I'm softening to Better Call Saul as the third season progresses and starting to look forward to each new episode more. It's pleasing how slowly, carefully and meticulously the story unfolds, and while this does continue to verge on snail-paced or frustrating on occasion, for the most part, it's very enjoyable being sucked into its world every week.
*Episode 3 spoilers ahead, watch it on Netflix here*
The show's two central stories have now taken completely separate paths (that I'm sure will intersect toward the end of the season), with Mike deep into brooding, dusty, lo-fi MacGyver territory while Jimmy provides the show's emotion, so tragicomic is his situation.
Chuck follows through on his promise to have the book thrown at Jimmy with great velocity in 'Sunk Costs', as the police arrive to arrest Jimmy for a list of charges (and did you notice the handcuff detail on his shoes? Classic Vince Gilligan/Peter Gould stuff). Adding insult to injury, Chuck - always convinced of his moral high ground and in denial of the truth: he's an asshole - tells Jimmy he is having his brother busted for his own good, leading Jimmy to, in no uncertain terms, sever ties with Chuck, telling him very blankly that he will die alone.
We then see Jimmy go through the court process from the different side of the bench than usual, helped a little by a hapless small court lawyer friend who is the kind of guy whose lunch consists of two packets of crisps and a lukewarm cup of instant coffee. Jimmy insists on extricating himself from the mess he's made but eventually accepts the help of Kim, who, however reluctantly, is pretty invested in him by this point; "the fallacy of sunk costs", as she puts it. The pair take advantage of Chuck's deal offer and plot a litigious counterstrike, which I look forward to seeing play out in court soon.
Mike meanwhile, is on a very Mike mission. He meets Gus Fring for the first time, and though Fring establishes his dominance, commanding Mike not to harm Salamanca, the pair show a mutual appreciation of each other's methodical approach that will later lead them to work together in Breaking Bad.
A mutually beneficial compromise is struck whereby Mike again hurts Salamanca's drug operation, and how he does it is parcelled out in expert fashion. Mike's plan could ultimately be summed up in a sentence, but the way it is told - at times in reverse - keeps you guessing right up to the end. Better Call Saul is peerless in doing this, appearing to very slowly and clearly present you with all the information you need to work out what's going on, and yet holding back just enough to keep the tension and intrigue up and the reveal out of view.
Mike succeeds in dusting one of Hector's vans with meth via a strategically placed pair of sneakers (a convoluted method, but I can forgive it for the purposes of drama), leading to its drivers being arrested. Clearly we're going to see how Salamanca ended up in a wheelchair here, and you get the sense that Jimmy getting mixed up in this highly felonious but highly lucrative business is how we'll see Saul Goodman born before the season's out.
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