“Wexler v Goodman” is Better Call Saul’s season 5 earthquake of an episode; Kim Wexler and Sail Goodman will never recover from the events, fully. Thomas Schnauze wrote, “Wexler v Goodman” and Michael Morris directed the episode. “Wexler v Goodman” ends on one hell of a cliffhanger, so be sure to watch the next episode, “JMM” to find out what happens next!
While each main character had some story, I’m covering only the Kim-Saul parts of the episode. Gus, Nacho and Mike will be back in the next review.
Spoilers follow, so be sure to watch first unless you like spoilers.
Kim’s Past revealed
“Exler v Goodman” begins with a brief glimpse into Kim’s past. When her drunken mother shows up late to pick up Kim from band practice, Kim chooses to walk home instead. Teenage Kim already knew she was safer walking three miles at night, carrying her cello, than getting into the car with her mother. We know Kim’s mother taught her the sorrow and dangers of being disappointed by the choices our loved ones make. She lived it in childhood, with her mother choosing alcohol and good times over Kim’s needs. Now Kim is living it again with Jimmy/Saul.
Saul should have been a film producer in Hollywood
Saul directs commercial ads as prep for the Acker case. His goal is to get a huge settlement for this client, blackmailing Kevin (with the ads) into more money. He keeps his film crew and effects folks busy.
So Saul never tells Kim much about his case but continues prying information from her. She asks him if her paying $35,000. f(personally) or a total of $75,000. would get Acker to settle. He’s noncommittal.
He minimizes what he is doing when she shows up to the nail salon and offers to help the crew break down equipment. Another red flag Kim misses at the time. When does Saul ever refuse Kim’s help? Only when he doesn’t want her to know what is really happening. The filming comes back to bit Kim in the ass, savagely, late in the episode.
Saul goes Hollywood
Jimmy/Saul should really have had a career as a Hollywood producer of bad horror films or soft porn. He’s perfectly suited for that work although he’s proud of his ads against Mesa Verde. Saul would fit right in in the film industry, wouldn’t he?
Jimmy/Saul has thought about Acker’s award more than he and Kim ever discuss. He’s been bitten by the “winning” bug. and chased by the ghost of being “Chuck McGill’s loser brother”. He must win, at all costs. His target in the Mesa Verde v Acker case becomes Kim, his romantic and business partner. Kim somehow falls into the acceptable losses column when Saul comes to winning vs losing or even compromise. His need to win comes with a price- he will lose Kim, his smartest supporter. Or will he?
Wait, what was that?
Kim shows up to the Mesa Verde meeting where Jimmy plays his commercials, which imply Mesa Verde uses many bad business practices. The bank is accused of funding terrorism, black mold building infestation, illegal foreclosures and sick building syndrome. Saul even points out Kevin’s dad used a photograph as the model for the logo and should pay for copyright infringement.
While these are mostly nuisance claims, Saul’s clever implications mean the case could be in court for years, delaying call center construction. Saul wants Acker keep his property, get $4 million dollars plus a ridiculous list beyond what he and Kim agreed on originally.
Most of this is news to Kim and Kevin but none of Saul’s claims are acceptable.
Kim keeps her composure at the table but Kevin reacts badly. Kevin starts yelling despite Kim telling him to stay silent, so he gives away part of their case then and there. Kim seethes inside but remains professional.
Back at home that night, Saul acts contrite with Kim but explains he was “protecting” her from accusations of the two of them colluding on the case. When that doesn’t work with Kim, Saul tries other tactics, all designed to placate her and make her anger seem unreasonable. Just like Kim’d mom used way back with the cello. It finally fails, with Jimmy/Saul, and Kim stand up for herself again, against someone she loves who lets her down.
Kim finally lets drop her composure and lays him out verbally, “You turned you and me against the bank into you against me.”
Strangely, Kim states she cannot go on like this and suggests marriage. To which viewers like me screamed WTF?!? as the episode ended.
What do you think is going on with Kim and why did she mention marriage?