The Switch, Better Call Saul recap season 2 ep 1

9:20:00 AM


Saul Goodman in Pool, Better call saul

' Showtime!'
If there is one thing you could say about Saul Goodman is that he is a showman. Saul is alway on. When he isn't it is a startling sight. The genius trick that Vince Gilliam and Peter Gould pulled off with Better call Saul, is using everything we already know about our dear Saul, his moral ambiguity, his big personality (never grandiose, leave that to Walt) and making that that the premise of this show. Of course it works as an origin story, but we don't get to see how Jimmy became Saul, and then poor Gene. Saul was always Saul, S'all good man and tried and tried and tried some more not to be that man, but there was no escape. Season one suggested that Slippin' Jimmy is Saul's precursor. That he could be saved by being Jimmy McGill, the good lawyer. 
But not so fast. You would think that he is always flipping a switch,  ON is Saul or Spillin Jimmy, OFF is Jimmy the scrappy lawyer or Gene the Cinnabon bum. 
Or is it?
In the last scene of the episode Jimmy is welcomed at Davis and Main. He can have everything he ever dreamed of, a company car, cool art, a cocobolo desk, the girl ( I will get to that). He is on top of the world, even if he feels ambivalent about choosing this path. 
And there we see it, the switch. In his new office with a sticker on top of it, warning him, to always leave it ON. He flips it, and nothing happens. Well, not yet. And how casually he flips it, without a care in the world. He doesn't have to obey any rule. How different from Gene at the beginning of this episode. Who after cleaning up at night at Cinnabon gets stuck in the room with the dumpsters, with only one way out. If he chooses to open that door, a alarm will go off and the police will be notified. Gene hesitates. Does he want to run the risk? We assume, because we don't really know when this takes place, that Walt and everything that happened in Albuquerque is the reason that Saul is stuck in Nebraska. He flipped the switch, choose the wrong door, somehow, somewhere, and now the possibilities are all gone. ' SG was here' he writes in vain on the wall. But Saul is long gone. 
'I am going to tell you,' the song at the start goes, 'that in time you are going to pay, and it is surprising how time slips away.'

But in better times Jimmy drives away from the initial meeting with Davis and Main, stating to Mike that he will never do the right thing again, singing Smoke on the water, hellbent on going about his day doing it his way, and getting his cucumber water and vodka shots for free. 
And then we get to the reveal in this episode. After initially walking away, Jimmy chooses the righteous path of working for Davis and Main because of the girl. Kim.
What we didn't see last season, is that Jimmy ask Kim before refusing the offer if she will like him no matter what. She assumes, and we also do at that moment, that he worries if they can they still date when they will be co-workers. But no, Jimmy wants to know if she will still like him if she meets him as Slippin' Jimmy. And Kim does. Later Jimmy invites Kim to the hotel he is staying. At first she disparages him, for idly floating around the pool, wearing Marco's pinky ring, but later at the bar, when he shows her how to find a mark, and how to take him, Kim  is a trooper, and helps him. As a result they have sex for the first time in the show. 
But the day after, Kim returns to the real world, and Jimmy realizes that yes she likes and is excited by Slippin' Jimmy, and yes she will get drunk and sleep with him, but that's it. He is floating in the pool and on his own illusions, calls Kim and ask her to join him again on the prowl. But Saul has always been and will always be a smart guy. He knows Kim is not coming. She will never respect him enough.
So I ask myself, seeing where he ends up, if he would have continued to be Slippin' Jimmy could he have led a more wholesome, honest, and happy life? It seems now, that being a lawyer will get him in trouble. The irony!
In other news,  a man that doesn't possess a switch, Mike, always stoic, always right, gets hired again by the IT guy who sells pharmaceutical drugs to be his bodyguard. But the dude shows up in flaming Hummer, wearing matching shoes ( you have to see it to believe it) and Mike passes. In this job you need restraint ( you know how has restraint, who pretended to be the most innocuous of all? Mike's future boss, and I can see know how much Mike must have respected Gus). Anyway stupid Hummer IT guy meets Natcho alone. Natcho manages to get the IT guy's address, and next thing we know IT guy calls the police because his place is trashed. He whines about his baseball cards, but the two  cops, a regular McNulty/Bunk duo, notice that the floor in front of the couch is clean, conclude that the couch has been moved and find a hiding spot behind it. All because the Hummer on the curb spiked their suspicions.

Will this Hummer moron need a lawyer? How long will Jimmy enjoy the perks at Davis and main? Will we learn what happens when you flip the switch? And when will Saul be on again? It's showtime! Great start!

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