Better Call Saul 3.10: Lantern
So here we are at the end of another fantastic season of Better Call Saul. This season has been like a metronome, you know the ones with five balls hanging in a row. You pull one back and the one at the other end goes up as well. All our characters represent a ball, one knocks into the other and affects the next one. This uniformity carries on through the season until this weeks finale, where just like when you were a small child and you took the metronome out of sync, characters are bashing into each other like crazy and the world has gone mad.
In flashback, young Chuck reads to a younger Jimmy in a flashback to happier times. Tonight's episode entitled Lantern is directed by Peter Gould and written by Gennifer Hutchison. In the present Kim has suffered a broken arm after the cliff hanger to last week's episode seeing her get into a car wreck. Due to the accident she decides to take a leave of absence and asks Jimmy to break the lease on their shared office. He agrees and to cut costs asks their shared secretary to work from home. Tender scenes between Kim and Jimmy are threaded throughout this week's episode. Sometimes during the episode you forget that the episode is in 2003 and not present day. A good example, there are scenes shown with Kim browsing film choices at her local Blockbuster. A form of entertainment browsing from a bygone age with the likes of Amazon Prime and Netflix these days.
In the world of drug trafficking, Hector arrives at Nachos' fathers shop and tries to bribe him for his loyalty. With Nacho's urging he reluctantly takes the bribe but Hector remains suspicious. Nacho's plan to assassinate Hector is side lined slightly when he is caught up between a meeting of Hector, Gus and Bolsa. Hector is told that it is under Don Eladios orders that Gus will handle the trafficking. Enraged by this Hector has a heart attack and is wheeled off to hospital with Nacho taking his chance to swap the fake medicine back to the real medicine but not before Gus gives him a quizzical look. Here is where we see the start of the degradation of Hector's health, maybe Season Four will show him in his wheelchair and ringing bell set up from Breaking Bad.
After playing the bad guy last week Jimmy is trying to makes amends. First he visits Chuck to try and save face after a season full of adversity. Just like Jimmy had done in previous episodes, Chuck coldly declines Jimmy and his presence and is sent packing. Jimmy decides to visit Irene's friends to make amends but they are still suspicious. In a stroke of genius Jimmy "accidentally" gets caught out over a game of bingo after confessing his true plans to a packed bingo audience over an open mike channel.
Lastly Chuck and his health are going down hill rapidly. After Howard pays off Chuck to the tune of $8 million out of his own pocket, Chuck's symptoms grow worse and locked away in his sumptuous manor house (which feels like a studio apartment at times), his demons come calling. From trying to find an errant electricity circuit to smashing large holes in the walls of his house, the performance of Michael McKean as Chuck is surely in for an Emmy by this time next year. As the episode ends, Chuck clearly purposefully kicks over a lantern onto a stack of papers as the house and surroundings catch fire.
It's sad but here we are at the end of another fabulous season of Better Call Saul. A season that doesn't feel like a grind, like the recent Prison Break revival did. In 2017 most series last ten episodes and the story is self contained within it. Go back ten years and you had series like 24 that lasted twenty four episodes. Sometimes you wish there was a few more episodes to go so you can bath in the landscapes, characters and stories of this series. Bring on Season Five.