Better Call Saul “Pimento” Review (Season 1 Episode 9)

At the close of last week’s episode of Better Call Saul, things were looking up for both Jimmy and Chuck thanks to their lucrative lawsuit against the Sandpiper nursing home that had RICO implications. Jimmy’s career was on the upswing and Chuck appeared to be moving past his once crippling fear of all things electromagnetic.

Sandpiper’s attorneys were not going slowly off into the night. In response to Chuck’s $2 million dollar demand, Sandpiper’s counsel began engaging in dirty tricks in order to impede Jimmy and Chuck’s progress. As Chuck correctly warned Jimmy, the Sandpiper lawsuit would take years to reach a resolution and it would take more than the Jimmy/Chuck two man team to face the full court press of Sandpiper’s attorneys. It was readily apparent to Jimmy and those of us watching at home that Chuck was suggesting that they bring HHM in on the lawsuit for some much needed support. Although the Sandpiper lawsuit was lucrative, it would take years before Jimmy and Chuck would see a dime of attorneys fees from a settlement or a jury verdict. Larger firms, like the HHMs of the world are better positioned to take on long, protracted lawsuits of this nature because they have other attorneys with clients who are actually paying fees to keep the lights on while the larger lawsuits drag on. If Jimmy and Chuck are working around the clock on the Sandpiper lawsuit, there is no one else around to actually generate money into the business, hence Chuck’s suggestion that they cross over to the dark side.

Like Jimmy, I hated the idea of involving HHM after watching Jimmy be repeatedly snubbed. It was hard to watch Jimmy go through another round of disappointment thanks to HHM. He mistakenly assumed that bringing such a lucrative case to the firm would earn him a spot as an associate. On the bright side, it was nice to see Chuck, clad in a suit lined with space blankets, so warmly welcomed at HHM – despite his clandestine activities against his brother’s interests. More on that later.

Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, Jimmy was not as welcome as his brother. Howard enthusiastically agreed to jump on the Sandpiper lawsuit, but the idea of Jimmy working as an attorney at HHM? Not so much. Howard offered to compensate Jimmy for his work on the case in lieu of having him join the firm. That was just the start of the humiliation. Kim encouraged him to take the deal, but would not share why she thought it was the right choice – other than to say it was for the best. The ultimate betrayal, however, was courtesy of Chuck – the brother for whom Jimmy cared and supported through his career-ending electromagnetic phobia. It turns out that Chuck was the reason Jimmy had been rejected by HHM as an attorney not once, but twice. Ouch.

It was really hard to watch Chuck tell Jimmy that he was not a real lawyer, particularly after the effort we’ve seen Jimmy make over the last few episodes to course correct. The people at HHM may revere Chuck and welcome him back with hugs and applause, but it was Jimmy who was there for him through his darkest days. At a minimum, Chuck could have been more forthcoming in his opinions about his brother. Jimmy clearly is no saint, but for Chuck to encourage him in his effort to get a job at HHM while making calls to Howard behind his brother’s back was both manipulative and cruel.

The episode was not all about Jimmy and Chuck. We also spent a little quality time with Mike, which is always great. Mike was in the zone in last night’s episode and it culminated in a hilarious scene in which we saw a pretty sizeable man running way from Mike after witnessing what happened to a very unlucky gunslinger. Aside from being entertaining, Mike’s side story raised a very interesting question that will likely shape the remainder of Better Call Saul – what is the difference between a bad guy and a criminal?

What did you think of this week’s episode of Better Call Saul? Sound off below!