Better Call Saul 1×05 ‘Alpine Shepherd Boy’: “I will be good.”

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Well believe it or not but we’ve made it to the halfway point of Better Call Saul. It seems shocking that we’re already halfway through, but that’s what happens when the seasons of a show aren’t 24 episodes long (I’m looking at you NCIS and Supernatural). While I’ll probably be complaining that the season doesn’t have more episodes by the time it ends, it’s nice to be at the midway point because that most certainly means that things are about to get way more intense. And with this week’s ending, I’m pretty darn sure that’s the case.

This week’s episode starts with Jimmy’s brother Chuck getting a visit from the police, which results in Chuck being taken to the hospital. His constant rejection of electricity in his home is finally explained (a bit, anyway) when Chuck tells the doctor that he is allergic to electricity. But it also becomes clear that Chuck’s “allergic” reaction to electricity is a mental issue, not a physical one. Apparently no specialists have been able to shed light on Chuck’s condition, which has made him convinced that he is in fact allergic to electricity.

While Chuck’s condition is one of the main elements of this episode, we do see Jimmy meeting with various prospective clients in the beginning of the episode before he finds out about Chuck; one who wants to secede from the United States, another who has made a talking toilet (which is quite terrifying), and an elderly woman who needs help making her will (which is the ‘case’ he ends up taking on). It may be nothing entirely new (except that stupid haunting talking toilet) but it all leads up to Jimmy realizing his true potential in working in elder law (which basically means he’s helping old people with their wills). Again, the show so far has been extremely careful in plotting out Jimmy’s timeline, leaving room for specific character development since this whole elder law thing is his attempt at not being a crooked lawyer anymore.

AMC

AMC

Jimmy’s move to elder law is mainly due to his fear that his crooked ways are what is making Chuck sick. This shows how seminal their relationship is to the show, and it will undoubtedly play a part in whenever Jimmy becomes Saul Goodman. It’s easy to tell that whatever happens between Chuck and Jimmy later in the season will be the defining moment in Jimmy’s life, most likely the moment right before he rejects his name and becomes Saul Goodman.

A subplot I’ve been a bit neglectful on is the relationship between Jimmy and Kim Wexler (Howard Hamlin’s assistant). It’s relatively clear that she and Jimmy had a romantic relationship going on at some point, which seems to be over and done now. I’m only mentioning it now because I’m sure it will be of significance later in the season, especially since she keeps appearing in episodes on a regular basis. Plus more of their relationship might be revealed at some point. I like that their relationship (as much as we’ve seen) is primarily a friendship (despite hints of a past romantic relationship). While right now Kim is really only a plot device (she’s mainly there to help reveal more of Jimmy’s character), I’m hoping that we’ll get to know her more since she’s pretty much the only main woman in the show so far.

Back to the Chuck/Jimmy plot line, Jimmy manages to bring Chuck home from the hospital and promises Chuck that he will do a clean business from now on (which leads him to say “I will be good”). This leads into the very well done and entertaining scene with Jimmy in the nursing home dressed in a cream suit and mingling with the elderly. While we obviously know that Jimmy will eventually move out of this phase, it’s a good place to transition to another character (which the show does expertly).

AMC

AMC

Mike makes a much wanted appearance at the end of the episode when Jimmy finally has the correct number of stamps so he can leave the parking lot of the local court, but not before Jimmy gives him his card. After that moment, the rest of the episode is all about Mike. It may only be about eight minutes, but it’s a brilliant eight minutes where we see what Mike does when he’s not working in the parking booth. He lives a rather simple life. He visits a woman’s house (I’m going to guess that it’s his daughter), they see each other but don’t actually exchange words, hinting that there is some tension there. His seemingly simple life changes when at the end of the episode he is greeted at his front door by several cops and a senior looking officer. Not much information is given, but one can assume that the guy he exchanges brief words with is someone he knew when he was a cop back in Philly (that’s all of the information we’ve been given about Mike so far so I think it’s a fair assumption).

The writers know how to end an episode and have shown their expertise with this week’s ending. It’s the perfect point of the season to delve deeper into the beginning of Jimmy and Mike’s partnership. And it is nice for a change to leave Jimmy for a bit and focus on another character. Again, it’s clear that the writers know what they’re doing and I am quite anxious to see what happens with Mike and what Jimmy’s involvement will be. We’ve only got a week until we find out more so it’s time to start speculating.

Sarah Lord

is a college student in New York City. Her extreme knowledge of British comedians and TV shows almost surpasses her general love for film. When she’s not sitting in her apartment/nerd cave reviewing movies and TV shows, she sometimes makes time for long walks in the moonlight. Check her out on YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr as TheSplord.

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