Summary: Flashbacks show Jimmy partying after becoming a lawyer. Jimmy and Chuck's relationship is healthy and loving at this point. In the present, Jimmy tries to be seen in public caring for Chuck. He slowly loses himself in the process. Eventually he is asked for his testimony and unleashes an emotional speech about Chuck to con the judges into making him a lawyer again. He is successful but unintentionally and unknowingly makes Kim believe his words as well. Jimmy chooses to practice under the name Saul Goodman. Mike tries to locate Werner to bring him back before anything happens. Lalo, who was watching Gus' operation, follows Mike and is able to track down Werner and come in contact with him on the phone before Mike. Mike reports this to Gus, who tells Mike to kill Werner. Mike does so.
The Good: This was an excellent season finale. The story was powerful and it managed to bring season 4 to a close in an effective way, tying together all of the stories that were told in the last 10 episodes.
The flashback was extremely powerful and emotional, and it wasn't because of Ernie's singing (what a singing voice!). After we have seen Chuck and Jimmy at each other's throats for so long, it feels strange to see them so friendly in this opening scene. Strange, yet powerful as it highlights what could have been between those two. A brotherhood between two brothers who help each other and help bring out the best in each other, keeping each other in line. Instead, we have to face the reality of what really happened, adding to the tragedy of Jimmy's character, a tragedy which was explored thoroughly in this episode.
The early stages of the episode see Jimmy pulling another scam, this time he is strategically placing himself in positions to make him seem remorseful about Chuck to important people in the law community. I enjoyed seeing Jimmy's complete disinterest in doing this, proving to us that he truly doesn't care about Chuck now that he's dead, which paid off by the end of the episode (see: Best Moment). The pressure that pulling this con has on Jimmy is immense, as he is annoyed that he has to go to such tedious lengths to prove himself to the bar association. Jimmy has no interest in re-opening his feeling about Chuck, which have been sealed away since "Smoke".
The tragedy of this episode is how the pressure gets to Jimmy and causes him to completely lose himself. After seeing himself in a hopeful scholar, Christy Esposito, Jimmy realizes the world is against him and always will be. After everything that happened to him, he has finally lost hope about finding his place in this world without cutting corners and scamming. He delivers an awkward and imposing speech to Christy, letting her know of the horrors that he experienced in his attempt to be a lawyer, and it's this speech which he delivered to an innocent kid that makes Jimmy realize how far gone he is. He goes back to his car, and for one of the first times in this show, he cries and it's not a con. It's real tears, tears to mourn for himself. Jimmy McGill is almost gone, burned away by the nightmare of a life he has been trying to live. After four seasons with this character, seeing him slowly die on the inside is painful and immensely powerful. And it prepares him for the ultimate con, as he lies through his teeth to everyone in his testimony with such a convincing nature that even Kim starts to believe what is coming out of his mouth. But it's all a lie. Jimmy has no sincerity, just a motivation to win, to hell with any sense of morals and honour. And he doesn't care anymore. He doesn't spare a thought about how Kim may feel and quickly heads forward to pursue his future under his new name. While some people may say that season 4 was boring and nothing happened, I disagree. This season is about transitioning Jimmy to Saul, an important story which I'm beyond glad the writers chose to tell.
The other half of the episode saw Mike chasing down Werner in a tense and exciting sequence made better by the presence of the ruthless, reckless and unpredictable Lalo. Tensions were really high throughout and I was extremely happy to see "Better Call Saul" make an episode hinged on a storyline with a sense of urgency and excitement to it. There were many sequences in this storyline which were tense and exciting. Mike getting away from Lalo was exciting to watch, and I love the touch of Mike refusing to go for the gun, instead using some chewing gum to remove Lalo. The scenes at TravelWire were great too as both Lalo and Mike work on Fred to get him to reveal information. It's also a great contrast between Mike and Lalo, who both manage to get what they want but through very different means. In the end both manage to come in contact with Werner, but it's Lalo who makes contact first, condemning Werner to his fate in heartbreaking fashion.
This leads to the scene where Mike is forced to execute Werner in cold blood after failing to convince Gus to save his life. The sad thing is that it looked like Gus may give in, but it's Lalo's involvement which prevents Gus from being willing to take the risk. In the end Gus is left in his half-finished lab, angry and unimpressed, demonstrating his disappointment with what happened. To make up for this disappointment, Mike knows he has to fix his mistake and kill Werner. The scene is heartbreaking and beautifully shot as Mike has to slowly let Werner realize what is happening. Werner is so good-hearted, so seeing him meet this fate is devastating, and his final phone call with his wife makes it even more painful and sad. Better yet is the focus on Mike who is pained when he realizes that he has to murder a friend who doesn't deserve to die for what he has done. It's a big change for Mike's character which pushes him even further into his work with Gus. The scene was masterful and it certainly makes up for some slow moments in the episodes prior.
I was glad to see Gale again and his interactions with Gus and Mike were pretty funny and entertaining.
The Bad: But Gale's interactions with Gus were sadly inconsistent with Gus' character which we see in "Breaking Bad". I understand that he's angry about the halt in superlab construction, but Gus has always treated Gale with kindness and it feels awkward to give him the cold shoulder here. I feel like this season hasn't shown enough of the charming and friendly Gus, and it may have even somewhat forgotten what the true essence of the character is.
Lalo's stunt at TravelWire was a little hard to believe. I understand what they were going for and it was somewhat funny, but it was far too cartoonish for this show. I can't buy that Lalo would manage to sneak into the ceiling so quickly and silently, plus how would he get up there anyways? Is he Spider-man?
I was disappointed that Nacho wasn't in this episode. He has hardly had anything to do in the back half of this season which is poor considering how important he was early in the season. Furthermore, I thought that Howard could have had a more important role as well. I was interested to see what Howard and Jimmy's relationship was like, especially after their last conversation but we never got to see any of that which feels disappointing.
