In the ‘Better Call Saul’ recap, Jimmy gets some bad news and decides on a new business venture while Gus pays a visit to Hector in the hospital…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
There was a pivotal moment during the latest episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ where Jimmy’s part time landlord from the nail salon reminds him that get rich quick schemes never work.
She was deriding Jimmy after he spent his $5,000 inheritance from his brother’s death to buy a palate full of pre-paid phones that he planned to sell on the streets to make some extra cash. Jimmy plans on multiplying the profits by selling these phones on the street and keep him interested far more than the cell phone store that’s currently handing him a paycheck.
Jimmy answers back that she’s wrong and he’s going to make this get rich scheme work for him.
In many ways, Jimmy’s transformation into Saul Goodman has been filled with a whole bunch of get rich quick schemes because he’s never been all that willing to grind away at working on the right side of the law when there’s a faster way to get these done when coloring outside the legal lines.
That’s why Jimmy would prefer to parlay Chuck’s money into a job that might keep him going for the next nine months until he can become a lawyer again rather than just using it to pay some bills. In the long run, Jimmy’s choices — much like this one — are what transform him into that slick huckster on television who’s law office is jammed between a tanning salon and a convenience store in a strip mall.
Working as a attorney who walks the straight and narrow isn’t nearly as much fun or efficient as the guy willing to walk little outside the law to get things done. That’s what turns Jimmy into Saul and what turns Saul into a money laundering lawyer who will do anything to get paid even if that means working with a pair of meth dealers from Albuquerque.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ titled ‘Pinata’…
The Law Offices of Wexler & McGill
Last week’s beat down from a trio of punks who stole Jimmy’s money after he sold a pile of pre-paid phones on the street scared him straight — at least for a few days.
Over the past few years, Jimmy has been struggling to walk on the right side of the law, no matter how much he previously wanted to impress his brother Chuck and how much he’s trying now for the benefit of his girlfriend, Kim Wexler.
Jimmy’s attempts to please those around him earned a flashback to start the episode that showed him in his mailroom days working alongside Kim, who was a law student at the time.
While Jimmy was chatting up all of the people working at Hamlin, Hamlin and McGill and collecting Oscar prediction ballots, Kim has been dispatching letters throughout the office with much greater speed as she continues to obsess over becoming the best lawyer she can be.
Jimmy and Kim run into each other just as Chuck — returned from the dead in the flashback with a full head of hair and all his faculties — gets back from winning what was described by Howard as an unwinnable case. Kim is so impressed by Chuck’s research that found an obscure piece of case law that helped him win a huge settlement for client. When Chuck walks over to say hello, Kim is quick to lay out the facts of his case while asking a curious question about another piece of case law that may have helped him as well. Chuck looks impressed by Kim’s knowledge while he can only brow beat Jimmy whenever he tries to interject with a joke.
Chuck leaves to celebrate with some whiskey in Howard’s office while Jimmy is left feeling stupid and inferior to the girl he was just trying to impress. It’s that moment when Jimmy goes from the mailroom to the law library at HHM where he will begin his journey towards doing whatever it takes to look good in the eyes of his brother and his future girlfriend.
Back in present day, Jimmy is now determined to make a new practice with Kim once he’s allowed to be a lawyer again. His mugging had Jimmy re-thinking his latest get rich quick scheme and starting a law practice with his girlfriend seemed like the best way to spend his time going forward.
Unfortunately, Jimmy gets some rather unwelcome news after Kim invites him to lunch the next day.
After seeing a legal pad where Jimmy had been scribbling names for their potential law firm along with drawing logos for the business like a tween with a crush, Kim is amused but it’s clear she doesn’t envision a future where she’s practicing law alongside her boyfriend. Kim knows that Jimmy is always fighting his worst instincts and now she’s really started to find her calling in criminal law.
In fact, Kim is so distracted by the pro-bono work she’s picked up from the public defender’s office that she wants to do more and more of that while her dedication to Mesa Verde bank is waning daily. To try and alleviate some time in her schedule and focus on what really matters, Kim doesn’t want to partner up with Jimmy but instead she pays a visit to Rich Schweikart — the attorney who represented Sandpiper Crossing and tried to snag Kim to join his firm back in season 2.
Kim presents him with an incredible opportunity — she will join their firm as a partner and as a reward they will receive a banking division courtesy of the Mesa Verde account. While other associates are staying buys on Mesa Verde, Kim can focus on criminal law where she’s really finding her passion these days.
Well sharing this news with Jimmy is like a gut punch after he put all his eggs into one basket hoping to build a future with Kim both at home and at the office. Instead, he’s left aghast with shock after she lowers the boom by telling him that they won’t have a practice together and she will be moving to one of those prestigious firms that never want anything to do with him.
Kim is a little less than forthcoming with the truth when talking to Jimmy after saying that Schweikart approached her with the idea while he is still hiding why he really got beat up the other night much less what he was doing beforehand.
These little lies alongside Kim and Jimmy both walking down opposite sides of the law can only cause the small crack in their relationship to splinter and fracture whatever future they might have left.
Patience is a Virtue
As Mike helps Gus begin construction on his super lab beneath the industrial Laundromat, he’s putting together a giant warehouse next door where the engineer Werner can stay alongside his workers.
Mike plots out the living arrangements as well as providing plenty of extracurricular activities to keep the workers busy when they aren’t building the super lab. He turns the place into a home away from home with an entertainment center, pool tables, a full bar and even a basketball court.
When Werner arrives from German, his guys think they’ve just landed in paradise while they work for the next six months on building this super lab. Mike lays out the law of the land to Werner and his crew except for one guy named Kai seems to flaunt his rebellious streak when facing off with Gus’ new right hand man.
Mike shrugs it off before telling his security guys to keep a close eye on him as they are monitoring the workers 24/7 from security cameras.
Mike’s main focus right now is getting that super lab built but he’s also trying to rebuild his relationship with his daughter-in-law Stacey after his explosive behavior at group therapy where he lashed out at one guy who has been lying about a non-existent dead wife for months.
Mike apologizes and Stacey does the same while still trying to reconcile how she’s moving forward as she attempts not to forget her dead husband Matty. Mike fixes whatever frays he caused by that outburst as he plans to pick up his granddaughter the next day from school while he’s providing for her future while working for Gus.
Speaking of Gustavo Fring — he helps Mike to set up the living quarters for those workers before being called away to the local hospital where Hector Salamanca remains comatose.
He received a message that Hector is suffering from a serious infection — one that might kill him but that doesn’t sit well with Gus.
When he arrives at the hospital, Gus sits in Hector’s room and tells him a story bout his childhood in Chile where he grew up poor and eventually found purpose after nursing a lucuma fruit tree back to health that provided his family with food and eventually a little side income when he began selling the produce in the village.
But one day Gus returned home to find that a coyote had attacked his tree, stolen or eaten most of the fruit and left little behind in his wake. So Gus set a trap for the coyote and the next night he nearly trapped it but instead just broke its leg before the animal crawled under their house to get away.
Gus waited for the animal to finally emerge a few days later when it was hungry again and that’s when he captured it. Gus didn’t kill the animal however because that would have been too easy.
Instead, Gus wanted to watch this animal suffer for what it had done to his precious fruit tree. He tells that story because Gus wants Hector to survive this infection so he can spend years and years from now suffering while bound to a wheelchair and only able to communicate via a bell.
Gus is a patient man — but never more so than when somebody wrongs him. He tortured an animal for days or maybe weeks after it stole some fruit from him. Imagine what he wants to do to the man who killed the person he loved most in the world.
Get Rich Quick
With Kim ready to start her new job at the law firm, Jimmy has finally started to commit to his new career until he can become an attorney again.
Jimmy collects his $5,000 inheritance from Chuck’s death while seeing Howard Hamlin truly turning into a shell of himself in recent weeks. Noticing all the empty cubicles, Jimmy finds out that HHM is undergoing a downsizing thanks to the firm taking a major hit on reputation after everything unfolded with Chuck and his exit from the business.
Jimmy lashes out at Howard — an act that is almost like he’s yelling at himself in so many ways — telling him to put it together and save this firm because he’s got nothing else worth living for in his life. Jimmy reminds Howard that he’s a terrible lawyer but a hell of a salesman. In response, Howard offers up a ‘fuck you’ to Jimmy, who responds by encouraging more of that fired up spirit that might just save Hamlin, Hamlin and McGill from going under.
Meanwhile, after taking that $5,000 to buy a huge pile of burner phones, Jimmy has to find a place to sell them but he has to deal with that trio of teenage punks who robbed him the last time he was there.
Jimmy arrives wearing his best tracksuit and offers the kids $100 for each night he stops by to sell his phones. They leave him alone and make some money for doing nothing more than standing around. The kids scoff at the offer and instead demand all of his money again.
Jimmy quickly darts off as the kids give chase to track him down. Jimmy finally arrives at a dead end and when the kids catch up they remark that he must be the dumbest guy ever.
Instead of panicking, Jimmy then tells the kids that they should have taken the deal. That’s when two masked men show up brandishing a gun and baseball bats. They take the punk kids to a piñata shop before tying them upside down and putting duct tape over their mouths.
Jimmy makes the kids one more offer — they can leave him alone and pass the word along on the street that he’s never to be touched again — and in exchange he won’t allow his friends to beat them like the piñatas they are smashing while walking closer and closer to the teenagers hung upside down like sides of beef.
The scare tactic works as the kids agree to never mess with Jimmy again and that’s when he leans down and tells them that this was a warning — and there will not be another one.
This scene somewhat mimics the first time we meet Saul Goodman and ‘Breaking Bad’ and he’s “kidnapped” by Walt and Jesse to ensure that he’s not going to pass along any information about them to the authorities. It turns out Jimmy used a similar plan years earlier — including the use of his favorite henchman Huell — to give himself a bit of safety while he sells these untraceable cell phones on the street.
If Jimmy can’t stay good alongside his girlfriend in a reputable law practice then he has no problem whatsoever getting rich quick by breaking bad.
‘Better Call Saul’ returns next Monday night at 9pm ET on AMC. Check out a preview of the next episode below: