Better Call Saul: “Expenses” Season 3 Episode 7 Review

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The crucial lesson Jimmy learns in “Expenses” is that revenge, no matter how justified, doesn’t mean things get better. His post-trial world is hectic and busy with things he doesn’t want to be doing. Hours of community service. Forced attempts to sell the airtime he bought to advertise himself as a lawyer. Jimmy hardly has a minute to spare, and those around him are growing concerned.

But now Better Call Saul is making Jimmy pay the price for what he did to Chuck. And for the first time, Jimmy’s endearing qualities aren’t bubbling up to the top. When he and Kim sip drinks and joke about how to scam people, there’s real anger in Jimmy’s eyes. He sees a way to make money off of people that are legitimately worse than him. But going through with it would certainly bring him a little closer. This is the road to Jimmy abandoning his identity to fully embrace Saul Goodman. At some point, he would have to start to drop the things that make him lovable and move toward the full-on schemer we know from Breaking Bad. “Expenses” shows a lot of Jimmy getting trampled by the world, and finally getting angry about it. His first true step, one he won’t be able to take back, is admitting Chuck’s mental breakdown to their mutual malpractice insurer. This will surely spike Chuck’s rates, a revenge Jimmy tacks on simply because if he can’t catch a break, neither should Chuck. Jimmy thought things would be better now because, somewhere down the line, he lost sight of the fact that he caused all of this. Now he doesn’t want to believe it.

Kim, on the other hand, is already showing signs of extreme guilt. In a rare outburst, she snaps at her Mesa Verde client after she teases Kim about how exciting the transcripts of the trial were. But Kim has come to see it as a ruthless takedown of a sick man. She even questions it enough to pose the question to Jimmy, who only expresses hate toward his brother. But the long silence afterward is telling. She may go back to trying to joke with Jimmy again after, but Kim’s wheels are turning, and even if she’s in some slight denial, she knows deep down that this situation is heading nowhere good (by the way, Rhea Seehorn owned all of this). The cracks are forming in the victory these two thought they earned, the show is only going to widen them before the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Mike can barely be bothered in his time building a church playground to get back involved with Nacho. What Mike sees in Nacho, however, is an honorable thief, as well as a tool to hurt Hector. Nacho’s intentions for switching out Hector’s pills are noble, but Mike is smarter than him and offers some sage advice in the execution of his plan. This is a partnership I look forward to seeing more of as the season goes on.

All in all, “Expenses” may have been set-up for what’s to come, but it was damn good setup. Jimmy’s path is getting clearer, which only makes Kim and Chuck’s more interesting. Better Call Saul has done an excellent job bringing us to this point now where this show is so fleshed out and great all on its own that watching it slowly turn into Breaking Bad is going to be gut-wrenching. Grade: A-

Some Other Notes:

  • Mike’s new church friend tell him how her husband mysteriously never returned from a hiking trip. She says it’s the lack of closure that makes it hard on her even at her present. For more on this feeling and how it effects people, tune into HBO on Sunday nights at 9pm!
  • I love how Bob Odenkirk made you believe Jimmy for the first two thirds of his breakdown in the final scene, only to then crush it by tweaking the truth as those convincing tears fell down his face. Of course, for Jimmy, it wasn’t all acting, but enough of it was to still feel like a lie.
  • Daniel, the guy obsessed with his baseball cards, has got to be one of the best random side characters in both these shows.
  • No new episode next week because of Memorial Day, folks. See you in two weeks.

By Matt Dougherty

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