Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 10 Review: Nippy

Falling right back into Slippin’ Jimmy’s rhythms, Gene befriends Jeff’s mother (played by television icon Carol Burnett), always able to make an easy mark of the elderly. Waiting inside Jeff and his mother’s home de el as Jeff returns from work, Gene makes it clear that he’s not someone to be trifled with. When the men can share a private moment, Gene tells Jeff that he knows Jeff’s not interested in turning him in because he would have called the police by now. He figures that Jeff is interested in using the criminal mastermind’s unique set of skills to “get into the game.”

Perhaps that’s Jeff’s motivation, or maybe it just becomes his motive once Gene introduces the idea. We’ve seen Jimmy implant ideas into other people’s heads time and time again. What’s more likely is that Gene is the one who wants to get back in the game, and if he’s able to deal with the threat of Jeff at the same time, then it’s a bonus. Gene helps Jeff concoct a plan to rob a department store in the mall, using nothing more than a predictably hungry, chatty security guard played by Parks and Recreation‘s Jim O’Heir (of course Jerry would be a mark!).

Faking his way through Nebraska college sports talk, Gene times how long it takes the security guard to eat a cinnamon roll to determine just how long his eyes will be off his monitors. He then cases the department store floor, marking the peace it takes to get from one big ticket item to the next. Finally, he recreates a model of the department store floor so Jeff and his buddy can practice their heist.

At one point, Jeff starts to doubt the process, but Gene remains steadfast. He mentions the story of a sick chemistry teacher who followed his advice from him and made millions (he failed to mention how that story ended, but maybe Jeff already knows). He pushes Jeff to follow through on the heist, not just because he needs incriminating evidence to use, but because he’s scheming again, and it feels good. This is a low-level heist, but Gene and returning Gilligan-verse powerhouse director Michelle MacLaren makes it all feel like Ocean’s Eleven high-stakes, using montage and split-screen to make every detail feel important.

When it comes time to pull the con, everything goes according to plan until Jeff slips on a newly buffed portion of the floor and is knocked out of commission a few moments longer than anticipated. Gene is forced to audible and keeps the security guard transfixed by discussing his loneliness, lack of family, and his feelings of impermanence. He uses real fears to manipulate the security guard and give Jeff more time to get out of there, almost appearing as though he shocked himself by the real nature of his emotions from him. When the team is confirmed to be in the clear, Gene meets with Jeff to reiterate that this was a one-time thing and that he ensured Jeff broke more laws than previously known to keep some mutually assured destruction on the table as a card if he needs it. Still, as Gene is stressing to Jeff that their partnership was a one-time event, it feels like he’s emphasizing it for his own sake.

To hammer that home, we watch Gene return to the department store, and he’s immediately drawn to the sort of loud, garish shirt that Saul Goodman would have purchased without a second thought. He even holds it up to his body from him to get a better idea of ​​how it would look on him. He already knows it would fit like a glove. Despite everything he’s been through, he cannot suppress Slippin’ Jimmy’s instincts and he refuses to envision himself as anyone other than the sharp-dressed Saul Goodman. Whether trying to play it straight for his brother from him, for Davis and Main, for Kim, or now for his own protection from him, Jimmy cannot deny who he is at his core from him. He thought he needed to con Jeff to survive, but in reality, he needed to con Jeff to live.

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