‘Better Call Saul’ Season 3, Episode 5: The Long Con

In the end, victory may come down to which McGill brother is better at bamboozling the other.

Comments: 164

  1. What a fantastic episode!

  2. Ah, but the strawberries...

  3. Only missing the rattling of the ball bearings - but just as powerful. I may hate Chuck, but Michael McKean is stupendous dueling with Bob Odenkirk.

  4. I still don't understand why Kim said "Bingo" at the end of last episode. What did she learn from Chuck or Howard in that scene that was so relevant to this episode and that gave her any optimism?

  5. She said "bingo" because that told her (and Jimmy) that Chuck indeed had another copy of the tape and that chances are it would be played in the hearing. Prior to that, she and Jimmy only suspected that a copy existed.

  6. Bingo was her reaction to tricking them into admitting there was another copy of the tape. IMO.

  7. Kim and Jimmy baited Chuck into playing the tape. As Howard reminded Chuck, the tape did not need to be played in order for the disbarment to succeed. It was superfluous. On the other hand, Jimmy needed the tape to be played in order to make his case that Chuck was a) crazy, b) hated his brother and c) continually and systematically plotted against Jimmy's legal career -- and to make the point that all Jimmy did on the tape was say whatever it would take to ease his (mentally ill) brother's anxiety. But Jimmy was only allowed to describe this "context" to the board (room wrapped in foil, etc.) if the tape was entered into evidence and played (a point he argued to the board when the other attorney objected to bringing in this "context"). Kim and Jimmy knew that Chuck's pride would make him determined to (needlessly) play the tape if he thought Kim and Jimmy objected to it being played (remember, Chuck is a proud man who doesn't want to be defeated at ANYTHING - Kim and Jimmy knew that if they objected to the tape, Chuck couldn't resist trying to win even that fight, and hence insisted that it be played). His hubris led him to take the bait. At the end of last week's episode, Kim laid out the bait and Chuck took it. BINGO!

  8. It sure looks like Huell (Lavell Crawford) has lost some serious Today time weight. If it was for the show, good work, I hope you can keep it off. Mr. Crawford is very funny comic (he has a Netflix special).

  9. It certainly does, and good for him! And, given that this takes place prior to the events of Breaking Bad, it stands to reason that Huell could have been smaller then, gaining the weight as time passed and after he became an employee of Saul Goodman.

  10. As an Albuquerque lawyer, I was expecting a lot more from this episode. We finally get to see Jimmy cross-examine Chuck!

    Unfortunately, the scene did NOT live up to my expectations.

    After seeing the legendary Steven Bauer play a drug dealer last week after his iconic role in Scarface, this episode was almost like watching Tony Montana's tax evasion trial as opposed to that film's climactic shoot-out.

    "Say hello to my little fully charged battery," is just not great drama. Chuck's final breakdown did not justify the build-up that began in this episode's opening scene with Chuck's ex-wife. I was hoping that she would offer some Perry Mason piece of evidence that never arrived.

    The fact that Chuck's malady is psychosomatic really is immaterial in a hearing like this. There is no such defense as entrapment in disbarment hearings. As Chuck pointed out earlier, the rules of evidence in these hearings wouldn't apply. The tape of Jimmy confessing is what it is, damning. If Jimmy was entrapped into doing so, wouldn't matter.

    Disbarment hearings here in NM can be researched at the NMBar.org in our Bar Bulletin. My gut instinct is that a real Jimmy would probably get a 90 day suspension and then supervision. Some lawyers are much worse.

    That being said, Better Call Saul isn't a lawyer show, it is a crime show featuring a lawyer and works best in that arena.

    I'm looking forward to the return of Gus and Mike next week. Mr Bauer's character better not mess with any one's sister.

  11. As an attorney, albeit not in New Mexico, I think you might have missed the point. The idea wasn't to utilize entrapment as a legal defense for a disciplinary violation. Rather, Jimmy was using Chuck's mental condition to attack the elements of destroying evidence. The tape was only evidence if it tended to show that a crime had been committed. However, when Jimmy showed Chuck to be out of his mind, living in a world of space tape and addled hatred, it supported his implication that he was a doting brother who would have told his conniving brother anything to get him to feel better. When you think about it, Chucks accusations sound preposterous, true or otherwise. (Foreshadowed when Kim's Mesa Verde client chalks them up to Chuck avoiding reponsibility for his mistakes). Then, when he begins screaming about defecating in sunroofs and the like the Disciplinary Board clearly feels that Chuck cannot be believed. If Jimmy broke in to steal the tape, and the confession was meaningless, as there was no crime to confess to, he couldn't have destroyed evidence.... Not exactly what I would use if my career were at stake, but hey, it's TV...

  12. Does Kim have a miniature slinky in her ponytail? A lot of up and down action besides the side to side motion.

  13. That ponytail annoys me to no end. I am about the same age of the character Kim, and I can guarantee you that no professional woman during that time would be wearing a Peggy Olsen little-girl ponytail.

  14. I like the ponytail. The bouncing emphasizes Kim's determined steps (both literally and figuratively). It may seem too juvenile, but it doesn't really detract from Kim's polished professional presentation.

  15. Amen!

  16. This is actually Sarah's father Paul, old enough to remember one of the great courtroom scenes in print and on film which Vince Gilligan and Michael McKean offered their own tribute to tonight. Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg (Ahh, but it was the strawberries. that's where I had them!") in The Caine Mutiny demonstrating his mental illness for all to see. McKean was terrific, as he has been throughout. One wonders if Chuck will survive this show and his brother's abandonment of the family name. But the disbarment proceeding will be thrown out-- that's clear.But unlike Queeg, i suspect Chuck has some fight left in him, and Saul Goodman will be the product of the battle to come.

  17. I had a different interpretation of Jimmy's plan. I did not see him seeking to prove Chuck as a liar; rather I saw him look to prove Chuck as a crazy person. My interpretation was that Jimmy was arguing that he said the things on the recording because they are what the crazy person wanted to hear (not truthful statements).

  18. That's what I thought to. The ex-wife is brought in for the purpose of making Chuck lash out, which he did, once it is conclusively established that Chuck's so-called disease is a figment of his imagination. The opening scene makes it clear that nothing would embarrass Chuck more than having his ex know that he is losing it. Fits nicely with both of Jimmy's theories: that Chuck has always hated him, and that Jimmy lied to make Chuck feel better when Chuck had another imaginary episode. You don't need to prove that Chuck is a liar to support either theory.

  19. I think Jimmy will agree to change his name to appease Chuck (and an angry Rebecca), get the complaint to the bar withdrawn (with the risk the bar panel does not believe that Jimmy was lying on tape to placate Chuck) and avoid having his transposition of numbers (which would tarnish Kim) investigated further.

    For all its considerable merits, the show has never made a credible case that Kim is attracted to Jimmy or why she would even practice law with him. How odd that 2 talented actors and the stellar behind the camera team cannot make them a convincing romantic couple when there have been so many convincing romantic couples despite the performers (unlike Bob and Rhea)hating each other in real life (Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable being among the best known).

    At least we saw Kim score points off Howard in cross examination, which was very satisfying.

    Now, let's get back to Mike and Gus, who are far more interesting than Jimmy and Chuck and Kim, even though we know we know the fates of Mike and Gus but not Kim and Chuck.

