In the latest Better Call Saul recap, Jimmy deals with a babysitter, Kim attempts to dig herself out of a hole and Mike finds out that Tuco has plenty of family who don’t want him in jail…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Maybe Chuck was right to question his brother Jimmy all along.
As we learned the latest episode of Better Call Saul, Chuck’s misgivings about his brother started long before he was pulling con jobs in Cicero and getting picked up by the cops.
It turns out Jimmy’s first slip came many years earlier when Chuck was at law school and he was left to tend to a little corner store ran by their father, who was apparently one good dead away from sainthood. But the business was failing so Chuck returned home to take a look at his books to try and help his father recover the family business before it all came tumbling down around him.
What Chuck found was even more disturbing — $14,000 missing from the accounts, pilfered away slowly during all the years he was gone while Jimmy was minding the store. Yep, Jimmy was quietly robbing his own father blind. When confronted with the truth, Mr. McGill refused to believe his son Jimmy was capable of something like that and instead of cutting him off or tossing him out on his ass, he let his business eventually fade and fail.
Six months later, Papa McGill was dead.
And as Chuck described nobody at the funeral cried harder than Jimmy.
“My brother is not a bad person. He has a good heart. It’s just he can’t help himself and everyone’s left picking up the pieces.”
It seems ever since that moment, Chuck has been wary of his brother or his intentions and if he’s willing to steal from their father to the point of running him out of business, what would he do to anyone else close to him?
Chuck tells this story to Kim one late night/early morning while she’s toiling away in an attempt to earn her way out of the basement where she’s been sentenced to do document review in large part because she was covering for Jimmy.
The problem Chuck has with Jimmy is no matter how charming he might be, no matter how well intentioned he might seem, eventually he’s always going to look out for himself and the fallout for everyone around him will leave them in shambles. Chuck lost his father thanks to that and now Kim lost her job.
What domino will fall next in the wake of Hurricane Jimmy?
With that said let’s recap the latest episode of Better Call Saul titled “Rebecca”…
How Many Lawyers?
In a flashback scene to when Jimmy first arrived in Albuquerque to work as a mail clerk in the basement of HHM, Chuck and his wife Rebecca are having the wayward McGill brother over for dinner. It seems years earlier, Chuck was quite tolerant to electricity not to mention head over heels in love with his wife, who was a conductor and an amateur chef. The revelation about Chuck’s wife also answers the question about the music sheet he was playing from a few weeks back with the word ‘Rebecca’ scrawled across the top of it.
Where Rebecca went after this episode is a mystery for another day.
Cut back to dinner, Chuck has a system all worked out with his wife so they can avoid too much Jimmy banter if he begins to go over the top — as he usually does. An hour later, Jimmy is sipping down his Old Style beer and riffing lawyer jokes one after the other while his brother sits squirming in a chair just looking for a way out. But something funny happens — Rebecca seems charmed by Jimmy.
She’s laughing at his joke and just looks enamored by everything he says. When dinner finally comes to an end, Chuck attempts to tell his wife one of the same type of lawyer jokes his brother just told, but she barely cracks a smile.
It’s clear in this moment that Chuck doesn’t have the charisma that his brother does and it concerns him that his wife immediately bought into Jimmy’s act. Maybe at this point, Jimmy really did turn over a new leaf and it’s no longer just in his nature to help himself but no matter what, Chuck isn’t buying it and he’s going to do everything in his power to make sure no one else falls into the trap.
Back at the office, Jimmy is working overtime to find a way to get Kim out of the doghouse. Unfortunately, his idea to file a lawsuit against HHM not only won’t work but it flat out pisses Kim off that he was presume to solve her problems for her.
“I dig myself out of this hole. You do your job, Jimmy. Prove you can go one week — hell one day — without breaking the rules of the New Mexico Bar Association or pissing off your boss. And don’t insult my intelligence by saying you are doing any of this for me. You don’t save me. I save me.”
Things aren’t much better at Davis & Main where Jimmy now has a permanent babysitter named Erin attached to his hip. She’s lower on the totem pole that Jimmy, but Erin knows where all the recyclables belong not to mention being a whiz at the proper format for all the filings that happen inside the law firm. Erin knows where to capitalize letters and what Roman numerals should be used and where and it’s her job to make sure Jimmy does, too.
To make matters worse, Erin even has to escort Jimmy to court where she oversees his every move — even going as far as putting the kibosh on a Beanie baby exchange that would have earned him an earlier court date thanks to the clerk who loves those stuffed, floppy little collectables.
