Better Call Saul‘s “Quite A Ride,” started off with a little flash forward to the Breaking Bad era, filling in the gaps prior to Saul’s relocation to Omaha. It showed the chaos of Saul’s panicked escape from his law office after everything with Walter White went belly up. Francesca shredded documents as Saul frantically ran around the room gathering the last of his belonging and stuffing rolls of cash in a suitcase.
It was a grim reminder of what’s in store for Jimmy, but exciting for Breaking Bad fans nonetheless.
And that wasn’t the only reference to the Breaking Bad era in episode 5. This season is moving closer and closer to the introduction of Walter White, and “Quite A Ride” featured another big set up. Apparently Mike accepted Gus Fring’s offer of employment, because we saw him bringing a couple of unknown men, who turned out to be engineers, from the airport to give their evaluation and be approved by Gus to build…you guessed it… his famous underground meth lab from Breaking Bad. It’s only a matter of time before Walt and Gale are cooking meth and sharing Walt Whitman passages in the lab together, that is before Gale is replaced by Jesse.
Better Call Saul is roaring towards the Breaking Bad era like a train about to go off the rails, and along with it Jimmy McGill is being dragged along. In the flash forward to Saul’s escape, he tells Francesca to let someone know that “Jimmy” sent her, and in that moment “Saul” shows more emotion than he did in almost all of ‘Breaking Bad.’ You can see that he regrets where his life has ended up, that he misses being Jimmy McGill and the life and relationships he had before he became Saul and met Walter White.
Every move Jimmy makes is pushing him in that direction, and we saw that even more in “Quite A Ride”. For a minute it seemed like Jimmy might actually decide to get help and deal with his emotions after Chuck’s death. He told Kim that he was going to call the Psychiatrist she had recommended, but he later shreds the number and flushes it down the toilet at the court house. It seems like a small moment, but it’s really a big step towards him becoming Saul.
Instead of talking to a psychiatrist and being able to work through his trauma, he refuses the help and shuts himself off. It’s all a self defense mechanism, but he can’t do it forever without eventually pushing away everyone who cares about him.
In this scene, Howard served as his foil. Howard imparted to Jimmy that he was seeing a psychiatrist twice a week, and it was helping, but he still had insomnia. After seeing what state Howard was in even after seeing a psychiatrist, it pushed Jimmy in the other direction. He shredded the number instead of calling it. Jimmy’s weakness is that he has an extraordinary ability to tell himself that he’s ok. Since he’s not having problems like Howard, he’s totally fine and doesn’t need help. We know that he’s lying to himself, and we have yet to see Jimmy have the emotional breakdown that he desperately needs to, but probably never will.
Next week we’ll see Jimmy re-ignite his dream of becoming law partners with Kim and creating the law office of Wexler and McGill, as Kim continues to explore her passion for practicing law that actually helps people instead of keeping Mesa Verde as her sole client.
Check out the trailer for next week’s episode of Better Call Saul:
Better Call Saul airs Mondays at 9/8c on AMC.