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Review: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2 Episode 7, ‘Inflatable,’ Shows Jimmy’s True Colors

Review: 'Better Call Saul' Season 2 Episode 7, 'Inflatable,' Shows Jimmy's True Colors

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2 Episode 6, ‘Bali Ha’i,’ Can’t Find The Perfect Fit

Case Summary

In a flashback to 1973, we meet young Jimmy in his father’s store sneaking a look at not only a Playboy, but his future self, as a grifter cons some cash out of Charles, Sr. Thirty years later, not too much has changed for Jimmy, as he decides that he’s done with Davis and Main and commits himself to the cause of annoying his boss into firing him so he can keep his bonus and go into business for himself… well, himself and Kim, who he asks to join him as a partner in their own little firm. Kim gently turns him down when he admits that he can no longer be anything but himself. But then, after she interviews to join Rick Schweikart’s firm, she comes back to Jimmy with a counter-proposal: "solo practitioners, together." It’s not quite what Jimmy wanted… but it’s close.

Opening Credits Extreme Close-Up

A full drink and a back massager…hey, we’ve seen this one before! In fact, I finally figured it out. Every episode of "Better Call Saul" Season 2 has, so far, re-used credits sequences from the first season, in the same order. For example, Episode 4 of both seasons featured burner cell phones, Episode 6 featured a deserted phone booth in the desert and so, based on Season 1, next week we’re likely to see a tarantula and a necktie. (Not that we didn’t get plenty of necktie action this week.)

The Least Legal Move

No laws were technically broken by Jimmy when he set out on his campaign to get himself fired, but it sure wasn’t all that ethical. That said, probably the shadiest thing done this week — beyond Mike changing his statement regarding Tuco — was telling the film students to forego getting a permit for probably what will be Jimmy McGill’s first real TV ad. Sure, permits are a pain in the ass, but when his crew gets busted for shooting without one, they’ll probably have to… pay a fine? Eh, that’s not so bad.

Oh, Jimmy did steal some pens from Davis and Main to put on his cocobolo desk. But I’m sure they’ll get over it.

Remembering What Hasn’t Happened Yet (The "Breaking Bad" Tie-In)

I… I got nothing, this week. Which is weird, especially given that this season has been particularly dense with both subtle callbacks and major guest stars from the original show. Undoubtedly we’ll get to see more of the Salamancas before the finale, as Mike’s got his eye on them at the end of this week’s episode.

Oh, That’s Right. It’s a Period Piece

Some fun 1973 details from the flashback: King Harvest’s "Dancing in the Moonlight" (the song playing on the radio) was in fact released that year, and the Playboy Jimmy was enjoying was authentic. That issue’s Playmate was Phyllis Coleman, and the cover model was Cyndi Wood. You can buy a copy for yourself on Amazon!

What’s Up With Mike?

Mike might be torn up inside about having to capitulate to the Salamancas’ demands and change his statement to spare Tuco the gun charge. While he now has the cash necessary to help Stacey and Kaylee buy the perfect house in a safe and crime-free neighborhood, things aren’t settled there. The question is, what kind of action will he take?

READ MORE: ‘Better Call Saul’ Star Rhea Seehorn On What Exactly Is Going on With Kim and Jimmy In Season 2

On The Journey From Jimmy to Saul

In an epic montage that beautifully showcases the series’ technical abilities — music, editing and cinematography all coming together for some real poetry — Jimmy commits to getting fired in truly Saul-ish style, from the loud suits to the bad behavior to some minor casual racism. But the really enlightening moment comes with his board room pitch to Kim, where (with a glance at his old buddy Marco’s pinkie ring) he utterly fails to get through a lie about how he’s ready to play it straight as a lawyer.

"There’s no point in me doing this if I can’t be myself," he confesses to Kim, acknowledging that he can no longer be the person other people want him to be… and that his true nature will always be, to use Kim’s word, "colorful."

Speaking of which, love the attention to detail paid to Jimmy’s suits this week; not just the technicolor explosion of his Saul Goodman suits, but the fact that when he meets with Kim to pitch her the partnership, he’s wearing basically the male equivalent of her standard look: conservative, and very, very blue.

Lady Sings the Blues

Last week, seeing Kim in a Kansas City Royals nightshirt was the closest we’d gotten to knowing that she wasn’t a New Mexico native. This week, we got the closest thing yet to a fully-fledged origin story for our favorite lady lawyer. The most shocking thing about finally getting all this information about the tiny town Kim came from is how well-formed she felt as a character without it. But while we may not know exactly why Kim decided to relocate to New Mexico, we now know where she came from — and why she left.

Best Quote

"What did you want?"
– Rick and Kim

Bet you were guessing we’d pick the grifter’s advice to young Jimmy: "There are wolves and sheep in this world, kid. Wolves and sheep. Figure out which one you’re going to be." But sometimes, a simple, real character moment like the one above trumps any "American Sniper"-esque insight into human behavior. After a season and a half of "Better Call Saul," Jimmy’s behavior this week wasn’t at all shocking, but Kim’s choices over this episode offered up the biggest twist, and the line above goes a long way in explaining them.

In Conclusion, Your Honor

I’ve lately been reading the comments on our "Better Call Saul" reviews and noticing that an awful lot of people have one major complaint: They think Season 2 is boring. And it’s true that when I write the "Case Summary" section each week, a lot of times it’s the easiest part of these reviews because, frankly, not an awful lot happens, plot-wise, on a week-to-week basis.

That being said, when you look at the execution happening every week, and the way the show doesn’t just plant seeds, but cultivates them, "Better Call Saul" is the furthest thing from dull. This week showcased some impressive growth for our characters, something only made possible by the show’s dedication to letting these people breathe on screen. And if that feels dull to you, well, that’s your loss.

Grade: A-

READ MORE: 7 New Netflix Shows to Binge Watch in February 2016 (And the Best Episodes of Each)

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As for homages to BB, wonder if Mike is what puts the elder Saltamachia in the wheelchair.


I never saw any of BB except the occasional glimpses well into its run. I can’t really explain why I started watching BCS from its inception, but was hooked at the first episode. I have never seen such nuanced character building. Part of the appeal to me is the pace that it develops the various and sundry characters. This is not an "instant gratification" show. The attention to details and characters is as good as I have ever seen on television. Indeed this show is a case study of why television can be so much better than movies. You really care about the characters and what their ultimate fate will be, even though some are known to BB fans. That is a testament to the quality of the writing and acting. In my opinion a GREAT series.



Enh … week after week, this show loses me a bit more. I understand and appreciate subtlety and the planting of seeds in plots; my problem is that the seeds they’re planting this season, as with last season, just aren’t believable. Even on a show that stars (the eventual) Saul Goodman. Case in point: Kim’s decision to join Jimmy and turn down what would have been a solid offer from HHM’s rival firm: Nothing in her demeanor or decisions thus far have indicated that she’d throw away the hard work she’d done to go the established route in order to take a chance with Jimmy. She’d served as a reminder of some of the, uh, less developed aspects of his conscience before, and she’s been close to breaking it off with him over his questionable ethics and actions before, which have landed her in hot water more than once. She’s also heard Chuck’s account of his unreliability, whether or not she believed him. These are very shaky reasons to just "follow her heart" all of a sudden, and she didn’t get so much of a kick out of the Giselle act that it could have entirely upended her better judgment. She’s the one, after all, who kept the $10K check from her latest exploit as Giselle as a trophy instead of cashing it in. Jimmy, on the other hand, just might have cashed it in.

Callum Shepherd

I’m sorry, but anyone who says this season is boring is likely to have been expecting BB #2. The pacing is slow, but showing a character transition such as James to Saul is never going to be quick. I think it has all been compelling TV. But, one query/fear is that this journey towards Saul is still a LITTLE bit slow. I mean, we have two seasons now, and the flashforwards indicate that this world will go beyond BB. So surely to complete Saul’s story there will have to be 6,7, or even 8 seasons? Or risk compromising the story. Thoughts?


Lisa, true that! I felt Fring looming while watching latest episode. Kept thinking, we shall see Fring again soon and with his face intact. Yaaaah!


Frankly, most US shows go far too far in using violence to make up for plotting and character development. Often the quality of a show is inversely proportional to the body count. When there is violence in a Better Call Saul or even "The Americans" it counts for far more that a dump-truck full of dead bikers on a show like Sons of Anarchy. Even on Breaking Bad each death had impact.

And what do you call that inflatable thing in front of stores that inspired Saul and which was like a caricature of his Saul Goodman wardrobe… seeing Jimmy and the reflection of that thing waving around was a key point in the episode not mentioned.


Funnily enough, I’m loving this season. The character growth’s been great and if you sit back and take in each moment, you appreciate the beauty of it and how subtle some of the finest moments on the show have been. Plenty more to come.


Why am I not excited. Probably, because it’s a law show… if you think about it, that is not surprising. But it still surprised me.


Love this season. I think it timeless in so many ways.

I have been re-watching Breaking Bad as well and I had a feeling that it was a past-paced, plot-driven program but it really wasn’t. It was filled to the brim with great character studies and moments of introspection and insight.

Just like Better Call Saul.

If you can sit back and actually forget you are watching a TV show, you know someone is doing something right. These folks are doing a lot right.

John G.

Thank you for your concluding comments, in particular. To me, the appeal of Better Call Saul is the journey itself. The show has interesting characters put in creative situations. It does not need to be a rush to get from Point A to Point B. Breaking Bad had a comparable pace, at least until the final half-season when there was limited time to tie up loose ends. If one prefers to wait for the finale of a TV series before binge-watching the episodes, or to flip to the end of a book before reading the story, perhaps BCS episodes might not provide immediate enough gratification, yet. But some others of us find BCS to be very enjoyable. Not perfect, but very enjoyable.


We all like and miss the world of "Breaking Bad", but that shouldn’t have us holding BCS to a BB standard. They’re different shows, each with a different vibe. The characters are well-drawn and acted, there’s some reality-based humor (Odenkirk shines), and although the pace can seem plodding at times–it’s anything but predictable. BCS can stand on its own as a great drama…having said that I believe it’s only a matter of time before la familia Salamanca leads us down the road straight to everyone’s favorite bad guy: Gus Fring.

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