  20. Rube Goldberg indeed.

    Just before his Captain Queeg moment, Chuck had specifically mentioned that no such moment would be forthcoming, that Jimmy would not, could not trick him into overreaction. Then he brings in the ex wife for whom Chuck still carries a flame and all bets are off.

    Even if Chuck wants to press forward with this Cain/Abel stuff, it seems everyone else in the room has lost their taste for it. I don't see this going well for Chuck.

    And I can't wait until he's no longer a factor. That's no reflection on Michael McKean's Emmy-worthy job in the role. But let's get going here.

  21. Opening credits are now morphing to Peak Saul. Bus Stop Bench adverts.

  22. Call the number! It works!

  23. Don't agree. The focus on chuck and jimmy this week was well nigh perfect. And I see chemistry every week with jimmy's law partner. What an incredible episode.

  24. That Vet is sure getting a lot of biz out of Mike's questioning of a ABQ taxi driver if he knows people. Gunshot treatment, Kaylee Ehrmantraut puppy services, Mike's "drug dealer" protection consulting, tracking device supplier, lift artist that can not work in confined places... Huell!!!!!!

  25. Scene in Vet's office....hysterical! I agree that writers seem to be staying away from love scenes between Jimmy & Kim. But, they did brush their teeth together. Brilliant how Jimmy got Chuck, but also so sad. There is the truth and then there are facts. Jimmy uncovered the truth. He proved that Chuck set him up; and is mentally ill and the motivation is hatred for Jimmy. Jimmy also made the case in court that he only said what he said on the tape "to make Chuck feel better" which actually is the truth even though it's also a fact that he switched the address. I loved that Jimmy finally proved that Chuck has no physical illness and it was painful for Jimmy to do that. The Mesa Verde account NEVER should have been HHM's in the first place.
    Last shot of Exit sign gave us the verdict: innocent. it's all good man.

  26. "The bigger the lie, the harder it is to dig out of." Applies to Jimmy as well, doesn't it?

  27. Why didn't Jimmy or Chuck prevent Rebecca from bringing her cell phone to Chuck's house the night he made dinner for her? They took every precaution imaginable so why didn't it occur to them she might have a cell phone? What was purpose of that scene? I guess to prove how much Chuck wants to hide his condition from his ex wife.

  28. They couldn't because she is not supposed to know he's sick.

  29. I have to say I am with the folks who thought this was an interesting episode. So many this season have been very slow. The intellectual games were very interesting. Saul and Kim want Chuck to seem crazy and they succeeded. Even Chuck's partner didn't want him to go ahead with the case.
    Saul is clearly implying that he only 'confessed' to make Chuck less hysterical.
    As for Kim and Saul's chemistry. I have thought earlier episodes showed that she was charmed by the bad boy in him. She's rather stiff and simply likes his charm, which every woman can detect when he turns it on.

  30. Chuck most likely has been nursing a suspicion since childhood that the parents loved Jimmy more than they loved him. This is surely what motivated Chuck to be a "success" but he still can't help seeking -- no, craving -- approval in all aspects of his life. It is an itch that never completely gets scratched. And Jimmy, feeling guilty about being loved more (by his parents and people generally) tries to make it up to Chuck by being kind to him especially during his illness. This also is an exercise in futility. Chuck's resentment toward Jimmy will never end no matter how many times he pretends that he lives him, e.g. by saying "Jimmy has a good heart". Chuck hides behind a facade that rarely cracks but we all saw it at the end of this episode.

  31. This was one of the better Chuck and Jimmy episodes. The unfolding of this storyline has been a bit slow for good reason but has finally come to a head. The opening scene was hilarious. I'd like to see more of Rebecca. Through her we get to side another side of Chuck- a more aspirational side.

    I wonder where the writers will take this plotline next now that both brothers are more exposed. Will we see more open warfare between the two?

  32. "It’s just that when you spot the names Giancarlo Esposito and Mark Margolis in the opening credits, you go all Pavlovian for some bad behavior, and not of the white collar variety."

    There are many different ways of breaking bad, and it can come from any character, white collar or not. Breaking Bad was one of the greatest things I've ever seen. But it didn't leave me hardwired to fixate on its characters (and the violent world they live on) above all else. I just can't imagine watching those wonderful courtroom scenes and thinking "when do I get my shot of Esposito"? Why kill my own enjoyment like that?

  33. Right? This recap is the most mundane piece about "Chicanery" that I've read from any news outlet. Very little actual thought or consideration seems to have gone into it, and the analysis is about as deep as a kiddie pool. Saying "Chicanery" was lacking because Gus and Mike were not present is a ridiculous criticism of an episode that pushed the envelope of TV drama and showcased some of the greatest acting ever to grace our television screens. Go read the AV Club recap/review; they have real TV critics over there who try hard at their jobs.

  34. This will be the episode that should get Michael McKean a nomination for best supporting actor at the Emmys. He chewed up the scenery, and if ever scenery deserved chewing up, it was in this episode.
    McKean hasn't gotten very much praise for his performance in BCS, and this is the first time I've mentioned him. Jonathan Bank's performance as Mike is praised to the sky all the time. Many people nowadays perceive underacting as
    the right acting choice, sort of like some contend to contend that pasta can't be too al dente. It's more sophisticated ! Mike is sometimes taciturn to a fault, and I think his performance has become somewhat monodimensional. He could use a few more minutes in the pot of boiling water. He is, sometimes, too al dente.
    Banks is very good, as everyone in BCS is, and that at the very least, but I've never seen him do what McKean did, and what he was directed and allowed to do, tonight. I'm including his performance in Breaking Bad, too.
    Well, I'm through with that rant. I'll conclude with an opinion on acting from one infinitely more entitled than I. Some of you probably already know this, but not all, I'm sure.
    Anthony Hopkins has declared that he considers Bryan Cranston's performance as Walter White in Breaking Bad is the greatest acting he has ever seen.
    Wow !

  35. Here, here! The biggest 'wow' for me was Michael McKean's performance. It must be especially tough to get audiences to feel for a character that none of us would want to identify with. The critical undercurrents all played out on McKean's face, in contrast to the great Jonathan Banks, whose character's face reflects exactly who he is. This performance will make Chuck even more interesting to watch in upcoming episodes. Nice to see Huell!

  36. Matt - I was going to post the same thing re Michael McKean getting an Emmy. If he doesn't win, tell the presenters to check the envelope.

  37. Totally agree. I even thought MM could play a good Trump during that monologue.

  38. As much as I enjoyed the case playing out in Jimmy's favour for now, I fear I will be unable to bear it when the other, terrible, shoe drops.

    Although Jimmy will slip out of disbarrment, it will only come at a great cost. Unfortunately that cost I feel will be Kim, starting with the loss of Masa Verde, after all the work she put into them over multiple seasons.

    Hats off to this show making me still hope for the best, even when I know only the worst can be ahead.

  39. Finally a show that does NOT focus on "sexual chemistry" between the characters. It focuses on the plot line. Thank you!

  40. Jimmy and Kim are 'sort of' a romantic couple. There is no sexual chemistry, but there is a deep respect for each other. It may not matter because it's not the basis of their relationship. In fact, Jimmy comes across as if he feels that Kim is way out of his league, surprised at how devoted she is to him. Kim is rewarded with an excitement that is not quite available elsewhere. She's pretty rigid, so this is as good as it gets to walking on the wild side. I always worried that Jimmy would do something that would, inadvertently, hurt Kim's career and end their relationship. I still think it's possible. (That tape may still have some power to destroy.) But even if nothing of the sort happens, this has never been a great romance, and is destined to end. It is, however, a fantastic partnership.

  41. "If there were space" -- how can there not be space on a digital blog?!?

  42. Precisely my thoughts upon reading that statement. Space is infinite, time quite the opposite.

  43. On the question as to whether Jimmy and Kim are a couple:

    I like the ambiguity of Jimmy and Kim's relationship. Most TV shows, I think, would focus on the sexual tension between these two characters, à la "Moonlighting" and "Cheers." Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould have chosen not to do the obvious. Perhaps this relates to future plot elements. Or perhaps it's simply because the creators, as they have stated in interviews, avoid doing what the stereotypical TV shows do. (Thank goodness for that!)

  44. Why would Rebecca travel 4000 miles to attend this hearing?

  45. Because the plot requires it, duh.

  46. What does Jimmy get out of that?

  47. Why did Frank Pentageli's brother Vincenzo fly in to Washington, D.C. all the way from Partinico, Sicily just to attend his younger brother's trial?

  48. This was very much more “Caine Mutiny” than Perry Mason.
    I disagree that Jimmy was trying to show that Chuck’s “Allergy” was a long calculated ruse (The “tin foil” gambit aside).
    He painted Chuck as someone who couldn’t admit to any imperfection (the address mix-up), and blaming the itchy patch in his life that is Jimmy was a symptom of his obsession-riddled, irrational mind.

  49. Kim's very first sustained interaction with Jimmy in Season One—the two of them together having a smoke in the parking garage—strongly hinted, if not firmly established, a long-running on again/off again relationship. In all of their intimate scenes together through three seasons, they've been painted as a long term couple in a blurred work/life situation. The fact that they don't act like kids in heat is realistic, not the outcome of some lack of chemistry between the actors. To suggest otherwise is to give two enormous talents short shrift.

  50. Yes, I always just got the sense they'd been together to some degree a long time. And their chemistry to me is much more like that of a couple who has been together a long time than that of a newer couple, which is mostly what is depicted on TV.

  51. Not mentioned in the article, but such a great exchange during the Jimmy/Chuck examination showing how well the brothers knew each other:

    Jimmy asked Chuck where the nearest electronic was and, Chuck knowing "slippin' Jimmy" might be up to a trick - asked Jimmy if he had something in his pocket. Jimmy revealed his cell phone. BUT, Chuck didn't react to the phone. Instead... without hesitation, Chuck reaches over, picks up the phone and shows the court it does not have a battery in it.

    Chuck knew Jimmy would try to trick him and did not fall for the chicanery. He knew Jimmy would not put him in harms way by exposing him to an "active" cell phone. Once again... Chuck knew exactly what Jimmy was going to do... up until the moment he reached into his pocket.

  52. Well, it's not typical chemistry between Kim and Jimmy, but it is chemistry. The loving and knowing glances between them. Bali Hai sung by Jimmy on Kim's answering machine, making her laugh and breaking her mood. Jimmy finding Kim's joy in the short con at that resort. The problem here is that Jimmy doesn't want to hurt her and she doesn't want to be hurt. She's about the most redeeming thing about Jimmy's character.

    I find Howard absolutely facinating: any number of times he saw what was coming and tried to convince Chuck to change course. For someone so buttoned up, he sees and knows a lot and he actually has a heart, though it is carefully protected.

  53. Howard is heart broke because he can't have Kim! Watching his face, I think he was blown away that maybe Chuck is crazy & pure evil.

  54. Good observations. Kim is about the most redeeming thing about Jimmy. The fact that she loves him and see the best in him is remarkable. I think Jimmy knows that she's way too good for him. I'm curious to see how and why this relationship goes South. Howard is facinating. He's so handsome and fastidious about his dress, grooming, and appearance that one is tempted to think he's an empty suit, but he's also smart as a whip and a hell of a lawyer. As you say he has a heart and he certainly doesn't wear it on his monogrammed and custom-tailored sleeve. Also, he seemed very uncomfortable during the hearing at the mention of his father preceding him as a partner in his firm. What's that all about?

  55. Howard is rattled by the underlying suggestion there that HE is no more than a product of the company's nepotism as well - that he only got the job because his daddy worked there...

    Howard was definitely just as shocked as Rebecca by Chuck's rant in the end. You could almost see the tears in his eyes when the shot changed to show Rebecca with her head in her hands. This episode was so extremely well-acted and well-directed that I place it as one of the best of the series.

  56. Have you been watching the show at all. Kim's relationship with Jimmy has been prevalent in seaons 1 and 2. Don't act surprised.

  57. There were some remarkably good writing ideas offered in the comments accompanying last week's review. I was anticipating something like I had read.

    Instead of the reverse pick-pocket trick to put a fully charged battery into Chuck's pocket, I would have preferred one particular scenario which one of our fellow NyTimes posters offered.

    It went like this: Mike's installing Chuck's new door would have provided him with a copy of the key, enabling re-entry at will. Kim's "bingo" not only would have been verification that an original copy existed and would be played at the hearing, but further, she knew that a plan might be feasible to fix that tape to make it not a confession. Mike would have entered the house and "borrowed" the tape, which Jimmy could have then altered with a few key words, negating the felonious "admission." Finally, Mike would have put back it in its hiding place. Then, the playing of the "fixed" tape in the hearing would have blown the case completely and at the same time caused Chuck have a come-apart, probably resulting in his confinement in a mental facility.

    All week I anticipated this dynamic and hilarious series of antics, even telling a couple of fellow "Better Call Saul" fans and also getting them enthusiastic about it... only to be let down with the reverse pick-pocket battery thing.

    Well, the show is great anyway. But, I guess I better just watch it as it comes and avoid planning on fellow NyTime's readers' imaginary turns of events.

  58. I created exactly the same scenario. I even told myself as the trial proceeded that there was no other option. Frankly I think it would have been a better one.

  59. Doctoring the tape would have back-fired.
    Chuck's partner (and maybe the PI) had already heard the tape and would have testified to that fact.

  60. Batteries do not produce current unless a load is connected. When Chuck says there is no current in the overhead lights because they are switched off, he is also describing a loose battery. Yes, when still enclosed inside a switched-off cell phone, the battery supplies some current to keep the phone from dying. But current does not flow in a disconnected battery. There must be completed loop or a connection to a ground. https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/2440/current-flow-in-bat...

  61. True, but Chuck sure reacted in a manner Jimmy wanted. I season 1 when Chuck was first in the Hospital, the Doctor demonstrated it was Psychosomatic by not powering down the hospital bed. On the subject of battery powered devices, I am shocked that Howard wears an electric watch!!!

  62. The show has already shown Chuck's aversion to loose batteries when he is fiddling with the ones to the cassette recorder. Jimmy's ploy is to show his brother's mental capacity comes into question when he knows he will unravel on the stand. Jimmy works people every day of his life, the Army Sargent is a great example. Chuck is a recluse and cannot stand the rigors of public acceptance.

