Better Call Saul Review: Running Headlong into the Abyss

Better Call Saul, Season 3, Episode 9, “Fall”

Whether or not they know it, every character featured in this next to last episode of Better Call Saul‘s season is working an angle.

Kim is trying to impress a new client, Chuck is fighting for his professional life, Mike is cementing his deal with the devil that us Gus Firing, Nacho is staging his palace coup and Jimmy wants his money from the Sandpiper class action suit in the worst way.

HHM and by extension, Chuck, has been backed into a corner by the firm’s insurance company, which is threatening to raise the malpractice premiums of the entire firm. There are ways HHM can avoid this, but they are not appealing or cost effective.

Howard suggests that Chuck step away from practicing law and take an academic post. Given that Chuck’s entire recovery and general reason for being is wrapped up in being a litigator again, none of those options are appealing. So Chuck retreats to the self-righteousness that has served him so poorly, and decides to pretty much sue the world. He’s ready to take the insurance company to court over regulatory malfeasance, and prepared to sue HHM in order to preserve his place in the company, thereby alienating Howard, the last person on Earth who cares of Chuck lives or dies.

Mike finds himself in the sleek offices of a multi-national business, in the capable hands of Gus zealot, Lydia. He’s uneasy about legitimately going on the books of an actual business to launder his dirty money, but Lydia describes in great detail how little difference his money and presence inside the company will make. Lydia trusts Gus with her life, so Mike should too.

Jimmy’s efforts to get his Sandpiper cut take up the bulk of the episode. Jimmy working on the suit’s principal starts off light and breezy — just another one of Jimmy’s crazy schemes — but it quickly turns dark as in an effort to get them to settle, Jimmy will drive a wedge between friends over money. This move has no altruistic reasoning. He needs the money now, and is willing to rig bingo games and sacrifice the happiness of a pack of old ladies to get there.

The biggest impact comes from Kim, who is still grinding away attempting to do the work of ten lawyers. She pulls another all-nighter, prepping for a presentation to some mineral rights holders that should save her client a boatload in tax savings. She blows Jimmy off as he comes into celebrate his windfall. On the drive, even though she’s mentally prepping for the presentation, her mind settles long enough to shut down. A long blink turns into an airbag deployment, and cuts and bruises, as Kim misses a curve on the highway. Caught in the damage is her boxes of presentations, scattered on the wind.

We can only hope that this is the worst thing that will happen to Kim, but seeing as how this is the Breaking Bad universe, rock bottom is a long way off for her. My biggest fear that the show will make Kim turn to meth in order to keep the candles burning at both ends, and that is what ultimately breaks up Kim and Jimmy.

The season finale expects to be grim for everyone, but will be fascinating to watch.

Craig Wack

For a weekly discussion of comic book TV shows please join Craig Wack and Tatiana Torres for the Agents of GEEK podcast updated every Friday and now on iTunes

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