Season 2, Episode 10 — “Klick“
By Brandy Dykhuizen. “Klick” wrapped up Season Two neatly within Chuck’s space blanket, drawing us deep into the point of view of an elaborate trickster. Chuck’s tormenting scenes on the hospital gurney and in the CT scanner leave us with no doubt that his illness is real (at least to him), but he remains self aware enough to use it to prey on Jimmy’s genuine concern. In an early scene, we see that Chuck has been manipulating Jimmy and occasionally denying him access to the truth for decades. While his electromagnetic sensitivity may wreak havoc on his daily life, it’s his inability to exist in his brother’s goofy shadow that is the real driving force of his actions. Jimmy can bring out the devil in Chuck, and it seems the more doting and concerned Jimmy is, the deeper down Chuck is willing to reach to hurt his brother.
Now let’s not forget that what Jimmy did was patently wrong. Remember that Jimmy’s machinations weren’t just at the expense of Mesa Verde, it wasted the court’s time and money as well (say nothing of Chuck’s reputation). And yet his inspirations still always seem to spring from a purer place. In his own mind, Jimmy is a Robin Hood, bending and straining the rules to help the little guy, whether it be himself, the senior citizens of Sandpiper or his lady love. Chuck, however, is motivated by jealousy that borders on hate. He feels somehow victimized by his clown of a brother for whom everyone falls, and is determined to ruin him for good. Recording Jimmy admitting to a felony seems like a great start, though I’m a little unclear of the legality surrounding tricking someone into a confession. Surely Chuck has it all figured out.
In what could have been presented as this season’s cliffhanger, Mike’s plan to off Hector Salamanca is thwarted by an unseen third party. Turning the tables and depicting Mike as the hunted, with a sniper rifle in hand, underscores Mike’s one big flaw: being unable to see the forest for the trees. When he gets wrapped up in a mission, the big picture can melt away around him as he locks in on his focus. This myopic pitfall is beautifully captured by his giant eye magnified through the rifle’s scope. For better or worse, Mike is yanked out of his tunnel vision by a mysterious and powerful force. (With just one word: “DON’T.”) Is this the start of a beautiful friendship? We know there is at least one mastermind out there who has a much larger bone to pick with the Salamanca clan, but whose occupation still depends on their wellbeing.
WHAT WORKED: The slow-building suspense of this episode leaves us with gut-wrenching worry for our characters, rather than the usual post-finale “I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED!” daze. This show isn’t Breaking Bad, and while we can likely expect the guns-and-drugs subplot to grow next season (hopefully with the addition of Mr. Fring), the beauty of Better Call Saul lies in the odyssey. We already know what happens to most of these characters, and the show’s reliance on psychology, tension and amazing camera work this season allowed it to stand alone as a great series, rather than be just another spin-off.
WHAT DIDN’T: There’s no way Nacho, et al. wouldn’t have noticed Mike on their tail all the way out to a secluded desert shack. Mike can stalk like the best of them, but creeping a dozen or so yards behind the van through open country and windy roads wouldn’t have cut it. They even had to employ a super low camera angle to make it appear as though his boat of a car could hide behind that bush.
It would be in poor taste to try and cram everything into one episode, but I missed Kim. Her moment of antipathy at being cast as a makeshift receptionist was absolutely Kimtastic, but alas, it was barely enough to carry us through the months ahead without her.
“I miss the mailroom.” – Ernesto, ditching the hospital and the McGill Brothers drama for now.
“Oh, get the sunglasses out. Gotta protect the peepers. Lookin’ sharp!” – Jimmy’s clings to patience dealing with his aged clients.
“When you’re 99 you can drop dead giving closing arguments to Judgebot 3000 – which will run on electricity, by the way. That’s your future.” – Jimmy, giving Chuck an odd pep talk.
BEST MOMENT: The second Mike realized all the bugs had stopped chirping – that beautifully terrifying moment of silence before we heard the car horn, when nature sensed a predator and grew still. The desert didn’t seem to give Mike much thought — but enter the mystery man with his taciturn note and even the cicadas freeze. The suspense of the camera’s slow pan around Mike’s periphery, lingering for a moment on the blurry background behind him had me holding my breath.
EPISODE’S MVP: Michael McKean expertly brought us into Chuck’s world. The more we learn about him the more on the fence we are concerning his “condition.” His fits seem legit – his panic is palpable, the lights blinding, his eye flutters genuine. But lawyers are actors, every one of them, and his sitting room’s transformation into a Faraday Cage seems like a ploy to add validity to his “poor crazy me” play. It isn’t until after we see him rifling through his garage to find the tape recorder that he endeavors to dress his crib in a space suit.
– Jimmy’s waiting room is full, but even he can’t stomach the sight of his own commercial when the words “A lawyer you can trust” flash on the screen.
– Is it too easy to assume that Gus wrote the note on Mike’s car? Presumably we all want to see him next season, and it makes so much sense that I’m second-guessing everything.
9 out of 10
Season Two Score: 8.5 out of 10
Before: “Nailed”, here.