“You assume criminals are gonna be smarter than they are. Kinda breaks my heart a little.”
Jimmy McGill’s evolution to Saul Goodman continues to be nearly as transfixing as Walter White’s transformation into Heisenberg. While it might not be fair to compare the two men’s backstories, I can’t help but be impressed that Vince Gilligan and co have so much to say about a cheesy TV lawyer.
Through the first four episodes of the series the writers have created a fascinating look into a character that many people (including myself) believed to be one-dimensional. They are laying the groundwork to show us how Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman and at the same time are creating a compelling world of crime and adventure that will be sure to entertain for quite a few seasons.
Enough about the series overall, let’s jump into episode four. We find our hero for the anti-heroes in a different timeline. It seems to be a past event but Jimmy does call himself Saul. Perhaps he has always had the idea of Saul Goodman floating around in his head. Anyway, he is howling at the moon with a new friend before they stumble into a sticky situation. A big man is lying on the ground seemingly dead. Saul pokes him and awakens the angry giant who hilariously mumbles his way into getting robbed by Saul and his pal.
Saul and the friend can’t agree who gets to have the valuable watch. So the friend pays Saul a cool $500 of his own money and then runs off excited because he believes he won the deal. Once out of sight the giant man stands up and congratulations Saul on the money earned. Slipping Jimmy does it again.
Back in the present day we see Jimmy confronting the Kettlemans about their pseudo-camping trip. Jimmy tells them to give up and go home but the Kettlemans are begging for Jimmy to forget the whole thing happened. They even attempt to bribe Jimmy who in turn tries to make the bribe into a job offer. He tells them he will take their money if he can be their lawyer. Betsy refuses and coldly states, “You’re the kind of lawyer guilty people hire”. This, we know, will soon become Saul’s foundation of his career.
Despite his attempt to turn down the bribe, Jimmy eventually caves and takes the cash. He does some accounting that isn’t up to GAAP standards and declares that this is what he will build his church on. We see Jimmy buy a specifically tailored suit, get his hair did and eventually puts up a billboard with the same font, colors, logo and look as his brother’s old law firm HHM.
This displeases the firm a great deal and through some quick litigation they beat Jimmy and get the billboard taken down. But not before Slipping Jimmy hatches another scheme.
Jimmy gets a local college kid to film a plea from Jimmy begging for people’s pity and attention regarding his billboard “unjustly” getting taken down. As Jimmy nervously pleads his case, a man falls from the billboard and is barely hanging on. That is when Slipping Jimmy comes in and plays hero. He ascends a 65’ ladder and saves the man’s life. He then gives the man a quick fist bump acknowledging the fix he created.
Of course the news is all over the story. And now Jimmy finally has business coming his way.
So far we have seen what Jimmy is capable of. He is a talented schemer and he is learning that he gets rewarded for his schemes. We still have a few questions about how he becomes Saul. It seems like he is successfully building up his name as Jimmy McGill. So what happens that forces him to abandon his name? What is the event that occurs that he finally shifts his focus to criminals, cheesy commercials and orange shirts? The groundwork is being laid it’s just a matter of time before we get the big moment. Until then, it’s all good man.