AMC’s Better Call Saul
5×10: “Something Unforgivable”
Directed by Peter Gould
Written by Gould & Ariel Levine
* For a recap & review of 5×09, “Bad Choice Road” – click here
* For a recap & review of 6×01, click here.
When Lalo’s gone, Kim and Jimmy are left with the fallout. They’re paranoid, watching Nacho drive off with Lalo. Jimmy picks up the phone again but gets little from Mike. He got his ass saved by Kim, for sure, but now she’s wondering what the hell is happening to their lives. He explains what really happened near the border and how Mike killed everybody to get him out of there. Kim’s much too deep into this, because any normal person would turn tail and run. Yet she embraces Jimmy, and they head to a hotel for the time being. If she’s this deep, she won’t get out until something horrible happens. Even he sees it, questioning whether he’s a bad influence in her life.
At the burned remains of Los Pollos Hermanos, Gus meets Mike to hear about Lalo’s trip across the border. He discovers Nacho went along, too. Mike thinks that Nacho will be “up for a promotion,” not killed. There’ll be “crossfire” somewhere down the road, and Mike would like to get the guy out. Nevertheless, Mr. Fring has a cold heart, unwilling to do much for Nacho. He’d rather put the situation to use for his purposes. In Mexico, Lalo has returned to his well-guarded, well-maintained compound. Nacho looks at the place more like a prison than anything.
“Am I bad for you?”
The next morning Kim’s off to court, though Jimmy isn’t thrilled to see her go. He’s worried, obviously. She wants to keep living life, and she’s got responsibilities to her clients. She knows Jimmy thinks it’s not safe despite his constant refusal to be honest about what he’s thinking. He can’t convince her to stay, no matter how paranoid he comes across. So when Kim leaves Jimmy gets on the phone looking for answers— getting none, he decides to go out. She goes to take on as much work as humanly possible, almost as penance for what she’s involved herself in with Jimmy and his new status as friend of the cartel. She also runs into Howard. When she tells him about her latest job move he tells her about offering Jimmy a job then what happened later. Kim laughs at him, whereas Howard sees Jimmy as influencing her in a very bad way. She tells him: “I know Jimmy, and you‘re wrong.” A massive lie— and she knows it.
Nacho gets word in Mexico someone’s coming to get him.
But is it going to work out as well as expected? He’s scared what’ll happen to the other people at the compound, like the sweet old people that look after the place.
Jimmy’s busy banging on Mike’s door. The old gets back to find the lawyer on his doorstep, and he isn’t happy, either. Jimmy is seeking some sort of certainty he’ll never be able to get, because the business Mike is in— the business Jimmy’s put himself in the middle of willingly— trafficks in a LOT of things, pun intended, but certainty isn’t one of them. Above all else, Jimmy knows his choices could blow back on Kim. He hears about Lalo being marked for death. Again, though… will it happen as planned? Probably not, if I had to make a bet.
The sneaky Salamanca is off to see Don Eladio. He quickly gets to impressing the Don, giving him the keys to a beautiful car that reminds Eladio of Magnum P.I. and makes him very happy. The Don’s even more thrilled by all the money in the frunk. He then meets his new “man up north,” Nacho. The two get chatting, giving Nacho an opportunity to try impressing the Don himself. He lays out a plan to take over biker gang territory which Eladio at first thinks is reckless but soon sees as the plan of a real businessman.At the hotel, Jimmy and Kim have fancy room service. She mentions the bowling ball incident and the prostitutes that Howard told her about, and he makes no attempt at denying it. She laughs it off like Howard was white knighting. In a sense, Howard was doing that, but at the same time he was only trying to look out for her. She’s so lost in this and blind to the reality of her relationship with Jimmy that she really thinks doing constant pro bono work will offset the morality she’s giving up. She and Jimmy discuss different new ways to fuck with Howard all night in a strange kind of foreplay. Kim goes so far as to suggest framing Howard for “something terrible.” Yikes! She’s sunk far down. Also kinda negates her whole ‘do pro bono because I feel guilty’ shtick.
Nacho’s ready in the early morning to get extracted from the compound, awaiting the violent onslaught scheduled to arrive soon. He finds Lalo sitting by a fire in the yard drinking, telling him he’ll be “halfway to being a Salamanca” by the time he returns to America. He’s anxious. The two men bond a little, more than they have in all the time they’ve known one another. Nacho patiently and nervously awaits what’s coming, heading inside for some stronger booze. He fills a pan with oil and turns on a burner before bringing the liquor back out for him and Lalo. Eventually there’s smoke billowing out of the house, sending Lalo inside, and Nacho goes for the locked door at the back wall where he finds armed men waiting. While Nacho runs the men infiltrate the compound. This leaves Lalo ambushed, but he’s a bad motherfucker. He gets himself to a hatch that leads into a tunnel below the property, allowing him to get out. He heads right back inside to do a little ambushing of his own. And it’s brutal.
Lalo’s busying not being killed as Jimmy and Kim spend their last night at a hotel, assuming they’re totally safe from any violent repercussions. They’re continuing their talk about fucking Howard over to get the Sandpiper payoff and what they’ll do with the money. It’s honestly a dramatically ironic, tragic scene. Jimmy knows this means “scorched earth” if they decide to go ahead with their plan. He’s seeing the moral toll he’s taken on Kim before his very eyes. “It‘s not you,” he says. But maybe it is now. Jimmy can live with a lot. Can he live with fundamentally altering Kim’s morality?
Not to mention what’ll happen with Lalo and the cartel. Gonna get ugly.
Very intense finale for Season 5.
There’s a lot that’s going wrong, and real fast. Many implications for Season 6. It’ll be exciting, and surely tragic, to see where Kim’s journey goes from here. I also keep wondering how Nacho will meet his end, seeing as how we know he doesn’t survive up to the Breaking Bad timeline. Both he AND Kim are in for a bad ride.