Better Call Saul Slip Review
Written by Heather Marion
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman: Bob Odenkirk
Kim Wexler: Rhea Seehorn
Mike Ehrmantraut: Jonathan Banks
Nacho: Michael Mando
Don Hector Salamanca: Mark Margolis
Chuck McGill: Michael McKean
Pryce: Mark Proksch
Paige Novack: Cara Pifko
Kevin Watchell: Rex Linn
Marco: Mel Rodriguez
Dr. Lara Cruz: Clea DuVall
Gus Fring: Giancarlo Esposito
Howard Hamlin: Patrick Fabian
Anita: Tamara Tunie
Slip, the latest episode of Better Call Saul, is a quadruple entendre used to great effect. There’s the literal slip with Jimmy in the music store, but you have Nacho trying to slip Don Hector faulty medication, Chuck trying to slip his way back into societal norms, and Mike slipping into business with Gus Fring.
The most interesting character is Chuck. I mentioned how Michael McKean plays that character with nuance in his performance in Chicanery. Moving past that incident we see Chuck trying to fit back into society by overcoming his Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. Because of that outburst in court, Chuck owes it to Jimmy for pushing to move past his illness.
Chuck is grappling with the notion that maybe his condition isn’t as real as he thinks it is. “For me, it’s as real as you,” he says to Dr. Cruz followed by, “but, what if it’s not.” We’ve seen Chuck in moments of despair, like the flashback scene in Chicanery, or the incident in the copy shop in season two, but this is the first time that Chuck is doubtful of himself.
“If it’s not real, then what have I done?” Chuck continues. Throughout the series, Chuck has pushed away nearly everyone in his life, including his ex-wife and his brother. There was never any doubt in Chuck’s mind before this point. He’s finally seeing the world from the outside in, questioning if he’s mentally ill. Self-aware, Chuck trying to take hold of his condition and control it but wonders if he’s even capable of taking control. He’s able to shop at a grocery store with a coping method and can walk outside without his space blanket. Now, with Chuck’s malpractice insurance on the rise, will this newfound strength backfire on Jimmy?
Nacho’s Pill Slip
Slip’s most tense scene is by way of Nacho’s pill switch. The harsh strings and keyboard chords add to the intensity of that scene. Mando is a master at conveying a wide range of emotions with very little movement in his face. His deadpan expression with the sweat beading on his brow lends credit to the stressfulness of his actions. That entire scene is edited brilliantly, beginning with the smash cut from the broken A/C to the steam billowing from the flat top grill from inside El Michoacano.
As part of the deal with Nacho, Mike finds the body of the truck driver, who was killed in season two. As per his conversation with Anita in Expenses, Mike unearths Ximenez Lecerda’s body to help his family cope. This is a far cry where Mike ends up, working for Gus who disposes of dead bodies in acid.
At the tail end of the episode, Mike and Gus enter business together. The extent of their business dealings remains unknown at this point. There is still six years between the timeline of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad. There is still a lot of time before Mike is seen standing next to Gus in the laundry shop.
Slippin’ Jimmy Slippin’
We’ve gotten brief glimpses of Slippin’ Jimmy throughout this season but this is the first time we’ve seen Jimmy slip. Jimmy is skating that line of illegality, which could backfire at any point. He got his money for the TV advertisements but how is Jimmy going to make rent after the next six weeks? Kim asks herself the same question and takes on another client just to make ends meet. Kim, with Mesa Verde requiring a lot of her time, will burn herself out causing her to lose two well-established clients. In her meetings with Kevin and Paige, Kim is shot a look of concern from Paige. Is Kim taking on too much? Even her days are blending into one another with her comment to Jimmy.
The opening scene gives an explanation as to why Jimmy would steal from his parent’s store, explaining to Marco that his father was a “soft touch.” The introduction of a rare coin saw Jimmy’s father trying to return said coin to its owner.
What Chuck saw was not entirely accurate. Jimmy was taking advantage of his father by exploiting his father’s good side, keeping a stash of rare coins to swindle drunkards and earn a small profit.
In season one episode Marco, Jimmy and Marco are seen selling coins to bar patrons with some persuasion and theatrics. At the end of Slip Jimmy taps into that criminal side once again by threatening the park supervisor with litigation. Knowing the law, Jimmy’s swindling takes on a new role. With the next episode titled Fall, this could spell the most trouble for Jimmy.