  63. Chuck wears a watch, too! You have to wonder whether or not it has a battery in it, of course. He's all about appearances, after all. But there was a close-up shot of him (last season, I think) when he came home from one of his first outings to HMM. He was lying on the sofa wrapped in a space blanket, still dressed in his suit, presumably in terrible pain. But there was a beautiful watch right there on his wrist.

  64. It's only TV. Gilligan/Gould often say that they strive for plausibility in dealing with technical subjects such as meth manufacture and law. So I frankly do not understand how Kim could, or the Board could allow her to, represent Jimmy given her apparent conflict of interest in the Mesa Verde shenanigans. Perhaps NM is different, but where I was called to the Bar, this potential conflict would require her to withdraw from representing Jimmy as it would impair her ability to advance her client's interest rather than her own. She would have a lot of reasons to downplay any appearance of her involvement, to the detriment of her client. But it's only TV right?

  65. Ah! But neither Mesa Verde nor the tape were the grounds being cited for Jimmy's disbarment. The charges for the hearing were based on Jimmy breaking into Chuck's house, physically threatening him and "destroying personal property." Jimmy and Kim maneuvered Chuck into playing the tape with Chuck thinking it would bring Jimmy's misdeeds out into the open without having to be actual proof for a trial. Howard tried to talk Chuck out of playing the tape or even testifying because he knew Chuck was going to try and take the proceedings there just to satisfy his own sense of "justice."

  66. "It’s hard to see how the thrust of Jimmy’s argument would fully mitigate against the charge against him. But the ultimate point of planting the battery and inviting the Rebecca is surely the rant they provoke from Chuck right before we fade to black." I think you're missing something here. As Jimmy stated to the panel, this isn't so much about proving Chuck is crazy, but whether or not Jimmy felt that Chuck was in a fragile mental state. A state fragile enough for Jimmy to "lie" to him about Chuck's suspicions. Yes, we know that Chuck is correct, and that Jimmy doctored the case file with Mesa Verde. But Jimmy's argument is that he did not doctor anything, but that upon seeing Chuck's house covered in space blankets, he went into damage control and just told Chuck what he wanted to hear, to make him feel better. It's a trap for Chuck, because either way he comes off looking unreliable. Either he was lying about his condition, or he was crazy.

  67. "Question: Are Jimmy and Kim, like, a couple? They sort of seemed to be in this episode, but they did not in the previous few. Either way, they have zero physical chemistry."

    There romantic relationship was established in the first season. The scene of them brushing their teeth looked to me, as a long married person, how two adults who live together behave.

    For me, this was letdown of an episode. I had high hopes after last week's episode ended with Kim's "bingo" comment. That all of Mike's handyman work just turned out to be for the photos seemed anti-climatic. The same with Huell having planted a battery instead of some electronic device which would have been more fitting to Chuck's condition. In the end, the highlight for me was Jimmy in the vet's office with his goldfish. I found myself more curious where the fish ended up then the whole courtroom drama or lack there of.

    Looking forward to the return of Mike and Gus next week.

  68. When Kim tells Jimmy "she's going to hate you after this" what does she mean? Perhaps Rebecca knows Jimmy's character so she will know that is the truth is on the tape even though Jimmy is convincing everyone otherwise? Then the look on their assistant's face as the tape is played; she knows her employer is capable doing all he says on the tape. It is such a specific confession that it will raise a few eyebrows. To think, Kim a season ago would have never got caught up in all this bad publicity courtroom drama to jeopardize a career she's worked so hard to build. Love over career is a losing bet.

  69. Perhaps a shout out from the "Saul" writing staff to the court martial scene in "The Caine Mutiny." Chuck's devolution on the witness stand from arrogant law partner to hate spewing brother bore an uncomfortable similarity to Bogart disassembling on the stand as the beleaguered captain in "Caine."
    The comparisons don't end there. In "Caine," the event was a court martial hearing for mutiny where naval officers decided the accused's fate. In last night's episode, Saul is basically looking for two votes from the three lawyers on a disciplinary panel to keep his law license. This isn't a criminal or civil trial/ The standard of proof is less and the panel has a ton of leeway in their decision-making..
    This is TV not real life but, suppose it's a real situation. Chuck's credibility is shot. He took the firm files home and then claims Jimmy tampered with them (we know Jimmy did). Jimmy, while appearing somewhat compromised, looks like a guy trying to save an unbalanced brother with his statements on the tape. Jimmy gets a suspension but doesn't lose his license. Chuck's actually exposed to a license suspension on his fitness to practice. That'd be nice bit of irony.

  70. I really enjoyed the episode and had no problem with the hearing consuming the entire hour. It emphasizes how important it is to the story line. However, while watching Jimmy lure Chuck into his trap, I got the eerie feeling that Chuck would at some point shout out "You can't handle the truth!"

  71. Great episode, but painful to watch because it presages impending tragedies, sooner and possibly fatal for Chuck, and as a cause of Kim's exit leaving Jimmy his loveless BB caricature. "She'll hate you" may not apply only to Rebecca.

    BTW more Ann Cusak please! Maybe a Fargo Judge Mundt spinoff.

  72. There was a moment -- so brief you would have missed it if you blinked -- when the soon-to-be Saul made his first appearance. It was during one of the hearing breaks, and Jimmy and Kim were standing by the vending machine. Kim says something like, "She's going to hate you for this," (meaning Rebecca). After a second or two, all Jimmy said in response was, "Yeah," and it was over. That was the moment. Even his face was different. For a split second, there was no trace of Jimmy. He was all Saul.

    I got a chill when I saw that, and suddenly felt very sad, like we're about to say goodbye to a dear friend, the one our mothers always told us to stay away from. The Saul we met in BB -- cynical and self-interested to the exclusion of everyone else in the world -- made his first crack through the eggshell, like a baby chick. That broke my heart a little, even though I knew it was coming. I wonder if it'll be that way for Kim, too.

  73. I was thinking the same as reader Cynthia pointed out ''what will Kim think of Saul'' as we did not see any Kim in BB. I am afraid we will loose Kim sooner than later, too bad.

  74. I really hope there are miles to go before the full transition. I don't want this series to end. When it does, I hope the last scene is Jesse walking into Saul's office to hire him to represent Badger. Great, great writing.

  75. Because Chuck had a practice of keeping confidential legal records unsecured in his home rather than in secure files at the HHM office, I think Howard will squash any more deliberation by the board over the Mesa Verde issue. After Chuck's breakdown on the stand, he will unable to defy Howard's wishes. To appease Chuck, JImmy will agree to change his name. I think the board will give Jimmy a short suspension because of the breaking and entering charge. The actors on this show from top to bottom are incredile, as is the writing! What an oasis in the desert of monotonous televised boredom!

  76. For those of you below a certain age:

    This episode has a striking resemblance to the court martial scene in "The Caine Mutiny" wherein defense attorney Barney Rosenfeld (Jose Ferrer) direct examines Capt. Queeg (Humphrey Bogart). Queeg decompensates while under oath & proves that Queeg's PTSD related incompetence endangered the crew of the USS Caine during a typhoon.
    The end results are similar: The USS Caine & her compliment of officers return to WW2 and eventually VJ Day (minus Queeg) & Jimmy McGill returns to his business as usual minus sibling rivalry & his date with destiny & his new identity, Saul Goodman.

