at the University of New Mexico to film him making a plea to keep the billboard, or so we think. Jimmy sets up an accident where a worker removing the billboard falls off and is hanging on only by his security harness. Step by step, Jimmy climbs the ladder and gets all the way to the top, stretches his arm out and rescues the worker, and it’s all on film. Jimmy is a hero! He’s all over the news and the talk of the town. His sad voicemail in its previous appearances combined for zero messages. This scam got him seven. Just Jimmy doing what he does best.
There is one person that would definitely not approve of Jimmy’s new found success if he could see through how it was staged, and it’s none other than his brother Chuck. Jimmy’s first post billboard visit to his brother is one big sidestep. Jimmy knows Chuck would see right through him and not approve so he selectively removes newspapers talking about his “heroic feat”. Chuck is a stubborn fella though. When Jimmy leaves, Chuck musters all his strength, puts on his space blanket and takes a copy of the Albuquerque Journal from his neighbor and sees the news and shows a face that can only be shame as he wraps himself up in his space blanket even when back inside. His anger at Jimmy seems to affect him more than even his little excursion outside in front of all those electromagnetic waves. The next meeting of the brothers should be an interesting one.
Great camera and music work on Chucks run to get his neighbor’s newspaper. From Chuck’s perspective it looks and sounds straight out of a horror movie. From his neighbor’s perspective, Chuck looks freaking crazy stealing a newspaper in a space blanket and the removal of sound really gets that point across.
Chuck is no thief. He walks over, money in hand and leaves it on the ground in exchange for the newspaper. The bill even flies away and he goes and chases it to make sure it’s on his neighbor’s driveway before he scampers home. Quite the contrast from Jimmy just stealing Chuck’s copy a mere few minutes earlier.
While getting suited up to look like Howard, Jimmy takes a look at a bright orange shirt that we all know is more Saul’s style. How long until he’s wearing one of those?
Quote of the day: In response to Jimmy suggesting local kids stole Chuck’s newspaper. “Because if there’s one thing kids love, its local print journalism.” Gotta love the dry humor from Chuck there.
Jimmy embraces his Saul side and manages to turn what should be a big loss, into a big win