Emmy episode analysis: Bob Odenkirk faces ultimate betrayal in ‘Better Call Saul’

emmy episode analysis bob odenkirk better call saul goodman 13579086

After playing Saul Goodman on “Breaking Bad” for four years, Bob Odenkirk is now nominated as Best Drama Actor for playing the character on his spinoff prequel “Better Call Saul.” He portrays the character before he became the infamous TV lawyer and is just plain Jimmy McGill. It’s Odenkirk’s first Emmy nomination as a performer. He has been nominated seven times as a comedy writer and won two trophies in the Best Variety Writing category: “Saturday Night Live” in 1989 and “The Ben Stiller Show” in 1993. Now he’s hoping to return to the winners’ circle with the penultimate episode of the show’s first season “Pimento.”

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Jimmy is sitting outside helping his older brother, Charlie (Michael McKean), who suffers from sensitivity towards electricity and electro-magnetic fields. Charlie reminds Jimmy that they have a lot of work to do in building their case against a nursing home conglomerate cheating their residents out of their money. Jimmy then appears in court as the company tries to keep him from being allowed on their property, which Jimmy manages to beat back. When Jimmy returns to tell Charlie the good news, he sees that the company’s law firm has delivered a huge document dump requiring a huge amount of paperwork. Charlie tells Jimmy that in order to keep the case on track, they’ll have to take the case to Charlie’s old firm which Jimmy hates since they wouldn’t hire him after he passed the bar. Jimmy reluctantly agrees and then gloats that he’ll finally get hired by them.

At HHM, Jimmy agrees to the terms of handing the case over to the firm, but when he brings up working at the firm Howard says that they don’t want him. Jimmy gets extremely angry at Howard and says he’ll burn the case to the ground before he lets them have it. Charlie is shocked and acts very disappointed in Howard. Later at Jimmy’s “office,” which is in a nail salon, Kim arrives and implores Jimmy to take the deal. Jimmy starts becoming suspicious of what’s going on and confronts Charlie, realizing that Charlie has been keeping him from getting employed at HHM from the beginning. Charlie lays into Jimmy, saying that he isn’t a real lawyer and that the idea of him having a law degree is insane. Jimmy is emotionally shattered and storms out of the house and drives off. Can Odenkirk win his first acting Emmy for this episode? Let’s examine the pros and cons:

Odenkirk gets to display great range in his performance and you feel so bad for him in his last scene with McKean as you can see Jimmy’s heart just break.

The series did very well across the board with seven total nominations including a bid for Best Drama Series and supporting player Jonathan Banks.

If there’s any residual love for “Breaking Bad” that exists within the TV Academy, it can only help Odenkirk and quite possibly put him over the top.

Quite a bit of the acting is subdued on Odenkirk’s part.

The broader pool of Emmy voters who are voting on this race might favor other nominees in this race, like Jon Hamm, who has a huge overdue factor going in his favor.

If voters aren’t already regular viewers of the show, they might not get the emotional impact of the final scene when Jimmy finds out that Charlie has been working against him the whole time.

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Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC

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