Around the launch of Better Call Saul season 1, co-showrunner Peter Gould told me they were resisting turning it into a court of law intrigue show, which is entirely understandable for reasons of originality, albeit a bit of a shame to some extent as legal chicanery is always so damn enjoyable.
The latest episode of season 3, literally titled 'Chicanery', finally relented though, the entire thing centering around the case of James M. McGill vs. Charles McGill Jr. Better Call Saul has basically been Better Call Mike or Better Not Cross Gus Fring At All Costs in recent weeks, which is fine as the sub-plots have been more engrossing the main one, but this return of focus to the protagonist was welcome as Jimmy and Chuck going tête-à-tête in court is something we've been waiting to see for a while.
The trial opened as expected, seemingly open-and-shut in favour of the elder McGill, but Jimmy had, crucially, not one but two tricks up his sleeve. Inviting Chuck's ex Rebecca to the trial (it was presumably her phone number on the slip of paper stole from Chuck's house last episode), Jimmy exploited his brother's underestimation of him, Chuck assuming this act of provocation was all that Jimmy had planned. Smug about having avoided what he believed was Jimmy's bait, Chuck was an easier mark for one Huell Babineaux (Breaking Bad's own), who was a listed witness and planted a phone battery on Chuck's person, laying bare the falseness of his electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
When you think about it, this was particularly cruel of Jimmy, as he made it look to the judges as though Chuck invented his 'condition' as a means of entrapping Jimmy, when actually, from what we've seen, Chuck genuinely does think he has it and is paranoid and not completely mentally fit. I say cruel, but obviously I loved seeing Chuck finally get his comeuppance for being a nasty brother, and Jimmy will now presumably be reprimanded and disciplined for his actions but not disbarred.
He was careful not to make Kim an accomplice too, involving her in the legal deceit of Chuck but apparently keeping her in the dark about how he came by the photos Mike took.
Where Jimmy goes from here it will be interesting to see. Is this the end of the sibling rivalry, leaving Jimmy free to manipulate the law unchaperoned a la Saul Goodman? Or does Chuck still have fight left in him?
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