In the ‘Better Call Saul’ recap, Jimmy tries to get his law license back, Mike runs into trouble with the Germans and Gus crosses paths with the latest Salamanca in town…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
In so many ways, Chuck McGill has been a driving force behind ‘Better Call Saul’ for the past three seasons but his death never seemed to rattle the one person it should have impacted the most.
Jimmy McGill never paid much bother to Chuck’s death, perhaps in large part because his brother let him know in no uncertain terms last season how incredibly unimportant he was to him. Chuck seemed to care for Jimmy and tried to keep him on the right side of the law but in reality he was just trying to uphold his own image and do right by their parents, who always seemed to care a bit more for their wayward son than the one who accomplished so much.
So Chuck’s passing was a seismic shift for some characters — like Howard Hamlin, who has blamed himself for his partner’s death and watched his law firm spiral down the toilet in the aftermath of his death. Meanwhile there’s Jimmy, who couldn’t care less that his brother is gone yet once again Chuck came back to bite him in one of the most pivotal moments of his career.
As Jimmy went back to get his law license that was stripped of him after he engaged in an ugly court battle with his brother, it was his lack of sincerity when talking to the committee in charge of approving or denying his application that rang true when he was asked about what he learned in the past year he wasn’t an attorney.
By all accounts, the three people in charge of deciding Jimmy’s fate were waiting to hear his thoughts on what unfolded with Chuck and probably how he’s dealing with all that in the aftermath of his death.
Instead, Jimmy didn’t even utter his brother’s name and it seemed every word out of his mouth was just want the committee wanted to hear rather than what he was supposed to say.
Now Jimmy is once again left without a law license and his brother has come back to haunt him yet again.
With that said, let’s recap the penultimate episode of season 4 of ‘Better Call Saul’ titled ‘Wiedersehen’…
Viktor and Giselle Ride Again
Last week’s shocking twist that Kim Wexler was actually exhilarated by working outside the law with her boyfriend Jimmy continued as the pair once known as ‘Viktor and Giselle’ lived to pull off another con — this time on the City of Lubbock, Texas.
Kim arrived at the city offices with a cast on her foot, hobbled with crutches along with a set of blueprints that she needed to check against the approved set that may have been sent in error. The good news is the blueprints all matched but sadly Kim was dealing with her aloof brother, who was helping her take care of her son as a single mother. Enter Jimmy as this doofus brother, who left her kid in the car with the window cracked, which sends her running out to check on the child.
While the city inspector secretary has her back turned, Jimmy “accidentally” leaves some milk on the blueprints and it just so happens to spill out all over the papers. When Kim returns, the blueprints are ruined but the secretary takes mercy on her and agrees to stamp the second matching set of plans that she brought along with her.
That’s when Kim switches out the plans with another set that she had stashed away in the same container — and those blueprints feature a 13-percent larger office building than the one that had previously been approved. Thanks to a nifty little hustle, Kim got Mesa Verde’s bank plans approved for Lubbock, complete with the blueprints that her boss Kevin was told would be impossible to implement.
On the way out of town, Jimmy is anxious to pull another job, especially after he gets his law license back. Jimmy is even more excited because thanks to his burner phone business, he’s got a list of criminal clientele that will hire him whenever they need legal help. The only problem is they all know him as Saul Goodman — a throwaway line in the episode, but likely at least part of the reason why he eventually changes his name.
As excited as Jimmy is to pull off another scheme, Kim is less enthusiastic as she wants to hustle with him for the greater good rather than help more criminals stay out on the streets.
The pair agree to disagree but Jimmy is too happy right now to let this conversation bring him down because he’s got a hearing coming up that will finally allow him to get back to practicing law again.
When Jimmy arrives for the meeting, he sits down with the three-person panel that will ultimately decide his fate.
He says all the right things — how much he missed practicing law, how he kept up on all the recent precedents, handing over glowing reviews from his probation officer and boss from the cell phone store and he even offers up a lesson learned when asked how he’s reflected on his wrongdoing this past year.
It’s all going well until one of the committee people throw a curveball by asking Jimmy what the law means to him, he’s thrown off for a moment but he composes himself before spinning a web of bullshit that appeared to get him off the hook. That is until Jimmy finds out that the committee is going to decline his license, which means he will have to wait another year before applying again.
Jimmy finally confronts one of the committee people asking him why they didn’t approve him and he answers back by saying that they didn’t believe he was sincere with his answers.
Jimmy is irate and he flies off to meet Kim at her office on the top of the parking garage at Schweikart & Cokely. There Jimmy rants and raves about how he did everything right and said exactly what the committed wanted to hear and needed to hear in order to give him back his license.
That’s when Kim asks him what he said about Chuck.
