Better Call Saul Recap “Alpine Shepherd Boy”: Getting Old Sucks

In the latest Better Call Saul recap, Jimmy tries to cash in from his stunt last week with a bunch of potential new clients and Chuck runs into trouble after stealing his neighbor’s newspaper…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

One of the central themes of ‘Better Call Saul’ through four episodes has been the moral conundrum Jimmy McGill finds himself in each week while quietly trying to prove to his older brother Chuck that his days of ‘Slippin’ Jimmy’ are far behind him.

In an early flashback, we find that Jimmy has gotten himself into some major trouble and only his brother shows up to get him out of it. Jimmy promises from that day forward, he will leave his criminal ways behind and walk the straight and narrow. The problem is the straight and narrow doesn’t pay very well and Jimmy is sick of bumming cucumber water from the nail salon he lives in while driving a jalopy that looks like its one oil change away from the scrap yard.

So Jimmy cooked up a scheme last week to drum up some business by “saving” a man about to fall from a scaffold that conveniently happens to be attached to the billboard with his face and telephone number attached to it. Jimmy wanted to find an edge on the competition, but Chuck knew something was fishy. His investigation led him outside — where Chuck really doesn’t want to be — to get a newspaper where he got confirmation that “Slippin’ Jimmy” was alive and well in Albuquerque.

Chuck’s problems mount when his neighbor — who he stole the paper from — called the cops on him. Chuck was nice enough to leave a $5 bill for the paper, but considering he ran out into the street wearing a foil space blanket, his neighbor wasn’t about to take any chances and called the police.

When they come knocking, Chuck wants no part of opening that door. When the cops look inside his house from the back door they find his fuse box ripped from the wall and dozens of cans of camping fuel. The cops assume there’s probably a drug operation going on inside so they implore Chuck to open the door, but he won’t comply. Eventually, they break in and taser him, which pretty much sends him over the edge and into the hospital.

While Chuck is being tased and arrested, Jimmy is finding his answering machine flush with potential new clients. Unfortunately what he doesn’t know is the kind of people who would watch a hero save somebody’s life and then call the lawyer involved probably aren’t the ones you’d most want as clients.

The first kook he encounters owns a gated off house in the middle of nowhere. His name is Ricky and his home looks like he borrowed his décor from the bad guy in ‘Road House’. There’s enough stuffed animals on the walls to make a PETA person vomit. Ricky has a great idea and he wants Jimmy to be his personal legal team. Ricky wants to secede from the United States and make his own 1100 acres his own personal country.

Instead of talking this loon off the edge, Saul instead starts thinking about the time and effort he’ll have to put in to present this case to the courts and how it could one day go as high as the Supreme Court, which Jimmy sees as big dollar signs. A quick negotiation later and Jimmy is sitting on a potential million dollar payday from Ricky to help him turn his home and land into its own country. Of course he’s going to lose, but Jimmy is also going to get paid handsomely for his efforts.

Well, sort of.

It appears Ricky is already one step ahead of making the United States of Rick and he’s had money printed up with his likeness on it. He thinks this is a bargain for Jimmy — because he’s getting in on the ground floor for this new country and having a ton of currency. Jimmy quickly gets up from the fine leather chair and runs the hell out of there before he’s mounted on the wall as the next trophy.

Jimmy’s next client is a father of two, who has designed a new accessory for the toilet. It seems while potty training his boys, Roland encountered so much trouble he knew there had to be a better way. So Roland designed Tony the Toilet Buddy — a motion activated voice system, which “encourages” his kids to keep on pooping. The down side of this new invention? Roland has programmed the voice with creepy sayings like “yes, good job, drop another one in me” and “give it to me, I want it all”.

When Jimmy notates that this invention might appeal to some wealthy people in some of the Pacific-rim countries (those crazy bastards!), he’s not sure this creepy invention will succeed in America. Roland flips and throws Jimmy out, which happened not a moment too soon.

Finally, Jimmy’s last client of the day ends up as his savior. He works with an elderly lady on her will while she putters around the house gathering up all of her precious ceramic figures and tells her new lawyer who gets what when she passes away. Jimmy is as kind as can be but the best part happens when he tells the lady about his bill. She owes him $140 and while it takes her a minute to get the cash counted from her purse, Jimmy gets paid.