The Unknown: Did Lalo cover up his murder of Fred appropriately or could that come back to haunt him? Did he also appropriately deal with the man in the parking lot who may have gotten his license plate?
How will the superlab be completed now? Who finishes it? Will that be Gale's job now?
How will Kim and Jimmy's relationship change after that last scene?
Best Moment: Jimmy's testimony is poignant and it's meant to be. For a little while we even think that he may be honest here since everything he says could very well be true. But of course it's not. The scene even parallels Jimmy meeting with the bar association in the last episode to show that he is still conning the judges. But Kim doesn't realize and thinks that Jimmy finally got his sadness surrounding Chuck's death off his chest. But Jimmy quickly and ruthlessly reveals it was all fake and even laughs at the "asshole who was actually crying". Rhea Seehorn is terrific as she shows Kim's shock at learning this, and it finally begins to clue in to her that Jimmy isn't hiding anything. He isn't the same man anymore, he's Saul Goodman now. It's another powerful scene in an episode full of them.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy.
Conclusion: This was a great season finale, capping off the season with a bang, concluding several stories and all but completing Jimmy's transformation into Saul. This show rarely disappoints and this was no exception.
As for the season as a whole, it was outstanding. Unsurprisingly, the acting, cinematography, editing, storytelling, writing, pacing, etc. were all near-perfect and combined to make this slow-burn show deliver some of the best television this year. Jimmy's story and transformation was tremendously strong and I think it brought out the very best acting from Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn to date. The big question going into this season was if it could still be great without Chuck. Thankfully the answer was a resounding yes as the story moved in a new and fulfilling direction without Chuck, organically continuing the story. The Nacho and Mike stories were very strong too with engaging moments and a good overall story which combined together nicely in the finale. I would put this season between season 3 and season 2 in terms of ranking and I think it was very strong but not as good as season 3. I think as a whole this was the most consistent season of the show, but it didn't ever reach the highs that seasons 1-3 reached. But that shouldn't take away from just how good this season was.
Summary: Jimmy and Kim get used to a life of scamming people together. The time comes for Jimmy to get his law license back but when he goes in front of the bar association, he is denied his law license because of insincerity. Jimmy is enraged and lashes out at Kim. The two of them have a fight. Ultimately Kim decides that she will help Jimmy get his law license back. Mike notices that Werner is troubled and permits him a phone call to his wife. Mike continues to support him to finish his work, but Werner doesn't listen and escapes. Lalo visits Hector and gives him his bell. He goes to Los Pollos Hermanos and offers Gus a deal to work together peacefully.
The Good: This was a great episode, playing off of tension extremely well and including some terrific scenes with consistent and impressive acting throughout.
Jimmy and Kim had a great storyline in this episode which culminated in a standout final scene. But before I talk about that, I want to talk about the opening scene. Last episode raised the question of how far Kim would go with her new-found appreciation for conning, and we were answered right away with a terrific scene which showed us how committed Kim is to this as she uses a cheap scam to save her from doing some work on Mesa Verde. It was a great way to establish her morals, set up some threads for the climactic scene later, and also provides us an entertaining opening sequence by showing up Slippin' Jimmy at work with his new partner in crime.
Then we get to Jimmy going to get his license back, which I think was a very clever use of audience expectations. Jimmy was so confident about getting his license back, and we know that he continues being a lawyer in the future, so it seemed like a given that Jimmy would be reinstated as a lawyer. That the scene took place in the middle of the episode also supported the idea that nothing too huge would happen here. But then the scene happened and we got to see Slippin' Jimmy at work once more, only this time he is fighting for his law license. It's entertaining as always, but this one has a little more emotional weight to it as the words coming out of Jimmy's mouth are more truthful than usual; he does genuinely enjoy being a lawyer. I thought that his decision to neglect speaking about Chuck would just exist to show us how he doesn't care at all about Chuck's death, but I was wrong, and when the curtain came down and it was revealed that Jimmy wouldn't be getting his license, it felt like a gut-punch. This was an out-of-nowhere tragedy for Jimmy's character, and it was downright heartbreaking to witness. I must hand it to Bob Odenkirk as well, who does a terrific job of showing the many, many layers behind Jimmy as he acted out this scene. The storytelling is outstanding as it provides a genuinely surprising twist in Jimmy's story, and the wonderful irony in the fact that Jimmy was actually being sincere and had he mentioned Chuck, that would have been insincere. Jimmy, a regular scammer, was just punished for his own honesty and that is bound to make honesty a trait that Jimmy may never want to express again, furthering his descent to Saul Goodman in a heart-breaking way.
That scene could have been the climax of any other episode and I would have been satisfied, but then it was immediately followed up by a massive fight between Jimmy and Kim. Jimmy is enraged due to being let down for doing seemingly nothing wrong and Kim is the one who has to calm him down. She tries, but it's one slip up, where she says "we will find a way to make you look sincere" that completely sets Jimmy off. In one moment, all of Jimmy's past enemies flash before him as he makes reference to several setbacks he has had to deal with (including a nod to the Kettleman story in season 1 which I especially appreciated) by lashing out all of his frustrations towards Kim, treating her like just another one of the people who always look down on him. Naturally this sets Kim off too and she explodes at his lack of gratitude for her, and it ends up becoming a powerful and sad fight. The best part about this is how realistic and organic the set-up to them coming to blows actually is. It's so relatable which makes it all the more tragic to see them explode like this at each other. The scene is brilliantly constructed and it is a wonderful catharsis for what is now seasons worth of frustration. This moment was a series highlight for sure, and it was carried by some tremendous acting from Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn.
I though the following scene at Kim's apartment was another outstanding one. They had clearly never had anything like this before, so both are unsure of what to do. Kim is nervous to approach Jimmy, who is reluctantly packing his stuff into his bag, unsure if Kim would even want him anymore. It's sad to see Jimmy believing that he just ruined the one final good thing in his life, but thankfully Kim's inability to get away from Jimmy pushed her back to him to try things again and to push forwards. I feel like Kim being unable to get away from Jimmy while she had the chance may come back to haunt her.
