I give this episode a 79 on Robin's Scale.
In my opinion, there is no better written show on television right now than this show. This episode highlights the writing. Peter Gould & Thomas Schnauz did a fantastic job with the subtleties.
The writing is spectacular; centering around interactions of two couples that dominate this episode for me:
*Werner and Mike's interactions:
Mike truly liked Werner and bonded with him all season and was troubled with taking him out. In a way Mike gave Werner three strikes:
1. Cocktail napkin plans were collected after Werner's beer filled conversations with total strangers about the secret project under the laundry service.
2. He was able to come up with resolution for Werner's escape from the job site.
3. He was able to tell Gus that no information of note was provided to Salmonca's nephew.
But when Werner's wife was on the way to meet him off the plane, a true innocent would have been whacked if Werner had his way; not to mention how would that look to the authorities? A woman takes a plane from Germany to New Mexico and then disappears? The FBI or Interpol would be looking for her. All of this you can map out in your mind and didn't require any exposition through dialog.
The totality of Werner's actions; including his wife coming to see him is what *did in* the otherwise innocent Werner. He orchestrated his own demise and Mike felt horrible and at the same time Mike faced being whacked himself because ultimately he was responsible for hiring Werner.
*Jimmy and Kim:
I think Jimmy has basically transformed into Saul. The letter from Charles (that he started to read in court) probably mirrors what Jimmy said to the girl that didn't get the scholarship and it appears to be the catalyst that made him snap. Mentally in his mind I surmised he could never be Jimmy McGill (the lawyer) because he would never live up to his brother's expectations and integrity and preserve the name McGill.
What's probably disturbing for Kim was that Jimmy looked like he was truly moved by his brother and his desire to practice law to preserve his brother's name and he wasn't at all. So does Jimmy have any real emotions or are those entirely gone? Are they done as a couple? They are definitely looking at things from different perspectives.
The actors reactions were natural and believable complementing the dialog perfectly.
Better still, I found my mind at several times in synch with the thought processes and reactions of Mike and Kim while they were processing the interactions with Werner and Jimmy as they were unfolding. A true mark for me of incredible writing, directing, and acting complementing each other. I literally felt like I was right there and in the moment with them.
The way things were shot also added to the tension.
The far shot of Mike and Werner during Werner's final tragic moments; even how they walked out there and separated the (blocking) was tense.
Jimmy and Kim in the hallway. I felt like at any minute someone was going to hear Jimmy gloating over his victory. Then I was clobbered by the dual reaction shock on Kim's face (and my own) when he laughed recalling the board members crying and realized that Jimmy is gone emotional and maybe things with Kim aren't going to work out..
*They could have just shown Mike whack Werner; that's way too easy. Presenting Werner as a stand up guy; who escapes just because he missed being with his wife and his naiveté with Salmonca's nephew on the phone and how dangerous his innocence posed to Gus outside of the project was very well done.
*Werner's realization that he left Mike no choice but to kill him (or be killed) was so natural and well acted. Mike was truly disturbed with what he had to do. I can feel his emotional unrest with doing in Werner.
*I felt that Kim came to a realization that she really didn't know Jimmy after he was reinstated and called himself Saul.
Nothing bad I could think of.
* Will the girl that didn't get the scholarship resurface in the show in a role like jimmy's? Maybe worse? Could his speech set off a depression and bad course of action for her?
*Will Kim break up with Jimmy because she feels she really doesn't know him anymore and he has no moral center?
*Is Jimmy emotionally gone forever?