In the ‘Better Call Saul’ recap, Jimmy plays a dangerous game to get some money, Kim’s rigorous schedule gets the better of her and Hector gets some bad news…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Jimmy McGill has done some deplorable things on his long and winding road to becoming Saul Goodman, but nothing was even remotely close to what he did during the penultimate episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ season 3.
For nearly 30 episodes, viewers of this series have been wondering what incident or series of altercations would eventually drive Jimmy to his final transformation to turn into the slickster lawyer who becomes consigliere to Walter White.
As it turns out, Jimmy losing his law license for a year may be the ultimate catalyst as he comes closer and closer to a slew of commercials around New Mexico reminding clients that they better call Saul.
Elsewhere in this episode, Mike’s association with Gus Fring gets a little deeper as we are once again visited by Lydia Rodarte-Quayle while Hector Salamanca’s already tenuous relationship with him is frayed even further.
Then there’s Charles McGill, who is forced to go up against the only friend he may have had left in the world when his one true passion to practice law was threatened. If you thought Chuck was a ferocious competitor as a friend, you don’t want to see him as your enemy.
And finally Kim’s work schedule finally gets the better of her as this one woman gang runs up against the ultimate equalizer that could easily ended with her death.
There’s a lot to unpack in the next to last episode this season.
With that said, let’s recap the penultimate episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ season 3 titled ‘Fall’…
A failed commercial making venture has led Jimmy into financial despair but with bill collectors ready to beat down his door at any minute, it’s time to make some serious cash right now. So Jimmy turns to the case that originally made him famous in the first place — the class action lawsuit against Sandpiper Crossing.
Jimmy’s plan is multi-faceted but primarily runs through a woman named Irene, who has been tabbed as the proxy for the entire community on the lawsuit, which means she helps decide when or when not to settle with whatever offer is being made. Jimmy’s visit involves a look at the paperwork, which shows a settlement currently sitting around $17 million, which means he would personally earn over $1 million for his part of the lawsuit.
But Irene tells him that the lawyers are advising to hold out for more money, which means this lawsuit could drag out in court for years and Jimmy needs this influx of cash right now.
The desire to cash in big even leads Jimmy to ambush Howard at work in an attempt to force his hand to close out the lawsuit, but he’s too shrewd to fall for this con game. Howard shoots him down and tells Jimmy if he wants a hand out that he should come back with a tin cup the next time.
With Howard no longer an option, Jimmy then decides to turn the community against Irene to get her on board with calling for the settlement. Jimmy’s duplicitous acts including giving Irene a pair of expensive walking shoes to convince her friends that she’s not settling because she doesn’t need the money like they do. He then ensures that she wins a game of bingo in front of the entire community. Finally, Jimmy sits down with the girls and lays out all the ways this settlement would benefit them right now while Irene continues to fight against it.
The end result is Irene breaking down in tears because her friends have shunned her and when she turns to Jimmy for advice, he callously tells her through crocodile tears that she should probably settle and get this over with.
There have been very few occasions during this series where Jimmy McGill became a wholly unlikeable character, but this episode was definitely his worst to date. Jimmy has never been high on morality but in one fell swoop he ruined whatever goodwill he had with senior citizens. Perhaps this was the reason why he never returned to elder law again.
In the end, Jimmy’s level of remorse seems almost non-existent as he runs back to the office asking Kim to celebrate because they’ll soon be swimming in cash. Of course she has no time to drink champagne while working on a case for her latest client, which ends with Kim running out the door while Jimmy is left doing shots with Francesca in the office.
Enemy At the Gate
Following Jimmy’s hint about Chuck’s mental state while dealing with his malpractice insurance a couple of weeks back, it’s now time for Hamlin-Hamlin-McGill to pay the piper.
The insurance company intends on doubling the premiums for every attorney at HHM or possibly forcing another senior partner to essentially babysit Chuck through every meeting and hearing he has going forward to ensure he’s not mucking anything up. An irate Chuck threatens a lawsuit, which brings the meeting to an end.
In response rather than having Chuck’s back, Howard decides that enough is enough.
He tells Chuck that perhaps his days practicing law are behind him and that maybe a new career as a professor would be better suited for his current situation. Howard would prefer that Chuck no longer be part of the firm because these days it seems he’s doing more harm than good.
After suffering through such humiliation in court during Jimmy’s hearing with the Bar Association, Chuck refuses to allow his partner to do the same by forcing him out of the law firm he helped build from the ground up.
This leads to Chuck filing a lawsuit against HHM for breach of contract and he’s going after $8 million for his troubles. Howard is clearly upset that his friend and partner would go this route, but Chuck reminds him that the firm was originally a two room office until he showed up, took over and even mentored his partner’s son to the status where he’s in charge these days. Chuck promises that his best days are still ahead and he’s more fired up than ever before to fight HHM in court if that’s how far this goes.
Chuck may not be 100-percent cured of his objection to electricity just yet, but he’s putting on a brave face while taking on his now former partner to get every last penny he deserves.