As if that wasn't exhausting enough, there are still two more storylines in this episode, with both of them having important and engaging developments to set everything in place for the season finale. I'll tackle the superlab story first. I thought last episode did a great job of making Werner a character that I care about and I had hoped that this was set-up for something big in Mike's personal story. It seems like that will be the case as Werner shows serious signs of being a potential threat, yet Mike takes the half-measure to deal with him, only letting him call his wife. It's sensible as we can see that Mike and Werner have become friends over the past few months, but it ends up being a mistake as we get the big reveal that Werner escaped the compound and nobody noticed. It's a great surprise to end the episode, and it could very well be setting up for Mike to make a full measure to correct his half measure. I imagine that Mike may very well make his first kill working for Gus, and it won't be pretty, seeing how much I've become invested in Werner. Furthermore, the scenes int he superlab did a great job with tension. Werner having a breakdown alone while doing the blasting was poignant and scary, while the ending scene was shocking and foreboding as you just get the sense that Werner won't be able to make it very far.
Lastly, we get to Lalo, who continues to be a wildly entertaining character. His polite and charming nature is a breath of fresh air compared to all of the violent Salamancas, and his mysterious motives (see: The Unknown) make all of his scenes so much more engaging to watch. I enjoyed the first sequence where he gave the bell to Hector. Technically this scene was unnecessary, but I think that Hector getting the iconic bell was important enough that we needed to see it happen, and I think Lalo's interactions with Hector were also significant as they taught us a little more about his character and how he normally behaves. This led to him having a meeting with Gus in a scene which I really loved. Both actors have so much presence, and they played off of each other in an excellent, and different, way. As an aside, I also liked seeing Lyle again, plus it was a smart way to make Gus notice and approach Lalo right away.
The Bad: Mike's story doesn't feel like it's significant to the overall plot. Sure it is a very good story, but it just feels too much like filler. Who knows, maybe it will tie into something more important, and if that is the case, I will retract this complaint, but if not, I just don't think it's a necessary story, especially considering how many other important stories are going on.
The Unknown: Will Werner get away and go home safely? Will Mike catch him and kill him for his betrayal? How will Gus react to Mike's misplaced trust in Werner? This situation is set up very well for an exciting finale.
Speaking of a nicely set-up situation, how will Jimmy and Kim try to get Jimmy reinstated when they appeal? What is their plan? Is there a plan? Also, what is the state of their relationship now? How do they plan to address their futures?
Is it possible that Jimmy doesn't get his law license back and would be forced to redo his schooling as Saul Goodman? That could be one explanation of how he ended up as Saul Goodman.
Best Moment: The parking garage fight was breathtaking, devastating television which was written and acted to perfection.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy.
Conclusion: This episode was tremendous with some outstanding moments of storytelling, gripping moments of tension and exciting build-up for what should be a great season finale. This episode delivered.
Summary: Jimmy goes on a bus ride and writes postcards the entire time. He returns to Kim and they prepare to enact the plan. Kim is executing a con, as Jimmy will pose as the people of Huell's hometown Coushatta, who all love him and don't want him imprisoned. Kim pressures the attorney and the judge with fake letters and Huell is ultimately allowed to get no jail time. The con rekindles Jimmy and Kim's relationship. Kim gains a desire to do more conning and tells Jimmy that they will do another one. Mike lets his guys go to a strip club. Kai causes trouble again and a drunk Werner reveals too much information to another man. Mike isn't pleased and reports it to Gus but says it won't be a problem. Nacho is running the Salamancas' business himself now but is secretly planning to skip town with his father. However Lalo Salamanca arrives to monitor Nacho's business.
The Good: Much like "Fall" last season, this episode was coated in dread. I was on-edge the entire time watching it and the tension never really diffused as all of the central characters were placed in a position where their plans are setting up for failure and disaster.
Jimmy and Kim's story was the central focus of the episode, fitting after all of the set-up last week, and I think their story was the strongest, unsurprisingly. The con that Kim came up with to get Huell out of his situation was very fun to watch. The scenes were slowly paced but they were extremely well-crafted (again, unsurprisingly), and also just delightful to watch with a lot of fun moments. Jimmy's Cajun accent, Huell being treated as Santa Claus and the return of the film crew were extremely fun and added a lot to the experience. Of course that teaser sequence was classic "Better Call Saul" by showing us a character doing something we don't fully understand with some fun moments and very good scene construction.
But the storyline never feels too happy and pleasant as there is always tension present. With the season nearing its conclusion and Kim and Jimmy's relationship on rocky ground, it felt like something was bound to go wrong. The amount of focus on Ms. Ericsen only increased these feelings as I was constantly nervous that she would figure out something and get both Kim and Jimmy in huge trouble. The story was paced slowly, but with fun moments and tense moments both, it became really engaging.
The best part of the Kim and Jimmy storyline was of course what happened to their relationship. I, along with most of the internet, suspected that Kim and Jimmy's relationship would end soon after Kim saves Jimmy, but surprisingly, "Better Call Saul" swerved in a new direction with Kim and I really love it, but more on that later (see: Best Moment). I do like that the show went with the unexpected and reignited the Jimmy/Kim relationship with a con. This made sense too as their relationship was always the most passionate when these two were conning others as Viktor and Giselle. It's a great call-back and is a logical way to bring them back together. However, this can't possibly be good for Kim, who I am genuinely scared for now. Her career has hit the roof and now she is taking a massive risk by working with Jimmy, so there is genuine fear that she will lose everything because of their relationship, which I think is a much better story than having them just slowly drift apart. Leave it to this show to still surprise and impress me.
There were some specific scenes which I really enjoyed. Mrs. Nguyen and Jimmy briefly talking about Jimmy's problems with Kim was a nice scene and I appreciate seeing Mrs. Nguyen help Jimmy out, after all they have known each other for a good while now. Kim has a lot of great scenes in this episode. I liked that she keeps the Zafiro bottle cap in her office, showing how much the exciting cons with Jimmy meant to her. I also liked the scene with Kevin and Paige as it effectively illustrated that Kim is starting to lose interest again, while also letting us understand why as what they are doing is pretty boring.
Mike's story was much better in this episode, as the possibilities have opened up for where his storyline is heading. I initially thought it would just be Kai who is an issue and that Mike may end up killing him as a first kill, but that would have been pretty flat, predictable and inconsistent with what we have seen of Mike so far, as he has always been avoiding the kill option. But now by having not only Kai, but also Werner make a fatal error, it feels like the lives of all of the Germans are in danger here. Mike doesn't want to kill them, but he may be forced to, which is much more interesting for his character, and will likely help him make the big change from BCS Mike to BB Mike. Furthermore, I care about Werner after he got some great scenes to bond with Mike, so I'm more engaged with the story overall.
Lastly, I get to Nacho's story which was excellent. The first sequence with Nacho was an effective way to show us what has changed in his lifestyle since we last saw him. He runs the Salamanca operation now and has everything, a big house, girls and tons of money. But Nacho doesn't enjoy it, as he is still stuck being somebody he doesn't want to be, ripping out earrings and acting touch. When he gets home he feels deflated and can only look at some fake IDs to get some hope, promising an escape and a new life on the horizon. But that all goes out the window at the end of the episode with the introduction of Lalo, another Salamanca for Nacho to contend with, making him feel more trapped than ever, still unable to escape.
Lalo was terrific in his brief scene and immediately has a presence. He is so cheerful and charming in his personality, and yet he is chilling and has a terrifying atmosphere around him, making him an ideal villain for the show. I especially loved the introduction to Lalo as we hear some friendly music inside El Michoacano, but we know something bad has happened. Domingo and the cook are sitting at a table, silent and unmoving, which is chilling in itself as none of them dare to speak a word. It's a great introduction to Lalo and lets us know everything we need to know about who he is.
The Bad: Nothing I would call bad.
The Unknown: Why was Lalo sent to Nacho's operation now? What happened that required his presence? What are his real motives?
What is going to happen to Kim now that she is going to be conning more regularly again? Will her relationship with Jimmy persist? More interestingly, having Kim turn to her darker desires does actually make her fate a little more unclear. I could legitimately see her working alongside "Saul Goodman" now, so perhaps a break-up isn't on the horizon after all. Or this is all just a big red herring. Either way, I know I will be satisfied by what happens.
Best Moment: Kim approaches Jimmy at the end of the episode with a desire to con once more. Jimmy does his usual shtick where he says he won't do anything questionable again. But with Kim joining him, there is nobody around to keep him in line, which could spell disastrous results for everybody. It's a scary and foreboding scene because of that and a lot more effective. Additionally, I loved seeing how turned on Kim was by all of the conning, and her desire to do more felt significant, and it felt genuine. Great storytelling.
Character of the Episode: Kim.
Conclusion: This was a really strong episode, coated with tension, and it also puts all of the central cast in precarious positions for their stories, as it feels that one wrong move will send everything crashing down. This episode was really enjoyable to watch, and did a great job of establishing the show's future.
Summary: Many months have passed. Kim and Jimmy have grown apart as Kim settles in at Schweikart and Cokely as Jimmy continues to sell burner phones. Hector has woken up with his mind intact, so Gus halts his treatment to prevent him from getting better. Mike's worker crew continues building the superlab but an accident sets them back. Huell knocks out an undercover cop who was arguing with Jimmy, not knowing he was a cop. Huell is told he will get 2.5 years of prison so Jimmy goes to Kim for help. Kim reluctantly agrees to help Jimmy with Huell and gets to work, but she refuses to do it his way.
The Good: This was another really well-executed episode. It has been a quiet season for "Better Call Saul", but the way the show has been put together continues to amaze me. This episode was entirely set-up, but the storytelling was incredible and the episode had me engaged with an almost melancholy tension which was ever-present throughout the episode.
The opening montage at the beginning was outstanding, quite possibly the show's best montage. I usually tend to be indifferent towards timeskips because they very rarely satisfy me, but this is a rare case of a timeskip being executed perfectly. Instead of skipping all of the development which characters undergo throughout a timeskip, this episode began with a montage which showed us the complete story of Kim and Jimmy's relationship across those several months in a very impactful way. Their relationship has gone cold ever since they branched out in the last episode, and the montage was a heartbreaking show of how rarely they interact with each other as they go through with their normal life. I love the added touch of a black bar in between both Kim and Jimmy throughout the entire montage which highlighted how split they have become. The ending moment was particularly poignant for me as both Kim and Jimmy sleep facing away from each other, not even speaking to each other. Then in what I think was a beautiful piece of foreshadowing, Kim fades into the darkness as Jimmy opens his eyes in total silence. This was just tremendously well done.
The episode didn't stop there though and immediately followed up with another beautiful sequence as Jimmy welcomes somebody into a building which he is thinking about renting, showing the person around with his normal high energy. At first I thought it was Kim, but it became clear after there were no responses that it wasn't her. For a moment I even thought it was Jimmy alone trying to possibly recite what he would say to Kim to try to win her back for Wexler-McGill. But instead it was revealed to be Huell, who delivered some funny lines about being a lawyer. It was a good reveal, but more importantly it made me understand how much Jimmy and Kim's relationship fell apart. Ordinarily Jimmy would be showing this location to Kim, and yet he likely didn't even tell her about it as he chose to show Huell around instead. Furthermore, it seems that Jimmy doesn't even really consider getting Kim back, having resigned himself to the fact that Kim is practicing elsewhere. Surprisingly though, Jimmy compares his new office to Kim's in a small moment, almost as if he is trying to find a place better than hers. Perhaps a small part of him is still hopeful that Kim will work with him, and that's really sad to see.
The central conflict introduced in this episode was really good too. The tense confrontation between Jimmy and the cop was pretty tense, but it was resolved in hilarious fashion as Huell just stumbles by and knocks him out. But a terrible set of conveniences leaves Huell incriminated with a potential 2 and a half years of jail time. This is a really logical story to tell and it's a good way to put a highlight on the deterioration of Kim and Jimmy's relationship as they are now forced to interact and in no way do they come off as lovers anymore. A far cry from how they were together in the early parts of the season. As an aside, I love that this slow deterioration was hinted at last season where Kim and Jimmy did appear to be drifting apart before the harsh reality of Kim's accident put them back on the right path. Their conversation in Kim's office was great and I really appreciated Rhea Seehorn's acting as she learns about what Jimmy has really been doing and asks him about him, only for him to ignore her and for her to simply brush it off. She doesn't even seem to care anymore as the two have them have essentially been living apart for the last few months anyways.
I enjoyed Kim and Jimmy pursuing the case together. Kim had a terrific scene as she argued with a prosecutor about the Huell case and she unexpectedly and to take a look at who Jimmy has really become. She's evidently bothered by it and I'm interested to what she will do about it. Kim hasn't changed on her morals and I cab I especially loved her refusing to tear down another upstanding man. Regarding Jimmy's plot though, it seems eerily similar to his ploy which he used to take down Chuck, which highlights another great dimension to his character: he hates upstanding law enforcers because they remind him too much of his brother, which is an excellent motive to make his transformation into Saul more believable. Speaking of Saul, this episode was the first where I noticed that Jimmy's behaviour was more like Saul than it was like Jimmy, showing how far along the road to Saul he has gone.
I really enjoyed the short Gus scene in this episode. The episode gave us a crucial piece of information about his feud with Hector as we learn that Hector could have potentially made a full recovery but Gus is keeping him in the chair. Giancarlo Esposito was terrific again as he subtly showed his joy that Hector was fully conscious in his current form, and he was chilling as he left Hector in such a disabled form, quite possibly the cruelest thing we have seen him do thus far. This works really well as it also makes me look back more fondly at his speech int he previous episode which sets up this decision which Gus makes.
There were a few other scenes I really liked in this episode. I loved the sequence where we were shown how the workers get transported to the superlab. I was wondering how they would be transported and it was good to get some confirmation. Additionally, I loved the scenes with Jimmy at Schweikart and Cokely as he started off as the charming Jimmy that Kim grew to love, but he soon lets his hatred of the place that took Kim away from him come to fruition as he badgers Schweikart about more expensive vacation trips than the ones being planned.
The Bad: The Mike story just doesn't interest me very much. The storytelling is fine, but there is nothing that really makes me care and we aren't learning anything new about Mike's character. Perhaps this is leading to a big moment where Mike finally decides against ever using half measures, but as of now, it doesn't do very much for me.
I'm disappointed that Nacho was absent again. He was such an important part of the first four episodes, so it feels weird that he has just been absent for three successive episodes. It's especially disappointing for him to not be seen in such an important episode which sped through time. I would be interested in seeing what he has been up to, but sadly it appears to have been skipped unless we get another montage, or something of the sort next week.
The Unknown: What are Kim's plans to get Huell away from jail? Why did she pick up all of those art supplies at the end of the episode?
Best Moment: So many moments were well done, but I'll pick the opening montage because of the sheer skill that was used to put it together.
Character of the Episode: Kim.
Conclusion: This was a great set-up episode, and it seems like a normal thing to get at least one exceptional set-up episode per season with this show. The exploration of the sad state of Kim and Jimmy's relationship in this episode was terrific and carried this to becoming one of the season's best episodes.
Summary: A flashback shows Jimmy deciding to pursue law to impress Kim. In the present, Kim decides to join up as partner with Schweikart and Cokely, bringing Mesa Verde there so she can have help. Jimmy learns the news and is hurt that his dream of Wexler-McGill restarting has been ruined, but he tells Kim that it's fine anyways. Jimmy reignites his burner phone business and starts by getting revenge on the three teenagers who mugged him previously. Werner provides Mike with a team to start putting together the superlab and Mike organizes a place for them to stay. Gus visits Hector, whose condition has worsened.
The Good: This was another really strong episode, highlighted by the duelling Kim and Jimmy storylines coming together in a meaningful way.
Kim's story was solid here. She tried to just force herself to keep working on Mesa Verde, but her desires are pointing elsewhere. Now she has fully acknowledged it, and realizes that she can't keep going on like this, and so she actively makes a move to repair her problem, and that move is joining Schweikart and Cokely. This conflict within Kim was a good story and the resolution in this episode is solid.
But the most fascinating part about Kim's story this season is how it has managed to make a huge impact in Jimmy's story. Kim following her dreams for her career has sadly crushed Jimmy's hopes of reinstating Wexler-McGill once he gets his law license back. It's easy to understand why Kim would make this decision and it's also easy to understand why Jimmy is hurt by this. It's a sign of good character drama for us to understand the impact of a development such as this without needing to have anything explained.
Jimmy's reaction to this news is one of the best moments of the episode. He excuses himself and we are treated to a fantastic and brief moment as Jimmy feels sick to lose his dream, which he became determined to accomplish just one episode ago. These emotions are undercut with the repeating sound of knives hitting the cutting board, allowing us to easily visualize the impact that this reveal has on Jimmy. But Jimmy swallows his emotions once again and acts as excited as always, telling Kim to go for the opportunity so she can be happy. It's nice to see Jimmy being so selfless for Kim, but since their relationship is pretty much fated to end in a split, the scene becomes tragic as yet another log has been added to the fire which we know will burn down their relationship.
