Five True Statements is exactly what it sounds like, a discussion about the most recent episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ centered around five undisputable statements of fact. Mostly undisputable, at least. I would never lie to you on purpose. Especially not about ‘Better Call Saul.’
1. Kim is breaking a little bad herself and it makes her future uncomfortably murky
Well, we got our resolution to last week’s “Kim blows a U-turn and proceeds to buy up every pencil and pen in Albuquerque” cliffhanger. Raise your hand if you had “Kim sends Jimmy to Louisiana and has him enlist his bus-mates to write hundreds of letters to the judge about what a great guy Huell is, which he then mails from the Louisiana post office to get the stamps right, and then upon his return he kicks off an elaborate cell phone ruse complete with cartoonish Cajun accents and tales of church fires, and the whole thing works and it gets Kim’s scheming juices flowing so much that she smooches Jimmy in the damn hallway and tells him she wants to do it again.” Put your hand down. Don’t lie to me.
What a conflicting development. On one hand, yes, of course, it is fun to see Jimmy and Kim do their thing. Kim is very good at this, especially when she plays the straight man in their flimflam operation, and it was nice to see some light in her eyes after about two episodes of seeing her detached and going through the motions. She’s been looking for… something for a while now. First, it was Mesa Verde and a solo practice, then it was public defender work. She’s a restless soul. Maybe she just wants the action after all, despite her repeated protests.
On the other hand — and I do apologize for bringing this up every week but I worry and it’s all becoming unavoidable — this introduces some less nice resolutions for Kim Wexler as a character, right? Watching her relationship with Jimmy crumble was sad, but it was sad in a hopeful way. We’ve seen Breaking Bad and we never saw her in it which means, in all likelihood, something happens between now and then that removes her from his life. A breakup means she could conceivably move on and live happily ever after and find someone else and raise little rascals in the suburbs.
This, though, the scheming and law-skirting and the scamming of the ADA that could blow up in her face with one internet search for “louisiana church fire huell,” opens the door to jail or worse as her endgame. It’s not fair what I’m doing here, in a few ways. I’m playing this out with knowledge of the future and I’m being a huge bummer about it. Again, I worry.
2. Kai is a bastard and a scoundrel, still and always
This is not breaking news. Kai is the worst. Kai has been the worst since the moment we met him and his scarf. The show is not being ambiguous about this. He is as unlikable a weasel as you’ll ever see and he did not help his case one iota by getting himself thrown out of a strip club for being the type of handsy drunk you and I fully expected him to be. I have never openly rooted for a television character’s death with such fervor, at least not since Joffrey on Game of Thrones. It’s a little unsettling, to be honest, especially since I know I’m being played by a show that has given him zero redeeming qualities. They want me to feel this and I do. It almost feels like a trap.
And that brings us to Werner. Poor, sweet Werner. Heartsick and homesick and scribbling out potentially incriminating blueprints in a bar for anyone sweet enough to try to pronounce Hefeweizen correctly. He and Mike were hitting it off, too. It was nice to see Mike have a friend. But that’s over now and Werner is somehow in more trouble than Kai. I do not like it. I wish Mike had planted the coaster on Kai and let Gus bury him in wet concrete. This bloodlust of mine is ugly and troubling and I fear they’re setting us up with Kai to be okie-doked with Werner, but here we are.
3. Cousin Eduardo is going to be a problem
Heeeeyyyy welcome back Nacho! Long time no see. How have you bee-…
Oh, you’re ripping a dude’s earring out for coming up short on the count?
And looking sad all the time?
And living in an empty and loveless art-filled house with meth-addicted women lounging on the couches?
And staring at your father’s identification card with sorrow in your eyes, like a son who knows the choices he made has caused a rift in the relationship that can never be fully healed?
And now the Salamancas have sent up charismatic Cousin Eduardo to blast music and cook family recipes and watch your operation like a hawk, which could be a problem considering the thing where you poisoned Hector and Gus knows and now has you pressed flat like a tortilla under his thumb?
4. Something bad is going to happen before this season is through
Do you feel that? The dread? I feel it. Maybe you’ve figured as much from this depressing recap, in which every section ends with some awful glimpse into a bleak potential future. I’m sorry. Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m having a day. But the history of these shows — Breaking Bad, especially — bends toward tragedy and we have yet to see anything really devastating happen this season. It’s extra tricky because, again, the nature of a prequel means we know a handful of fates already. Mike can’t die, Jimmy can’t die, Gus can’t die. But the funny thing is, the show has created a new set of characters I worry about more anyway. Kim, for one, as we discussed. Nacho, weirdly, even though he’s kind of a monster. Hell, even Werner, who we just met like 30 seconds ago. I just don’t see how we make it through this season without Gilligan and Gould walloping us and I am both dreading it and eagerly awaiting it. Mostly dreading it. In a good way. Kind of.
5. Better Call Saul uses the fewest words per hour of any prestige drama, which is admittedly not a “true statement” in that it is not a fact I have researched and can present mathematical evidence to defend, but it does feel true when you look at screencaps of Nacho and Mike just staring at people with open disdain, so let’s just do that and roll with it