As we've feared, Jimmy goes farther down the rabbit hole, and it doesn't look like he will be able to dig himself out.
On Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 8, all the main characters (with the exception of maybe Chuck) find themselves descending into the darkness, and the jury is out as to who will be able to make their way into the light again.
I have to say I loved seeing Jimmy's old partner in crime Marco again, but this was tinged with sadness, considering how his story turned out.
We got another look at the old "Slippin' Jimmy" from back in the day, which provided us with some great insight as to why he eventually reverts back to that behavior in the present.
Marco: Your folks, they worked so hard.
Jimmy: Yeah, they worked hard: worked a lot of hours for a lot of years, for nothing.
Marco: I don't know Jimmy. A lot of customers, they liked him
Jimmy: Everybody liked him because he was a soft touch. Every deadbeat in the neighborhood owed him money. You come in here with a sob story and you leave with a pat on the back and a gallon of milk. He could have made it work, he could have sold beer and cigarettes to the kids from Mary Margaret's, but no. Not him. He was never gonna do what he had to do.
We knew from previous flashbacks that childhood Jimmy would skim the till, but now we know why: he hated seeing his father being played as a chump, so he started looking out for himself from a very young age.
Chuck's hatred of Jimmy came from watching this, as well, so that family dynamic sure was a hot mess.
Jimmy is all about getting his, and it was in direct conflict with the rest of his family. A sad state of affairs.
Pretty much everyone here is going down the slippery slope in the battle with their better nature. It reminded me of the Paul Simon song "Slip Slidin' Away."
"We're working our jobs. collect our pay, believe we're gliding down the highway when in fact we're slip sliding away."
The reference to Jimmy is obvious, but if you think about it, it applies to almost all the main characters.
Nacho is slipping away by plotting the murder of Don Hector. In his mind, his motive is pure. He's trying to save his father's business and life, but will be able to recover his humanity if his plan works?
And what if it doesn't? If Don Hector discovers the plot, you know Nacho's father will probably be killed in front of him. That's how the cartels work, right?
Nacho has never seemed to have the stomach for this life, and you could see from the terror in his eyes as he made the pill switch how he's so not made for these shenanigans.
I like Nacho. He was only referred to once in conversation in Breaking Bad, so I don't get a good feeling about his survival odds.
Vince Gilligan has a great way of making us care about, or at least sympathize with, the bad guys, while also giving us conflicting feelings about who's supposed to be "good."
With people, as in life, there are very few cases of pure black and white. Gilligan deals with the shades of gray brilliantly.
Mike is slip sliding as well. It turns out the meeting previously with Nacho might have been about finding the body of the Good Samaritan killed in the aftermath of Mike's robbery of Hector's truck.
Mike stole from Hector as an act of revenge, but the guilt over the murder of an innocent has forever stained him.
Mike's slide began with the loss of his son back in the day, and it's only accelerated since his move to Albuquerque.
As much as we see Mike's public face as the doting "pop pop," his descent into the criminal underworld has been steady and inexorable.
Gus: It would be unwise for us to be publicly associated, wouldn't you agree?
Mike: Because of the Salamancas?
Gus: If they were to take notice, there would be consequences for both of us.
Mike: I'm thinking a paper transaction.
Gus: Even so. Perhaps there is a way: one with a degree more difficulty, but one I may be able to arrange.
Mike: Would 20% overcome this difficulty?
Gus: I would not take money from your family [Gus and Mike shake hands].
His dealings with Gus Fring come as no surprise since we know he was a trusted acolyte of Fring in Breaking Bad.
They have been circling each other for awhile now, like predators testing each other.
Fring has offered him a job more than once, and Mike is clearly tempted, but the battle with his better nature has so far stopped him.
That seems to have changed now. For both men, their word is their bond, so the handshake seems to be the beginning of their alliance.
I wonder if Gus had something to do with Mike finding the body, or if it was Nacho that tipped him off?
Both parties clearly want to get Hector off the chessboard, so it could have been either. We'll see how that shakes out,
Kim, still wracked with guilt over how they brought down Chuck, clashed with Howard in an unexpected battle.
I have to admit, I didn't see that coming.
Howard was starting to look like a standup guy, but him trying to embarrass her in front of the Mesa Verde people was a pretty shitty thing to do. Lawyers!
Howard: I'm busting my ass, trying to repair the reputation of the firm and after you and Jimmy dragged it through the mud.
Kim: I did everything in my power to defend my client.
Howard: Oh, is that what you're calling it?
Kim: That's the job, Howard. And, by the way, it was very convenient of you to ignore Chuck's illness when it suited you.
Howard: So I take you out of the mail room, send you to law school, mentor you, and you leave and stab me in the back, and that's MY fault? I'm not cashing this. Kim, your debt is forgiven, but anything else, that's on you.
Kim: All Jimmy and I did was show the situation for what it is, and if you are hiding that from your clients, then Howard, that's on you.
I think the check was Kim's way of trying to absolve herself from the guilt of how she treated Chuck.
She slid down in the mud with Jimmy, but Howard was at fault as well.
Of all these characters, she alone has the fortitude to climb out of this mess, but I wonder if Jimmy's influence will gradually erode her better nature.
Jimmy: Hey, you believe me, right?
You could tell by the look on her face she didn't buy Jimmy's story for a second. Jimmy falls, and all of a sudden he has a fat envelope of cash? Puhleese!
Jimmy using the law to scam the community service flunky was yet another step down for him.
The satisfaction on his face as he fanned out the money he scammed was pretty sad to see.
The descent to Saul Goodman is gaining speed each week, with Jimmy rationalizing his behavior as "doing what he has to do pay his bills."
The only person who seems to be trying to lift himself up is Chuck, who's actually making progress overcoming his mental illness.
This condition, to me it's as real as that chair - it's as real as this house, as real as you. But what if it's not? What if it's all in my head? And if that's true, if it's not real, then what have I done?Chuck [to Dr. Cruz]
That will probably get torpedoed though, once Howard tells him about Jimmy outing him to the malpractice insurance folks.
That little scam will probably re-ignite the white-hot hatred he has for Jimmy, so their story isn't over after all.
This was a good one: everyone's story was touched on to an extent, and all the plots moved forward smartly.
I can't believe there are only two episodes left!
I'm really looking forward to how they will tie all these loose threads together. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Don Hector get his and end up in the wheelchair. I just worry about how Nacho will make it out of this.
That's my take: tell me your thoughts and theories in the comments section.
And, of course, you can watch Better Call Saul online anytime, right here on TV Fanatic!