I'd had something of a change of heart with Better Call Saul season 3 and was finally starting to get that magnetic pull toward the show, but this week's episode, coming off the back of a two-week hiatus, felt like a rest note.
Episode 8's title, 'Slip', could have referred to anyone really as Jimmy slipped further into Saul, Chuck lost grip on reality and Nacho quite literally made a slip (and a very important one.) The story was divided four ways:
We found our largely mute fixer metal detecting in the desert, but it wasn't treasure he was looking for but a dead body. Unusually for a slow burn Mike sub-plot, it all didn't fall into place by the end of the episode and instead Mike was put to one side after anonymously calling in the body to police. Did he have a guilty conscience over the death of an innocent, or is he causing trouble for others by uncovering their crimes?
At the end of the episode, Ehrmantraut popped up again to forge an alliance with Gus. Mike wants $200,000 laundered it seems, offering Gus an enormous 20% of the money. Occasionally showing a shred of humanity, Fring said he would not take money from his "family" (perhaps creepy he brought his family up/knows about them) but accepted Mike's investment via a method he warned will be "difficult". It was an almost jarringly short scene, but I am at least excited to find out what that method turns out to be. More Gus please. Always more Gus.
The elder McGill started to accept his "illness" may not be real, but continued to feel its effects nevertheless during a shopping trip. With the sibling rivalry done and dusted for the moment, I can't say I particularly care what Chuck is up to/how he's coping.
We found Nacho grinding up Ibuprofen and funnelling in poison this week in preparation for murdering Hector. Though it relied on menace built up during Breaking Bad, the scene where he subsequently made the switch with Salamanca's pills was, in fairness, incredibly tense, hold-your-breath-until-you-turn-purple stuff.
Nacho appears to have been successful in planting the poison undetected, but I'm still not convinced he's long of this world, showing too much heart for the drug cartel game. I suspect the pills will put Hector in a wheelchair, and lead to Nacho being exposed. It may be Tuco who exacts revenge on him, the poor bastard.
Jimmy and Kim
Last and arguably least comes Kim and protagonist Jimmy.
With TV ads not working out for Jimmy he cut a deal with another guy on community service to get him out of his duties for the day for $700.
Even though we saw Saul Goodman in name for the first time with the commercials in a previous episode, you could argue this is the first time we saw him in person, as Jimmy realised he can exploit his knowledge of the law to help drug dealers and other miscreants. The chronic lying has begun, and Kim could sense it, even though she didn't know bad the deeds are it is covering, taking up more work to try and stop Jimmy acting desperate for money.
Again, it was the Breaking Bad-esque caper moments that transfixed this week - though they were given to Nacho rather than Mike - while the character stuff with Jimmy felt like going through the motions. And that's a problem that persists with a prequel like this - however skilfully the twists and turns are negotiated, you ultimately know the road: Jimmy tries to be good and has only misery to show, so gives it up and breaks bad.
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