In Better Call Saul, Season 2, Episode 2, the Sandpiper Crossing’s lawsuit is in the “discovery” stage. “Discovery” is a term of art to a lawyer. It’s the phase of a lawsuit where both sides (the “plaintiff” and the “defendant”) obtain “evidence”.
In the conference room at Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHG), the attorneys discussed documents (such as lease agreements) that they hope will support their case against Sandpiper Crossings. Documents are a particularly rich source of evidence. Other types of evidence include, but are not limited to: audio recordings, video recordings, testimony, physical objects, and photographs. In a case such as Sandpiper Crossings, there will be thousands of pages of documents; it will be a formidable task to sort through them to find the “relevant” evidence. Under the Rules of Evidence, even the lack of evidence can be evidence.
You may recall last season where Jimmy was denied access to the retirement home. As he was leaving, he noticed a woman in a back room shredding documents. Sensing an opportunity, Jimmy secreted himself in the bathroom and wrote a demand for preservation of evidence, which was partially written on a roll of toilet tissue. Although humorous in its execution, this scene made a very good point and was an example of Jimmy’s occasional brilliance. Jimmy also points out that the destruction of evidence is called “spoliation”.
Why then, with all his talent and intuition, does Jimmy dabble in deception? If I’m not fully invested in a character’s motivations, I’m not fully invested in the character. Why does Jimmy find it necessary to cheat? Like his girlfriend, Kim Wexler says, he risks everything that he’s achieved: the company car, the office, prestige, his future. In my mind, I don’t see how Jimmy can turn his back on what he achieved. But, we already know that he has a personality defect that forces him to self-destruct. I predict his descent will be spectacular.
For example, why does Jimmy come to the aid of Pryce Wormald (the guy who dabbled in selling drugs)? The best explanation I can come up with is that Jimmy wants to be Mike Ehrmantraut’s “go-to” guy, setting up future shenanigans. I cringe to think what he may get into, but I can’t wait to see.
In any event, the scene I keep reflecting on from Season 2, Episode 2, is where Jimmy is wandering through his new office at Davis & Main when he hears his boss, Clifford Main, playing the guitar. Is this music a siren’s song drawing him to his doom, or has he found a home?
Well the danger on the rocks is surely past,
Still I remain tied to the mast,
Could it be that I have found my home at last?
Home at last?
Steely Dan, Home at Last