  77. Pretty much stolen from it.

  78. Not stolen.... an homage. ;-)

  79. Ironically. a male friend and I were just talking about how much we enjoy Jimmy's and Kim's relationship. At its foundation is a genuine friendship and mutual liking and sincere caring for each other. Their relationship is far more realistic than many other portrayals of television couples. I find it endearing.

    Regarding the newspaper beneath the gas lantern, I bet it's an old one. The photos remind me of ones taken to document evidence of people who are pack rats to the degree that their homes are sources of danger. Chuck's definitely appears to be a fire hazard. Jimmy may also be trying to prove that Chuck is not mentally competent to live alone, much less to practice law and be trusted with legal documents such as from the Mesa Verde case.

  80. Huell! Great to see him. While I love the Mike/Gus/cartel story line, I thought last night's episode was great and I didn't need feel a need to check in there. OK, there are implausibilities in what happened, as several comments note, but in the end what it did was to finally have Chuck air his resentment toward Jimmy. I think its obvious that Jimmy's confession to Chuck was motivated by concern, and that he could legitimately argue that he would say anything at that point if it would help Chuck. That defense will fly now, although whether he gets completely exonerated remains uncertain. But while Jimmy has not behaved well, at the end of the the day he has a heart. Chuck is the opposite, following all the rules while having an apparently malevolent desire to destroy any success that his brother - who despite all his failings has always looked up to and cared about Chuck - may have. I think Jimmy's sadness over provoking the outburst from Chuck is genuine - he has just taken down somebody he has always admired, and I don't think he feels good about it.

  81. I suggest David Segal read up on what psychosomatic actually means. It does not mean that all the symptoms are psychological in origin nor does it mean that the symptoms aren't "real."
    What it means is that the problems are caused by an interaction between psychological and physical factors.

  82. Great episode.

  83. Chuck's a psychosomatic drama queen who just can't stand Jimmy getting anywhere, especially with a law degree.
    First, prove Chuck hates Jimmy, then that Chuck's a conniving fraud, and finally that he deliberately and knowingly, with malice aforethought, entrapped Jimmy.
    So far so good.
    Can't wait to see Jimmy go bad and morph into Saul.
    Great stuff.

  84. Kim is ambivalent toward Jimmy, but she's his wingperson in this episode. Any sexual chemistry would have mucked up the already complicated proceedings, and it felt like part of the courtroom strategy between two characters who planned their attack to a T. Kim was, however, visibly edgy when questioning Howard; there, we see her vulnerability. But beside Jimmy she's completely composed. To me, her coolness reflects a deeper level of connection between them than any innuendo would have.
    Jimmy has shown himself to be both masterly and reckless when it comes to the details. He flouts firm practice and makes his own commercials (last season) and pulls off the address change, but it's mystifying that he lets himself be set up by Chuck. Then again, older brother Chuck has the capacity to pull the string on Jimmy over and over again; despite the emotional pain, Jimmy keeps coming back for more. One wonders whether he would ever leave Chuck to die alone, as he suggests he would.
    I too missed Mike and Hector and Gus. But I got such a hit from seeing the set up of Hector's drivers that it lasted a week. The courtroom drama had the same lasting power. More, please.

  85. I thought Jimmy would sandbag Chuck by rigging some sort of electrical interference that puts him in the hospital when he needs to be at the disbarment hearing. But Howard put that to bed early on when he tried to talk Chuck out of testifying. Chuck's reasoning is only he can adequately explain the tape recording, but we know his real reason is he wants the personal pleasure of ending his black sheep brother's legal career himself. My instincts were validated anyway when Jimmy's plan involved a more complicated version of the electrical interference ruse, and brought him together with his Breaking Bad henchman Huell to boot.

  86. I'm especially amazed at the quality of the writing on this show. Each week there's at least one standout scene with truly memorable lines. Last week it was Gus telling Mike the reason he wanted Hector to live. This week it was Chuck's rant. One thing BCS shares with Breaking Bad: It gives its audience so many reasons to enjoy repeated viewings.

  87. It was nice to see our old (future?) friend Huell. Also nice to see that the actor who plays him is looking noticeably more svelte. This contrast with the character's appearance works well for a prequel, unlike the way "little Kaylee" wasn't so little in last week's cameo. In the case of Huell, it's perfectly reasonable that he was trim as a younger man and subsequently, aided by paydays from Saul, started overeating. This was a great episode.

  88. And on the rewatch, the Vet makes a comment referencing Huell's size - something like, "does he need to fit in small spaces?" - a brilliant subtle clue.

  89. I believe the point of the cold-opening was to establish that; Chuck is capable of deceiving his loved ones about his illness, a fact Jimmy later brings up during cross-examination, and to show that Rebecca had to idea about his condition post-divorce.

    I agree that events unfolded a little too perfectly for Jimmy and Kim re Chuck's rant at the end. Chuck HAD to know that Jimmy's only real defense would be to frame his actions as the result of a brotherly feud, not a pursuit of justice. I cant believe Chuck would allow himself to lose his cool like that, especially after hitting Jimmy with the "do you have any more questions for me" line from A Few Good Men, in fact, Chuck's rant seemed more in line with Nicholson's from that movie, not Perry Mason.

  90. I'm not sure a date would be visible on that newspaper. This was before hi-resolution cell-phone photos that are easy to enlarge.
    Jimmy and Kim have always been an on and off couple. Jimmy is more invested in the relationship than Kim.

  91. a newspaper's date can be identified by anything. Lede, Photo.

    But was it for sure the current day's paper? Seems easy enough to get an old copy of one. Delis keep them in stacks when they don't sell.

  92. That is a dead red herring. Could be an old Financial Times.

  93. I think Kim is heavily invested in Jimmy. An incredibly honest person, she breaks the law with him and for him. Even when she knows he did what Chick accused him, she stands by her man. When Jimmy says sheepishly says to her, "You know that thing we are never supposed to talk about again..." Kim gave Jimmy conditions to keep the relationship going. She loves him. He loves her.

  94. The show is gradually getting to the point when Jimmy becomes Saul, and this meticulous episode gave us some clues (we think) as to what will be the tipping point. A disbarment or suspension for Jimmy may cause him to find a back alley to continue his law career, but I think we all know that Vince Gilligan will ride this out very deliberately and (as one reader said) wait for the other shoe to drop. I think it's very clear that both Jimmy and Chuck's credibility are both damaged as a result of this hearing. Of course we are rooting for Jimmy to best his brother, and revel in Chuck's demise, but I certainly expect a counterpunch still from Chuck. What will ultimately destroy the McGill name for Jimmy? Wouldn't it be an interesting twist if we eventually found out that Jimmy and Chuck are not biological brothers??

