Better Call Saul Gets Messages From Beyond The Grave
Jimmy reads Chuck's letter, Gus sends a dispatch via 'crime' 'scene,' and the dead of Breaking Bad live again in our EPIC OLD-SCHOOL RECAP of S04.E03.
The desert. A spiky lizard mounts a rock to observe skeptically as a makeshift spike strip is dragged across some isolated blacktop. A pair of black boots stalks over to a grey Chevelle, reverses it, throws it in drive, and floors it. It's a little hard to tell who's driving or why this is happening at this juncture, so let me save you the suspense -- the boots belong to Victor, and the Chevelle's doomed affair with the spike strip…
…belongs to Gus Fring, as it were, in the service of selling an alternate version of Arturo's demise that will allow Gus to manipulate Los Salamanca into destroying themselves while not implicating him. The explosion that ends that plan is, in this universe, years in the future; the explosion that ends the Chevelle's tires will have to do for now, and it's properly epic, with sparks flying and hubcaps jouncing away into the desert. The car comes to a stop on its rims on the shoulder, and Victor and his fingerprint-avoidant gloves get out as, in a black SUV, a similarly gloved hand reaches out the passenger-side window to scatter handfuls of shattered auto glass every few feet. Victor is smoking as the SUV approaches the Chevelle, and we're pointedly shown his stubbing out his butt and kicking it away, like, if you're taking such pains with every other aspect of this diorama, maybe pack out the piece that has DNA on it?
Nacho is driving the SUV, and when he pulls to a stop, Tyrus -- the Fring henchman who died in the explosion with the boss -- gets out. Tyrus walks up to Victor, gives him a knowing smirk, and proceeds to the Chevelle. The camera changes POV to show us Victor returning the smirk with what could be a look of annoyance, but could also just be Jeremiah Bitsui's face, then focus-pulls to Nacho in full nostril-flare in the SUV's side mirror. He too gets out and takes a few hesitant steps towards the Chevelle as Tyrus and Victor open the trunk and contemplate its unsurprising contents, to wit: an Arturo-sicle.
After the henchmen exchange another look, we cut to Arturo propped in the front seat of his ride and Tyrus and Victor unleashing a literal hail of lead on his car and corpse. We also get several loving shots of the brass raining down on the ground; as with the cig, I assume this isn't cinematogra-wanking and we're meant to note it, but it's unclear why -- and while I did have to look Tyrus up because we haven't seen him/I haven't seen the mothership show in a while, what I was reminded of when I did so is that he was probably ex-military, and more to the point was Mike's guy in the Breaking Bad-iverse, so knowing all that, I'm not sure what to do with Tyrus (or, really, anyone we know who worked for Gus long-term) getting this sloppy with a crime scene, even if it's a "crime" "scene." In any case, the shooting goes on for quite some time. Victor and Tyrus are dispassionate (though Tyrus does derive some satisfaction from taking out the rear windshield). Nacho, watching, is increasingly nostrilly and restive. Finally, hundreds of rounds later, Victor pauses, halts Tyrus's firing, shoots Nacho a look, then shoots Arturo in the head. Nacho indulges himself in a long blink, but when he re-opens his eyes, it's to Victor motioning him into the car with his head. Nacho grits his teeth and enters car left, as it were, to play his part in this alternate narrative; he arranges himself in the passenger seat and positions himself with his hand up by his head, a pose clearly dictated by Victor and Tyrus. Victor doesn't make him wait, sighting across the car and firing into Nacho's shoulder.
Nacho hollers, then clamps a hand over his wound and hauls himself out of the car, grimacing. He starts hobbling away from the car into the desert, and has just turned to whinge, "Can I make the call now?" when Victor shoots him again, in the abdomen this time. Nacho hits the sand like a ton of bricks. Tyrus approaches and shrugs, "Hadda make it look real," before dropping a flip phone in the dust beside Nacho. "Do it quick, before you pass out," Victor advises him, and as they take their leave, Nacho fumbles the phone open.
At the diner, Jimmy (and I just typed "Saul," which I guess is telling) is making his pitch for The Great Hummel Caper to Mike. He clonks a Hummel figurine down on the booth's table. Mike is immediately enthusiastic about involving himself in a collectibles heist.
Ha: no, he's typically Mike about it: "And?" Jimmy says Mike could turn "this piece of crap" into four grand -- for each of them. Well, not that specific piece of crap, The Merry Wanderer, which Jimmy got at a hock shop for twenty bucks, but a very similar figurine, Bavarian Boy, which is almost identical to The Merry Wanderer -- certainly close enough that the amateur eye, which Neff The Lesser's certainly is, would not notice if BB were swapped out for TMW, and BB were then sold at an upcoming tchotchke expo in Dallas. After a brief interruption by the waitress to 1) confirm that the figurine is "cute" and 2) remind us Mike is a regular at the diner, Jimmy wraps with, "Those people are hungry for Hummels," notes that the Hummels are "untraceable" (not entirely true), positions it as an everyone-wins situation where some old lady gets the Hummel of her dreams and they get a bundle of cash, and opens negotiations at a fifty-fifty split of the proceeds. Mike is not having any of this from the jump, irrespective of Jimmy's assurances that the so-called security at the copier joint is a non-issue, and asks how Jimmy came across "this valuable wunderkind." Did the guys in possession of it now cross Jimmy? Jimmy waits a bit too long before saying Mike's missing the point: it's free money! "Pass," Mike does not wait long at all to say. Jimmy doesn't get it. "It's not for me," Mike merely says, and when Jimmy wonders if there's a problem he isn't seeing, Mike pops a small brow, but says the plan's fine; it's just not for him -- and it shouldn't be for Jimmy either. After a pointed pause that lets us connect the two things in our minds as well as his, Mike says he's sorry about "your brother." Jimmy, annoyed, brushes past that to confirm that Mike's really not interested. Mike's eggs arrive, and when the waitress asks if Jimmy wants anything, he tries to guilt-trip Mike by sighing that he's not hungry. Mike greets that and Jimmy's follow-up, that he thought Mike would want first craaaack but okaaaaay then, with an impassive stare. Jimmy huffs out of the booth, although if he's surprised that Mike doesn't react to this sort of low-grade social shaming the way most civilians might, he needs to adjust his grift-o-meter, because come on. Mike invests a usually tossed-off phrase of adieu with real meaning when he gently tells Jimmy, "You take it easy."
Jimmy will not. As he's heading to his car, he's already on the mobile and booking an appointment with vet-slash-facilitator Dr. Caldera: "I have a very sick fish."
The desert. The cousins emerge from the car and take their trademark heavily suspenseful strides in their trademark evilly beautiful boots up to the "crime" "scene." One of them crouches to pick up a shell casing from the center of an artful spray of taillight glass, and shoots the other a dubious look, but the other is busy drawing down on the now-empty trunk. That same cousin then peers into the open passenger door at Arturo, looking unconvinced -- as he should; Arturo's forehead shows distinct signs of freezer burn -- and then the two spot the blood trail and follow it to Nacho, who is alive, but parched.
In the cousins' car, one cousin inspects the wound in Nacho's side with anthropological interest, then demands in Spanish, "Who did this?" Nacho doesn't know; they drove a silver car, maybe a Firebird? He grunts in agony as alcohol is poured over his wound. The other cousin returns to the car and hucks a gas can into the front seat. They peel out, leaving Arturo and his Swiss-cheesed Chevelle on fire in the desert.
Mesa Verde. Kim has hired a new paralegal named Viola -- played by the great Keiko Agena, known to most as Lane on Gilmore Girls, but best known to ME as Leila on Felicity -- and as they bustle into the Mesa Verde building, Kim is thanking Viola for driving her, saying she knows it's outside Viola's job description. Viola is a keener, though, and not only is Uber-ing Kim around no problem, but she offers to "start cracking on a draft" of the acquisitions paperwork after their meeting with the Mesa Verde poohbahs is done. Kim is still hating needing any help, though, and says no thanks -- she'll do it, and Viola can proof it when she's done.
Kim is discussing some kind of expansion sales prep with Paige when Kevin comes in with his usual hale small-talky bluster. Kim tries not to gag at his characterization of her as a "baby bird with a broken wing," gritting that it doesn't even hurt, it's just a hassle. She introduces Viola; Kevin offers her his condolences about "Charles McGill"; they had their differences, but "no one should go like that." How's "James" doing? Kim's on the point of blurting the awkward truth, i.e., "Oh, he's fine!" but corrects herself to say that he's "gettin' through it." Paige interrupts to remind Kevin that they have to meet with the board soon, so… Kevin takes the hint and excuses himself, but on the way out, he tells Kim, "You have got to see the models." "The…models?"
