'Better Call Saul' season 3, episode 7 shows the walls closing in on Jimmy — fast
Jimmy McGill is slowly turning into Saul Goodman, but there's going to be more than a few speed bumps along the way. Jimmy's bravado might lead you to assume that his new commercial-selling business, "Saul Goodman Productions," will be able to pull just enough money to keep everything — his shared office with Kim, making a living for himself — afloat. Already in the seventh episode of season three, appropriately titled "Expenses," it's clear that's not happening.
Jimmy is making office calls while collecting trash for his community service work, and because he's using his phone throughout, he's only rewarded 30 minutes off his time for four hours of work. The commercials themselves are barely making a profit from the ad space he bought, which also causes difficulty in enabling Jimmy to pay his skeleton crew for the production and editing.
Better Call Saul has consistently presented Jimmy as a man barely able to scrape by — but he does nonetheless. He's basically the embodiment of his rusty, yet somehow functional Cadillac DeVille (cars do become synonymous with their characters in the Breaking Bad universe; just look at Walter White and his Pontiac Aztek-Chrysler 300 transformation). And guess what happens in "Expenses"? The Cadillac DeVille finally dies.
Still, he continues to present the "Everything's fine!" façade with Kim, who has been harboring too much guilt for what she and Jimmy did to Chuck in court a couple of episodes back to take notice. He takes her out for drinks, and Kim playfully points across the room to people they would hypothetically scam — and how they'd pull it off. But one person's joke is another's opportunity. Jimmy lays out, in detail, how they'd be able to scam one particularly unpleasant patron. You can see it coming together in his head; an opportunity to get by, just for a little longer. Again, she laughs it off, and he drops it.
Jimmy's desperate, and that's typically when he succumbs to his worst vices. What he wants is pretty relatable: It took him ages to get the perfect setup with Kim, and he wants to relish those little moments, like ordering takeout for late nights and sharing cigarettes outside the front door. They can share an office together, she can pursue a more traditional legal career, while Jimmy takes, um, certain liberties. This looks increasingly unlikely since he can't sell his ad space — and one can't help but wonder what's going to happen to Kim in all this, because she doesn't appear at all in Breaking Bad.
Speaking of characters who don't show up in Breaking Bad, it would probably be in Nacho's best interest to heed Mike's advice on handling his Hector Salamanca situation. Nacho doesn't want his father's business to be used as a front for Hector's drug operation, fearing the worst when his father, who is completely clean, refuses to comply. But Mike warns Nacho that even the subtlest attempts to destroy Hector — and this one would be subtle, swapping out his heart medication for empty pills — could be noticed.
Mike has good intentions here: He wants the same thing for Hector (as does Gus Fring), and holds some respect for Nacho. Obviously, something's going to happen to Hector — he is wheelchair-bound and can't talk in Breaking Bad. But if Nacho is the one taking the initiative and sticking his neck out, there's probably a reason we aren't seeing him in the future, and why Saul Goodman references him when he thinks a masked Jesse Pinkman and Walter White are cartel members trying to execute him.
We're reaching the finish line for Better Call Saul's third season, and even its most tender moments feel foreshadowed with impending tragedy. The playground Mike is currently building appears to be the same one he goes to with his granddaughter Kaylee before Walter unceremoniously kills him in Breaking Bad. Kim and Jimmy's relationship feels like a ticking time bomb. Chuck is offscreen, still devastated by the court loss and the reality of his mental illness.
But hey, maybe if Jimmy can sell one more commercial slot to a local guitar store, and the DeVille starts up again, they can hold off the chaos for just a little while longer.
The third season of Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 10 p.m. Eastern on AMC.
Mic has ongoing coverage of Better Call Saul. Follow our main Better Call Saul hub here.