Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for season 3 episode 7 of Better Call Saul.
If there’s one person who deserves all the credit for this show besides Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, it would be Bob Odenkirk. He has constantly delivered a multi-dimensional performance that sits right up there with the often Shakespearean performances that Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul gave in Breaking Bad. The episode showcased Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) in ways we’ve never seen him before. We even see some shades of the Saul Goodman that we knew from Breaking Bad towards the end of the episode.
The episode begins with Jimmy picking up trash under a highway as part of his community service. While he’s there, he uses his cellphone to conduct business for his Saul Goodman production company. Unfortunately, his supervisor only gives him credit for thirty minutes out of his 4 hour shift for violating the rule. Jimmy tries to argue with him, but is threatened with receiving 0 minutes for his shift, so he just silently gets into the van. After getting back from his service, Jimmy rushes to his car and changes in the parking lot. He starts up his busted car and barely makes it in time to catch the bus with his film crew to shoot a commercial for a recliner store. Things continue to get worse as the owner declines to shoot any commercials for Jimmy even after Jimmy tries to convince them to change their minds. Defeated, Jimmy heads back to Kim’s apartment where he lies to her about the commercials. Kim (Rhea Seehorn) is concerned that Jimmy may soon run out of his savings but Jimmy dismisses her fears.
Meanwhile, Nacho (Michael Mando) is on the hunt for fake pills to give to Hector. He visits Pryce (remember when he hired Mike to be his bodyguard in season one?) and proposes a deal: $20,000 in exchange for empty capsules similar to Hector’s, to which Pryce reluctantly agrees. Pryce reaches out to Mike (Jonathan Banks) and asks for him to spy on Nacho but Mike refuses to be involved in any more illegal drug activity. He later changes his mind and agrees to once again be Pryce’s bodyguard. They meet Nacho who tell them his whole story of why he wants Hector dead. Mike agrees not to interfere and advises Nacho to switch the pills back once Hector is dead so they can’t be traced back to him. He then requests one more thing but the scene cuts out (I guess we have to wait till next week to find out).
Jimmy and Kim are eating out and playing their grifting game that Jimmy came up with last season. Jimmy is noticeably exhausted and when Kim brings up “doing the right thing” Jimmy tells Kim that what happened to Chuck is his fault and that she should forget about him. The next morning Jimmy is meeting with an insurance agent to get a refund on his malpractice insurance policy. But more bad news hits Jimmy as the agent is unable to deliver a refund as the insurance has to be in place even when he is forbidden to practice law and also that the premium will rise by 150% after he resumes his law practice. Odenkirk gives an Emmy worthy performance in this scene (He’s excellent throughout the whole episode but he nails it in this scene). He breaks down but uses that as a way to manipulate the agent: he “accidentally” mentions Chuck’s meltdown in court and his mental illness to the agent who makes note of it. When he leaves the agent’s office he has a tight smirk on his face. After the rough patch that Jimmy had in the last few days he’s able to get his mojo back.
While this episode wasn’t up to the level of the previous three amazing episodes, it did move the plot into some new interesting directions while also giving Bob Odenkirk a slam dunk submission episode to submit for an Emmy nomination later this summer.
Episode Grade: B