In the ‘Better Call Saul’ recap, Mike decides to talk, Jimmy starts a new job and Gus’ plans to eliminate the Salamancas continues…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Everybody on ‘Better Call Saul’ seems to be broken right now.
Perhaps that’s the narrative being painted in the fourth season of the ‘Breaking Bad’ prequel because knowing where everybody ends up in a few years when we first meet Walter White and Jesse Pinkman.
Morally corrupt Saul Goodman is a far cry from the ‘trying to the right thing’ Jimmy McGill we meet back in season one of ‘Better Call Saul’ but as time passes, he’s starting to fall down that slippery slope with each passing day. The death of his brother Chuck — the one person that seemed to bring him back to his moral center more so than anybody else — didn’t seem to affect Jimmy on the surface, but that certainly doesn’t seem to be the case with his behavior lately.
Jimmy has been teetering between living on the straight and narrow — by hocking cell phones in his latest venture while not being allowed to practice law — and then dipping his big toe into criminal waters like the envelope of cash he just pocketed after selling a stolen Hummel figurine. Given where Jimmy eventually goes, it’s easy to tell that he won’t be waffling on this decision for very much longer.
Meanwhile, Mike Ehrmantraut would be the Tony Soprano definition of the strong, silent type but when you force him to address his feelings, especially those regarding the death of his son, it’s not likely you’re going to get a teary eyed confession out of him. Instead, Mike sits with a support group and realizes that everybody surrounding him is just there to spout off their own sob story while never really paying attention to what anybody else is feeding them.
And finally, Nacho gets deeper and deeper in with Gus Fring as he continues to work towards dismantling the entire Salamanca empire one drug dealer at a time. When it’s all said and done, poor Nacho might be the most tragic figure of all because he’s nowhere to be found in ‘Breaking Bad’ and all he wanted to do was ensure his father’s business wasn’t used illegally.
Now his chances of survival are seemingly dwindling down to zero with each passing day.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ titled ‘Talk’…
Kim is struggling.
Following a car accident that happened because she was pushing herself to the brink by carrying too big of a workload, Kim is finding it harder and harder to get back into her job as the top attorney for Mesa Verde bank. In fact, Kim seemingly almost went into a panic attack last week while seeing Mesa Verde’s rapid expansion plan that will almost assuredly keep her burning the candle at both ends for months and potentially years to come.
Things aren’t much better at home where Kim is trying to get Jimmy to visit a psychologist to talk about his brother’s death. Jimmy has all but brushed off the fact that the only family member he had left torched himself to death just weeks after he was embarrassed in court and then drummed out of the business he helped build.
All of this turmoil sends Kim into court to observe a judge at work as he plows through the day’s cases one by one. The judge eventually sends for Kim to meet in his chambers during the next recess when he has a heart-to-heart with her.
The judge lays out a case that he feels would be great for Kim to take on — and then she realizes he’s telling her the plot to the movie ‘The Verdict’. It’s a film about a once prominent attorney, who takes on a medical malpractice case and ends up finding himself while also searching for justice along the way.
Kim’s look of despair and despondency is one this judge has seen more times than he can remember from the lawyers who have decorated his gallery over the years. The judge tells Kim that no single case will heal a broken lawyer so he suggests she goes back to work for Mesa Verde and realize that those once in a lifetime redemption stories are just made for the movies.
Still after his recess ends, the judge finds Kim once again planted in his courtroom listening to his every word.
Kim is obviously lost but what it will take for her to be found again is unclear.
Privacy For Sale
Jimmy is still looking for work — although he’s had job offers that he’s turned down because the reality is he doesn’t want to do anything but get back to being a lawyer.
Still, Jimmy is doing his best to make Kim proud of him so after initially turning down a job at a cell phone store, he calls back and asks to take the offer where he’ll start in the prestigious position of shift supervisor.
Jimmy’s first day is marked by him doing everything possible to spruce up this dull looking store but then soon realizing that this place is deader than dead when it comes to business. He even asks his new boss for a transfer to a different store with more traffic but there’s nothing available right now.
Finally, Jimmy closes up shop to make a run to visit his latest partner in crime Ira — the future proprietor of Vamonos Pest — to collect the money from their stolen Hummel figurine caper. Ira hands over the cash, which is a lot more than what Jimmy had promised because a bidding war broke out between collectors for the rare piece.
Jimmy is not only astonished at the cash he just made from the sale of this figurine but he also can’t believe that Ira gave him half the money when he could have easily pocketed it for himself. Ira counters by saying that Jimmy could have just left him to hang inside that copier store but he helped him escape so they’ve formed some sort of trust.
Ira then asks if Jimmy might know of another easy score like this one — perhaps one of the elderly folks he used to represent who had scores of these Hummel figurines? Jimmy says he doesn’t know of anything right now but he’ll give Ira a call if another opportunity comes up.
Before leaving, Ira imparts some wisdom that will stick with Jimmy for years to come.
He tells Jimmy to call the veterinarian if he comes up with another heist and the vet will get in touch with him because he’s already switched phones since the last job. As Ira tells Jimmy, you never know who might be listening.
That gives Jimmy a grand idea as he goes back to his dead end job at the cell phone store and paints a gigantic, gaudy message across the front windows asking if the man is listening into your calls and offering ‘privacy sold here’.