So one out of three ain’t bad right?


Later that night while giving Kim a fresh coat of toenail polish while imitating Tony the Toilet Buddy for her (I was hoping to hear the sex robot voice again but alas no deal), she suggest that maybe elder law is the way to go. He had a real rapport with the lady he dealt with earlier and old people need help with the law just like everybody else.

Before Jimmy can mull over the idea too much, Kim gets a call from her boss Howard with news that Chuck is in the hospital.

Jimmy rushes to be by his brother’s side although the doctor (hey kids it’s Clea Duvall!) is convinced that Chuck is just not mentally well. Once Jimmy eradicates all the lights and electronics from the room, Chuck comes back to live from his catatonic state. He explains to the doctor that he suffers from electromagnetic hypersensitivity and Jimmy backs him up on his claim.

The doctor tries to get Chuck into a mental health facility, but he rebuffs her immediately. In the middle of her question and answer period, the doctor slyly turns on one of the electronic machines at the foot of Chuck’s bed and surprise, surprise, nothing happens. He doesn’t freak out and his body doesn’t start to go into shock. While electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a real disease — Chuck doesn’t have it.

Jimmy’s distraught now because everything he’s been clinging onto that his brother is actually sick has just disappeared. Problems only get worse when Howard Hamlin shows up like a knight in white armor and proclaims that he talked to the district attorney and Chuck will not be committed against his will. See, Howard is trying to keep Chuck of sound mind and body, which prevents him from actually taking legal action against the lawfirm he helped found because he could still potentially come back to work. If he’s found to have Lucky Charms rattling around in his brain, Jimmy becomes his guardian and can sue the shit out of Hamlin.

Jimmy loses it and tells Howard he’s going to have his brother committed just for the sole purpose of going after the firm. Kim tries to calm him down, but he finally admits that it was all a ploy to get under Hamlin’s skin. He had no intentions of committing Chuck and instead takes him back home again.

Back at Chuck’s house, Jimmy has a conversation about his recent return to “Slippin’ Jimmy” when he sees the newspaper on his brother’s floor. Jimmy is starting to realize that Chuck’s body and mind fell apart when he couldn’t handle all of the bad things his brother was doing. He tries to quiz Chuck on the matter, but big brother is wrapped up in his space blanket and convinced that “Slippin’ Jimmy” didn’t actually come back to life and it was just a one time occurrence.

Jimmy does share some good news with his big brother — he’s decided to go into elder law because getting old sucks and they need help, too!

Next thing you know, Jimmy is patterning his new look after Matlock and handing out Jell-O cups at the local old folks home with his picture at the bottom and a new catch phrase — “If You Need a Will, Call McGill”. It’s almost Better Call Saul in its first iteration.

Life is good now for Jimmy the elder law expert and he’s so happy that when he leaves the courthouse one day and says goodbye to Mike the tollbooth operator, he’s even got the right number of stickers on his exit pass. Jimmy tries to strike up the conversation, but Mike isn’t interested. He might be soon, however, after our story shifts to everybody’s favorite fixer from ‘Breaking Bad’.


As Mike’s night turns into day and he leaves the tollbooth, he heads to breakfast at a local diner before sitting in a suburban neighborhood somewhere in Albuquerque. He watches a young woman leave her house and get into her station wagon before pulling out into the road when she spots him. The young woman stops and stares at Mike for a moment before driving away.

Later that day while Mike is watching a black and white movie on his crappy old TV, the cops show up at his front door. He recognizes the two principle officers and says that they came an awful long way to find him. End of scene, end of episode.

Clearly, the woman who spotted Mike called the cops on him, but to what end? Is this his daughter? Is this some connection to Mike’s beloved granddaughter Kaylee? All we know for sure is in the preview for next week’s episode, Mike’s not talking but he hands over the only business card on him at the time of his arrest —it’s one that says if you need a will, call McGill.

‘Better Call Saul’ returns next Monday night at 10pm ET on AMC

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