Jimmy is just about fed up with Davis & Main and especially that “goddamn pixie ninja” Erin, but when he runs into an old pal of his from the public defender’s office — bemoaning how much his hates his life while cleaning off vomit from his suit that may have come from a couple of different defendants who threw up earlier in the day — he starts to realize that a babysitter is a small price to pay for a luxurious German car, a company apartment and a healthy paycheck.
Working in a Coal Mine
Living in Howard Hamlin’s doghouse is not a fun place to be.
Kim is finding that out the hard way — for the second time in just a few months time mind you — after not telling her boss about Jimmy’s big idea to run a commercial to drum up business for the Sandpiper Crossing lawsuit. So for the past few weeks she’s been locked in the basement amidst bad lighting and even worse music, tasked with highlighting documents for upcoming trials alongside some first year law students just hoping to one day earn a job at HHM. A few months ago, Kim was working these trials and depending on the law students to highlight things for her.
Now she’s working right alongside them.
But Kim is determined to earn her way out of the hole — and her best laid plan involves calling every contact she’s made throughout the years in an attempt to score HHM a new high profile client. Kim gets far more dinner invitations than potential clients, but she finally scores a whale — Mesa Verde bank — and she arranges a meeting with Howard to show just how big she can deliver when not working in the basement.
“A Mi Manera” by the Gipsy Kings — the song playing while Kim is dialing her heart away.
A few hours later, HHM has a new million dollar client and Kim believes this is the perfect segue out of document review — until it’s not.
“I’ll put Francis on that. You’ve got enough on your plate in doc review”
Kim is stunned.
See, Jimmy was convinced that her banishment to the basement was a result of Chuck looking for payback and taking it out on Kim. She tried to tell him this all came from Howard and now after this latest altercation, Kim knows that he’s ruffled his feathers for possibly the last time and no big budget client is going to earn her a ticket out of the cellar.
Later that night, Kim is forced to make enjoys a cup of coffee with Chuck when she finds out the story about the death of their father. In a strange way it’s almost like Chuck is defending his brother (he can’t help himself) at the same time that he’s talking him down (he just can’t help himself). No matter his true intention, Kim sits in silence while trying to absorb all the things she’s just learned about the real Jimmy McGill.
Maybe she didn’t know him at all.
Ring, Ring, Ring
Finally our story comes full circle back to Mike, who is still nursing his wounds from the savage beating he got courtesy of Tuco Salamanca. Mike received the pummeling in exchange for Tuco getting a 10-year bid in jail — the alternative to pulling the trigger and putting him into the ground for good.
The job was worth it because Mike was able to put Stacy and Kaylee into a nice apartment where they are safe and sound. He still doesn’t want to visit, however, because he won’t show his mangled face to his granddaughter.
Mike’s grimace seems even more stoic when he runs into Jimmy at the toll booth during one of his day shifts.
“What the hell happened to you? I get it, the first rule of Fight Club, right?”
~ Jimmy to Mike
All in all, Mike can eat the jabs about his bruised up mug so long as Stacy and Kaylee are healthy, happy and secure. But Mike finds out the hard way that half-measures — just like we teased a week ago — also come with a hefty expense.
While sitting at his favorite coffee shop, Mike gets a visit from one of Tuco’s relatives — his uncle Hector ‘Tio’ Salamanca. Except this version of Hector isn’t old and bound in a wheelchair, forced to ring an incessant bell to communicate and/or blow up his rival drug kingpins.
Hector is fit as a fiddle and he’s looking for Mike to compromise on the charges brought against Tuco after their “misunderstanding” at the taco shop. Hector wants Mike to tell the cops that the gun actually belonged to him — and because he’s an ex-cop, the authorities will surely go easy on him.
Right away, Mike is on the defensive but not only because he realizes that his Tuco problem isn’t going to disappear but maybe even worse is the fact that Hector clearly knows a lot about him. Maybe he even knows about Stacy and Kaylee?
For now, Hector is a sweet old man, who just wants to see his nephew get out of jail long before a 10 year sentence would run out. He should be punished, Hector tells Mike, but 10 years is just too severe.
“I’m looking for the best possible outcome for everybody. And for your trouble you take home $5,000. Think about it.”
“Best possible outcome” — a subtle hint towards a much worse result if Mike doesn’t play ball. Of course, this is Mike Ehrmantraut we’re talking about and his steely resolve doesn’t seem to waiver for anybody.
Maybe not even Hector Salamanca.
Better Call Saul returns next Monday night at 10pm ET on AMC and for a sneak preview take a look at the videos below.