In the ‘Better Call Saul’ recap, Jimmy engages in a new business venture, Kim is all about second chances and Mike helps Gus with a super project…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
In every season of ‘Better Call Saul’ thus far, the show has managed to give us glimpses of what happened after the events in ‘Breaking Bad’ at least in regards to Saul Goodman’s eventual fate as the manager of the Cinnabon outlet in a mall in Omaha, Nebraska.
There hasn’t been a deep dive exactly into what ‘Gene’ does with his days and nights outside of that eatery but it’s a brief look at where a life of crime leaves you when you’re forced to disappear and become part of the anonymous masses.
But the latest episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ took us to a more familiar time — one in the future from where the show is set but just before Saul Goodman said goodbye and Gene from Omaha said hello for the first time.
The show started this week with a look at Saul destroying any kind of evidence left in his office as he packed up whatever belongings he could take before meeting with the man who would disappear him off the face of the Earth (or send him to Omaha, as the case may be).
We see Saul grabbing money hidden in ceiling tiles and pulling out his trusty shoebox — that we see again in Omaha filled with a videotape featuring Saul’s commercials as well as a Band-Aid box with coins that he took from his father’s store — from behind the wall all while Francesa is shredding documents by the pile. When it’s all said and done, Saul’s entire life is packed up into two blue suitcases that will travel with him to his new identity as he leaves his life in New Mexico behind.
He doesn’t exactly have a heartfelt goodbye with Francesca but he does schedule a phone call rendezvous with her and then hand over the number to a lawyer she should visit when the cops inevitably ask questions. Saul hands over the card and says to Francesca ‘tell ’em Jimmy sent ya’, which makes me wonder if he didn’t give her the business card to his former boss, Howard Hamlin.
Seconds later, Saul was splitting from his office for good to begin his transformation into the best Cinnabon manager in all of Omaha. It was a brief but fun visit back to the days of ‘Breaking Bad’ and a scene that was echoed throughout the latest episode as Jimmy has started to walk faster on the path that will lead him to Saul Goodman and most likely away from Kim.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ titled ‘Quite a Ride’…
Listen It’s a Sabotage
The recurring theme since Kim was involved in her car accident last year is that she’s not all that enthusiastic about nearly killing herself for the sake of a bank’s expansion. While it was a noble fight to get the Mesa Verde account in the first place, Kim isn’t exactly inspired by the work she’s doing and it’s not helping matters much that the bank building new branches across several states is just piling on her workload.
Last week saw Kim visit a courtroom to ‘observe’ a judge in action but it appears that she was more concerned with getting back to what inspired her to become an attorney in the first place. She wants to fight for the disenfranchised and those in desperate need of a second chance.
In the latest episode, Kim went to battle with a prosecutor over a sentence for a teenager, who tossed a cinderblock through a store window. Through some impressive maneuvering, she got his 18 month jail sentence reduced down to four months of probation while stressing to her client rather vehemently that if he doesn’t take advantage of this second chance, she’ll personally help the next prosecutor put him in jail.
The next case was a woman facing jail time over drug possession and it took Kim to make a personal visit to her house after talking a judge into delaying her trial after she failed to appear. Kim coaxed her back into the courtroom appearance but in the midst of that fiasco, she received a call from Mesa Verde as they were going into panic mode over some misfiled paperwork.
Rather than rush over to Mesa Verde, she hangs up the phone and goes back to her client on the drug charge.
When she finally makes an appearance at Mesa Verde, Kim is filled with apologies and promises that what happened will never happen again. By all accounts, Kim is self-sabotaging her career with Mesa Verde because she doesn’t want to be there any longer.
Kim just doesn’t seem all that interested in killing herself so a bank can open 10 more branches in 10 different states. If she’s going to bend over backwards, Kim wants her job to mean something and that’s what she’s getting back to these days.
The job that Gus Fring had for Mike Ehrmantraut came to light this week as we saw the early machinations for what will eventually become the super lab where Walt and Jesse manufacture meth for a rather substantial fee from their employer.
Mike is interviewing potential structural engineers who are willing to do the job — quietly and without raising any suspicions — while building this massive super lab underneath an industrial Laundromat owned by Gus Fring.
The first candidate makes it sound like the job will be easily done and he appears all too eager to prove it. Mike quickly sends him packing. The second man arrives from Germany and he’s much more skeptical about what it will take to build this gigantic underground structure that will be hidden from the rest of the world.
He plots out his ideas and then starts rattling off all the problems that could arise while building this massive bunker under the Laundromat. The engineer’s skepticism and practicality with talking about the painstaking endeavor to build the super lab is exactly what Gus has wanted all along.
Soon after he emerges from the shadows and introduces himself after Mike was serving as his proxy before making the call on the person who will build this lab. Gus is a methodical mastermind — he has the patience of a slow moving stream rather than a roaring river. He doesn’t need to build this super lab inside of six months because this place will only come into use after he knows he can eventually break free from the Mexican cartel. So like the slow moving stream, he’s going to quietly carve out his base of operations over months and perhaps years before finally orchestrating his master plan to eradicate the cartel and become the meth kingpin of the southwest.
Of course, Gus still hasn’t met Walter White just yet and that will test him in all new and imaginative ways.
Jimmy desperately wants to walk the straight and narrow if for no other reason than to appease Kim, but walking on the right side of the law is something he’s never been able to do.
At his new job at CC Mobile, Jimmy is able to hustle a pile of pre-paid phones to a contractor who is looking to cover up exactly how much he’s making from the IRS and privacy is exactly what he needs. The problem is Jimmy is pandering this privacy to the wrong sector — these burner phones are meant for criminals and not typically of the white collar variety.
So after lying to Kim about going back to finish some work — another way he’s going down that slippery slope away from her — he goes to the cell phone store, purchases a pile of those pre-paid phones and then heads off to sell them.
Jimmy parks at the Dog House — another famous joint from ‘Breaking Bad’ — and begins peddling his phones to the customers who look like they could have a use for an untraceable cell that no one could ever link back to them. His final sale comes to a motorcycle club that stops for food and he ends up unloading a whole bag full of his pre-paid phones.
By the end of the night, Jimmy is swimming in cash after upselling these pre-paid phones to anyone who would buy one. Unfortunately, Jimmy underestimated the criminal element he’s dealing with because a group of teenage thugs he initially propositioned come back around to do business, except they’re not interest in buying phones.
Instead, they jump Jimmy, beat the crap out of him and steal the money he just made.
Jimmy returns home where Kim tends to his wounds as he lies to her yet again about losing track of time, stopping to get something to eat, which is where he was jumped and mugged. After such a close call while brushing up against the underbelly of the city, Jimmy decides that maybe it’s time to give Kim’s therapy idea a chance. He’s taking a lot of unnecessary chances right now and maybe there’s something behind that.
But just after Jimmy decides that therapy might be the way to save him, he goes to the courthouse where he’s meeting with his probation officer. A stop by the bathroom puts Jimmy face to face with Howard Hamlin, who looks like a wreck. Remember, Jimmy basically allowed Howard to take the blame for Chuck’s death and the weight of that guilt has been giving him plenty of sleepless nights.
Jimmy suggests that maybe Howard could talk to somebody and he even offers up the number of the therapist that Kim gave him. Howard then tells him that he’s already visiting a shrink twice a week and he’s still haunted every night.
After Howard leaves, Jimmy goes into the stall and tears up the phone number for the doctor that Kim gave to him. As he shreds those pieces, it echoes back to that first scene at the start of the episode when Francesca was destroying all traces of the cases handled by Saul Goodman. Saul was destroying his old life for the sake of starting a new one. By tearing up the number to Kim’s doctor and forgoing the possibility of dealing with his brother’s death, Jimmy seems to be destroying any chance he has at finding himself again.
Still, Jimmy believes he can pull himself back from the edge after meeting with his probation officer and relaying how he’s only nine months away from becoming a lawyer again. Once he gets his license back, Jimmy says he’s going to start up a law practice with Kim again and they are going to work together and do right by their clients.
Sadly we know that law practice will probably never happen because by the time Saul Goodman has his own office with a drawer filled with burner phones and he gets a call from a guy named Badger asking for help, Kim Wexler appears to be long gone.
‘Better Call Saul’ returns with a brand new episode next Monday night at 9pm ET on AMC. Check out a couple of previews for the episode below: