After cutting off Chuck from his life, Jimmy reconnects with an old friend from his “Slippin’ Jimmy” days, Marco. Meanwhile, Chuck tries to continue his life without his brother’s support. Spoilers ahead!
Jimmy struggles between making amends with Kim and Hamlin, and lashing out at others over Chuck’s betrayal. He bitterly recounts the circumstances of his arrest to the retirement home during a breakdown. With his money from handing the Sandpiper case to Hamlin, Jimmy returns to Chicago to meet up with Marco.
If “Pimento” was meant to be the season’s climax, then “Marco” is the denouement, tying up most of the loose ends in Jimmy’s life before he revisits his past. Chuck’s takedown of Jimmy destroyed the image the latter tried hard to preserve this season as a hard-working, honest lawyer. His Chicago trip has him slip back as a con man in a visually impressive montage, even if it is only for a week. The cavalcade of phone calls he receives shows that, even thought the world constantly cheats him, Jimmy’s own flaws also hold him back from the success he craves.
Jimmy and Marco’s last scam ends in the latter’s untimely death. But as his criminal life dies, a new opportunity rises, as another firm has a new position ready for Jimmy, thanks to the allies he gained during his work at elderly law. However, Jimmy’s experiences have removed any morality he had left, and he begins his path to break bad. This is presented as a victorious moment, but considering his eventual fate, particularly in the very beginning of the show, is also a tragic one. Jimmy could have had the job he wanted, but after tasting his old life again, he consciously fulfills Chuck’s prophecy.
This episode is not light on the humor. Jimmy’s narration of the Chicago Sunroof is equal parts hilarious and pathetic, a perfect embodiment of the character and the show’s tone. There are also some fun callbacks to Breaking Bad, including the mention of Belize in the bingo game and the day he convinced even himself he was Kevin Costner.
Mike only has a small role at the end of the season, but his storyline was completed in the previous episode. Small touches, like not bothering to check Mike’s sticker, and his continued, illegal, work, is setting up his future in a subtle, but concise manner.
“Marco”, while not as emotionally charged or intense as the previous episode, sets up the characters on their respective paths. While the Sandpiper case could always provide fodder for a second season, this season sufficiently showcases Jimmy’s transformation into the crooked lawyer Saul Goodman, as well as the start of Mike’s illicit career. Better Call Saul is a fascinating exploration of the memorable character, never wasting a single second of its ten episode run.
What are your thoughts on this season finale? Did Jimmy make the right decision?
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