Years from now when Jimmy has fully transformed into Saul Goodman, these burner phones are a way of life for him. He had a drawer full of them that he routinely handed out to his clients including Walter White. That one little phrase seems to have sparked something in Jimmy because you really never know who might be listening.
Gus’ elaborate plan to not only gain revenge on the Salamanca family but essentially drive them out of New Mexico took another turn in his favor this week as he allowed Hector’s hot tempered nephews take care of some dirty work for him.
Gus’ latest move involves taking the drugs that were “stolen” from Nacho and Arturo during the hijacking and sell them to a rival crew. That rival crew would then be fingered as the assailants who attacked the Salamanca shipment and thus they would be eliminated.
This entire set up serves two purposes — it continues to cover Nacho, who is secretly working for Gus and it allows the Salamanca family to eliminate a rival without Gus ever getting his own hands dirty.
The plan works to perfection as the Cousins go in guns blazing and kill everybody in an entire hotel — along with a small assist from Nacho, who decides to play backup even in his wounded state because that will go a long way to proving his loyalty to the Salamancas, even if he’s really working against them.
Once the Cousins eliminate the entire Espinosa crew, Nacho reports back and believes that once the cartel hears this news that they will end up handing over the territory to Gus. The Cousins were forced to flee back to Mexico to avoid any heat north of the border so there’s no one around to run the Salamanca crew right now so Gus will end up being the point man in charge of everything in New Mexico.
Meanwhile, a barely functioning Nacho returns home to his father’s house where he asks to stay for the time being while he recovers. His father wants to call for help but Nacho insists otherwise. All Nacho ever wanted was to keep his father free of his lifestyle where he’s become more and more entangled with drug dealers and gangsters.
Now as Nacho is actually bleeding on his father’s couch, he really has nowhere left to turn. He betrayed the Salamancas and now he’s forced to live under the thumb of Gus Fring. The future doesn’t seem very bright for poor Nacho Varga.
Share With Us
The opening scene of tonight’s episode is a flashback to Mike building a carport and allowing his son Matty to write his name in the wet concrete. This is just another example of the relationship that Mike once had with his only son and how much it still hurts him that Matty is dead thanks to his own dirty dealings.
In an effort to appease his daughter-in-law, Mike has been attending these grief meetings where everybody gathers in a circle and shares stories about the ones they’ve loved and lost. The only problem is Mike doesn’t want to share his grief but he definitely seems to be listening.
In fact, Mike shares with his friend Anita about one particular person in the group who has been coming there for months talking about his dead wife. The only problem is Mike has noticed that with each passing detail, the guy is changing parts of his story, which means there is no dead wife. He’s essentially Edward Norton’s character in ‘Fight Club’ except instead of faking that he had testicular cancer so he could cry and thus get to sleep again, this guy made up a dead wife.
At the next meeting, Stacey decides to air her own grief when she reveals that for the first time since his death, she went a few hours without thinking about Matty today and she’s feeling awfully guilty about it. Stacey says that her day was going great — making French toast for Kaylee and getting her off to school — but she realized at some point that she hadn’t thought about Matty in hours.
Stacey’s guilt then starts to overwhelm her because she’s afraid that the day will come when maybe she won’t remember what his voice sounded like and that is just more than she’s able to fathom.
Then the guy lying about his wife decides to share his story — and once again the details of his marriage aren’t the same as the last time he told the same tale to the group.
Mike finally calls him on it — while explaining all of the ways this guy has been lying to everybody for months and they haven’t paid a bit of attention to it. Mike lashes out by telling the group that everybody there just wants to expel their own sad sob story but no one is really listening. If they were, the group would have spotted this fake months ago.
In reality, Mike is just overwhelmed with his own guilt and grief over Matty’s death. He blames himself and now he’s watching his daughter-in-law being tortured because she’s forced to mourn her husband thanks to Mike’s own misdeeds.
Mike isn’t exactly the sharing type but calling out this rat was his way to at least rid himself of some pent up rage that had been simmering inside of him for quite some time.
What’s the Job
As far as the rest of Mike’s life goes, he’s spending his days as a security consultant where he’s investigating all of the Madrigal warehouses in the southwest region.
Mike’s security checks are going well because he’s discovering all sorts of problems at these warehouses but that’s when he gets the call that Gus Fring needs to see him.
Mike arrives at the truck yard where he’s confronted by Gus about a piece of information that he failed to share the last time they spoke. Mike knew that Nacho Varga was moving against Hector and he didn’t tell Gus, which made him rather angry considering his life’s work was predicated on taking out the Salamanca patriarch.
Mike fires back that he promised Gus he wouldn’t personally take out Hector but he never said he was going to be the guy’s bodyguard so what Nacho did was on his own.
The tense standoff ends when Mike finally breaks bad and tells Gus that he was either brought here so they could make a move against him or they had a job that only he could complete. Mike wants Gus to stop fucking around and just tell him about the job so he can get to work.
Much like Jimmy has struggled to stay on the right side of the law lately, Mike is having the same problem. He wants to be a devoted grandfather and father-in-law, but the reality is Mike just isn’t built that way. He’s a natural born fixer and just like he couldn’t collect a paycheck for doing nothing — to get paid the money he stole — Mike always wants to earn his way.
As time goes on, Mike will become Gus’ right hand man and that mutual respect is only growing each time these two fierce man face off with each other.
‘Better Call Saul’ will return with a brand new episode next Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on AMC and you can check out a preview below: