Season 2, Episode 5
Jimmy becomes frustrated with his restrictive work environment. Kim pulls out all the stops to dig herself out of a seemingly bottomless hole at HHM.
It’s 1992, and a hypersensitivity-free Chuck replaces a dead bulb in his dining room chandelier without flinching. He puts on music, then makes his way to the kitchen to help his wife, Rebecca, prepare dinner. Chuck apologizes in advance for the guest they’re expecting: Jimmy, whom he describes as “an acquired taste.” Rebecca isn’t worried, but they come up with a plan in which she will tug on her earlobe if she tires of Jimmy's antics and wants to end dinner early.
The couple is interrupted by the doorbell -- Jimmy’s early! Six-pack in hand, Jimmy looks at the house in awe. Chuck impatiently invites him inside.
Over dinner, Chuck boasts about Rebecca’s impressive career as a concert violinist. When Jimmy awkwardly brings up their wedding, Rebecca kindly changes the subject and asks Jimmy about his first week in the mailroom at HHM. The conversation lulls to an uncomfortable silence, so Jimmy begins telling lawyer jokes. Rebecca smiles, genuinely amused. As Chuck heads to the kitchen to retrieve dessert, she jumps in with a joke of her own. Rebecca and Jimmy dissolve into hysterics, both too preoccupied to notice Chuck pulling at his earlobe, his fake smile beginning to falter.
While reading in bed later that evening, Rebecca tells Chuck that he shouldn’t have worried so much – Jimmy was great! As she turns back to her magazine, Chuck takes a crack at a lawyer joke of his own. It falls flat. Rebecca humors him with a polite chuckle, then resumes reading. Chuck stares straight ahead, jealous of Jimmy’s natural charm and the effect he had on Rebecca -- one that Chuck couldn’t replicate.
Back in the present, Jimmy works late at Davis & Main. He puts the finishing touches on a document and leaves an excited voicemail for Kim. He’s found something that could get her out of document review! “I’m going to make things right,” he promises. As Jimmy wraps up, he’s surprised by a perky associate, Erin Brill. She produces a stack of heavily red-lined pages and explains that Cliff asked her to read one of Jimmy’s briefs. She has a few notes that she’d like to review with him. Indignant, Jimmy realizes that Cliff has asked her to “babysit” him. Instead of arguing, Jimmy agrees – he’ll meet Erin in her office in just a minute. The second she’s out of sight, Jimmy grabs his things and sneaks out.
Over at HHM, Kim continues her stint in doc review. Two junior associates point out that it’s almost midnight and begin to pack up. Kim bids them farewell, then grabs another box of files and continues working.
Later, Jimmy finds Kim and shows her a formal complaint he has written on her behalf: Wexler v. HHM. He explains that Chuck is clearly punishing Kim to get to Jimmy and urges her to sue the firm for mistreatment. Kim points out that she’s in trouble because Jimmy went behind Cliff’s back. Jimmy should have known that Howard would punish Kim just as he did when she lost the Kettleman case. Jimmy disagrees: even if Howard thinks he’s calling the shots, Chuck is pulling the strings. Jimmy offers to quit Davis & Main to appease Chuck, but Kim dismisses the idea.
“You don’t save me,” she insists, “I save me.”
The next morning, Jimmy arrives at Davis & Main to find Erin already waiting in his office. Jimmy apologizes for ditching her and launches into an elaborate excuse. Erin sees through the lie and cuts him off. Jimmy drops the act and agrees to look at her notes.
Inside a stairwell at HHM, Kim spends her lunch break making calls, trying to drum up new business and get back on Howard’s good side. As charming as she is, she strikes out on every lead. Deflated, she returns to doc review to keep working.
In his parking booth, Mike chats on the phone with Stacey. She raves about how much she and Kaylee like the motel Mike has put them up in and asks if he can come visit. Mike puts off the visit, not wanting Kaylee to see his face, which is still badly bruised from his encounter with Tuco.
Jimmy and Erin pull up to the parking booth. Jimmy is shocked to see the state of the parking attendant’s face, but Mike doesn’t deign to explain the circumstances that led to his injuries. “First rule of Fight Club,” Jimmy nods, humming the theme to Rocky as he and Erin drive onward.
Inside the courthouse, Jimmy approaches the familiar and immovable contract counsel administrator, whom he hasn’t seen since his days working with the public defender’s office. Jimmy requests a hearing for Thursday morning. The clerk denies his request at first, but warms up to Jimmy when he presents her with a cute Beanie Baby. Erin snatches the toy away, upbraiding Jimmy for trying to bribe the clerk. “It's a gift. That’s how it works here -- you grease the wheels of justice,” Jimmy argues. Erin refuses to budge under the clerk's withering glare. Finally, the clerk gives Jimmy a hearing date on Thursday afternoon -- the following month.
As they walk away, Erin claims she's not trying to get Jimmy in trouble: she's trying to keep him out of it. Jimmy barely stops her from following him into the men’s room, where he runs into his old pal Bill from the District Attorney’s office. Bill has heard though the grapevine that Jimmy is now at Davis & Main. Brimming with jealousy, he grills Jimmy about all the perqs of working at the Santa Fe firm. “Lucky bastard,” Bill mutters to himself, leaving Jimmy alone to contemplate the enviable life he’s putting in jeopardy.
Industrious Kim continues to hustle to find a new client for HHM. At last, she receives a return call from Paige Novick, who works as senior counsel for a regional chain of banks. They schedule a meeting. Kim jumps for joy after hanging up, her cheer reverberating in the empty parking garage.
The next day, Kim and Howard greet Paige and Kevin Wachtell, the CEO of Mesa Verde Bank & Trust, in the lobby of HHM. After a successful meeting, Kim offers to draw up a list of associates to assign to the case. Howard informs her that someone else will spearhead that: Kim has enough on her plate in doc review. He heads back inside, leaving Kim disheartened and disillusioned… and still in the doghouse.
Howard visits Chuck at home to share the good news about Mesa Verde. Chuck is impressed that Kim has snagged a quarter million in billings and possibly years of work for HHM – surely now she’s back on Howard’s good side! Tersely, Howard answers: "We'll see."
Before sunrise, Chuck heads into the office and works by lantern. He’s interrupted by someone switching on the lights: it's Kim, dropping off paperwork. "You're in early," Chuck observes. "More like late," Kim answers modestly. Chuck explains that he’s trying something new, working before the office opens when the lights are off and the phones are quiet. He asks Kim to make them each a cup of coffee.
Sitting uncomfortably in Chuck's office, Kim bluntly asks whether she has a future at HHM. Chuck tells Kim that they have a lot in common -- namely being compromised by Jimmy. He describes how Jimmy stole thousands of dollars from their father’s corner store while they were growing up, even though their father wouldn't ever believe it was true. When their father was forced to sell the store and died six months later, Jimmy cried harder than anyone else at the funeral. “He has a good heart, it’s just he can’t help himself," Chuck explains, “And everyone is left picking up the pieces." Chuck offers to help Kim with Howard, saying her talents are being wasted in doc review.
Mike eats alone at Loyola's diner. A man enters and slides into the booth across from him. It’s none other than Hector "Tio" Salamanca, Tuco’s uncle -- speaking and ambulatory! Hector offers $5,000 if Mike will tell the police that the gun Tuco had at the Mexican restaurant was actually Mike’s -- a move that would reduce Tuco's potential jail time considerably. Mike argues that he’d then be subject to the gun charges, but Hector points out that the authorities usually go easy on ex-cops. Hector leaves, instructing Mike to think about his proposal.