"Takes your breath away, doesn't it?" Kevin says, turning up the lights on a roomful of architectural models of future Mesas Verde. As he's listing all the future locations -- and it's a long list -- his voice grows faint on the soundtrack, and Kim walks among the different design stories of the future branches, stopping to peer down at a couple of tiny figures inside one of them. When she's not responding verbally to Kevin's big plans for Vegas and Texas, or his micro-managing where they might place benches outside the buildings, he asks if there's something wrong. No, she says too quickly, adding, "It's just…it's a lot! It's a very fast, aggressive expansion." Paige explains that Kevin wants to file for federal charter once they get a foothold in Utah, and Kevin says they're "really building something," and Kim's hard work is making a difference. Kim seems to concur, but not in a positive way.
Cut to Kim speed-walking out of the building as Viola yammers about notes and EOD and when she might expect Kim's notes blah blah blah draftcakes. Kim fetches up at the large cutout statue of the Mesa Verde logo in the lobby, which dwarfs them both.
She stares up at it for a moment before telling Viola that actually, she would like Viola to take a stab at the draft after all; Kim can look at it after. Great, Viola apple-polishes. She'll start right after she gets Kim home. Kim would like Viola to drop her at the courthouse instead, and Viola then apple-polishes about not knowing she should prep for an appearance. Kim has to tightly tell her it's an unscheduled visit, so there's no prep, "don't worry about it," which is Kim-ese for "shut the fuck up."
Jimmy waits impatiently while Caldera talks on the phone in the exam room, then gets fed up and barges in. Caldera's like, really?, and says "he's" not into it. He's not or you're not, Jimmy snaps, and tries to grab the phone. Not how it works, Caldera stage-whispers: "No direct contact -- that's the point!" Jimmy insists, so Caldera's like, fine, and whaps the phone into Jimmy's hand. Jimmy goes into a song-and-dance about the person on the other end shitting gold, and if this person doesn't shit gold, The Great Hummel Caper is the easiest money he'll ever make: "How long does it take for you to pick a Yale three-pin?" Eight minutes? Great: in eight minutes, this person can make four grand -- ten minutes if he stops to pick his nose, and nobody will ever come looking for him. That closes the deal. Jimmy gestures at Caldera for a paper and pen, gets an address, hangs up, and shrugs, "I'm not trying to tell ya how to do your job, but --" and he holds up the address, grabs his fish, and leaves the exam room.
Jimmy settles up with the receptionist, who sweetly says of the fish, "I hope she feels better soon!" Aw. On his way out the door, Jimmy has to squeeze past one of the cousins, who looms up on the receptionist and answers her hesitant "Can…I help you?" with an unblinking stare.
From Nacho's bleary POV, the back door of the cousins' SUV opens and Caldera looks in, mutters "Jesus," says he can't do anything here and he's going to go grab his bag, and mutters "Jesus" again. From the out-of-focus midst of a nightmarish soundscape, Nacho watches Caldera prep a needle and yell at the driver to maybe not hit every pothole? Nacho is knocked out; he comes to in a hallway, which he's being keel-hauled down without ceremony. On a table in the back of what we're later told is a Jiffy-Lube, Caldera flushes the wound, presses a pad to it, and smells it, then nods. Nacho passes out; when he comes to, he's sewn up, and a cousin is donating blood from his arm straight into Nacho's, doing that flexing thing they tell you to do to get a vein to pop, which of course he's doing menacingly because: cousin. "You woke up!" Caldera greets him, which means Caldera's Spanish is good enough and "Yul Brynner over here" is in fact O-negative. Caldera had to leave the bullet in his shoulder, so Nacho will have to look out for metal detectors from now on -- and possibly for a massive sepsis, because although Caldera gave him broad-spectrum antibiotics, and although the sniff test he performed earlier probably means the gut shot didn't perforate Nacho's bowel, it still could have nicked it. Caldera advises Nacho, no doubt knowing he won't do it, to go see a doctor "with some imaging tech" to make sure. Caldera then gives him basic wound-care instructions and asks if he understands. Nacho does. Caldera leans down right by Nacho's ear and adds, "Well, understand this: after I walk outta here, I never want to see you again. Never." Nacho turns his head away, looking semi-pleadingly at either the camera or at the blood-donor cousin -- possibly hoping for someone to Chapstick him already; nice work by Makeup on his desert-cracked lips, because I grabbed a Lipsmacker out of my desk drawer and slathered on like a quarter inch just looking at them. "This cartel shit is too hot for me. You got it?"
At Neff's Copiers And Collectibles, a magnet slides up the gap between the front doors and clinks into place, disabling the alarm. The lock is picked by a guy wearing stereotypical burglary gear, and the guy pads through the offices, then clicks on a flashlight in a cinematic "I don't need the light; you, the viewer, do, that you may recognize me" way. I needed the credits and the IMDb to know why this guy matters, so in the event that you too have forgotten a lot of the tertiary Breaking Bad guys in the almost five years since the series finale, this is Ira. Ira is probably better deemed a quad- or quintertiary character, tbh, as he appeared in only one episode, Season 5's "Hazard Pay," as the burglary-op guy who sold the Vamonos Pest operation to Walt, Mike, and Jesse. Between Tyrus, Ira, and an upcoming Fring scholarship recipient, this episode is pretty heavy on the BB connection "service"; I don't object, don't get me wrong -- as usual, Better Call Saul functions just fine if you don't remember every in and out of BB, and this episode is no different. But it does have the occasionally unsettling effect, at least for a recapper, of making you think you're missing something in every other scene, too, and perhaps over-ascribing the deep-cut significance of things we don't see. I'll come back to this idea later; for now, back to Ira, who lets himself into Mr. Neff's office, spots the Hummel he needs in the case, smiles, and swaps it out for The Merry Wanderer. He's just pocketed Bavarian Boy when a toilet flushes, and the door right next to the ingress to Mr. Neff's office opens to reveal Mr. Neff, in boxer shorts, rubbing his stomach. He shuffles back to the couch in his office and flops back down on it, the crystal decanter and glass of brown liquor indicating he's sleeping it off there -- but when Neff can't sleep, turns the light back on, polishes off the booze, and makes a call, it's clear his wife has kicked him out.
Neff is trying to 1) explain that the "very, very expensive" vacuum he bought his wife is not an insulting gift because it "never loses suction," and 2) negotiate his return to the marital bed while pacing back and forth with the phone, inches away from where Ira is crouched, under a desk whose wicker undercarriage is barely concealing him in the dark and will definitely not hide him should Neff not prevail in this conversation. And prevail Neff does not; "Lynette" hangs up on him, and as if Ira weren't screwed enough, Neff's next call is for a self-care pizza delivery…with dipping sticks and two sauces. Been there, buddy. Ira literally facepalms and curls up tighter under the desk to wait it out.
Jimmy lies next to a sleeping Kim, staring at the ceiling. When the call comes, it's not good news: Ira reports that the "office guy" has "dug in for the night," and orders Jimmy to come get him before scurrying back to his hiding spot as Neff returns with his pizza. Jimmy cringes…
…but does his part to (hashtag) free Ira. Neff is playing solitaire (little on the nose there, show), chowing the last slice, and listening to an infomercial on time management. As he's scribbling down an insight from the infomercial (hee), a faint noise gets his attention, and he mutes the TV and heads out into the main office to see that his car alarm is going off. But he's able to shut it off from the doorway, holding the door open with his heel, so Ira can't escape. "Son of a bitch," Jimmy mutters, and jury-rigs a slim jim out of a coat hanger he's found in the parking lot. He's ratcheting it around on the driver's side of Neff's car when the alarm is triggered again, but after a quick look around reveals no witnesses, Jimmy shrugs and keeps working it. Neff slams down his playing cards and stomps out to the front to shut it off again, but as he's unlocking the front door this time, the honking and flashing car actually rolls past the front door in reverse. "H-hey," Neff says, then gives chase, yelling "no" and "fuck" repeatedly.
Jimmy looks between him and the door, and sees Ira emerge, grab his alarm magnet, and vanish up an alley. As Neff gets his car under control, Jimmy beats feet too. He catches up with Ira and asks if he got it. "Shittin' gold!" Ira says, holding up a satchel. It wasn't easy, Ira adds, but concedes that Jimmy's "car thing was pretty slick." How'd he pull that off? "Worked, though, didn't it?" Jimmy non-answers. "Yeah, I guess so," Ira agrees, and we cut away before your process-nerd correspondent gets any more shop talk about B&E.
