I had another topic planned for today's post but after watching the season finale of Better Call Saul last night, I had to give my take on it.
As you may have guessed from my previous post, Better Watch 'Better Call Saul', I love this television show. I especially loved Season Two because everything about the storytelling was escalated -- the conflict, tone and visual style.
For instance, in terms of visual style, in the season finale, Chuck was filmed on an emergency room table from directly above his head.
And unlike watching someone get poked and prodded from afar, this close perspective allowed us to see through his eyes -- to tune into his experience and connect with Chuck, including all the discomfort and confusion that went along with the moment.
I'm lucky enough to say I've never had to be rushed to an emergency room but I have a feeling it would feel just like this portrayal.
The way it was shot was also reminiscent of the creative directing we had grown to love in Breaking Bad; yet, it had its own fresh perspective. It really wasn't exactly like anything we've ever seen before.
But what I loved most about the finale was the insight that it gave into Jimmy and Chuck's relationship. (Actually, what I love best about this story in general is their relationship.)
In Season One, we find Jimmy in the midst of proving he's a changed man to his older brother and well-accomplished, reputable attorney, Chuck.
He's doing his best to change his past reputation as 'Slippin' Jimmy' - a con artist that cashes in on false claims of slip and fall accidents - in order to keep his promise to his brother that he will live an honest life.
We eventually learn that this promise was made in exchange for the most needed legal help Chuck once gave to Jimmy at the request of their mother, allowing him to avoid being forever labeled a sex offender.
It also allowed Jimmy to pursue a new career - as a lawyer.
We discover that Jimmy can put his nose to the grindstone for good (without Chuck noticing), managed to earn his law degree online from the University of American Samoa and passed the New Mexico Bar Exam on his third try.
Initially, we're led to believe that Chuck oddly believes in self-reliance (more on that note below) and hard work as the primary reason Jimmy shouldn't rely on him to fuel his new legal career.
After all, it is odd that a law partner of one of the largest firms in Albuquerque, Hamlin Hamlin McGill, couldn't get his own brother an entry-level associate position at his own firm.
So we needed a reason and this one worked momentarily.
But as the last two seasons unfolded and especially in last night's season finale, we discover the true reason behind Chuck's inability to truly help Jimmy. It has little to do with staunch, conservative beliefs in self-reliance and hard work but instead it's about pure, primal jealousy.
The first clue was that Chuck himself was not currently living a self-reliant life. Having self-diagnosed himself (as rationally as only a seasoned lawyer could) with a rare physical abnormality, described as a sort of allergy to electricity, Chuck has been essentially held up in his home unable to take care of himself without help from Jimmy (and this past season, Ernie).
The second clue, of course, was when Jimmy pieced together that it was Chuck himself and not his law partner, Howard Hamlin, that continued to stonewall Jimmy from getting a job at HHM. Chuck full on admitted how Jimmy didn't deserve an easy road when he had to work so hard to get where he was in his own career.
But it isn't until the opening scene of yesterday's season finale did we get the full breadth of Chuck's jealousy against his younger brother.
We learn that despite being the good son, Chuck wasn't his mother's favorite when her last dying words were about Jimmy instead of Chuck.
We understand the depth of Chuck's jealousy against Jimmy when he later lies about her last moments and doesn't give Jimmy the satisfaction of knowing that their mother was thinking of only him until the end.
And it's this jealousy that causes Chuck to turn into the thing that he despises his brother for - a con man.
Chuck creates an elaborate story to evoke a confession out of Jimmy - a confession that he records without his knowledge.
Although I could sense that Chuck was up to something (maybe it's because I know too many competitive, cutthroat lawyers like him), it still didn't take away from the reveal - the tape recorder hidden under a newspaper on the coffee table.
And that's where the story ends...until next season.
We don't know what Chuck plans on doing with that taped confession.
Will he play it for Kim to prove that Jimmy is immoral?
Will he play it for the banking clients he lost to prove that he wasn't mistaken but sabotaged by Jimmy?
Or will he actually turn his own brother into the police for fraud?
Whatever Chuck decides to do with this illegally obtained piece of evidence, I'm sure it will make for riveting television.
Chuck's character - essentially, being the most rational, irrational man I've seen depicted on TV - definitely serves as a fitting catalyst for Jimmy McGill to morph into the swarthy, showman of a lawyer, Saul Goodman.
And to sum it up, I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how it all continues to go down in Season Three.