  95. I love the complex, multi-faceted characters on this show, just as I did with Breaking Bad. I'm challenged each week to consider each character's motivations and goals, and often to reconsider what is "good"/"bad", "right"/"wrong." We find ways to cheer for the "bad" guys -- those who are devious, ruthless, even criminal -- because maybe they're not so "bad" at the core, and we can identify with some aspect of their experience (meth manufacturing and dealing aside). Chuck suffers from mental illness and resents Jimmy; Jimmy is constantly seeking his brother's love and acceptance but will never be good enough; Mike saves the money from his "jobs" for his granddaughter; before he was "the one who knocks," Walt got into the meth business to provide for his family because he thought he was dying. We can sympathize with these noble intentions (and sometimes even the means the characters employ to pursue them).

  96. I saw no sense in the Rebecca character. Her presence in the courtroom would have had no affect on Chuck as his cover had been blown by his own admission and the court's leniency in catering to it. If he had been so determined to save face in her presence he would have reined in his meltdown. Chuck had already taken the position that he had "faked" his condition's seriousness to sucker Jimmy into confessing. The planted cell phone would merely have shown his condition as mild, since after all it was the activation of the phone that caused issues, and that one never was activated. Jimmy's confession should stand, but now Chuck's vindictiveness undermines it.

  97. The only better BCS moments were when he was shown working at Cinnabon in black and white.

  98. Why did Jimmy invite the ex-wife?

  99. To rattle Chuck by her presence.

  100. ...to add to Chuck's stress level.

  101. All part of throwing Chuck off balance.

  102. During Chuck's breakdown, I kept thinking Humphry Bogart and strawberries.

  103. I am surprised that no one mentioned Franchot Tone's absolute evisceration of Humphrey Bogart in "The Caine Mutiny." Jimmy must have seen the movie because he followed that script perfectly in eviscerating Chuck.

  104. I agree but it was Jose Ferrer and not Franchot Tone who did the eviscerating in the Caine Mutiny. Credit to IMDB. Great episode. Great show.

  105. The invitation of the Chuck's ex-wife reminded me of the appearance of Vincenzo Pantangeli at the Congressional hearing in the Godfather. It changes the testimony and the result.

  106. Jimmy was an aficionado of the Godfather. He brought Rebecca in as a last
    chance for Chuck to get her back. For Chuck to take a safety and walk away from the court and with Rebecca in hand.
    In Godfather scene with Duval and Mike at the Senate hearing is where Jimmy got his plan

  107. Jimmy and Kim act more like brother and sister than anything else. It's weird.

  108. While I love the spot-on Captain Queeg analogy, I flashed to a different movie when I saw Chuck’s ex-wife enter the courtroom: Godfather Part II. When Frank Pentangeli’s brother enters the Senate hearing room, while you don’t know who the brother is, you know this character will have an influence on the testimony Pentangeli is about to deliver. When Rebecca entered that courtroom, well after the hearing had begun, I absolutely knew that it would have some kind of influence on Chuck’s testimony. It did.

  109. I loved how the writers have juxtaposed the way Chuck baited his brother to a "confession" with a hidden tape at home, to how Jimmy setup an elaborate trap in the court room to expose his brother's "mental" condition with a hidden battery - proper chicanery.

  110. Somebody last week suggested that BCS have two seasons per year. I thought yeah fat chance. I looked at my DVR Series Records the list is getting shorter. Other than News Shows (depressing/so so sad) There is a short list of excellent shows that are running out or run out. BCS, The Americans, Fargo, Underground, The Outsiders, Billions. Twin Peaks is coming but it is unknown whether they can capture the magic again.

    Double season BCS!!!!!!

  111. Here is why, I think, Rebecca was in the courtroom. Recall the episode's opening scene. Chuck wants to hide his condition from her more than he wants to hide it from anyone else in the world. Recall his statement to her in the courtroom: "You're being sold a bill of goods." So, when Jimmy reveals that a fully charged battery has been in his pocket for well over an hour, Chuck's conceit that he is psychologically sound is blown out of the water. Publically, in a courtroom of all places (a realm in which he is accustomed to being dominant), AND, most importantly, in front of Rebecca. He goes from supreme confidence to abject humiliation in an instant, and his fury toward Jimmy flares to a fever pitch, causing him to lose his composure and reveal his true reasons for having conned Jimmy into making his confession on the supposedly incriminating tape.

    And that's the defense- that Jimmy was actually lying on the tape to save his brother from throwing away what remained of his career. After Chuck's malevolent rant, this version of events, though untrue, becomes all the more plausible to the folks on the panel. The long suffering younger brother done wrong yet again by the brilliant yet small souled man whom he was only trying to help. There's no long con involved, Dave. None of this involves any notion of Chuck's illness having been a fake from the get go.

  112. Spot on. Chuck is just sad. And Jìmmy and Kim are just uptight. Not everyone in the world is demonstrative or even physically affectionate. One of the great aspects of Gilligan's work is his embrace of reality in all it's stark and diverse beauty. Take the inside of the lawn mower shot at the beginning of the episode.

  113. What about the scenes for next week, the very last words spoken were Kim's saying 'Saul Goodman'. Maybe Saul is getting ready to appear.

  114. She's saying "it's all good man." Maybe this is when he gets the idea for the name.

  115. One of the (many) seeds planted in this episode is about Kim. Her little chat with the Mesa Verde people is a sign that Jimmy's antics will most likely cost her the Mesa Verde contract. (I guess she will dump Jimmy soon after.)

  116. Jimmy created an "out" for himself by arguing that his confession to changing the address was made so that crazy Chuck would stop blaming himself. This is reason enough for Mesa Verde to keep Kim on by at least muddying the waters as to whether or not it actually happened. Not saying that MV doesn't pull the plug though.

  117. I have rarely felt so happy seeing karma in action as I was watching Chuck's downfall in this episode.

  118. This show has made me think of a section of Robert Grave's "I Claudius." Claudius says that there are 4 kinds of men- "Good" good men- men who are thoroughly good (Kim, and perhaps Howard), "Bad" bad men- men who are thoroughly evil (Hector), "Good" bad men, who he describes as rascals and charmers (clearly Jimmy), and "Bad" good men, disciplinarians and moralists (Chuck). I've been wondering if Vince Gilligan was inspired by this. I'm sure he is familiar with "I Claudius."

  119. Very interesting observation thank you. So where do you see Mike Ehrmantrout categorized? Is he a "Bad" good man or a "Good" bad man, and why?

  120. Mike = Good Bad man... His goodness is shown in the Samaritan, "They were not in the game"

  121. I think I might be leaning towards "Bad" good man. He is constantly showing signs of being a conflicted moralist. Think of his lecture to Pryce about the difference between a criminal and a "bad guy". Plus he gives Nacho part of his money back when Tuco's sentence is lightened, same with refusing to accept Gus' money. These were all acts of purported integrity, while he is simultaneously committing crimes eventually escalating to murder. I think this is what will attract him to Gus because Gus too, has a veneer of legitimacy and ultra competency. Gus and Mike see this trait in each other.

    This is a central theme in both BB and BCS. Many of the critical characters are not just talented but unbelievably talented in their underlying discipline - Walt is a chemistry genius, Chuck and the law, Gus and logistics, Mike and fixing. Yet their willingness to "go bad" ends up sabotaging their talents and undoing them.

  122. Best episode yet of this marvelous TV series.

  123. Would appreciate another live after show with the writers, Saul, Chuck, and Kim. Am already calling him Saul, since the man we knew will be gone when the results of the hearing are announced.

  124. Oh have you not yet discovered the Better Call Saul Insider's Podcast? I eagerly await it's download every Tuesday.

  125. I found about it last week from another poster. After listening to it I rewatch stored episodes. I make a point of waiting to listen to it for a couple of days after seeing comments here so I don't suppress other peoples Ideas PS I was chuffed that my posting of the Holly Firestation was confirmed ;) I can now sleep a long goodnight.!!!

  126. Yes, they can do passion. But not TV passion. They are both too funny, and the loss is ours.

  127. It took me many seasons to stop empathizing with Walter White. There came a time when I thought, "Enough. I no longer care what he thinks he's doing. He's awful." I got to that point when Jimmy transposed the numbers last season. Sorry, it's not okay to break the law. Even if it's for your awesome girlfriend and you have a winning personality and a heart of gold. After this episode, I am done with Jimmy. I don't much like the show any more. I look forward to his demise. Kim has rather fallen in my estimation as well. Chuck may be the devil (as the consensus seems to be), but Jimmy is no saint. I guess the rules are different for charismatic underdogs, as our current president can testify.

  128. @MB: If you watched Breaking Bad, you had to have known where this was leading -- the whole point of BCS show is to tell us the story of how Jimmy McGill became Saul Goodman; it's about his corruption, not his sainthood.

  129. The show isn't meant to make you like Jimmy. It's about the arcs of people who start with good intentions, break bad, and end up where they end up. It's not easy understanding complex things, "as our current president can testify." Next spinoff...how young and innocent Gus Fring got into the drug business?

  130. @ChrisColes: "No Muss Gus?"

  131. This is a classic episode in the Breaking Bad/ Better Call Saul world. If you like this Episode, you love this series.

  132. I particularly enjoyed this episode because I loved to see Chuck defeated in the place he dear the most: the court room. What strikes me is Jimmy's behavior. He is determined to defeat his brother at all cost as shown in the coffee machine scene. This shift of feelings and behaviors will be the life-motive of the next episode.My biggest guess is that this shift will give Jimmy the input for some bold action towards his brother that will negatively affect his relation with Kim which, is his only thing that withstand from him to become Saul.

  133. And let's not overlook the layered excellence of the acting. With this episode, I'm thinking particularly of Michael McKean, but everyone in the cast consistently delivers.

  134. I thought that before- and after-battery Chuck on the witness stand was great acting by Micheal McKean. Smarmy champion of Justice in total control turns into enraged head case. And great job Jimmy!

  135. Hmmm, I wonder if both Kim's and Howard's fears that this hearing might have a negative impact on their own reputation (Howard thinking or at least arguing a bit more in terms of his own company's PR) lead them to apply some pressure on Jimmy to change his name, become a new individual altogether as he continues his practice as a lawyer. Maybe Howard simply pays him off to do it? That would be the easy way to clear any further associations with their future business, to make that person simply "disappear". I bet Chuck will soon be pressured to resign as well.

  136. I think you have hit on what is going to happen. Based on this episode, Jimmy is morphing into Saul. A big payoff + Kim brush off will tip him over to solid Saul.

  137. I loved this episode. It does bug me that the battery in Chuck's pocket is no more electro-anything than a pair of reading glasses. The battery is only electromagnetic if it is plugged into something that lets it move electrons from one of its terminals to the other. But, the bar panel isn't expected to be physicists, I guess.

  138. But what's important is that Chuck's reaction to the battery (potent or impotent, charged or uncharged) is one of fear, panic and physical revulsion (he hurls or drops it on the floor), which serves to prove that it's not the battery/phone/electricity itself that affects him, but simply his own mental illness/irrational belief(s).

  139. That maybe was one of the most memorable .dramatic pieces of Television in my memory. The breakdown of Chuck as played by Michael McKean, breathtaking. It always breaks my heart when Chuck betrays Jimmy but this was a revelation. Great television!

  140. slight technical quibble about the battery - Chuck was speaking of electromagnetic sources and current, but what was sitting in his pocket was an unconnected battery, and hence providing no current. as such, shouldn't have been an issue, as i understood it from their previous discussion.

    it would have been better if they had tied his phobia to electric fields, which would apply to batteries whether loaded or unloaded to appliances.

    all that silly stuff aside, what a stupendously satisfying episode.

  141. I personally appreciate the understated physical relationship between Jimmy and Kim. The two can hold each other's hands for a second, or a scene can show them waking up in the same place, and the audience can deduce that they are more than just friends. Explicitly showing more intimate scenes is not necessary; the subtlety is honestly refreshing.

  142. I thought the flashback was too long and slowed the momentum, but the ending was devilishly clever even if some of the science was questionable. I loved the focus on the exit sign. I, too, missed seeing Gus and the other bad guys. But, still what an ending. It was so emotionally satisfying to see Jimmy out fox his brother. By the way, I find Chuck a very obnoxious and unpleasant character while Jimmy with all his crookedness comes across as sympathetic to me.
    As far as Jimmy and KIm, who cares? There's so much other great stuff in the show.

  143. My thoughts regarding the ex-wife being present go back to what Jimmy said to Chuck while waiting for the cops to arrest him: you're going to die alone. The difference between Jimmy and Chuck is that Jimmy truly cares about his brother, while Chuck cares about Jimmy as long as he stays in his place (i.e. below Chuck). Jimmy took no delight in what he did to Chuck - his undercurrent of sadness was so touching and is a tribute to Bob Odenkirk's acting chops. Earlier at the vending machines, Kim says to Jimmy, "she's going to hate you after this" and Jimmy sadly agrees. I think Rebecca was called by Jimmy because he knew someone would need to be there for Chuck since their brotherly bond was going to be destroyed. Maybe I'm too sentimental about Jimmy - but he's known since the hospital scene that Chuck's illness was all in his head but was always there for him anyway.
    God. I love this show.
    And, P.S. Kim is perfect and her relationship with Jimmy is very realistic for two people who live and work together. She's not the type to be big on the PDA and this ain't no "Hart to Hart"!

  144. Kim is amazing. Talk about strong and complicated. So smart that even the Old Boys of Law respect her, and are beginning now to fear her. She's not afraid of previous niceties, look at how she faced down her former boss without a flicker of an eye lash. She's loyal to Jimmy and knows more than anyone about his predilections toward sleaze and shortcuts. Loves him anyway. She's so adept at balancing her role as a scrupulous and brilliant layer and that of managing and working with Jimmy makes for really riveting flim. Something about those occasional scenes of her smoking the forbidden cig with Jimmy, the casual, deep and judgement-free companionability she's capable of, is actually groundbreaking for women characters on TV. I also can't get enough of her prep-routines, the micro-managed outfits, makeup, all the female professional "signage" that's she's internalized and has down to a science. She's responsible for so many more personality facets more than Jimmy is, and yet she's canny enough to see the attraction of Jimmy's loosey goosey swing, and respects his potential. Couple of the Year. (and agree, zero chemistry; more like real life I would posit.. maybe)

  145. This is the classic set-up episode. Not great or exciting - no Mike, Gus, and others we like so much - yet this episode was oh-so necessary as a bridge that leads to a great destination. By the way, has anyone noticed how Kim's character is growing? She no longer is simply that boring, well, hmmm, for lack of a more descriptive term, lawyer. Suddenly she shows feelings. She thinks ahead. Kim always was admired for her tenacity. Now suddenly she does not merely want to succeed. Kim wants to WIN! Her transition and many other revelations in this series are very exciting to watch. And perhaps make what usually is the most boring day of the week the day of anticipation.