On a university campus, Gus gets a call from Juan Bolsa, who's reporting -- in English, on an unsecured line, in what barely passes for "code"; come on, man -- that the Salamancas got hit on their way back from a pickup. Nacho survived, but probably can't ID anyone. "Someone knows our business," Gus says mildly, and truthfully, and Bolsa says it looks a lot like the truck job from a few months ago. Gus says they're about to run another shipment, but if Bolsa thinks they're compromised… "Run dummy loads," Bolsa says reluctantly. No product crosses the border until they know what or who they're dealing with. Gus will take care of it, he says, a pat of butter remaining unmelted on the roof of his mouth. Bolsa asks how long before their dealers run dry, and the answer he gets -- "no more than a week" -- is unwelcome, but he takes a breath and tells Gus to find a local supplier on his side of the border. Gus disingenuouses that, "with all due respect," Don Eladio has forbidden such deals. Let Bolsa worry about Eladio, Bolsa says. "Do it. Now." Gus hangs up and permits himself the very faintest of smug smiles.
Gus heads inside, and into a chemistry lab, where he finds Gale Boetticher puttering with some flasks and singing along to Tom Lehrer's periodic-table take on "I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major-General."
Gus smiles at the utter Gale-ness of the moment, because how can you not, and pats Gale on the shoulder to alert him to his presence. Gale is delighted to see Gus, even though he wasn't expected.
As I said before, BCS doesn't live or die with BB characters showing up, but I am never unhappy to see this guy. Gale says he's just "tinkering with something." When Gus asks what, Gale says that "it's, uh, technical" and he wouldn't want to bore Gus. "Oh, you wouldn't," Gus says firmly, and I'm put in mind of my esteemed colleague Tara Ariano's piece from last year about Gus's management skills. That he's encouraging a protégé to innovate, and showing genuine curiosity in what he comes up with, is one of the things a good boss does. Anyway, Gale explains that salt dissolves in water, and that you can dissolve more salt in water if you stir it or heat the water, so he's trying to replicate that effect "with certain…benzodiazepine precursor compounds." Fascinating, Gus says. Sure, if it works, Gale says. Gus makes a "…so." face, and Gale is prompted to report on the samples he tested for Gus. After a check of the door, he gets out a case and reports on the test tubes therein: 39 to 58 percent pure, with one testing out at 67. He advises Gus to tell the chemist to test "his -- or her! -- cookware" (love you too, Gale), as the glassware may be contaminating the product. Gus thanks Gale, and is about to leave when Gale stops him to say that he doesn't want to "cast aspersions," but these samples aren't great. In fact, they're crap, and Gale could do far better…and quickly, right there in the lab. Gus demurs; nothing should interfere with Gale's studies. "These are my studies," Gale says, adding that it's "the least" he could do -- referring, presumably, to the scholarship he's on that Gus funded, and I had to look that up as well -- and he wouldn't let Gus down. Gus chuckles that he's sure Gale wouldn't, but he can't allow it -- "not yet." He pats Gale's shoulder: "You were meant for better things." Gus leaves, and Gale returns to his Tom Lehrer.
Kim is proofing Viola's draft, calling it "really really solid work." She only has one change, which Viola notes as Jimmy emerges in his pajamas, joking that he's walking through Kim's law office, and getting into a little more detail than you'd expect from an experienced grifter as to why he slept as late as he did. He offers Viola coffee, but she's heading out, unless Kim needs something else? Kim's like, nah…oh wait, maybe you could start looking into federal charter regs? "No rush," she adds, but Viola is not going to understand that directive and looks thrilled at the task. Nnnnnerd! Love it.
Jimmy settles in with some coffee and cereal. Kim frowns, fishes an envelope out of a file crate, and contemplates Jimmy contentedly crunching on breakfast before approaching him wordlessly at the breakfast bar. He can see something's up, and she begins that there are a couple of things "from talking to Howard…that maybe we ought to go through." Jimmy amiably agrees, saying they can just rip the Band-Aid off. Kim starts with the release, stating that he won't contest the will. "If I sign it, I get my share?" Yeah, basically, Kim says. "So how much do I get?" "Five thousand," Kim says nervously. Jimmy, who knows what Kim does re: the amount designed to cut someone out of a will without causing a brouhaha, half-snorts, but doesn't seem miffed and signs the release right then, saying he can pay off his MasterCard. "What else ya got?"
