The following is a review of the fifth episode of the second season of Better Call Saul, available on AMC in the U.S. and on Netflix in Europe. Expect story spoilers.
In the fifteenth episode of Better Call Saul (“Rebecca”), Erin is babysitting Jimmy, a familiar face meets up with Mike, and Kim tries to save her job at HHM. Rebecca is another solid Better Call Saul-episode, but I didn’t love it as much as I would’ve liked to.
I must admit that I was really shocked to see that for the second episode in a row, Jimmy (played by Bob Odenkirk) was taking a back seat, so to speak. Last week’s episode focused primarily on Mike Ehrmantraut (played by Jonathan Banks), and here in Rebecca it was all about Kim Wexler (played by Rhea Seehorn).
Rhea Seehorn is one of the most underappreciated actresses on television right now – she does such an excellent job in Better Call Saul each and every week. And here, as Kim, she was trying to save her job the right way, not by doing what Jimmy wanted to do, or would’ve done if he were her.
Kim always knew what Jimmy was like, but now she faced the consequences for something he had done. And Jimmy was wrong. This wasn’t Chuck (played by Michael McKean) holding her down, it was Howard Hamlin (played by Patrick Fabian) feeling used by Jimmy, and indirectly Kim.
My favorite Jimmy-scene in Rebecca wasn’t actually him joking about law in the flashback, though that was a really nice episode opener/teaser. Oh and Jimmy ‘singing’ the Rocky-theme as he and Erin drove away from Mike was great too, but that isn’t it either. Remember when Jimmy goes into the bathroom and meets the lawyer that he always talked to in the bathroom? Well, now this guy is actually so excited to talk to Jimmy. Hell, this guy is flat-out jealous of Jimmy.
It really highlights the fact that Jimmy doesn’t appreciate where he is at in life. He doesn’t realize how much Hamlin and Kim have done for him by getting him into Davis & Main. I thought it was a very important scene, in an episode that really didn’t highlight our main character too much.
“My brother is not a bad person. He has a good heart. It’s just. He can’t help himself. And everyone’s left picking up the pieces.”
The meeting between Kim and Chuck was excellent, and should have, in my opinion, been the very end of the episode. I love what the writers of Better Call Saul are doing with Chuck McGill. At the end of the first season, every viewer was foaming at the mouth with rage. People hated Chuck. Slowly, but surely, they’ve been picking up the pieces thrown to the floor at the end of season one, and now you have to see where Chuck is coming from.
This was really an episode that focused on Kim, but I have to say that Michael McKean was excellent in this episode. He was really good in the flashback-scene, but I thought he really hit all the right notes with his monologue about their father in the meeting with Kim. It was a heartbreaking monologue, and a great moment for the show.
All in all, I really liked this episode, but there was just something really uneven about it. You had the excellent flashback, which didn’t serve a real purpose in the episode itself, only to really name it and give us more reason to side with Chuck this season. Jimmy’s story didn’t really go anywhere, and I don’t think Mike’s scenes were placed right. Mike’s conversation with Stacey (played by Kerry Condon) didn’t mean much, and was only there to tell you that he’s helping them even more now, and to bring the conversation to his face.
The very end of the episode didn’t really sit well with me either, as Mike had been pretty unimportant throughout the episode. Sure, meeting Hector ‘Tio’ Salamanca was a great moment for fans of Breaking Bad, and is sure to advance the story somewhat, but it felt more like an episode opener/teaser than an ending to a Kim-heavy episode. With that having been said, I really did like the episode, and I’m really enjoying how the writers are really trying to redeem Chuck – and it’s actually working really well.
– I’m Jeffrey Rex