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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Better Call Saul Alignment Check: Episode 8, “Fifi'

Better Call Saul Alignment Check: Episode 8, “Fifi”

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Given that the show is ostensibly about him, Jimmy doesn’t have a ton of agency on Better Call Saul. The whole season, he’s either been wholly reactive or (at best) trying to trick people into doing what he wants—working at Davis and Main as a way of being with Kim, getting himself fired by the firm, even waiting to see if Kim would stay with him in the aftermath. Finally, he takes decisive, independent, action. Duping several soldiers into giving him the opportunity to shoot footage of a bomber jet for a commercial qualifies as just everyday shenanigans for Jimmy McGill. But it’s what he does afterward that represents a plausible ethical turning point for the character, more than perhaps anything else he’s done over the course of the series.
After Kim loses Mesa Verde to Chuck and HHM, Jimmy doctors the records, giving the firm the wrong address. It’s by far the least-defensible thing he’s done over the course of the series—even though he’s doing it for Kim, his action is still an out-and-out deception, something that will hurt several other people at HHM in addition to Chuck and Howard. Besides that, Jimmy’s explicitly taking advantage of Chuck’s condition. When Chuck expresses genuine affection and gratitude that Jimmy stayed with him during a horrific flare up for his condition, it’s genuinely devastating. We might not like Chuck—the show’s villain outside the cartel, if it has one—but Jimmy has, unequivocally, betrayed him. Newly solo practitioner Jimmy McGill is taking his, and Kim’s, destiny into his own hands. It won’t end well.
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

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