In the “Better Call Saul” recap, Saul defends Lalo Salamanca, Kim believes the truth will set her free and Gus is forced to take action in his ongoing war…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
People get married for all sorts of reasons but the impromptu nuptials between James Morgan McGill and Kimberly Wexler — no middle name — were particularly interesting given the circumstances behind this wedding.
Last week on “Better Call Saul,” Jimmy betrayed Kim’s trust by going behind her back to help save Everett Acker’s home and bring her Mesa Verde boss Kevin back down to size as he continued to squash the little guy to get whatever he wanted. Kim was determined to save Mr. Acker’s home but not at any expense — but we’ve already seen that no price is too high when it comes to Jimmy’s determination to win.
After Jimmy dropped a bomb on the meeting, which was ultimately settled in a private arrangement with Kevin, he was confronted at home by Kim, who admitted that she couldn’t take this anymore. It appeared for a moment that we were going to find out why Kim never appeared in “Breaking Bad” but instead after she told Jimmy that she couldn’t move forward in this kind of relationship, the only other option was getting married.
That’s where we pick up in the latest episode with Jimmy and Kim preparing to exchange vows but that’s not all that happens this week. Lalo Salamanca is currently in jail on murder charges, which requires him to call on Saul while Gus Fring realizes that his ongoing war with his cartel rival won’t be settled by putting the other guy in jail.
With that said, let’s get to the recap for the latest episode of “Better Call Saul” titled “JMM”…
Just Make Money
Jimmy and Kim decide to go through with getting married, although the reasons for these nuptials at the local courthouse aren’t exactly romantic in nature. Instead, Jimmy and Kim have vowed to be together for better or worse with full disclosure at all times. That means when Jimmy has one of his less than ethical ideas or decides to go behind her back to plot some sort of scheme, he will tell her about it — even if he knows she’s going to hate it.
Kim promises to do the same, although she’s far less nefarious in nature than her new husband.
Even Huell, who is called into act as a witness, seems somewhat confused about why Jimmy and Kim are getting married but the deed is about to be done. Even when taking their vows, both Jimmy and Kim are almost squirming but they seem to believe this is the best course of action for their relationship. If nothing else, Jimmy believes this buys Kim some future immunity because husbands and wives can’t be compelled to testify against each other — a harbinger of his dirty dealings ahead.
After a quickie marriage at the courthouse — where it’s also revealed Jimmy has been married twice previously — the two lawyers go their separate ways.
For Kim, she has to go back to Mesa Verde along with her boss Rich as they meet with Kevin about the future of their firm working with the bank. Kevin is cold at best as he listens to their explanation of what went wrong in the meeting with Saul Goodman and he even tells Kim that she could do better than the shyster she’s been dating (or now married to as the case may be).
When it’s over, Kim and Rich leave without any idea if they are still the attorneys for the southwestern based bank.
The uncertainty doesn’t sit well with Kim, who makes an immediate u-turn and goes back into Kevin’s office to further explain her position. Even though she was the maker of most of this misery, Kim explains how she advised Kevin to abandon plans to kick Mr. Acker out of his home and how he should have taken their advice on building the Mesa Verde call center on an alternate site, which she previously told him to hold onto as an investment property if nothing else.
Kevin did none of these things.
She explains that ultimately, Kevin is the one who makes the decision but he pays his lawyers a small fortune to offer him this valuable advice and if he’s not willing to listen, maybe this partnership won’t work out after all. Kevin pauses for a moment and then tells Kim he’ll see her on Thursday for the next meeting.
Meanwhile, Jimmy’s caseload ends up with just one stop after his wedding when he gets a call from Nacho telling him that he’s now working the case in The People vs. Jorge DeGuzman.
Jorge DeGuzman is actually Lalo Salamanca and he’s been arrested and charged with a litany of crimes — the most serious being the murder of TravelWire employee Fred Whelan, who he killed when trying to track down Mike Ehrmantraut and Werner Ziegler last season. Doing his best as Saul Goodman, Jimmy still can’t get the judge to budge on a bail request for Mr. DeGuzman but that’s the least of his problems.
Before the hearing ends, Lalo asks about the insignia on Jimmy’s briefcase — JMM, which Kim had monogrammed for him before he changed his legal name. Jimmy quickly explains that it’s his motto — Justice Matters Most — but Lalo promises that if he can secure his bail and get him out of jail, the letters will stand for something new.
Just make money.
Lalo tells Jimmy that his services will become very valuable to the Mexican drug cartel he represents and doing good work will only lead to bigger and bigger paydays. Through most of his life, Jimmy has always been the little guy scraping and clawing his way up the ladder while the high society types thumbed their noses at him.
Perhaps now as the attorney of record for Lalo Salamanca and the Ciudad Juarez Cartel, Jimmy would know what it feels like to have real power and serious money as well.
Burn It Down
Following a long day at work, Kim and Jimmy return home to tell each other everything that happened to them while finally celebrating their marriage. Kim tells Jimmy about how she put Kevin in his place and reaffirmed her status as Mesa Verde’s attorney and shortly after that the clothes start coming off as they begin the real celebration.
But Jimmy has a crisis of conscience — he promised the whole truth and nothing but the truth even if Kim hated what he was doing. So Jimmy unburdens himself and tells Kim how he’s representing Lalo Salamanca and the promise that if he beats these murder charges, Saul Goodman will become a friend of the cartel.
