For any of you ‘Breaking Bad‘ fans out there, I hope you’ve made the transition over to ‘Better Call Saul‘ in the last few weeks. The show at this point needs no introduction, so lets jump right into it. Fair warning – spoilers will ensue. Monday night, the latest episode in the first season of ‘Better Call Saul,’ Episode 105: Alpine Shepherd Boy, premiered on AMC. This is episode has played a tremendous role in setting the stage for the rest of season.
Thanks to his billboard stunt in the previous episode, Jimmy (played by Bob Odenkirk) gets to meet with a few potential clients. Two of the depicted clients are a little nutty, but Jimmy finally makes an honest dollar when putting together a will for an elderly lady. After his incident with the local authorities at the end of the previous episode, Jimmy’s bother Chuck (played by Michael Mckean) is hospitalized.
Upon arrival at the hospital later in the episode, Jimmy helps bring Chuck out of what seems to be a deep state of shock by turning off all the lights in the room and removing electronic devices such as cell phones. After he comes to, Chuck pronounces to the doctor that he has a hyper sensitivity to electromagnetic fields. He swears that he is not crazy, and that no therapy will help. Outside of the hospital room, Chuck’s doctor assures Jimmy that his condition is not a real medical diagnosis, rather a psychological manifestation, and strongly encourages Jimmy to admit Chuck for evaluation.
Jimmy later informs his brother that he is starting to specialize in elder law. Not long after, we see Jimmy schmoozing with future clients at a nursing home, earning a little brand recognition with Jello cups plastered with “Need a Will? Call McGill.” on the bottom of the container. Episode 105 comes to a close with a scene that depicts a middle-aged woman leaving her home, stopping in the road right outside her house to make eye contact with Mike who is parked on the side of the street. After a long, awkward stare down, the woman pulls away. In the final shot, police show up at Mike’s door, and with the dialogue “you’re a long way from home,” replied to with “so are you,” we can assume they are acquaintances from Mike’s old job as a cop in Philly.
So, finally we have a little more insight into Chuck’s condition. We now know that the effects he experiences when exposed to electronic devices is not medical, rather a psychological condition. With that information, we are still left to wonder what caused his condition, and hopefully, in later episodes, Chuck will succumb to therapy to reveal the root of the issue. Was it a traumatic experience, or maybe a physical injury resulting in a phobia? We may soon find out.
More than that, this episode has given is a little more insight into the relationship that exists between Jimmy and Chuck. We are starting to understand a little more of Jimmy’s dilemma when it comes to how to help his brother. Should he go against Chuck’s wish to remain unseen by a therapist (which also happens to be what Chuck’s previous law partner wants) or should he do what is best for him, and admit him for evaluation (a solution that could also result in a large payout from the previous law firm)?
In addition to all of that, we’re teased with background on the character of Mike. ‘Breaking Bad‘ fans have surely wondered about Mike’s background (outside the fact that he is a retired cop), and now it seems that we may get a little more of that information.
Another great episode from ‘Better Call Saul’! Looking forward to seeing what will unfold in the next installation.