Of course, Jimmy only gets angrier at the suggestion that he somehow had to talk about his dead brother to show sincerity and remorse about this past year and what he did to earn the punishment in the first place. From that second on, the gloves are off as Jimmy and Kim start to unleash and say every mean thing they’ve ever felt about each other that’s been bottled up for months.
Jimmy lashes out about Kim not sharing an office space with him and how she had to be ashamed to take him to her company party a few weeks ago. Kim responds by blasting Jimmy about his amoral behavior and how she’s always been there for him whenever he’s called. When Jimmy says she’s kicking him while he’s down, she answers back by telling him that he’s always down.
The conversation ends and Jimmy doesn’t return home until later that night when he quietly walks through the door, goes into the bedroom and starts packing a bag to leave for good. Kim finally joins him in the bedroom and asks if he’s still serious about practicing the law.
It seems Kim is going to go to bat for Jimmy one more time at an appeal hearing to get his law license back but this might just be the moment when she finally has enough and realizes that she’ll spend the rest of her life bailing out her boyfriend rather than having a committed partner who is always going to be there for her as much as she’s always been there for him.
The arrival of Eduardo Salamanca aka Lalo probably isn’t going to be good for anybody.
After first meeting Nacho last week, Lalo takes a trip to the seniors home where he visits with his Uncle Hector, who is wheelchair bound and still only able to answer yes or no questions with the tap of his finger.
Lalo finds out that despite his condition, Hector can still understand everything he’s saying and respond in kind. Lalo then proceeds to recount a story from his time growing up under Hector in Mexico when his vengeful uncle took out a person who owed him by burning down his entire hotel.
Desperate for a memento to keep from this educational experience where his uncle showed these men what they get for crossing a Salamanca, Lalo ran back inside the burning hotel to retrieve something as a keepsake. That’s when he reveals the present he has for Hector — a concierge bell that he took from the hotel that his uncle burned to the ground.
Lalo ties the bell to Hector’s chair as a way for him to answer whenever a question is asked of him. In other words, this is the origin of Hector’s bell that will eventually trigger a bomb built by Walter White that will kill both him and Gus Fring several years from now.
Meanwhile, Lalo is getting the lay of the land and his next stop is a meeting with Gus Fring.
After chowing down on some delicious Los Pollos Hermanos chicken with Nacho, Lalo finally gets to meet Gus face to face for the first time.
They engage in a meeting in Gus’ office where Lalo wonders if the Salamanca crew and Fring’s operation wouldn’t be better suited to work together rather than always at each other’s throats. Lalo tosses out some unfriendly words about Don Eladio and tries to gauge if Gus might be interested in teaming up and putting an end to this long time blood feud.
Gus doesn’t take the bait but he’s keeping a close eye on Lalo while he’s in town.
After leaving the restaurant, Lalo has Nacho take him to the warehouses where Gus processes and ships his drugs. Judging by his reaction to speaking to Hector and initial meeting with Gus, Lalo has a lot of plans in store but he’s obviously a patient man willing to wait out his prey.
The Wrong German
The construction of Gus’ super lab has taken far longer than anybody expected, especially after Mike vouched for the German engineer and his team who seemed to pitch the most realistic plan for the construction.
Unfortunately a crew of unhappy workers away from their families for twice the amount of time that was promised is the least of Mike’s problems after he starts noticing some real issues with Werner, the head German engineer.
The latest demolition blast meant to take out one of the walls in the lab saw Werner shaking and barely able to do his job. The next day, Werner tells Mike how much he misses his wife and asks for a furlough to go visit her back in Germany for just a few days.
Mike obviously declines and tells Werner the quicker he gets finished building the lab, the faster he’ll be at home with his wife. To help Werner deal with his home sickness, Mike allows him an extra long phone conversation with his wife to try and ease his mind.
The next day when Mike arrives, he sees some strange pixelization on a few of the cameras that are keeping an eye on the Germans from the minute they wake up until the second they go to sleep. Mike can’t quite put his finger on what’s gone wrong until he realizes that Kai wasn’t the troublemaker in the group he needed to watch — it was always Werner.
Mike and one of his security guys rush into the warehouse where they find Werner is gone and several locks that kept the place closed have been sawed open by files. Mike finally comes to a ladder that led from the roof to the outside and he finds a laser pointer on the ground covered in dirt.
Mike points the laser at one of the cameras as it fuzzes out and loses picture for a few moments. That’s when Mike knows for certain that Werner has escaped and he’s trying to make his way back home to his wife in Germany.
Unfortunately, Werner probably just sealed his own fate because these guys were likely never going home but running away from a top secret project like this is almost a guaranteed death sentence.
We all know Mike Ehrmantraut is not a man who goes through with any half-measures these days and if he catches up with Werner, chances are he’ll never see Germany alive again.
Tune into the season finale of ‘Better Call Saul’ season 4 next Monday night at 9 p.m. ET on AMC and check out a preview below: