The case against Mesa Verde continues, but Kim (Rhea Seehorn) and Jimmy/Saul (Bob Odenkirk) continue to grow apart. Playing for the same team was easy, but with Kim’s job under fire, she cannot continue down this path. Meanwhile, the threat of Lalo makes everyone working for Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) nervous. Mike (Jonathan Banks) looks to eliminate Lalo (Tony Dalton) from the equation. Directed by Michael Morris and written by Thomas Schnauz, “Wexler V. Goodman” will be one of the most underrated episodes of television of the year. Both funny and precise in its writing, “Better Call Saul” hits another one out of the park.
A young girl waits outside her junior high school in the dark. She sits with a cello and loses faith with every car that passes. When her mother finally shows up, the young Kim Wexler smells alcohol. The two fight and Kim decides to walk home after all. Her mother screams “you never listen,” and drives away into the night.
Jimmy/Saul (Odenkirk) gameplans with his production team on a new ad based on an old Mesa Verde commercial. They set up a green screen in the nail salon and begin filming local extras while Jimmy directs. Kim (Seehorn) arrives and tells Jimmy she’ll call it off, even going out of pocket herself to make Acker whole. Jimmy agrees and heads inside to clean up the studio.
Mike (Banks), Gustavo (Esposito), and Nacho (Michael Mando) meet up. Nacho realizes the “Michael” that Lalo (Dalton) obsesses over is Mike and the three plan to take Lalo out. When Gus leaves, Nacho asks Mike how they can work for an evil man. Mike reminds Nacho that there were consequences for taking out the Salamancas, but they will deal with Gus after Lalo. Mike heads to a library where he convinces a murder witness to call the police with new evidence.
Jimmy leaves court with two young prostitutes who offer Jimmy a free session. He declines but asks for an hour of their time. The two women show up in a nice restaurant where Howard (Patrick Fabian) grabs lunch with Cliff (Ed Begley Jr.). The women tell Howard their pimp is upset, and a frustrated Howard tells Cliff he does not know them. As Jimmy watches from the car, he laughs and moves ahead with Kim’s original plan. Despite what Kim thinks, Jimmy did not call it off.
Mike shows up in the police station, posing as a member of the force. He convinces a young admin to drop off “missing paperwork” on a detective’s desk. The detective connects the dots on the paperwork to the murder via a Grey 1970 Monte Carlo. The department puts an APB out for the make and model of the vehicle. Mike uses a police radio to call in the Monte Carlo, which Lalo drives. When confronted by the police, Lalo surrenders.
Kim lets Kevin Wachtell (Rex Linn) and Rich (Dennis Boutsikaris) know there’s finally a settlement on the Acker case. The group awaits Jimmy’s arrival so they can settle the case. When Kim makes the offer, Jimmy side steps and asks for $4 million instead of the $75,000 they had agreed upon earlier. Kim gets very angry in front of the team and calls off the meeting, but Jimmy shows the series of commercials he filmed to fight Mesa Verde. He then reveals that the Mesa Verde logo was stolen IP from a photographer who was never compensated. He steps out of the office.
Kevin leaves and meets with Jimmy. The two come to an agreement in which Acker gets to stay in his house, the photographer gets paid, and the fake ads will never air. Kim comes home, furious with Jimmy. The two fight, with Kim angry Jimmy pulled one over on her. As she puts it, “You turned you and me versus the bank, into you versus me.” She believes there are only two ways to move forward: break-up or get married.
Thoughts on the Episode
“Wexler V. Goodman” expertly plays our two favorite characters against each other. The show has become fun on the outskirts, but the show’s focus on Kim has elevated it once again. Seehorn’s role as an exciting character and Jimmy’s moral center makes them a relationship worth rooting for. Sadly, we know that Kim is not in Saul’s life during “Breaking Bad.” Eventually, there will be a breaking point, and how Jimmy finally becomes Saul is the scariest story element on the horizon.
Meanwhile, the cartel storyline got to be fun this week. Watching Mike manipulate the police to do his bidding has always been enjoyable. This side of the show often traffics the heaviest and darkest stories. Just last week, Mike was isolated and alone. To see him jump back in with his own little cat and mouse game was really fun. The show’s ability to flip the narratives, allowing the Jimmy story to get emotional and letting Mike’s story be entertaining, showcases a masterful use of tone.