  146. So what was the "Bingo!" that Kim exclaimed at the end of the prior episode?

    I have a theory. Kim was able to extract that there was a copy of the tape. This equates to a conspiracy, probably with Hamlin. Chuck would not have been able to accomplish this himself . . . unless he did, which negates his electromagnetic hypersensitivity claim. Either way, a "Bingo!"

  147. The point of exposing Chuck's malady as a mental condition and not a physical allergy was not to show that Chuck was trying to con Jimmy, it was to show that Jimmy was concerned for Chuck's mental health and said what he said on the tape about swapping the addresses because he thought Chuck wanted to hear it, and that it wasn't true. Pushing Chuck into an emotional outburst on the stand only reinforced the idea that Chuck was paranoid and may have imagined the address swapping allegation against Jimmy.

  148. A lot of comments mention that the battery should not have been used because it wasn't plugged in to anything. What I recall in a recent episode is how Chuck was handling the brand new batteries that Ernesto purchased. Chuck wouldn't open the package and he wouldn't touch them without the wooden sticks which showed me that any battery would set off his "sensitivity".

  149. I agree with you and I would go a step further to say it doesn't matter whether a static battery would really emit a charge or not. What matters is that Chuck thinks it does. His hypersensitivity is all a delusion in his head, which is what Jimmy proves along with proving Chuck's malicious intent.

    What a clever show, really makes you think!

  150. Exactly; what I was getting at.

  151. Jimmy's goal was to get Chuck to lie during his testimony. Doing so would serve the dual purpose of exonerating Jimmy while subjecting Chuck to the most severe bar discipline: disbarment. Does anyone thing Jimmy succeeded? I do. Chuck testified that he has electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and described in great detail the symptoms he experiences when exposed. However Chuck betrayed himself by failing to detect the cellphone battery. Furthermore, if my suspicion is correct, Chuck personally participated in copying the tape. If true, then for Chuck, the gig's up. Finally, I would not be surprised if the now thoroughly disgraced and humiliated Chuck proceeds to do something terrible. That would be a legitimate rationale for Jimmy to petition for a legal name change.

  152. Jimmy's strategy was brilliant and it took some unraveling and contemplation to understand properly. Basically, Jimmy never admitted that he indeed tampered with the Mesa Verda files. Rather, he tried to paint a picture for the disciplinary panel that he said he tampered with the file solely to console Chuck in his very fragile state. Jimmy then demonstrated that Chuck sought to disbar Jimmy on the basis of these statements because Chuck had a deep-seeded hate for Jimmy, not because Jimmy actually tampered with his client files. This is why Jimmy sought to demonstrate that Chuck was really playing up his illness with the extra mylar sheets, and that Jimmy was always the first to take care of Chuck when he had an episode. All of this supports that Chuck knew Jimmy would say whatever Chuck wanted him to say to make Chuck feel better and thereby incriminate himself. Anyone who is a member of a family can relate to these types of family dynamics, and I think the disciplinary will really respond to Jimmy's arguments for those reason, perhaps only suspending his license. At that point, my best guess is that Jimmy returns as Saul!

  153. A great comment, sir. Also, remember the last episode when Kim provoked Chuck to admit he had the original of the tape preserved and he testified that Jimmy destroyed a copy. You'll also recall Kim and Jimmy discussing the semantics of their brief in opposition (Jimmy put "damaged" instead of "destroyed" -- which I believe he was forced to change.) This little nugget has potential great import now. First of all, the pleadings Chuck filed were sworn under oath by him as being complete and truthful. Depending on the verbiage used, this could be a big problem for him in terms of the pleadings if he represented or implied that Jimmy destroyed the original. It may turn out that Jimmy gets off on a technicality if Chuck cannot prove he destroyed the tape (even though we all know he did, it still requires proper proof of foundation and chain of custody to use it to disbar someone). Of course, it also focuses on the legerdemain employed by chuck and further undercuts the equity of his position.

  154. Lots of well deserved accolades for this standout episode. But for me, the fact that this was a complete Jimmy-centric episode, with no Mike, Gus, cartel, etc. and was still one of, if not the, best show on TV right now is incredible. This is really two loosely connected shows right now with completely different dynamics. Kudos to Gilligan and crew for pulling it off and expanding the BB universe without ever cheapening it. Like BB, this is an impossible show to describe to someone who hasn't seen it. Every episode is shot and written with such exquisite attention to detail. Can't wait for next week!

  155. I was wondering if anyone else got that - almost line for line!

  156. I think we need to learn more about Howard Hamlin.
    Is that name homage to Harry Hamlin and 'LA Law'?
    But, I like Mike and Gus better

  157. I desperately want to know more about Howard. In particular, I'm curious about the other H in HHM. In addition, it seem ludicrous for Howard to bend over backwards for a man as sick as Chuck. I can't believe the possibility of cashing out is the only or even real answer. I think the other H of HHM is involved somehow. Or, maybe that's wishful thinking on my part.

  158. A big hint that Chuck`s "illness" is psicosomatic appears at the very beggining of the episode: A guy is using an electric lawnmower just a few meters away from Chuck, who`s in turn totally into having the chandeliers and all the rest of the lights out. Tottaly ironic. The writer and showrunner its a genius

  159. Has anyone noticed Saul had a heart attack and died?
    All the opening segments had Saul in the present. Then he has a black an d white heart attack a few episodes ago--and no more present! No more black and white openings!
    Game over for Goodman? Sad songs for Saul? Better call the coroner?
    Agree with everyone this was a great show. Reminded me favourably of The Caine Mutiny. All that was missing were metal balls in Chuck's hand. Better than Bogart! Go McKean!

  160. Having read pretty much all the comments here's something new -- is it possible to even contemplate having a relationship with someone who has never watched much less heard of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul? :) And probably won't watch either.

  161. No.

  162. FINALLY. The first two seasons seemed like a prologue, not legitimate episodes, as the story plodded through a senior community real estate drama and a turgid subplot involving vague brotherly rivalry. We haven't even heard our main character called by the name in the title yet. I'm happy to see we're finished taxiing and are now ready to take off. Until this season, this show looked like it depended on Breaking Bad fan loyalty for its existence. Now it's looking like a legitimate drama, capable of standing on its own merit.

  163. "And the fact that he never told his wife, Rebecca (Ann Cusack), about this “malady” supports the notion that Chuck has been playing a long con."

    I don't think that's the right reading. Jimmy is trying to prove that even though Chuck believes he is allergic to electricity, he is actually suffering from a mental condition. Other than when Chuck covers his house in space blankets to trick Jimmy, Chuck's reactions to electricity are not being deliberately faked. Jimmy is not trying to prove that Chuck has been working a long con. He is trying to show that his brother is in fact mentally ill, and that he, Jimmy, has acted to give his brother relief anyway he can. The truth is, if Jimmy had not forged the documents and Chuck had made a transpositional error, Jimmy very well may have made up a confession to make his brother feel better. That's why Jimmy's argument holds up so well.