‘Better Call Saul’ Premiere Recap Part Two: We Meet Again, Tuco

Woah, we did not see that one coming! On the second night of the 'Better Call Saul' premiere, a certain someone appeared that fans of 'Breaking Bad' would definitely recognize--and might not have been so thrilled to see. During the second hour of the two-part Better Call Saul premiere, we learned a bit more about James' (Bob Odenkirk) circumstances, as well as got an inkling as to where the season might be going and how exactly "Saul" comes about. We also saw two familiar faces-- one, a welcomed delight, and another, a horrifying return. Check out a full recap!

Better Call Saul Meet Tuco
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Image Credit: AMC

‘Better Call Saul’: Meet Tuco

We pick up slightly before where we left off on the Feb. 8 episode.

Inside the house where Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb (AKA the two skateboarding bros) have followed their hit and runner, abuelita is sent upstairs by her grandson–the one who held a gun to James’ head at the end of the last episode. To those who did not watch Breaking Bad, grandson seems like your typically horrifying villain.

However, for those of us who did watch that other series, we recognize grandson as Tuco (Raymond Cruz), the totally psychopathic drug lord from early on in the series. Aaaand we’re having horrifying flashbacks.

‘You Called Her Bizznatch?’

“You want money?” and “you called her ‘bizznatch?'” are two of the questions Tuco asks before clocking the two in the face with a coat hanger and knocking ’em right out.

So we’re pretty much up to speed on what happened prior to James’ arrival.

Granny, meanwhile, is happy as a clam, watching her soaps upstairs. When she hears a thud, she comes downstairs, but there’s nothing to be seen except Tuco scrubbing what he says is “spilled salsa” on the carpet. Huh, that’s a funny coincidence!

Tuco makes a call to someone who we can imagine is equally scary and tells them to “bring his van.”

Cue: Jimmy’s knock knock knock on the door.

After Tuco pulls him inside, he doesn’t drop the gun. Actually, he tells him, “You move and you’re dead.”

Time for an interrogation– and some serious butt-kissing from Jimmy. Not the first time we’ve seen him do it. Won’t be the last, I’m sure.

After blabbering on at what feels like a million words per minute, grandson echoes what we’re all thinking: “You got a mouth on you.” It works and grandson takes him into the garage to untie the boys.

When Jimmy untapes one of the mouths though, he totally blows it and says it was all James’ idea, unaware that they were all about to be let free.

Ugh, I can’t with these boys.

James Applies His Sweet Talking Skills

The three are taken to the middle of the desert by grandson, and he’s brought some friends with him. Guess what? I was right: they’re so scary.

Jimmy takes another crack at explaining the mixup but it seems like it might be too late. Tuco grabs a big toolbox from his van, and pulls out a massive pair of pliers. As he squeezes them against his little pinky, beginning to draw blood, James gets desperate.

“Okay I’m a secret agent!” James lies.

That story lasts about five seconds. Finally, James fesses up to everything and, after deliberation, they do decide to let him go.

However, Dee and Dumb are not so lucky. Tuco says he wants to “skin them,” as he holds his knife out. James, though an arguable criminal, is not a bad person and he doesn’t want to see the two die.

James once again uses his sweet talkin’ arguing skills to try and, ya know, minimize their sentence as it were. “I’m advising that you make the punishment fit the crime.”

James is able to negotiate the punishment down from gauging their eyes out to a minuscule breaking of a leg on each. Unfortunately, he has to stand by while the deed is done and hear it (the sound will be important later).

“I’m the best lawyer ever,” he says as he wheels one of the pained patients into an ER a little while later. Uh, maybe top five, James. Maybe.

Later, Saul is trying to woo a pretty lady on a date. However, the snapping of breadsticks in the background is forcing him to relive the leg breaking and it’s making it impossible to focus on his usual charms and he abandons the date. After getting violently drunk and vomitting in the bathroom, he heads home.

Except he doesn’t go to his home. He drives to Chuck’s (Michael McKean), and is so drunk that he makes the mistake of bringing his phone inside with him (not sure if this is a mistake for tracking purposes as Chuck is clearly in hideout or for his paranoia about radiation since he subsequently wraps himself in a “space blanket”). Chuck throws it onto the lawn then wraps himself in some sort of aluminum blanket. Chuck also finds the urgent care bill for the broken legs. Hence: James has got some ‘splaining to do. He assures Chuck he’s not back to his old ways (whatever those may be), then he departs to search for his phone.

‘It’s Show Time’

What follows is a delight: a montage of James public defending the crap out of a hodgepodge of criminals. And, even more delightfully, prior to every case, James stares himself straight in the mirror, flashes his palms wide open and says, “It’s show time.”

Oh also, every day, Mike (Jonathan Banks) continues to give him an excruciatingly difficult time at the courtroom toll booth and it’s hilarious.

Back at the nail salon/James’ office, James pours himself a stiff drink–into a pathetic plastic cup–before he is interrupted by… a customer!

Turns out, James has met this customer before: he’s one of Tuco’s friends from earlier, Nacho (Michael Mando). He wants to pull a fast one on the original targets of the skateboarding heist. “I like ripping off thieves because they can’t go to the cops,” he says to James. “You tell me where they hid their cash, I’ll pay you. Let’s call it a finder’s fee.”

James though, despite what we all might believe, does not consider himself a criminal and doesn’t want to steal. Nacho is apathetic but urges James to call him when he realizes that, obviously, he is playing the game. He leaves his number and, of course, a very open door to thievery.

What did you think of part two of the premiere? Should James go into business with Nacho?

— Casey Mink

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