Jimmy's hopes for a future in law with Kim were the only things keeping him from breaking out into Slippin' Jimmy again. But the moment they are turned to dust, Jimmy immediately pushes forward, giving himself no time to grieve as he settles on expanding his cell phone business in a big way, committing to his questionable life after seemingly taking a bit of a reprieve in the last episode. Jimmy could have been doing better things, but Howard's sad state as well as Kim's new job have prevented Jimmy from breaking away from his normal habits.
The final scene was a thing of beauty and is one of the most unsettling scenes of "Better Call Saul" yet. Jimmy's revenge on the boys who beat him was cathartic of course, but Jimmy ended up going so much farther than expected to regain his reputation as a con man who is not to be disrespected. The tension in that final scene was terrific, created from some exert cinematography and sound design, as well as the fact that we aren't entirely sure what Jimmy's plan is for the three teenagers. What I did know for certain however was that this is the darkest and coldest we have seen Jimmy so far in the series, and Saul Goodman seems to just be a few steps away from where we are currently.
The flashback sequence in this episode was really good, just like last episode's flashforward. The scene didn't tell us anything we knew already, but it reminded us that Jimmy did everything in his law career for Kim, ensuring that we understood the full significance of Kim wanting to break away from Jimmy. Furthermore, the opening sequence also bookended significant developments just like the previous episode. But whereas that one bookended the beginning of Saul Goodman with the ending, this episode bookends the first steps of Jimmy's relationship with Kim with what may be the first step towards the end of their relationship.
There were a few other really good scenes spliced through Jimmy's storyline. I liked that Jimmy and Kim had a proper conversation regarding him seeing a shrink, as it properly rounded out that loose thread while also letting Jimmy explain how he isn't the type of guy to wallow in his misery like Howard. Speaking of Howard, he shared another terrific scene with Jimmy as he explains how his firm is going downhill rapidly. It's easy to understand how this effects Jimmy, who has a long history with HHM, but I really like that Jimmy tells Howard to move forward and to stop being so afraid and depressed in a very matter-of-fact way, sacrificing Howard's opinion of him to actually help him out a bit. Lastly, I loved seeing Jimmy learn of Mrs. Strauss' death, as it allowed us to see how Jimmy normally should be grieving, in the way he didn't grieve when Chuck died. But what's more fascinating is why Jimmy is so effected by Mrs. Strauss' death. Mrs. Strauss represents Jimmy's love for elder law as she was his first elderly client, and losing her allows Jimmy to reflect on how his life was when he was a lawyer and momentarily makes him consider doing more law work despite it being against the law. He may have resisted this time, but it's only a matter of time before he gives in, forges a new identity and becomes the most famous "criminal" lawyer around.
Mike's storyline was solid. I enjoyed seeing him preparing the housing quarters for the new team coming in, doing the picky work which he does best. I also liked him reconciling with Stacey and also letting us know that he is done with the group therapy sessions. After all, Mike is like Jimmy and does best to push forward with his life instead of letting his emotions out.
Gus had a tremendous scene in this episode as he lays out a long speech to the comatose Hector. While I do have my problems with Gus (see: The Bad), I thought this scene was extremely well done with stellar acting from Giancarlo Esposito and a chilling atmosphere provided by a combination of strong dialogue, the aforementioned acting and a dark use of colour and atmosphere. As I've said before, I can always count on at least one scene in a "Better Call Saul" episode to be cinematically mesmerizing.
The Bad: It's hard to care about the superlab story sadly. While it is cool to see how everything came to be in "Breaking Bad", the problem is that I have no emotional investment to it. There isn't any real character work happening in the storyline which detracts from its overall importance to the story. I've enjoyed Mike's stories in season 1-3 because his character was the primary focus. Until that happens with this storyline, I can't be bothered to care about what is happening, especially with things involving the German work team.
Gus has been a little bit disappointing this season because he doesn't really have a proper arc. Last season it was enjoyable to see him turn the tables on Hector, but that is done now. Here we get more about Gus' patience and desire for the petty torture he will ultimately inflict upon Hector. This is good stuff, but the problem is that we already know this from "Breaking Bad". If "Better Call Saul" came first, this wouldn't be a problem, but since it didn't, the scene ended up feeling like just a big easter egg. I don't have a problem with easter eggs as I have enjoyed them a lot in this show, but I don't want significant moments to be built for the purpose of easter eggs. I want to see something more from Gus than just his hatred for Hector.
The Unknown: It seems likely that Kai will do something wrong. What will happen? Who will face the consequences?
Jimmy is holding everything in. He has gone through a lot and yet he hasn't spilled anything. What will cause him to break?
Where is Nacho? Is he still healing? It's been two episodes without him. I think it's fair to say that the Gus and Mike story is lesser without him being involved in some way, since his excellent character work and murky future make the story more interesting.
Best Moment: There are many to choose from for different reasons. As memorable as the Gus scene and the ending scene were, I think I'll go with the smaller moment of Jimmy losing everything he has been pushing to obtain. The brief moment of Jimmy suffering while the knives cut loudly int he background was very powerful.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy.
Conclusion: Despite some weaknesses in the Gus/Mike side of the story stemmed by a lack of the relatable Nacho, this episode was another excellent instalment. Jimmy's descent and his relationship with Kim have been getting the screen time they deserve and its made for a pleasurable viewing.
Summary: Jimmy starts his business selling burner phones to criminals. Kim starts doing public defender work and starts slacking on Mesa Verde. An error goes through and Kim isn't available, which angers Paige. Jimmy works overnight and sells a ton of burner phones, but he is mugged by three teenagers. Jimmy is upset and tells Kim what happened. Jimmy runs into Howard at the court and Howard is in rough shape. Mike calls in people to build Gus' superlab until he finds a proper choice.
