Michele K. Short / AMC / Sony Pictures Television

How Does 'Sunk Costs' Shake Up The Winners And Losers Of Better Call Saul?

Let's count them down from first to worst.

"Sunk Costs" resolves two big cliffhangers from last week's Better Call Saul: how Chuck is going to punish Jimmy for every part of the Mesa Verde document scheme; and what Gus wants with Mike. No surprise on the former: Chuck doesn't intend to be satisfied by merely trying to send Jimmy to prison. We know the latter didn't end with either Gus or Mike killing the other (un-spoiler alert), and it's fun to see how mutual respect provided the foundation of a partnership that lasted until one troublesome chemistry teacher got between them.

How do the events of this week's episode affect where the players stand? Let's count them down from whose week was best to whose was worst.

  1. Gus
    Can Gus say Mike's interference in his shadier business dealings was really that big a problem if the result is...he made a friend?

    Okay, "enemy of his enemy" -- same thing. It may have taken a lot of careful manipulation to get Mike on Team Fring, but there's no debate as to how invaluable Mike immediately makes himself to Gus once he's there: see below.

  2. Mike
    So Gus doesn't want Hector Salamanca dead, but does want to mess with his business? Mike's on it.

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    Only once in a lifetime does a man in Gus's position cross paths with someone who has Mike's ingenuity and thirst for revenge. Truly, these two were meant to be.

  3. ADA Hay
    Sure, she probably had no interest in getting sent to Albuquerque to handle the case of a small-time shyster who broke into his brother's house, but all the local prosecutors knew the guy too well and got conflicted out.

    Michele K. Short / AMC / Sony Pictures Television

    But once she gets there, it looks like it'll be very easy to skip a trial and go straight to pre-prosecution diversion, and at the victim's own suggestion, with just a few little conditions)? What could be easier?

  4. DDA Oakley
    Jimmy's courthouse nemesis gets the pleasure of seeing Jimmy in detention...

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    ...and he doesn't have to be a good guy to someone he doesn't really like by striking a plea deal, since he's not handling the case...

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    ...AND he gets a free burger! Trans fats really are the best fats.

  5. Jimmy
    Chuck has Jimmy arrested on every available charge: fourth-degree felony breaking and entering; petty misdemeanour assault; and criminal damage to property -- which, all told, could get Jimmy two and a half years' prison time and fines totaling $6000. Jimmy's plans to plea himself out with a friendly-ish local prosecutor having been scuttled, he has to consider the PPD offer from the out-of-town ADA, and Chuck: Jimmy's written confession to all of the charges is "immediately submitted to the New Mexico Bar Association." Accepting the felony charge means Jimmy loses his license. But while Jimmy had refused Kim's help before, when Kim insists, he relents: given that everyone at the Bar Association is a friend of Chuck's, one lawyer isn't going to be enough to beat this rap. And the crisis proves for Jimmy that he'll have to do a lot worse than he already has to lose Kim as an ally.
  6. Chuck
    As the delicate intricacies of Chuck's plan to destroy Jimmy continue to come into focus -- and Jimmy's enlisting Kim to defend him, no doubt to her ultimate detriment, has probably been part of it since she told Chuck off last season -- whether he or Jimmy is really the bigger loser is kind of a toss-up. Chuck seems, now, to have all the advantages, to be puppetmastering everyone around him, and to continue claiming he's developed this elaborate scheme to help Jimmy to become a better man. (Chuck may even believe that really is what's driving him?) But as Jimmy sits on the curb in front of Chuck's house and waits for the cops to come pick him up, he has some predictions about Chuck's future: "One day you're going to get sick, again. One of your employees is going to find you curled up in that space blanket, take you to the hospital, hook you up to those machines that beep and whir and hurt. And this time, it'll be too much. And you will die there. Alone."

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    Chuck being Chuck, though, even if this is the moment he decides that either eviscerating or "saving" Jimmy isn't worth losing his love, he won't be able to bring himself to stop what he's started, since that would mean admitting he'd (ever) done something wrong.

  7. Kim
    If Jimmy's going to have to do a lot worse to lose Kim as an ally, then a lot worse is probably yet to come for her. And she's already sleeping at the office and showering at the gym.
  8. Ernesto
    Chuck fires poor Ernie for doing precisely what Chuck wanted him to by reporting on the tape to Kim, and all Ernie's worried about is how Jimmy's doing? Please, someone, find this guy a "diversion" to another career path; he's too sweet for the law.
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