Kim wonders if that’s what Jimmy really wants and he scoffs at the notion that he desires that kind of powerful connection. In reality, Jimmy has coveted that kind of relationship ever since he became a lawyer but telling his new wife that truth might be more than she can handle right now.
The next day, the situation gets even more complicated for Jimmy when Mike Ehrmantraut arrives at his front door.
Mike is still doing his best to help Gus get rid of Lalo once and for all but they have to handle this situation in such a way that the cartel doesn’t get suspicious. Mike carried out a half-measure by only putting Lalo behind bars but after he easily receives a cell phone inside and orders Nacho Varga to strike back by burning down one of the Los Pollos Hermanos’ restaurants, Gus realizes that the fight is far from over.
Mike has finally found balance again in his own life after reconciling with his demons over killing Werner and now that he’s back at work for Gus, he’s even reconnected with his daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Mike is at his best when he has a purpose and Gus has given him a target worth going after.
Now he’s telling Jimmy that he needs to secure bail for Lalo Salamanca and he even gives him all the evidence needed to clear his name. In one fell swoop, Mike undoes all the handy work he managed to piece together last week but it’s now apparent that Lalo isn’t going to just fade away because he’s been arrested and charged with murder.
As for Gus, he leaves Albuquerque briefly to travel to Houston for a meeting with Madrigal Electromotive and the entire fast food division. After proudly passing out his new southwestern fries, Gus retires to his hotel room where he meets with Peter Schuler (who you should remember as the Madrigal boss who shoots himself after Gus is exposed in “Breaking Bad”) as well as Lydia Rodarte-Quayle.
Peter is having fits over the delays in building the superlab but Gus assures him the investment will be worth the wait. He just has to deal with Lalo Salamanca and then they will find a way to gain control over the entire meth distribution in the southwest United States. It seems Gus and Peter go back a long ways — he even references a sticky situation in Santiago, Chile, which is one of only a few references in “Better Call Saul” or “Breaking Bad” to Fring’s home country.
After returning home, Gus picks a Los Pollos Hermanos’ location and brings Nacho along to trash the place before setting a fuse to blow up the whole building. Gus is playing the long game and he needs Nacho to remain a close confidant to Lalo and that can’t happen if he doesn’t follow orders. As much as it stings to lose one of his restaurants, Gus knows that this will eventually pay off when he finally gets rid of Lalo for good.
Speaking of Lalo, he returns to court the next day for another hearing, except this time Jimmy has the goods to get him out. He uses the information passed along to him by Mike to accuse an outside investigator of coercing the only witness in the case to identify Lalo as the person she saw fleeing the TravelWire store that fateful day when the clerk was killed.
Of course, the investigator was Mike but he used a fake name so it’s easy enough for Jimmy to prove coercion. On top of that, Jimmy hired a ready-made-family to pretend that Lalo is husband to the mother and stepfather to two children, which gives him the necessary ties to New Mexico to keep him from being flagged as a flight risk.
The judge agrees to set bail but only at $7 million.
Jimmy is stunned because he believes this will sink him but Lalo barely blinks at the enormous number. He does tell Jimmy that he’ll have to be the one to go retrieve the cash so he can get out of jail sooner rather than later.
A God in Human Clothing
To secure Lalo’s release, Jimmy had to fully transform into Saul and ignore all sense of the law to help this drug dealing murderer get out of jail. During the hearing, Jimmy kept taking a look at Fred Whelan’s grieving family, who only wanted justice for his death.
Outside the courtroom, Jimmy is still peeking around a corner to see the Whelan family react to the news that Lalo will be getting out on bail. As he tries to wrap his head around what’s just been done, Jimmy is interrupted by Howard Hamlin, who asks him about the job offer he extended a couple of weeks ago.
Jimmy once again tells him he’s contemplating the offer but Howard decides to rescind the job because he’s not that stupid. After making the job offer, his car was smashed by bowling balls and a pair of prostitutes tried to embarrass him at a business luncheon. Howard knows it’s not a coincidence that these things happened just after he sat down and made Jimmy an offer to join Hamlin-Hamlin-McGill.
At first, Jimmy tries to play it off like he didn’t do those things but his erratic behavior tells the true story. Howard tries to give him sympathy knowing that Jimmy is still grieving over the loss of his brother, Chuck.
That’s when Jimmy goes nuclear and explodes on Howard — first by saying that he’s responsible for killing Chuck and then laughing at the job offer that was made out of pity rather than respect. Jimmy tells Howard he never intended on taking the job and he continues shouting at him as they walk towards the exit.
“Don’t you fucking ‘oh Jimmy’ me! You look down on me? You pity me? Walk away, that’s right Howard. You know why I didn’t take the job? Cause it’s too small! I don’t care about it. It’s nothing to me. It’s a bacterium. I travel in worlds you can’t even imagine. You can’t conceive of what I’m capable of. I’m so far beyond you. I’m like a god in human clothing. Lightning bolts shoot from my fingertips!”
Since the first day we met Jimmy McGill back in “Better Call Saul” season 1, he was desperate to prove he was more than just the petty con artist, who constantly got into trouble. He tried so hard to prove himself to Chuck that Jimmy became a lawyer just like his big brother but even that never measured up. Now in the wake of Chuck’s death, Jimmy is finally starting to become his own man — even if that means obtaining power by working with hardened criminals — but he’s making his own way in the world. And as Saul Goodman, he’ll be damned if Howard Hamlin is going to throw him a pity party with a gift-wrapped job as his prize.
“Better Call Saul” returns next Monday night at 9 p.m. ET with a brand new episode on AMC