In the latest Better Call Saul recap, Jimmy talks his way into and out of a lot of trouble thanks to the return of Tuco Salamanca…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The end of the debut episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ was nothing short of thrilling for any ‘Breaking Bad’ fan who watched the series with a meticulous attention to detail. Seeing Tuco Salamanca on screen was riveting, especially considering how long ago he disappeared from our ‘Breaking Bad’ universe. And while the inside story about who Tuco was only made sense to ‘Breaking Bad’ fans, a loaded gun being pointed an officer of the court before he was dragged inside to a suburban house in the middle of Albuquerque was enough for any viewer of Sunday night’s episode to tune in again Monday to see what happened.
And the second episode titled ‘Mijo’ was even better than the first.
We pick up on Monday night’s episode (which is the normal time the show will air from now on) with the view point from Tuco after his grandmother arrives home with two moron teenagers trying to score a quick and easy payday after she hit one of them with her car. Tuco is methodically patient with his grandmother, which can only mean really bad things coming for the twins.
Once she’s upstairs watching her program, Tuco grabs her walker and lays out both of the fast talking teenagers, who were trying to convince him to give them some cash for their shared pain and suffering. The scene then shifts to Jimmy knocking on Tuco’s door and we’re right back to the end of last night’s episode with the lawyer being pulled into the house with a gun in his face.
It doesn’t take long for Jimmy to come clean (sort of) that he was just an attorney representing his two clients, who called him after being hit by a car and the driver just leaving the scene. Jimmy can’t help but notice a bowl-sized bloodstain on the carpet as well, which would likely mean the twins are either hurt or dead. He guesses hurt because Tuco is a reasonable man and thankfully he’s right.
Tuco takes Jimmy to the garage and sure enough the twins are alive ¬— tied up, bound and gagged but alive. Tuco is ready to let them all go after a big misunderstanding, but when one of the teenagers has the tape removed from his mouth, he spills the beans in a hurry that this was all Jimmy’s idea.
So where does Tuco take them next?
You guessed it — the middle of the New Mexico desert. While all of this scenery probably isn’t strange to a person who lives in or around New Mexico, for a viewer of ‘Breaking Bad’ this was just another sign of going home again.
In the desert, Tuco is ready to kill Jimmy and both twins for lying to him about their real intentions. Jimmy finally cops to the entire ordeal —how he put the twins up to the scam as a way to get back at Craig and Betsey Kettleman, who may or may not have stolen over $1.5 million dollars while embezzling funds at work. Tuco’s not buying it. So Jimmy switches gears and says that he’s actually FBI Agent Jeffrey A. Steel (sounds like a porn name) and he’s been following Tuco and his crew for sometime.
This time Tuco is on board because he thinks if the FBI is after him, he must really be the criminal mastermind worthy of a Federal investigation. His No. 2 man Nacho quickly sees through this façade and when Jimmy can’t even answer what the group is being investigated for, the death sentence is back on the board.
But Saul quickly goes to work and explains his entire situation and how he was just trying to find a way to climb up from the pit that has become his life. Tuco and Nacho are satisfied with his apology so lesson learned and they are about to let him go when they declare that in his place, the two twins have to die not only for pulling the scam but also being mean to his grandmother.
Jimmy starts smooth talking and eventually convinces Tuco to let them all go due to the fact that he told the truth and the only reason the twins were there in the first place was because of him. But a message still has to be sent. So Tuco finally settles on two broken legs — one for each twin as a lesson not to pull this prank again (or at least for six months until the bones are healed).
There’s a sickening sound of Tuco smashing the legs and the horrified screams from each of the teenagers. Finally, Jimmy loads them up in his car and takes them both to the emergency room. One of the twins says that Jimmy is the worst lawyer of all-time, but he comes back with a piece of knowledge — depending on how you look at things — that is rather spot on the money.
“Hey, I just talked you down from a death sentence to six months probation. I’m the best lawyer ever.”
Jimmy goes out for drinks that night to drown his sorrows in alcohol but a nearby neighbor with a breadstick fetish starts making a cracking sound that just sounds all too familiar with what he just witnessed in the desert. So Jimmy vomits before ingesting every other kind of alcohol under the sun to forget about the day he just had.
When he arrives home, Jimmy doesn’t ground himself and he takes his cell phone inside, which sends his brother into a tizzy. Chuck discovers it after Jimmy passes out so he takes the cell phone and tosses it into the front yard. When Jimmy wakes up, his phone is missing, so are his keys and there’s a hospital bill for the two twins and their broken legs. He felt responsible so he had to pay. The only problem is the trip to the emergency room spent the last of his funds and with no new clients on the horizon, there’s only one choice — go back to the public defender’s office and start making $700 per case again.
A big chunk of the episode then shifts into musical montage as Jimmy defends client after client while taking home $700 each time he does it. Sure he still has to deal with that asshole toll booth clerk (Mike) and it’s degrading losing case after case after case when the prosecutor isn’t willing to budge, but eventually Jimmy wins one and it seems to send his confidence soaring.
Until he arrives at his Asian nail salon back office and there are still no messages waiting for him. Jimmy is ready to fall asleep on his couch bed and just forget this day ever happened. Until one of the nail techs comes to his door and proclaims there’s a man outside who wishes to see him as a potential client.
Jimmy rushes to get everything in order, but when the door swings open, it’s Tuco’s second in charge, Nacho.
He’s got an idea — Craig Kettleman stole $1.5 million from a treasury and now Nacho wants to rob him blind. Jimmy just can’t get on board with the idea of stealing from somebody even if it’s somebody who is already guilty of theft. Nacho prefers to steal from people who already stole something because then they lose the option of making a call to the police for help. Jimmy looks intrigued, but he can’t pull the trigger. Jimmy didn’t become a lawyer to help crooks cause new crimes. He just wanted to keep them out of jail for what they already did (which is usually a lot, at least in this universe).
Finally, Nacho looks at Jimmy one last time, writes down his number and tosses it in his direction.
“For when you figure out you’re in the game”
And another piece of the Saul Goodman puzzle falls into place.
Make sure to stick around every Monday for new episodes of ‘Better Call Saul’ on AMC at 10pm ET/PT each week for the next few months.