Jimmy slips back into what he does best…winning our hearts and minds, turns out, does look good on him.
As blessed as Jim
In a surprisingly fresh retrospective followup to “Nacho” we meet Jimmy in his howling glory days back in Cicero (alongside none other than the impeccable Kevin Weisman from Alias) as things are set up neatly, even more so enjoyable for the fans of 70’s flicks. We’re given cool insight into the origins of the now-well-known nickname and there’s a peek to cherish: this man had dreams, whether in scoring a glorious 6-8 Gs a day or just enough to cover the nightly celebrations. Somewhere along the road, he had to turn his life around and eventually settle for the tedious PD chore. Now with the (intended) Kettleman scam ultimately working his way, it’s payback time, dancing to Lord Hamlin’s ominous theme, dun dun dunnn, even if it means shattering his self-image or the honest one Chuck saw potential in its conception. Anyway, I’m eager to learn more of the seemingly out-the-blue JCVD reference…kick or split, with big ambitions and a tiny bit of luck, Jimmy can pull off the show, no problem!
The episode sets the goal in sight right from the teaser, and it pays off greatly, unlike the first two installments. Again, funny how several of the scenes from the past few episodes could have been squeezed into one long premiere. This is pretty much the definitive pilot right here, Goodman rising. And it works, with just the right amount of humor and drama. Chuck was engaging to begin with as a character, now, thankfully we’ve got Kim slightly established in that sense, and there appears to be shades to Hamlin, even if right now he might seem destined to fit into the corporate stereotype. And then there’s Mike, of course.
The makeover segments work fine, and there’s no rush as in “Uno”, no over-stressed allusions to Walt’s transformation, all for the best, and the abundant (at times borderline obscure) pop culture references make for good chuckles this time. I’m up for a reimagining of the Spartacus bath scene featuring Hamlin… also it’s cool how Jimmy turns out to have lived more of a Jesse-type life of crime, albeit more competently as evidenced, as opposed to Walt’s super clean pre-cancer times. Fortunately 1.03 and 1.04 have walked away from rehashing old threads. The Jim we’ve seen in these two is far closer to the Saul we know from Breaking Bad.
Far better, more controlled pacing in this one; the new court montage is short n’ sweet. There’s enough ‘sit back’ moments to balance out the rising tension in Saul running the gauntlet in landing his first major blow to HHM. There’s the effectively heartbreaking and yet hilarious moment of Chuck’s realization, played amazingly by Michael McKean; the man is no longer in the dark, as he leaves him lair in the space suit, finally enlightened in the light of the day, learning of Jimmy’s little stunt.