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Better Call Saul Sets Up a Courtroom Showdown Between Jimmy and Kim

Is this the beginning of the end of their relationship?

Tim Surette

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Monday's episode of Better Call Saul, "The Guy For This." Read at your own risk!]

Better Call Saul has never been about the "what," it's always been about the "how." That's what happens with a prequel; we have some semblance of how it all ends, but to quote the world's lamest bumper sticker, it's about the journey, not the destination. (It's also why most prequels suck; they don't always get that concept.)

Up until this season, Better Call Saul's biggest "how" was how Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) becomes Saul Goodman, which we've seen as of the Season 5 premiere. Which leaves Better Call Saul's most intriguing "how": How do Jimmy and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) call it quits?

Predicting Better Call Saul -- a show that's famously written on the fly instead of planned out so the season hits a predetermined ending -- is about as easy as predicting what color suit and tie combo Saul will wear to court, but "Namaste" certainly opened the door to one possibility: Jimmy and Kim's breakup goes down in court. Or at least starts because of it.

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Kim's biggest battle so far this season involves her top client, Mesa Verde, building a call center on land that currently has an unwanted resident in the form of a lone holdout who hasn't accepted a buyout to relocate. As we saw in the previous episode, "A Guy Like This," Kim's gone back and forth on how to handle this, trying reasoning, then aggression, then kindness (which may actually be more representative of her internal conflict about having Mesa Verde as a client than anything else) to no avail. Mr. Acker (Barry Corbin) is as stubborn as a teenage mule.

In "Namaste," Kim witnesses Jimmy/Saul flashing his morally bankrupt brilliance in a robbery case, in which he gets the accuser to point out the wrong person as the defendant because Jimmy brought a lookalike to court instead of the actual man on trial. It's effective, but it's reprehensible in the eyes of the law. It's classic Saul Goodman.

Kim then tells Jimmy that she wants to talk to him about her case, and the next thing we see is Jimmy approaching Mr. Acker with a picture of a man f---ing a horse, Jimmy saying that he's the man and Mesa Verde is the horse, and if he gets to represent Mr. Acker in court, Mesa Verde will get f---ed. It works, and Saul has his biggest client yet (at least one who isn't in a cartel).

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

There are many possibilities about why Kim told Jimmy about Mr. Acker (we have no idea what their actual conversation entailed, just that she said she wanted to talk about the case). If we presume that Kim told Jimmy to convince Mr. Acker to take him on as a lawyer, it could be Kim looking to make the situation right by getting someone on the other side -- Saul -- who can negotiate an out-of-court settlement that makes both parties happy, or to get the one lawyer who would take this case and put the most pressure on Mesa Verde to settle in favor of Mr. Acker. It's clear to me now that she feels awful for Mr. Acker, and this would be her way to right some wrongs as she's wont to do, even if it means sweeping up broken glass in a parking lot.

In a more nefarious move, Kim could be using Saul to go to court and outright win the case against her, going so far as to sabotage herself and lose the case in order to plant an out for Mesa Verde to fire her, because she doesn't even want to work for them anymore. That would require Kim and Saul to actually go head-to-head in court, which would be mandatory viewing for everyone even if the two are in cahoots for some reason.

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But this is the kind of plan that can easily backfire on her. Let's not forget that there's precedent for Jimmy surprising Kim before a judge: his act to get reinstated by the bar association. If, for some reason, HHM comes on as a partner in the case on behalf of Mesa Verde (and why wouldn't a corporate bank load up on a proven legal team when so much is at stake?), Jimmy may just go off-script in order to beat the firm that rejected him. Howard offered Jimmy a cushy job in the episode, and Jimmy flatly rejected it by chucking bowling balls through the windows of Howard's car. Let's just say he does not think fondly of HHM. I like this scenario the best, because it opens up the possibility to actually gut us and begin fully ripping Jimmy and Kim apart. (We know it's going to happen, and we know it's going to be absolutely awful to watch.)

Jimmy's shown more flexibility with right and wrong when it comes to court and winning. The way he destroyed Chuck through fraud by doctoring documents was Jimmy at his worst, but it's how Jimmy won. Could he do something similar to to embarrass HHM, taking Kim out with collateral damage? It's hard to swallow, but is it out the realm of possibility? The guy just committed excessive property damage against Howard because he offered him a job.

Whatever happens, and there are so many more possibilities than what I mentioned, it all feels like Jimmy and Kim are on a collision course in court over Mesa Verde v. Mr. Acker. And it seems like a sure thing; Episode 6 of the season is titled "Wexler v. Goodman." That'll be the trial of the century.

Better Call Saul airs Monday nights at 9/8c on AMC.