Better Call Saul season 3 episode 7 review: Expenses
The review may contain spoilers.
Time and time again, we get reminded of Jimmy’s brilliance when it comes to ripping people off and convincing them of things that seem inconvincible. Episode 7 of season 3 plays around with this idea, showing that it didn’t always work out for Saul to con people, but reminds us that he is indeed very capable of getting what he wants, using the most subtle methods possible.
Money, or rather a lack of thereof, seems to be the running theme of this week’s episode, as we see Jimmy struggle to break through with his TV commercial business, which makes him lose more cash than gain any. Trying to juggle community work and actual work, our lawyer stumbles through life, and it appears that he’s certainly not at his highest point. The only constant in his life remains to be Kim, his partner in work and crime, which only adds oil to the upcoming fire, which is inevitable to happen. Perhaps not in this season, but definitely before the series is done and we get a full-fleshed Saul Goodman on our screens.
While Jimmy still owes Kim for the office bills (along with owing his TV crew, and seeing an increase in his insurance rates), she remains by his side, and when they go out for cocktails like in the good old days, we see the two entertain themselves by devising hypothetical con schemes on the rich, arrogant pricks. It reminds that it’s not only Jimmy that has a keen mind for elaborate schemes, but that Kim is also on quite the same level as him.
On the Mike front, we see him help out his daughter by voluntarily building a playground, which clearly contrasts with Jimmy’s involuntary community service. By night, however, Mike is getting involved with Nacho’s plan to kill Hector Salamanca by giving him fake heart medication. Mike warns Nacho about the plan and urges him to think twice before doing anything, but Nacho is adamant about his decision. We can only suspect where that is going to lead, as Hector is clearly alive (if not that well) during the run of Breaking Bad.
The wildcard of the whole ordeal is the good old Pryce, who returns this episode to seek protection from Nacho, and it is Mike that he goes to. But it is indeed the “inept” Pryce that holds the crucial element in Nacho’s plan to get rid of Hector, as he has the ability to provide Nacho with something that could be put in Hector’s heart medicine and get rid of the old man once and for all.
Finally, the episode is topped with a scene that fools even the viewer, as Jimmy goes to his insurance agent and breaks into tears talking about Chuck and how shitty and financially unstable his life has become. He rants about money at first, and it almost leads us to believe those are real tears rolling down Jimmy’s cheeks, but as his words turn to Chuck, we realise that Jimmy has managed to fool his insurance agent, and, in turn, us as well. The key point of the scene is not his tears, however, but what he says.
As Jimmy suggests that Chuck messed up the numbers and being sick, we are left to wonder what is his game in all of this, and when he finishes by revealing that his brother had a mental breakdown during a court hearing, it becomes clear that what Jimmy wants is not something substantial, and that his goal is simply to mess up any future that Chuck has and is done out of pure maliciousness. Or so it seems. His wry smile as he walks away would confirm it, but I will not make any finalised conclusions just yet.
“Expenses” is an episode that sets up the final act of the season, or so it appears, but it does so in an elegant and subtle fashion which we have come to expect from Better Call Saul by now. On the way of doing so, it returns some old, forgotten locations to us and reminds us what Jimmy McGill’s character is truly like.
Image credit: AMC