The Good: This episode didn't have very many important or climactic scenes, yet it was fantastic. It reminded me of "Rebecca" from season 2, where the episode was carried by perfect character development, editing and storytelling, making it a tremendously strong episode.
Jimmy was terrific here and his story was one of the best we have seen him in. I loved his scenes in the store as he set himself up for business and worked hard to ensure that he would be successful. The little traps he set for his first client to ensure that he buys the phone were well thought-out and in character. I was pleased by all of the little schemes that Jimmy invented and they made the scene so much more satisfying to watch. Furthermore, I loved the touch of Jimmy returning to his magic hands gesture which he used back in season to try to get the truck to stop at his store. It was a great little bit of character continuity.
The real meat of Jimmy's story came from the splendid montage of him selling burner phones at night. The scene was so well done and the set-up for it was brilliant. I really liked seeing Jimmy committing fully to his illegal side, and having a hell of a time living the life he really enjoys. The scene was wonderful, well-shot and even included a few familiar "Breaking Bad" locations (the laundry place and the Dog House). I also loved how it escalated in tension, especially with the arrival of the biker gang for Jimmy. You felt that it couldn't possibly end well for him, but Jimmy is so good at his job that it goes off without a hitch. It's not until his guard is down that he takes the fall at the hands of two nonthreatening teenagers, which is another bit of strong storytelling. Jimmy is so used to being respected as Slippin' Jimmy, so he genuinely doesn't expect fellow criminals/hustlers to turn on him and it's that assumption which costs him dearly.
I love the scenes with Kim too. Before his night out, Jimmy initially wanted to spend the night with Kim, but as she was busy he decided to step out. This proves how Jimmy is still in a major conflict with himself, as it seems he is unable to simply relax in his own mind, constantly trying to keep busy to avoid all of his problems, which ties into his overall story arc this season, which I'll get into a bit later. But back to his scenes with Kim, I think the scene after his night out was really powerful. Both characters show genuine concern for each other and it's a great wake-up call for Jimmy who realizes how unhealthy everything he is doing is. It makes him consider actually visiting a shrink and dialing back on his Saul Goodman persona.
But this change in mind is short-lived as a brilliant encounter with Howard changes all of that. Howard is not doing well at all, and the show has done a terrific job of showing how his health has deteriorated as he mourns Chuck and deals with guilt. Seeing the pitiful state Howard is in allows Jimmy to commit to his scheming side, giving him no interest in exploring his feelings and feeling as awful as Howard is right now. His final monologue to the guy at the end is great to show Jimmy setting his mind towards proving himself to the world by forging ahead, the same way he set his mind to please Chuck all those years ago. It's a great story and will hopefully lead to even better things in this season's second half.
Kim's storyline was really good as well. She enjoys her PD work and is clearly having a blast practicing criminal law again. But her dreams are cut short as an error in Viola's work forces her to face Mesa Verde again and try to commit herself to the bank once more. But it remains to be seen how long she can keep herself working, but I don't see her involvement with Mesa Verde to remain much longer.
Mike's storyline was pretty good too. While there wasn't much of an emotional element to the story, it was put together beautifully and fun to watch. The long montage of the French man being escorted to the laundry was good and set up how difficult it would be to get a man to create a superlab. Yet he is rejected due to his cockiness and need to just net a profit. Instead it's the less professional German who is hired due to how thorough he is and how he treats the task as important. It has a good juxtaposition to see the more thorough worker being hired, while Jimmy, the shortcutter, profits in his storyline.
The Bad: Nothing really.
The Unknown: What was in the box that Saul grabbed in the cold open? Also where did he tell Francesa to go?
Best Moment: The best scene in this episode was the cold open. As good as the rest of the episode was, it didn't really have a standout moment overall, but this cold open was just a ton of fun to see. It was an unexpected surprise to see Saul Goodman in a flash-forward and I was ecstatic to see his office again. The scene wasn't only fan-service however as it ended up being a powerful reminder that Jimmy's path will lead him to being completely emotionally detached from everything, which ties in thematically to what this episode explores about Jimmy's character. Furthermore, I loved seeing Saul reminisce a little, telling Francesca to tell whomever she is going to that Jimmy says hello. It was a sad moment with a lot of power hidden underneath it. Of course the humour scenes were fantastic too and I loved his interactions with Francesca, as they felt straight out of "Breaking Bad". Speaking of "Breaking Bad", I love that the scene was shot on film, the same way that "Breaking Bad" was. It's a great touch.
Character of the Episode: Jimmy.
Conclusion: This episode was a fantastic character piece for Jimmy with strong side storylines to aid it even more. The show continues to be slow, but the character work remains unmatched, making it easily one of the best television shows to be watching at the moment.
Summary: Jimmy takes a new job at a cell phone retailer to avoid Kim's request for him to see a shrink. He finds himself bored at his new job. Kim observes a case at court. Mike lashes out at Henry during group therapy, as he learns that Henry has been lying about his grief. Nacho joins the cousins in attacking the Espinosas who Gus has framed for attacking Nacho. The three of them kill everyone. Gus tells Nacho to rest so he goes back to his father's place. Gus calls Mike since he has a job for him.
The Good: Mike's storyline was the strongest here as he seemingly cuts his ties with everyone at the group therapy. I liked seeing him finally crack and accept that he doesn't belong in group therapy just because of who he is. Mike has always been to himself, so it was only a matter of time until he felt alienated by the depressing and open nature of the group therapy. It's just who he is. Stacey starting to get past Matty and Henry's phony stories don't help Mike either and just fuel his anger until he snaps in a scene which was somewhat reminiscent of Jesse's rant in "Problem Dog" though it doesn't quite have the same impact.
Mike has shown desires to live a normal life in season 3, but now that he has it with the Madrigal job and group therapy, he doesn't seem happy. Not only does he snap at group therapy, but his relationship with Stacey worsens and he even mouths off to Gus when they meet at the end of the episode. It seems that he is calling for a life that suits him better, one that helps him deal with the grief of losing his son in the only way that suits him: ignoring the pain inside of him by doing a difficult and dangerous job.
