Night two of the long-awaited return of Saul Goodman continues with Better Call Saul Season 1 Episode 2, and what this episode gave us was a whole lot of what makes Jimmy McGill so great.
What's that, you ask? His ability to talk his way out of pretty much any situation. It's quite the valuable skill and Jimmy has it in spades.
As it turns out, Tuco Salamanca was legitimately crazy long before he tap danced with Heisenberg and Jesse Pinkman. His paranoia predates his turn as a meth kingpin in Albuquerque. So does his love of family and ability to whip up a mean meal.
But he's no match for the smooth talking, quick thinking Jimmy McGill who manages to talk his way out of certain death in the desert and get the skaters out with one broken leg apiece instead of bullet holes in their heads. Nice work, Jimmy! Nice work, indeed!
It isn't quite clear if this is Jimmy's first run-in with criminals like Tuco, i.e., the kind who want to kill him and are moments away from cutting off his pinky fingers. Judging by his reaction after the fact, I'm going with that dalliance in the desert being a wholly new experience, and the one by which he will become a criminal himself.
The end result of the dance with Tuco is that Jimmy meets Nacho, Tuco's second in command, and Nacho is a modern day Robin Hood. Except instead of helping poor people, he helps himself. And, instead of robbing from rich people, he steals from other thieves because "they have no recourse."
Pretty smart, Nacho. Pretty smart, indeed.
That's where Jimmy McGill's services come in. Nacho offers a 10% finder's fee if Jimmy will help him steal the money the Ketelman's stole from the city. Jimmy insists he's no criminal, but we know that's not true based on his brother's suspicions that he's fallen back into his old habits of faking injuries to scam people as Slippin' Jimmy.
We also know that if there's one thing Jimmy McGill wants, it's money. Money will buy him the fame and notoriety he wants. The fame and notoriety his brother Chuck had before developing his, let's call it EMF-obia, and being unable to go to work, probably sullying the McGill name in the process.
Jimmy's relationship with Chuck is an interesting one and Chuck's an interesting story. What, exactly, is he so afraid of and how did he come to be this way?
It's obvious Jimmy cares about his brother, but that concern only goes so far. He clearly doesn't understand what his brother is going through, but he knows his brother isn't going to get better. At this point, he can only be so tolerant of Chuck's eccentricities, as evidenced by his forcing Chuck to drop the space blanket. He wants to help, but he doesn't know how.
Right now, Better Call Saul is devoting necessary time to building the narrative of Jimmy McGill and his transformation into Saul Goodman. The first two episodes have been a little slow as we dive into this character's history, but that's okay. Slow burns last longer.
What did you think of "Mijo"? Are you enjoying learning more about Jimmy McGill, his brother Chuck, and how Jimmy came to be Saul Goodman?
If you missed last night's episode, remember you can watch Better Call Saul online right here at TV Fanatic. Better Call Saul Season 1 Episode 3 airs Monday, February 16th at 10pm on AMC.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.