Better Call Saul: “Inflatable” Season 2 Episode 7 Review

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There are varying degrees of symbolism on Better Call Saul. There’s subtler things, like the pouring rain drowning Kim on the phone a few episodes back. Then there’s painfully obvious things, like Kim saying Howard’s name after a job interview instead of her potential new boss’. “Inflatable” was a great episode full of significant character moments, but also one a little heavy on what I’m going to call pop-symbolism, or symbolism you’d have to thick as concrete not to get. While pop-symbolism is a big part of what makes Better Call Saul accessibly intelligent and boatloads of fun, the overuse of it in “Inflatable” was distracting and, frankly, annoying. But perhaps this is a nitpick, just one I don’t want to see get bigger and bigger as the show goes on.

Shifting the focus back to Jimmy after a few weeks spent with Kim and Mike, this episode moved rather quickly to turn Jimmy into Saul. After his discussion with Kim last week, Jimmy has no interesting in practicing law any way but his. The montage with the inflatable waving advertisement and Jimmy trying to get fired was just plain fun. From wearing the colorful suits to which Breaking Bad fans are more accustomed to refusing to flush the toilet, Jimmy fully reverts back to the child we see in the cold open flashback. We’ve seen Jimmy unleash his immaturity a lot this season, but never in such a grandiose way as this. Needless to say, it works and he gets fired. But he’s got an idea.

Proposing Wexler McGill as an alternative to Kim’s potential new gig is the kind of go-for-broke thing Saul would suggest to Walt or Jesse. But on Better Call Saul, we so far just see Jimmy, a character who’s moments like this are brought on by genuine emotion. It doesn’t seem like he’s going to get his way, but Kim does at least take some of what he says to heart.

Her final interview with her potential new job gives us some more insight on where Kim came from. As she tells us she’d likely be married to a supermarket cashier had she stayed in her hometown, there’s an instant sense of not only understanding but also regression in her life in the present. Is her boyfriend not the supermarket cashier of the lawyer world? She may have fixed her professional life tenfold, but there’s some part of her that hasn’t changed.

Kim deserves her own self-run law practice, just as Jimmy says, but she’s keeping her dangerous boyfriend too close to the career she has so meticulously constructed. Jimmy getting to be “colorful” around her all day at work isn’t going to end well. Kim is too firm in her beliefs to just watch it happen around her. What may seem like a cute idea for now isn’t going to last.

“Inflatable” managed to accomplish a lot with Jimmy and even a lot with Kim. Their big career shakeups look to test their romance in ways that have to lead to Saul Goodman. The tension is still present, making Better Call Saul continuously great television. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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