REVIEW: Better Call Saul – “Expenses”

The following is a recap of the seventh episode of the third season of Better Call Saul, available on AMC in the U. S. and on Netflix internationally. Expect story spoilers. 

In the seventh episode of the third season — Expenses — Jimmy (played by Bob Odenkirk) does community service, and Mike (played by Jonathan Banks) makes a decision about who he wants to work with. Expenses was written and directed by Thomas Schnauz.

In the episode-opening teaser, we start to see what else Jimmy has to do following the hearing. He didn’t just get a suspension, he also has to do community service. What this episode hammers home is that neither Chuck nor Jimmy got anything good out of the hearing.

Jimmy isn’t in a good position during his suspension and he is unable to do his job during his community service. His latest problem, as revealed in this episode teaser, is his malpractice insurance, which he, obviously, doesn’t need now. Nothing goes according to plan anymore, he’s not even able to sell his commercial spots, and it turns out that Jimmy may have hit rock bottom.

Kim isn’t doing too well either, even though she is trying her hardest to balance the heavy workload. But the fact of the matter is that she isn’t getting enough sleep. Before a meeting, she tries to catch five minutes of rest, but it doesn’t help her much. She is over-exhausted and it is making her short-tempered in crucial meetings with trusted clients. Any sense of doubt and she snaps because she doesn’t feel good about what she and Jimmy did to Chuck — they tore down a sick man, as she puts it. Slipping with Jimmy has broken her and now she is overworked too.

Our two main characters are falling apart, and a complete slip, so to speak, back to his old ways seems like the only solution for the down-on-his-luck Jimmy. Jimmy feels like Chuck has ruined his livelihood, so when the mental insurance company refuses to give Jimmy a refund, Jimmy essentially decides to make life more difficult for his brother by mentioning Chuck’s mental illness. It is an ugly move by Jimmy, who has become vengeful, bitter, and cold.

Meanwhile, Nacho is trying to get ahold of the pill capsules that hold the medication that Hector Salamanca is taking, so he reaches out to Daniel Wormald (played by Mark Proksch), who he offers $20,000 in return for empty capsules. That’s a tough deal to decline for Daniel. But he probably needs some support from his former bodyguard, Mike Ehrmantraut (played by Jonathan Banks). Mike initially refuses to help Daniel, but the influence of a new acquaintance changes his mind.

Mike has figured out Nacho’s plan — he wants to switch out Hector’s pills with fake pills so that Hector doesn’t get the medication he needs — but he isn’t sure why he would want to do it. The answer is quite simple, Nacho has to protect his family, which Mike, who makes a few suggestions for Nacho’s master plan, can empathize with.

This is a solid episode that, on the one hand, still deals with the aftermath of the hearing without coming to any conclusions. For the Jimmy-related storylines, we are still in a transitional phase here. The Mike and Nacho storyline has begun now, though, and that is where I find the most pleasure and interest from this episode. But the truth is that this is probably my least favorite episode of the season.

B+

This episode originally aired May 22nd, 2017, and it is being reviewed now to be ready for the season four premiere.

– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.