Employee of the Month
Last week, Gus Fring promised to help Mike secure a way to launder his illegally got gains so that he could provide for his family without risk of being discovered by the IRS or in case something happened to him that they could still benefit. Mike asked Gus to wash the money stolen from Hector Salamanca at his Los Pollos Hermanos restaurants, but he preferred that their budding partnership not be made public — especially with Hector still lurking around nearby.
Instead, Gus sends Mike to Madrigal — the German corporation who assists in his drug dealing operation — where he meets with the always jittery Lydia.
Madrigal will be taking on Mike as a security consultant while paying him the fee of $10,000 per week for the next 20 weeks, which would wash clean the $200,000 remaining from the money he stole from Hector. Of course, Mike is hesitant to provide his personal information considering if this place is ever taken down, he would be on record as an employee of the company.
Still, Lydia assures him that this will all be handled discreetly while also revealing that this has never been done before. Throughout her partnership with Gus, he’s never gone out on a limb for another person like this so Mike must be rather good at his job.
Mike has been walking a tightrope this season trying to avoid any more illegal encounters, but that world just keeps pulling him back in. Obviously, Mike ends up as Gus’ right hand man but he’s still fighting against joining him out of a sense of obligation to his family. Eventually, Mike succumbs to his base instincts because walking the straight and narrow isn’t nearly as profitable as operating outside the law.
Meanwhile, Gus has a meeting with Hector where the word is passed down from the Mexican cartel that he will now be in charge of the entire operation north of the border. Gus’ trucks running between Mexico and the U.S. have provided them with a perfect cover to transport the drugs and Don Eladio has faith in him to deliver from here on out.
Of course, Hector is enraged by this decision because he’s supposed to be Gus’ superior, not the other way around. As Hector boils over from the decision handed down by the cartel, he begins convulsing into a coughing fit before popping one of his heart pills. Nacho watches as his boss swallows down his medication — the same pills he swapped out last week for a placebo. Unfortunately for Nacho, Hector is still kicking, which means his home and work life are about to cross with catastrophic results.
Knowing that Hector would never serve Gus, Nacho is well aware that his boss still plans to enact a new “partnership” with his father’s car business so he can run drugs on the shipments he has coming from Mexico to the United States. Nacho has been trying to avoid this encounter all season long, but Hector is still kicking, which means it’s only a matter of time before he visits the auto shop to tell his father that he’ll be the new drug mule for the Mexican cartel.
Nacho breaks the news to his father while trying to explain that there’s no other option but to agree to be Hector’s mule. Going to the police or declining the offer would undoubtedly end with the death of Nacho’s father so he begs him to go along with it for now until he can fix the situation.
In response, Nacho’s father tells him to get out of the house because there’s no measurement for how disappointed he is in his son right now. Nacho leaves with his head hanging low because he knows this might be the fracture in the relationship with his father than can never be mended.
At the very least, Nacho hopes he’s gotten through to his father because Hector won’t blink to wipe him out if he declines to do what he’s told.
Asleep at the Wheel
To say that Kim Wexler has been burning the candle at both ends during season 3 of ‘Better Call Saul’ would be a vast understatement.
She fought to get back the Mesa Verde account — with an assist from Jimmy — that was stolen from her by HHM. Now she’s spending hours upon hours working on the legal needs of the banking conglomerate while staying at the office, showering at the gym across the street and trying to slip in a few hours of sleep every few days or so.
To make matters worse, Kim decides to take on another client sent to her by Mesa Verde rather than handing them off to a colleague. Her decision stems from Howard taunting her during last week’s episode so rather than admit that her hands are full, Kim decides that she can handle everything as a one woman army.
After meeting with her new client — an oil magnate with a potential tax problem on his hands due to his drilling wells digging into land between the Texas and New Mexico border — Kim has her hands full on trying to set up a potential settlement for this guy’s pending financial woes.
Amidst a haze of paperwork and stale coffee, Kim prepares the final documents to get to her meeting where she hopes to pitch a settlement that will get her client out of trouble for a small financial penalty rather than a much larger tax bill that could come from New Mexico.
Kim gets all her files together while brushing off Jimmy’s desire to celebrate with her over the win he got in the Sandpiper Crossing case as she heads off to the meeting with the oil company and the land owners not to happy with him right now.
Kim has been operating in a state of waking sleep for weeks — running on equal parts of adrenaline and caffeine but eventually the human body shuts down. Such was the case for Kim as she was driving to her meeting before she blinks her eyes and wakes up with an airbag exploding in her face.
Kim’s car has crashed off the side of the road, paperwork for the upcoming meeting exploded out of her trunk and she’s standing on the edge of a ravine where she would have landed if not for a single rock that stopped her fall. Kim is bleeding and injured and still barely cognizant to what just unfolded.
Kim may have hit a rock to crash her car, but it’s clear she slammed into a wall weeks ago but just refused to stop.
‘Better Call Saul’ returns next week for the season finale at 10pm ET on AMC. Take a look at a sneak preview below: