Please Don't Give Kim on 'Better Call Saul' the Skyler White Treatment
This article contains plot spoilers for Better Call Saul. If you have a sensitivity to that, take cover.
Hello, internet. I like your haircut. I hope things are going well for you. I just wanted to stop by and ask you just the simplest favor if you could. If you’re as big of a fan of Better Call Saul as I am, then you know who this nice lady is:
This is Kim Wexler, as played by Rhea Seehorn. She’s been fun so far. Remember in the first season? Showing off some smart pantsuits? Hanging out in the parking garage at Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill sharing a cigarette with Bob Odenkirk’s once and future Saul, Jimmy McGill? She was a smoky voice of reason for him in the first season, and maybe his only true ally and friend. Kicking off season two, we even see her willing to get her hands dirty a bit and play along as Jimmy cons Ken Wins into paying for their expensive, hopefully not-poisoned by Gus Fring, bottle of Zafiro Anejo tequila, or playing footsie with Jimmy under the table during that important Sandpiper case meeting? What I’m saying is, so far, Kim seems cool. We like Kim, right?
Then we got to season 2, episode 2, “Cobbler,” wherein Jimmy’s main plot has finally woven into Mike’s subplot involving the overly flashy Pryce and his gosh darn stolen baseball cards. After weaving a ridiculously awful cover story involving pie-based erotic videos, Jimmy brings a collection of spare pies over to Kim’s to celebrate. When Jimmy drops the bombshell that he bought the pies in order to shoot one of said pie-based erotic videos that he claimed already existed, Kim’s attitude switches from playful to serious: Jimmy had just falsified evidence and could jeopardize his law license, and with it his swanky new job at Davis and Main.
And this is where I’ve gotten scared. Because as much as we all loved Breaking Bad, there was one element of it that the internet did not care for…. Skyler White. You remember Skyler don’t you? Anna Gunn’s portrayal of Skyler netted her two Emmy Awards and a role on Gracepoint, the American remake of Broadchurch. And a lot of people really hated her. So much so that Gunn herself even wrote an op-ed about it, and of course even we here at Pajiba weighed in on it too. On a show filled with flawed, complex, often unlikeable protagonists, Skyler White had the audacity to do all of that and also be a woman.
Don’t believe me? Here’s some tweets for you. Note that they’re all well over a year after the show even went off the air:
I admire that guy’s commitment to come back later and really remind you of his talking points. And then there’s this gentleman:
Oh really, easily the most? Like, in a world where all these women exist?
How about Lysa Arryn? I mean literally every death of a character you loved on Game of Thrones happened because she killed her husband way back at the start.
Heck, Skyler’s not even the most wicked female character on her own show.
Or the most annoying!
And all of this ignores the one really solid glaring detail: Skyler was right. Everything she thought would happen because of Walter’s criminal empire did happen. And if he had just walked away when the opportunity was there, they could have gotten away with all of it, and Hank would still be alive.
So please, please. Now that Kim has for one second not been just totally cool with Jimmy’s shenanigans, can we please, please, be more chill this time around? Given that we never hear about Saul’s awesome wife in Breaking Bad, we can assume going in that most likely he does not end up with Ms. Wexler. So, while I’ve got my fingers crossed that Vince Gilligan and crew will do something more original than having her die in some emotionally gripping way that ends up being what drives Jimmy over the edge into non-stop Saul Goodman mode, we already know these two crazy kids do not end up happy and together. We can assume we’ll have quite a bit more “This is a pie full of lies!” moments. But can we please not hate her just as a reflex?
After all, just like how it’s Walter’s fault that Skyler ended up broke and alone in her little home at the end of Breaking Bad, it’s also his fault that Jimmy ends up here: