The fourth episode in this season has an interesting structure to it, and it’s nearly perfectly symmetrical. Outside of a quick scene with Kim getting disciplined by her bosses and Tuco and Nacho collecting money from a wet-behind-the-ears drug dealer with a day job at Tampico Furniture (Hey! It’s Crazy Eight!), this episode volleys evenly between the storylines of Jimmy and Mike. While Jimmy is running around trying to clean up his recent mess, Mike is dealing with the offer set in front of him by Nacho to take out Tuco. Here’s what we learned:
Jimmy Has a Lucky Streak
We pick up Jimmy’s story with him dealing with the fallout from his commercial stunt without consulting his bosses, while Kim is dealing with her own punishment for being guilty by association. There’s reason to believe that Davis and Main have every right to fire him, and they almost do, but they decide to give him one more chance. There’s even reason to believe that Kim would dump his ass after almost costing her a job, but again, she decides to give him one more chance.
Jimmy gets out of a lot of trouble because of his mouth, but sometimes he’s just plain lucky. His bosses know he’s trying to sweet talk his way out of it, but they shut him down; he basically has his job at the end of this episode simply because of his bosses’ mercy. He can’t count on that next time, so it’ll be interesting to see how long it takes him to screw this position up.
Chuck is Not the Monster Jimmy Wants Him to Be
Jimmy always acts like he has something to prove, and it usually means that he’s trying to get approval from his older brother, Chuck. Jimmy uses this perceived slight as a justification for his actions, but in a way, it’s all in his head.
When Jimmy finds out that Kim was disciplined by her bosses after they caught wind of Jimmy’s commercial stunt, Jimmy heads right to Chuck’s house to confront him, accusing him of taking his vendetta against Jimmy out on Kim. Chuck puts him in his place, though, as he points out that Jimmy’s actions are always about his actions justifying the means. He even tells Jimmy that he had no part in Kim’s punishment and that he’s barking up the wrong tree when he comes to confront Chuck.
The truth is, Jimmy projects this “monster” on anyone that tries to tell him what to do: Chuck, Hank, his bosses at Davis and Main, all of these people are the establishment to Jimmy, but in reality, the person he’s fighting the most with is himself and his compulsion to do things his own way.
Mike Will Not Slide Without a Fight
For most of these articles, I’ve highlighted the warning signs that tip off the slide Jimmy will eventually have to take in order to become Saul Goodman, but we haven’t really paid much attention to Mike eventually becoming the Mike we know from Breaking Bad, the one who acts as Gus Fring’s enforcer.
In this episode, we see how hard Mike is prepared to fight in order to keep himself from… well, breaking bad. When Nacho offers Mike a whole lot of cash in order to get rid of Tuco, Mike nearly does it, but thinks better of it. Instead, he comes up with a plan to get Tuco out of the picture without putting a bullet in his head. What’s Mike’s plan? Take a beating from Tuco and send him to jail for 5-10 years. These are the lengths Mike, at this point in the timeline, will go to keep from having to kill again. We know, eventually, he won’t think twice, so we’ll have to watch out to see what makes him give up his code of ethics.