I was away from Better Call Saul for two weeks. The Mexican prison in which I was caged had neither televisión nor computadora, and for some reason the chip in my brain that live-streams anything and everything related to Breaking Bad directly into my eyeballs seemed to be out of juice. Por favor, I wheezed, necesito…Saul. My captors never budged. At length I escaped with the help of a beautiful young Mexican woman named Alejandra, by foot, by horseback, by freight train bound for the States, by the skin of my teeth. I collapsed onto my couch seventy-two harrowing hours later. As “Bingo” began I felt like I’d missed something, I felt disconnected, I felt for the first time like I actually needed the previously on montage. I felt lost. I longed for Alejandra.
Oddly enough, “Bingo” was actually partially about exactly that: is Jimmy going anywhere? Even if you forget about him for two weeks, is he still just going to end up in the same place he started? This is a guy who constantly reinvents himself with chameleonic disregard for each successive former self. The episode “Hero” went a long way to depicting this, first showing the con man Slippin’ Jimmy, then the upstart lawyer Jimmy McGill, then the coiffed and suited James M. McGill, Esq. beaming down from that billboard. The trick of the thing, of course, was that it’s all still Jimmy. That billboard thing was a con, plain and simple, just like the kind Slippin’ Jimmy used to pull.