On the Feb. 23 episode of ‘Better Call Saul,’ we were experiencing the wrath of both the Kettlemans and Nacho. At the same time, Jimmy was hard at work, justifying his very difficult and likely very wrong decisions.
Following last week’s episode of Better Call Saul, which saw that duffel bag of secrets throw another wrench into things, this week Jimmy (Bob Odenkrik) had to face some very tough decisions in regards to the Kettlemans as well as his personal relationships. Oh, and naturally, he’s still fending off death threats from Nacho (Michael Mando), while trying to convince him that he’s not responsible for getting him thrown in the slammer. Check out a full recap!
Jimmy Pulls A Fast One
We open again on a flashback to Jimmy’s days of debauchery. He and a fellow delinquent are howling at the moon. As you do. They head to an after hours club and, in the process, we find out that at this time, Jimmy is going by “Saul.”
They stumble upon a wallet with about a grand tucked inside it. Then they find the body it belongs/belonged to. But he’s not dead! We learn this because they poke him with a long poking mechanism, similar to the Friends episode (you know which one I mean).
Nope, he’s not dead, just extremely wasted, and keeps calling Saul and friend “butt holes” in his drunken stupor. Saul grabs his watch– a Rolex– but the friend doesn’t think it’s fair he gets it and they start arguing. Friend tries to pull a fast one on Saul and takes off with the watch, leaving Saul a measly $600 in exchange for the piece which is more than $3 grand.
A fool’s deal right? Only one thing: Saul and fat drunk guy were conning the friend. So actually, that $600 seems pretty great about now.
Back to the present, the Kettlemans are attempting to convince Jimmy not to go to the cops with their whereabouts. They tell Jimmy about the warning call (which, of course, Jimmy made himself).
Jimmy tells them it’s all gonna be okay but, ya know, they’re going to have to give back their millions. And with that, Mrs. Kettleman is not too pleased. She grabs a wad of cash to bribe Jimmy to keep his mouth shut.
“I can’t take a bribe,” he says through gritted teeth. But then– lightbulb! “I can take a retainer for my services.” And now, we get a signature Jimmy speech, swaying the Kettlemans to fire Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) and hire him as their lawyer.
“It’s just… you’re the type of lawyer guilty people hire,” Lady Kettleman says. Ouch.
Back at The Tollbooth, Jimmy thanks Mike (Jonathan Banks) for his help locating the Kettlemans. Mike is his usual talkative and effervescent self (I kid).
Inside, Nacho is a free man, but don’t think he’s kissing Jimmy thank you. Turns out, he very easily realizes that the Kettlemans took off because someone had warned them about his plans.
“You ratted on me,” Nacho says. “There will be consequences.”
Back at the ranch, AKA the nail salon/Jimmy’s office/land of the elusive cucumber water, Jimmy pours himself another sad, plastic-cup drink. He starts to get down to business counting out that cash, applying arbitrary rates for his “services.” In other words, he’s trying to deal with the crushing guilt he feels about knowingly accepting very dirty money.
Well the guilt doesn’t last too long, it seems, because we next see Jimmy getting fitted for a fancy schmancy suit. Even though it’s very wrong, it’s pretty enjoyable to see Jimmy be able to do this for himself. Also, in a total Breaking Bad homage, he stares longingly at one of Saul’s signature orange-tinted button downs, before walking out with some basic white ones.
Next, new business photos. He enlists the conveniently located nail salon ladies to ready him and it’s probably one of my favorite scenes of the season so far.
In a less fantasy-based world, Kim (Rhea Seahorn) gives Jimmy a call, and invited him to dinner and a movie. The message she’s leaving is interrupted by Hamlin.
“Take a ride with me,” he tells her. Uh, that’s never a great sign but okay.
He takes her to see a billboard– Jimmy’s new billboard. Turns out, the suit Jimmy bought is an exact replica of Hamlin’s, and his billboard was an exact replica of Hamlin’s.
A Declaration Of War
Kim shows up at the nail salon, where Jimmy is relaxing with some cucumbers on his eyes. The two kick back in some salon-massage chairs.
So down to business: she hands him an envelope, obviously from Hamlin. A cease and desist. She calls Jimmy on his garbage: “That billboard is a declaration of war,” she says. “You can’t win this fight.”
Jimmy remains quiet and pouty just like a moody nine year old. Kim walks out.
Cut to: a mediated discussion between Hamlin and Jimmy. The mediator tells him Jimmy, point blank, he’s copying Hamlin’s established bran for his own gain. He’s got 48 hours to bring it down. In a last ditch effort, he starts calling his rolodex of journalists to se if any of them will cover this, what he believes is an, injustice. Not shockingly, none want it.
But then: genius strikes! College students! Jimmy and two 19 year olds head out to the billboard to record a video.
“I’m James McGill,” he says to camera. “I believe in service, it’s what I’ve built my career on.” He proceeds to tell a sob story about how hard he’s worked but suddenly, the video is interrupted as the man who’s taking down the billboard loses his balance and is left dangling 100 feet in the air.
Jimmy springs into action and begins climbing the stairs to rescue the poor guy. A crowd gathers as Jimmy does, successfully, bring the guy to safety. Aaaaand with that, my palms are drenched.
But, we of course find out, the whole thing was a scheme and it worked like a charm: Jimmy is on all the local news stations and it seems like that billboard ain’t going anywhere.
And then, when Jimmy returns to the office, for the first time since the series began, he has some messages. Seven, to be exact. And then, Jimmy finally gets his big page in the paper.
He arrives at casa de Chuck (Michael McKean), to whom he of course needs to explain how exactly he has so many new clients. He also needs to hide the paper with his big achievement. Chuck, because he knows better, is suspicious and goes on a a mission to extract a neighbor’s paper (he is still wearing his tinfoil alien suit, btw).
Well, Chuck reads what Jimmy didn’t want him to read. And we’ve got trouble.
What did you think of tonight’s episode? Should Jimmy have taken that money? And do you think he is ripping off Hamlin?
— Casey Mink