[For Better Call Saul “Rebecca” or any other recaps on Fetchland, assume the presence of possible spoilers.]
Rebecca. Jimmy chafes under his restrictive work environment; Kim tries to dig herself out.
Any opportunity to see a new, different perspective is a gift to those jaded, worn out crannies etched into our brains. So, we’re lucky ducks as we watch this Better Call Saul episode “Rebecca” to have a chance to see Jimmy through another point of view – Chuck’s. It’s not current-storyline-Chuck at first but the Chuck of yore. He’s happily married to the Rebecca of the episode title and fairly functional with a mere whiff of his issues to come. That former Chuck was so different from the Chuck we now know that seeing him interact with former Jimmy, who hasn’t changed nearly as much, carves a new pathway in our grey matter. We start to see Jimmy through Chuck’s eyes a bit with this episode, thus, and Kim does a bit as well. Interestingly, it doesn’t really change how we see Jimmy so much as it deepens our understanding of Chuck and allows us to empathize more with his character.
In the first scene former Chuck screws in a light bulb and has a full head of hair, so we know we’re in another time, if not another world. Turns out in Chuck’s case his former life was basically a different world compared to Chuck’s current storyline. Back then he and his sweet wife, Rebecca, cook and talk about work while awaiting a dinner visit from Jimmy, whom Rebecca’s never met before. She’s “an accomplished violinist,” great cook, and a kind and gracious host. This was when Jimmy just started working in the law firm mail room, so many years ago. He’s his usual charming Jimmy with both of them and says Chuck’s a lucky man to have found Rebecca. Then Jimmy tells some lawyer jokes he’s recently learned in the mailroom and Rebecca cheerfully joins in while Chuck grows progressively enraged and then seeks to cut Jimmy’s visit short. Later that night in bed Rebecca says she doesn’t know what Chuck was worried about – Jimmy’s great. Then Chuck tries to tell his own lawyer joke but it falls flat and lifeless, just like his life’s about to when Rebecca subsequently leaves him.
In the next scene we’re back to our regular storyline as uptight, newbie associate, Erin comes by Jimmy’s office to teach him the “house style” which is mostly about formatting and grammar his legal briefs. Jimmy, of course, takes his first opportunity to skip out on her and go see Kim who’s in the dungeon working until midnight. He proposes that Kim’s best ticket out of imprisonment is to sue her own firm. Kim’s unwilling and also refuses to believe it’s Chuck who’s behind her punishment. She thinks it’s all Howard. So, then Jimmy says he’ll quit Davis & Main because that’ll get her out of the dungeon. Kim says no thanks. She’ll dig herself out of this on here own. Jimmy’s not her knight in shining armor and she won’t let him even try.
Jimmy comes into the office the next morning and apologizes to Erin with a long convoluted lie about a lower gastroesophageal sphincter condition. But it doesn’t matter, Jimmy’s got a perma-babysitter named Erin and she’s crammed right up into his lower sphincter from now on, condition or not. She drives Jimmy to the courthouse and prevents him from “finessing” the clerk for a better court date explaining that she’s “protecting” him. Thus Jimmy gets a much later court date, messing with his strategy for the case, and zipping him tightly into his cranky pants.
Then Kim calls all of her networking contacts trying to land a new client for the firm and thus escape the dungeon. But one by one they lead to nowheresville until Kim’s back in her document dungeon after wasting an entire lunch hour on surreptitious cell calls and dashed hopes. Mike, on the other hand, realized his hopes thanks to those dastardly deeds of the last episode. His granddaughter now stays at a nice new place thanks to his recent influx of cash. She even has a pool.
Meanwhile Kim continues making endless secretive calls to the tune of “My Way” en Español then returns to her dreaded work deep into each night in the dungeon. Finally after an infinite stream of nothingness she gets her phone call of freedom and brings in a potentially big ticket bank client to check out the firm – Mesa Verde. They come in the next day and all goes well with the firm’s presentation so they land Mesa Verde officially as the client. But then when Kim talks to Howard as they watch the Mesa Verde people drive away, it turns out he’s keeping Kim in document review. She’s not free. It was tons of arduous anguish for nothing. Maybe Jimmy was right and it was all about Chuck. That would mean she needs a white knight after all… but she’s still flaming mad at Jimmy. So, now Kim’s heartbroken twice over.
Next we see Howard visiting Chuck to tell him Kim brought in Mesa Verde. Chuck says he assumes this means she’s out of the doghouse and Howard says, “We’ll see,” raising question of who;s actually pulling the strings. Afterward we see Chuck at the office before dawn, lantern in tow. He works at his desk encased in a crinkly foil blanket. Then a light turns on in another office and he goes to see who it is and finds Kim still working from the night before. Chuck asks her to make him coffee and then says, “make two cups,” so she’ll join him. Kim asks if she has a future at the firm and he says Howard blames her for the mess Jimmy made. Chuck then tells Kim a long story about his father. The point of which is to tell her that Jimmy pilfered $14K out of his father’s store over the course of many years. Chuck basically blames their father’s subsequent death on Jimmy because of this. He explains that Jimmy just can’t help himself and doesn’t even realize his actions hurt people incrementally. Then as he’s leaving the office, Chuck says he’ll talk to Howard and see if he can get Kim out of doc review where her talent’s being wasted. He’s so impressed with how she brought in Mesa Verde. So, it turns out Kim gets rescued from the dungeon but the bad news is that now Chuck is her knight.
As the episode wraps Mike gets an apology from Tuco’s uncle, who says he wishes his nephew knew to have respect for his elders. Mike accepts the uncle’s apology but, of course, there are conditions attached. The uncle wants Mike to say the gun was his so that Tuco’s can sustain a lesser charge and spend fewer years in prison. He offers Mike five grand for his trouble, tells him to think about it, and then leaves the diner.
So, we’re left with two rather ominous endings, the enmeshment Kim will inevitably now sustain with Chuck since she owes him a huge favor and he’s a giant needy baby. And then there’s Mike, still battered and now also enmeshed in his own nasty pairing. But his matchup is a bad bad dude, much worse than Chuck, but still a quite parallel pairing to Kim’s. Jimmy, on the other hand, will be just fine. Sure, he’s got his cranky pants on but nobody can keep Jimmy down for long. Not even his “Pixie Ninja” Erin because Jimmy stays cheerful and creative even when times are tough and assigns cute, accurate names to even the most annoying, infiltrating nemesis. That’s why we love him.