Better Call Saul S2E1: “Switch”
“So this is what a midlife crisis looks like?”
“Not midlife crisis, clarity. Midlife clarity.”
Like arguing the pronunciation of the word tomato right? Well it sure doesn’t seem that way as we start up the second season of Better Call Saul. Jimmy walks into his informal interview with Davis and Main at the court and we see there was in fact a sleight of hand in “Marco”, an unannounced time jump to throw us off a bit. Even though he went, he may as well have not gone as he quickly leaves. Other than the fact that he left the offer on the table, it was pretty obvious that at the moment he didn’t want the job, even asking Kim if their relationship is pending on this job offer. When she says that one thing has nothing to do with the offer, that’s all that Jimmy needs to hear. Kim is the only thing he has going in his life right now and knowing that their relationship won’t be damaged if he doesn’t take the job, he can do just that and starts what he calls his midlife clarity.
Not only does Jimmy not take the job, he decides to retire from the law entirely. We learn this information as Jimmy relaxes in a fancy hotel’s pool with an innovative snack and phone aquatic setup. As good as life can be when you’re just relaxing, Jimmy gets his dose of reality when Kim stops by and asks in a rather concerned tone why he decided to leave it all behind. Jimmy says he’s just going to take whatever opportunity comes his way, Kim’s got him though when she says Davis and Main was an opportunity, a rather good one at that. After some thought, Jimmy says that all the things he enjoys about being a lawyer aren’t exclusive to being a lawyer, he can get his fix in other ways.
He does just that pulling a scam on a rather abrasive wealth manager. Kim decides to play along and she makes more than an ample substitute for Marco. She even seems to enjoy it, more than doing her part and getting involved in making the target buy a whole bottle of ridiculously expensive bottle of tequila, fifty bucks a shot. It’s a joy to watch. For us Breaking Bad veterans, we know it’s fun when Jimmy goes into his schemes but what has surprised me in a positive way is how much fun it is to watch other people join him in his Slippin’ Jimmy ways. I figured Better Call Saul would be a story about how Jimmy brings down the people around him as he transforms into Saul but I have to say I do enjoy watching people join him. He may still break our hearts and those of the people around him, but until he does, I’m enjoying the ride.
The fun night culminates in what so far has easily been the biggest sign of affection in Jimmy and Kim’s relationship as they spend the night together at Jimmy’s hotel room. Kim has a fun and rebellious side to her and it attracts to Jimmy but unlike Jimmy at this point, she doesn’t let it affect her professional career. So when she goes back to the real world and work the next day and Jimmy just goes back to the pool he has his real moment of midlife clarity. He needs to go back to work, he calls Davis and Main and tells them he’s ready to get to work and they luckily take him back. It’s a major step up for Jimmy, big fancy law firm, company car, luxurious office space and the choice of anything he wants in an office, even that cocobolo desk he’s been wanting! At the end of the episode Jimmy rather ominously ignores a sign telling him to never turn a light switch on. He takes the sign off and flicks the switch. Nothing happens but it’s has to be symbolic. Jimmy’s got it made if he can just follow the rules here at Davis and Main, if it doesn’t work out you just know it’s because of his inner rebel.
Meanwhile on the Mike side of things, he gets ready, pimento cheese sandwich in hand for another day on the job of providing protection for Pryce. Pryce is not keeping humble and not keeping his newfound wealth on the down low as he buys a bright yellow Hummer with flames on the side. Mike’s face as he drives into sight is a joy to watch. He straight out tells Pryce that this is not the business to be showing off and Pryce is doing that with this monstrosity of a car. Pryce lets him go for not wanting to go in the Hummer and you aren’t surprised at all when he messes up flying solo at the drug trade. He insists Nacho gets in the car and Nacho spots the car insurance, gets the address and goes for a robbery later. Pryce can’t do anything right as he calls the cops after the messy robbery, suspiciously cleaning only around the sofa. The cops too find this peculiar and find a loose space at the bottom of the wall, which can only be home to his money or drugs. Pryce’s stupidity knows no bounds.
Our cold open for the season two premier, like season one, is a black and white Cinnabun adventure in Omaha. Jimmy gets locked in the dumpster room after hours. The only way out is the emergency exit with a sign that says the police will be notified. He can’t risk getting noticed so he doesn’t do it. He does however write “SG was here” while he waits for someone to open the door. In the present, Jimmy ignores signs, in the flash forward, he can’t even though he wants to.
Chuck was a no show in this episode and it has been a while as he had a rather quiet role in “Marco” as well. I wonder what season two has in store for him.
The pool Jimmy was in was a curvy one filled with twists and turns where we saw the entrance but never the opposite entrance. Like his story on the show so far, he’s been thrown for a loop with the road to the end being unknown.
The wealth manager is also a call back to Breaking Bad. His name is Ken and Walter kind of exploded his car back in the first season. Saying he’s got tough luck dealing with Breaking Bad characters would be quite the understatement.
Quote of the Day comes from Mike. “This business requires restraint. Mike looks at Pryce’s Hummer. “That is the opposite of restraint”. Jonathan Banks delivery of these lines are priceless.
Jimmy takes a break from reality and Kim joins him, somewhere along the way, she brings Jimmy back to Earth. Mike wisely cuts ties with Pryce just as Pryce starts burying his own grave.