Monday, May 2, 2022

REVIEW: 'Better Call Saul' - Kim's Suspicions Prove Correct While Jimmy Is Seduced by New Opportunities in 'Hit and Run'

AMC's Better Call Saul - Episode 6.04 "Hit and Run"

Gus takes extreme measures. Jimmy and Kim enlist a local pro to put on a show.

"Hit and Run" was written by Ann Cherkis and directed by Rhea Seehorn

So many actions are motivated by the uncertainty surrounding Lalo. He helps build the identities these characters are destined to become. He has been indestructible in so many instances. His legend is enough to terrorize those in his orbit. Gus is the only person who suspects he is still alive. Mike increases security around the entire operation. He has people monitoring anyone Lalo could reasonably contact once he shows up again. It's this elaborate invasion in what immediately comes across as normal life. An ordinary couple biking around their neighborhood and talking about the color of their neighbor's house are just a front for what's going on behind closed doors. Gus' successes afford him a lavish, comfortable life. He doesn't feel particularly safe or secure. He still has incredibly high standards of what he expects in this business. He demands the best from the people around him. That's true in his criminal enterprise as well as with managing Los Pollos Hermanos. Mike wants to provide his boss with everything he needs. He speaks out when it's appropriate. And yet, so much is left unsaid. So much is dictated by whatever is good enough to get the point across. Plus, that can't account for the human error that may occur. Jimmy believes Kim is being paranoid in believing their actions could have possibly alerted police suspicion. The biggest obstacles they have to face are every day people interrupting their plans which require a specific amount of time to work. Jimmy is furious that someone would ignore the sanctity of a traffic cone. He created boundaries in order to carry out his plan. It works better than he or Kim could have ever planned. It may even reveal how they don't have to embrace all these tricks to get exactly what they want. Their reputations and skills may be good enough to entice the people they deserve. They pursue these tactics anyway because it's a way of ensuring power and their own dignity. Lalo robbed them of their agency. Taking out their frustrations on Howard allows them to feel more secure. They are playing Clifford Main excellently. However, he would be willing to promote Kim's idea for a pro bono firm of public defenders without the trick of making Howard seem like an addict. At the start of the series, Kim was all about the work. She believed if she kept her head down and followed what was required in the corporate world she would eventually be noticed and commended. She did receive that praise. It was still her playing a role dictated by others. Her current impulses are certainly empowered and enhanced by Jimmy. She also genuinely cares about the people she helps navigate through the criminal justice system. That's important too.

And yet, Jimmy is the one who has bought into the Saul Goodman delusion while Kim is looking over her shoulder suspicious of everyone. For so long, Jimmy wanted to belong in this legal world. He wanted to be respected by his brother and all those who looked down on him. He did the work. He has the charm and skills to at least be tolerated and encouraged. However, the entire courthouse turns against him upon learning what he did with Lalo. They shun him because he allowed a criminal to exploit the institution they all hold dearly. He can no longer be seen as one of them. He can't be permitted to live with the luxuries his charm could frequently provide. Of course, the various criminals of Albuquerque are impressed by what he did for Lalo. That was the high risk case that proved his abilities. And so, plenty of people come to him with problems that don't come anywhere close to that magnitude. It's pure seduction. He no longer needs Mrs. Nguyen's spa as a front for his office. He can step into the spotlight as his own person. He can represent those who would otherwise be railroaded by the system represented by courthouse proceduree. And so, he can succeed in business while acting in spite of those who always doubted him. It's him embracing Saul Goodman. That's the identity that invigorates him. He is capable of incredible feats. It's impressive he can steal Howard's car and return it without his target releasing it. He sees the potential for so much to go awry. Again, that's the human error. For Jimmy, it's easy to correct the situation. It doesn't amount to anything. It takes people truly being aware of life's details. Kim has always operated that way. And so, she is correct in knowing she's being followed. She was simply wrong about who it was. It's stunning when Mike approaches her and tells her the truth. It's the show finally bringing these two characters together. It also showcases how their worlds are colliding. This episode is more focused on the legal exploits than the cartel drama. That's the inverse of the previous episode. And yet, all the lines have blurred at this point. Everyone is reacting to the uncertainty of Lalo. He has that ability without needing to be a constant presence. Kim thought that threat was done. She was wrong. Moreover, she realizes the dark potential within everyone. Mike was the parking attendant. And now, he's the fixer leading the operation for another criminal figure. She doesn't know anything about Gus. Yet it all looms large. She can put on a good face. She can indulge in Jimmy's various exploits. The tension is still apparent. All of this could come crumbling down at any moment. It does for many of these characters too. That's known. Uncertainty still rattles around. Some things are becoming more clear than they have ever been in the path to Breaking Bad. The potential was there from the very beginning. Things still evolved. Characters have changed. They've had an impact on one another. Most of the time they don't realize the extent of it until it's staring them right in the face and only able to answer some questions.