'Better Call Saul' Season 5 Episode 9 Review: Jimmy's trauma relies on Kim's fierce defense, but is she safe?
As the penultimate episode of the penultimate season, 'Bad Choice Road' doesn't hesitate to pull out the big guns, right from the get-go
Spoilers for Season 5 Episode 9: 'Bad Choice Road'
As Rhea Seehorn's fans continue to tout her for an Emmy this year, with each episode of 'Better Call Saul' it becomes easier to understand just why. From a scorned girlfriend to an understanding wife — Seehorn channels it all with precision and tasteful vibrance as Kim Wexler.
And even though it is Jimmy McGill's (Bob Odenkirk) turnover to Saul Goodman and all the dangers the path brings for him that we should be concerned about, there's no denying that at this point, we are rooting more for Kim than anybody on the show.
Not even the franchise beloved character Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) from the parent show 'Breaking Bad' could raise such intense support from viewers. Gone are the days when a Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) and Jimmy binding sesh would have our hearts soaring with the compelling writing.
Given the way Kim is jumping hoops and plunging herself into territory that Jimmy explicitly warns her about, there's a faint fear in our hearts that we might find out soon why Kim is very much not a part of Saul Goodman's life when he is in 'Breaking Bad'.
The prequel might be about the inevitable downfall of Jimmy, and this episode might be about Jimmy reeling under the trauma of recent events in the desert, but Kim is a real star, or so hints the latest Episode 9 of Season 5.
As the penultimate episode of the penultimate season, 'Bad Choice Road' doesn't hesitate to pull out the big guns, right from the get-go. Jimmy returns to civilization and dumps Lalo Salamanca's (Tony Dalton) bail money in the bank — seven million dollars in hard cash-raising more than a few eyebrows.
He talks to Lalo, returns home to Kim, and while all water might seem under the bridge, the burns on his skin say otherwise. Odenkirk brings all of his brilliance and more to the table with Jimmy's trauma and panic playing the starring role in this episode.
He fumbles through agonizing flashbacks and loses cases unlike ever before, but that is the least of his worries. Lying to Lalo about what actually went down in the desert can never be a good idea but nobody had warned Jimmy before.
So the moment Lalo gets out of prison, he decides to take a little trip down the desert to do some cross-checking of Jimmy's claims that his car broke down, hence the delay in transporting the money.
And when Lalo finds the truth of it all — the car dumped in the ravine, marked with bullet holes, Dalton channels his menacing best in threatening the full truth out of Jimmy.
This is where Kim's exuberance as the wife, the accomplice, and the ride or die come into play. After an entire episode that sees her compassionate soothe Jimmy's sunburns as he soaks in the tub, Kim decides to quit her job.
She says it's prioritizing what's more important after an entire day of Jimmy's absence had her worried sick that he was dead, but we know it's more than that. Early in the episode, Kim comes across the coffee mug that Jimmy had brought back from the desert, with a bullet hole in it, and that's when Kim learns the true gravity of what her husband has unwittingly become a part of.
And while she doesn't know much of this world and the intricate inner-workings of it all, she knows what happens to the perpetrators and the accomplices and this is no time to go back.
From Jimmy himself, trying to chastise her about quitting, to Lalo later when the cartel loss shows up unannounced to confront Jimmy — Kim doesn't shy away from asserting herself into the situation by giving each of them a piece of her mind, and in those moments, Seehorn is beyond flawless.
There's rage, there's fury and then there's that heartbroken despair and latent fear about the world her husband is slowly rooting himself in and Kim knows she had a way out until a while ago before she darted into a prison meeting with Lalo and confronted the druglord about her husband's whereabouts.
And now that there is no going back, Kim decides to dive all the way in. She tells Jimmy off with a reality check when he tells her that her decision to quit is the titular 'Bad Choice Road', and when Lalo tries to grill Jimmy, Kim lays down how Jimmy — well, Saul Goodman — is the only man he can trust enough to carry seven million dollars through the desert.
Seething fact checks like these drop like piercing icicles on the fresh wounds of both Lalo and Jimmy, and honestly, if one didn't know better, they'd think Kim was raised by one of the bloodhounds in the cartel game itself. But then again, she is a pretty good lawyer and they always know how to turn every situation in their favor.
The worry for Kim, however, doesn't dim after the latest episode is over. On one hand, we have Gus Fring reluctant to let his wild dog Nacho go, and on the other hand, Lalo is beyond sure that his recent imprisonment was all Gus playing his cards.
So as Lalo bids his father farewell and sets off for Mexico with Nacho acting his chauffeur, the threat might have left town in person, but given the way Kim has managed to insert himself in the situation, there's a high chance when Lalo returns, he'll be back with more than just a piece of his own mind for Kim.
And none of that will be any better. 'Better Call Saul' Season 5 airs on Mondays at 9 pm only on AMC.