“Quite A Ride” offers a Walter White-esque episode with Jimmy slowly transforming into Saul Goodman.
After the last episode gave a momentary breather, “Quite A Ride” delved further into the thought process of Jimmy. Better Call Saul has reached a stage where we are reaching his future self, the lawyer-for-hire con artist Saul Goodman. The episode decided to show us Saul Goodman in colour rather than black and white, in his last days as lawyer-to-hire, ready to make that fatal phone call which will see him live a life as another identity. It was a nice little tie-in between Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.
“Quite A Ride” reminded me of the early Walter White days just as he was transforming into Heisenberg. With each episode, Jimmy incrementally remodels himself into Saul, even in a way where he manipulates his partner, Kim. In Episode 5, he continues with his job at the mobile store as a sales rep; in his absolute boredom, he sells what he calls “privacy in a mobile phone” to people who are most likely criminals. By selling the top-up phones as this product, he is making a profit. Due to his criminal success, he decides to roam near a hot dog bar at night to sell more of these phones, which leads to him getting mugged.
Jimmy deciding to resell these mobile phones as a criminal product is not as important as the character taking advantage of the scenario to his partner. As he leant over the sink wiping away the blood, he explained to Kim that he lost track of time at the mobile store and his car was parked too far away. He naturally lies, to the point that he is building the conversation in his favour so Kim responds in a certain way. This mirrored Walter’s behaviour with Skyler in terrific fashion, to the point where I felt like I was reliving the Breaking Bad days. Better Call Saul is slowly concocting a story about a good man who failed at being good. Walter White’s cancer is equivalent to how Jimmy responds to the death of his brother and his dissatisfaction at failing. The only difference is I do not believe Jimmy’s transformation makes him necessarily a monster.
Right before Jimmy decides to go out and sell flip phones, he decides to sit and watch television. “Quite A Ride” witnesses the character in such discomfort of just watching television and having a gentle night in with his partner, that it took all of his energy to remain on the couch, and of course, failed. This moment in the episode confirms that Jimmy is too far gone, Saul Goodman is around the corner, and the thought of staying in for a cosy night watching films is just not thrilling enough.
Meanwhile, Kim, for whatever reason, has decided to take additional criminal cases on top of her core job giving legal services to the bank. Kim looks determined to help people who do not have great representation; at one point she gets a kid off jail time by playing hardball with the prosecutor. As part of her many offers of goodwill, she recommends a counselling service to Jimmy. “Quite A Ride” does well to separate both Kim and Jimmy apart in the aftermath of Chuck’s death.
Bubbling beneath the fascinating transformations, Mike is working more closely with Gus, attempting to organise a surveyor to illegally make a laboratory under the washroom factory. Better Call Saul has ridiculously strong writing to make the backstory feel like it does not belong as a spin-off. The scene setting and direction is constructed with care, making you wonder if Walter is going to show up in the background, making his way to his dull life of teaching. What is clear is that season 4 of Better Call Saul has earned enough plaudits already to justify a season 5. Let’s enjoy the road ahead; it’s brilliant.