After another deep breath and internal struggle, Kim passes over the letter from Chuck, saying that nobody knows what's in it (remember this in a sec) and that Jimmy doesn't have to open it right now. Jimmy is already working a finger under the flap, though, and when Kim moves to leave, saying she'll give him a minute, he tells her to stay: "You wanna hear this, right?" I mean, we all do, and Kim says "yeah -- if it's okay" without hesitation. Remember this too, and that Jimmy begins by noting that the letter is "undated." Here goes, Jimmy says, and starts reading, in a tone similar to that used by spouses to read each other snippets of New Yorker articles -- i.e., without a ton of investment or even inflection. Chuck starts out by observing that he's left a lot of things unsaid in their relationship over the years, but he doesn't want to do that now, and he hopes Jimmy will take the things he's about to say in the spirit in which they're intended. Kim sighs and pops a brow, seemingly bracing herself for the contempt to come. After a bite of cereal, Jimmy announces a new paragraph, in which Chuck talks about the day Jimmy came home from the hospital, and how happy he always made their mother, and how happy that in turn made Chuck. Kim reacts with some surprise to this part, and to the next paragraph where Chuck talks about not always seeing eye to eye on things, but nothing will change the fact that they're brothers -- and Chuck is really proud of what Jimmy has "made of" himself the last few years, taking the mailroom opportunity and running with it. "For all the problems in your past, I'm proud we share the name McGill," Jimmy reads, with all the gravitas or emotion you would expect given that it's delivered through a mouthful of oat flakes, which is to say almost none.
But Kim is getting emotional, chasing some tears from her eyes with her fingertips as Jimmy continues: Chuck sincerely admires Jimmy's "energy and resilience," and while he used to worry about Jimmy finding a place in the world, he doesn't anymore. He knows Jimmy will find his way, and when he reads this letter, he hopes Jimmy will remember him as not just his brother but as someone who was always in his corner. Kim is barely holding it together now as Jimmy winds up that he signed it "just 'Chuck,'" and adds that, whatever else you can say, Chuck could really write a letter. He turns to see Kim crying, and seems taken aback. He's reaching for her when she gets up, apologizing for reacting that way, and starts to walk away. He follows her, taps her arm, and says, "It's a nice letter," as if to give her permission to feel about it the way he apparently can't, but Kim can't deal at all now and, weeping, tells him to give her a minute. She walks into the bedroom. "Kim," he says, following her to the door, which she pushes to, but not closed. He stands just outside and sighs.
Okay, so: am I crazy to think Kim wrote that letter? There is ample evidence to suggest she didn't -- her reactions, which seemed genuine, for one, although she has participated in cons with Jimmy before; her understated affirmation that she wanted to hear the letter's contents; that she got the envelope out of the same file folder we saw her put it into last week; I could go on. But I don't think I understand what Kim's reacting to here, and while I don't need to, necessarily, it's not outside the realm of possibility for me that, between this episode and the last one, Kim either read the letter and decided Jimmy shouldn't know what was in it, or should read a version in which he could think Chuck respected him; or didn't read it, but assumed Chuck would be…Chuckish about things, and decided to write her own version. This is a crackpot theory, for sure, but it's based on 1) the visit to the courthouse, which was last-minute, not shown to us, and evidently inspired by Kevin's grand ambitions for Mesa Verde, and while I can't quite connect the dots as to what the visit entailed, again, I don't necessarily need to; and 2) the fact that this is, I believe it's safe to say, not the letter any of us expected given what we've seen of Chuck and Jimmy's relationship, what we know Chuck felt about Jimmy's relationship with their parents, and Chuck's demonstrated inability to suppress his sense of superiority. …Dang, that sentence was long. Maybe I should look into a degree from American Samoa.
Anyway: Kim's reaction doesn't make any more "sense" with her authorship as the explanation -- maybe she's in her feelings about her own family, or Mesa Verde, maybe she's touched that Chuck felt this way (if she believes it), or feels guilty that she thought so poorly of him, maybe she feels guilty about destroying the real version, or relieved that she destroyed it because Chuck was shitty in it, or relieved that she got away with it, or maybe she's sad that Jimmy seems to have no real response one way or the other to the five grand or to the letter, which in theory is everything he wanted to hear from Chuck for years but in practice Kim wrote, and now she's hurt that he can't seem to receive her praise…who knows. Not I, and again, I don't need to know, and it's fun to think about and well-acted regardless of the motivation.
But I don't think Chuck wrote that letter. WHO WILL FIGHT MEEEEEEE?!