Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow…
“I don’t need to be a lawyer, I’m a magic man.”
“Something Stupid” (a nice bookend title to “Something Beautiful”) was a huge transitional episode that not only sped us through months – during a split screen intro that may require a second viewing to catch all the little fun morsels – but it also worked to create more distance between Jimmy and Kim in their relationship. We know these two weren’t destined to be together, but the question the show has to answer is “How does everything fall apart?”
Well, there was no big blow up or massive turning point, they just sort of let time and lack of true honest communication erode away at the already fragile bond between them. Kim’s choice to join Schweikart and Cokely left Jimmy without a clear and organized vision board, and a muddled goal. The cell phone hustle is still a means to an end, with Jimmy becoming a big time lawyer sitting in an office designed to impress and overwhelm, but is he doing it now to woo Kim back into the fold or does he want to sort of rub it in her face and show her that he can thrive right under everyone’s noses again? Like he did back when he worked in the mail room.
By the time Kim discovers, toward the end, that Jimmy’s been hocking drop phones to crooks she barely bats a lash. She definitely pauses to take stock of everything, but their relationship’s dissolved so much that she doesn’t even offer up enough energy to get mad. Now we get to watch, presumedly, Jimmy and Kim clash on legal terms. Their romantic pairing may have faded with a whimper, but there might be a “bang” when it comes to how these two both deal with Huell.
Considering this, plus the time jump, “Something Stupid” feels like the first of a big two-parter. Kim comes to a moment of clarity right at the end, once again twisting herself into a balloon animal to rescue Jimmy from his con man factory setting. She had an angle, but because Jimmy didn’t like it she had to dig even deeper and figure out a work around to her initial work around, just to try and give Jimmy the “no time served” outcome he wants for his friend. Instead of washing her hands of the matter, she’s doubling down. It’s not all for Jimmy, of course, as I’m sure she also empathizes with Huell and recognizes the bias in the system against him, but because the only way she can connect to Jimmy these days is through this case, she’s giving it an extraordinary amount of energy.
It’s interesting to consider that Jimmy, after months of growing more distant from Kim in their relationship, is now more connected to Huell. Hell, he was even showing Huell around a potential office space – something he’d have previously done with Kim. Even if it wasn’t a space meant for both of them, he’d still want to bring her in and share this type of moment with her. Now he doesn’t even consider her as someone to run his crazy go-for-broke ideas past.
“Something Stupid” also used a bunch of interesting stylistic/musical choices – from Nancy Sinatra’s “Something Stupid” to Harry McClintock’s “Big Rock Candy Mountain” to even that little musical interlude featuring Huell listening to zydeco music before he clocked the cop – which is handy when you’re springing ahead over an entire summer like it did. It helps things feel more purposefully designed and not rushed, even when you’re juicing up the story a little bit.
I do wonder what Mike will do with Kai given the meth lab accident and the boys’ restless state. It seems some “R and R” is on the horizon, but is getting rid of Kai even worth it this far into the project? After last week, not knowing there’d be a time jump, I assumed Kai was the type to present Mike with trouble right away. And the type to get dealt with right away. But apparently Mike’s been able to tolerate him all this time and he hasn’t done anything grossly negligent to warrant discipline. I thought Kai, like a surly teen, would try to escape the warehouse at some point and get dealt with accordingly.
The lab gets built, obviously, so nothing too disastrous comes from Kai’s mishap, but what will this wind up meaning for Mike? What sort of choice is he going to have to make? I assume he’s now full integrated into Gus’ operation with little or no tethering to “Mike the grieving father.” Obviously, he”ll continue to be a part of Kaylee’s life but without that support group, and with Stacey ready to move on from Matt, Mike’s been boxed out of his humanity a little bit.
The time jump also brought us a more recognizable Hector, and a bit of “The Bell: Origins,” as he was now tapping his finger to communicate as part of his recovery. I was curious about the “knocking over water to leer at nurse” scene, since it went unnoticed by Hector’s attending doctor, but the show is clever enough to have everything mean something. Gus was able to see it later and determine that Hector was in the perfect mental state for him to be imprisoned in his own body. Gus needed him like this and not any better. Again, this is all prequel confetti. We never really needed to see behind the curtain this much with regards to Gus and Hector so I’m hoping something new and vital is able to spring from it.