Nacho's story was the other stand-out of this episode. Nacho has been the highlight of this season as his struggle has been the clearest out of any of the other characters (see: The Bad). Nacho is trying to be free of cartel life, but he is unable to escape as he has no friends and only enemies who are forcing him to do their bidding. The shootout in this episode was terrific as it demonstrates how dangerous Nacho's current life is as he fights through his injuries to try to fight with the cousins and accomplish what Gus has asked of him. And his reward for his hard work? He gets to rest for a little bit before he gets his next job. Nacho is the easiest character to sympathize with this season and that makes his storyline the strongest and most enjoyable to watch. I hope that he and his father get to make it out of the show alive, though it's hard to see how that could happen at this point.
Jimmy's story was pretty good again. With his desire to hustle returning again, the only thing preventing him from going full-on Saul Goodman is his relationship with Kim. Jimmy didn't need to find a new job as he hustles to get his money, but he knows that to keep his credibility with Kim he needs to get a job. Unfortunately for him, the job is a total bore. In the end I presume Jimmy may find himself at a crossroads weighing his pros and cons. Should he pursue his desires as Saul Goodman or pursue a life with Kim? One of these will have to be sacrificed, and sadly we know which one Jimmy will choose. This episode provided some good set-up for this storyline in the season.
I liked Kim's story for what it was. In "Lantern" we have learned that Kim always wanted to be a heroic lawyer like Atticus Finch, so logically she is going to try to pursue her desires. Faced with what could be a lifetime of work at Mesa Verde, she now has to discover if that is what she really wants to do.
The Bad: This season's drama hasn't been as clear as previous seasons. Characters react and make decisions based off of reasons we don't totally understand and usually have to speculate about. This is because there are always multiple reasons. While this can be a good storytelling device, and I praised it a few episodes ago, this season is relying too much on it. Jimmy, Mike and Kim's storylines all featured this device in this episode and that is too much. We need more normal storytelling like in Nacho's story for the season to fully engage our emotions.
This season is also being hurt by having too many storylines. This show is already slow paced, but when we have four different storylines in a single episode which all hardly move forward, things get a bit frustrating. I don't have a problem with each of the individual stories, but when they are all cluttered in a single episode like this, it makes for less satisfying viewing. It was fine when there were only two or three storylines in season 2, but four is too many and it is taking away screen time from Jimmy, who we need to see more of this season.
The Unknown: Why was Henry at the group meetings? Was he just really lonely? I presume that Mike won't be going back to the meetings now. What will happen with his relationships with Anita and Stacey?
What is Gus' next job for Nacho? And what is his job for Mike? Could he be asking Mike to kill Nacho? I'm curious to see what Gus' next moves are and how both Mike and Nacho factor into this.
Was Ira's mentioning of getting a new phone for a new job a backstory of Saul's infamous drawer of phones in "Breaking Bad"? That's a nice little detail.
Best Moment: Mike's outburst was the best moment emotionally, but I really enjoyed the sequence of Nacho attacking the compound with the cousins. I appreciate that the show never tried to be bigger than it is as the focus was never on the Salamancas killing everyone, but instead on Nacho trying to help out and survive. The scene was shot beautifully and I loved the Nacho POV coverage of the scene, as it played out almost like reading a book in terms of how we got attached to a single character for an entire sequence. It was classic "Better Call Saul" in terms of directing.
Character of the Episode: Mike.
Conclusion: This episode had great storytelling as expected, but it was the least satisfying episode in a while.
Summary: Victor and Tyrus stage that Arturo and Nacho were attacked by somebody unknown. Nacho is shot multiple times to follow this story. The cousins pick him up and take him to Caldera to save his life. Gus is called by Bolsa who says that they don't want product crossing the border anymore and that Gus should get a supplier. Gus talks to Gale to get him to make product from his end. Mike refuses Jimmy's deal to steal the Hummel, so Jimmy gets Ira to do it for him. Ira almost gets caught so Jimmy has to go bail him out. Kim gives Jimmy Chuck's letter but Jimmy has no real reaction to it, which shocks and hurts Kim.
The Good: This episode was divided into two contrasting halves, the cartel stuff and the main Jimmy/Kim storyline. The contrast was surprisingly effective as somehow the stories had similarly bad things happening to its characters despite the differing stakes. It was handled well, spliced together appropriately and didn't take away from the experience at all for me.
Nacho's story was very well executed but it was extremely risky and ambitious. The entire storyline banked on how much we cared about Nacho and if we didn't care, this would have been dull and unsatisfying. Thankfully, the show has done a terrific job of making us like Nacho, so this worked very well. It was emotionally powerful to see Nacho in such a helpless place with nobody to truly help him. The idea that the cousins are the only ones who are on his side at the moment is very good at establishing how lost Nacho is right now, and it also shows how difficult it is for him to escape the cartel life now. It's sad and effective storytelling.
The opening scene in particular was extremely well done. Everything was so mysterious and confusing and I had no idea what was going on for a long time, but then the pieces finally came together and Nacho was shot, making the moment feel more significant. "Better Call Saul" is the only show on TV right now where I can always count on watching an impressive cinematic feat in every episode, and that helps it feel special.
I also loved seeing Gus manipulate even more. It's great to see all of the set-up that went into the creation of his meth empire in "Breaking Bad", and it also allowed for a tremendously fun cameo from Gale, who was hilariously and impressively singing the elements song.
The Jimmy storyline was also tremendously strong. Jimmy is closer than ever to being Saul Goodman and he continued to show that here. He is so determined to get the money for the Hummel that it is off-putting. There are a lot of people who got in his way to try to get him to stop, but he just callously goes through them to get to his goal anyways, no longer giving a damn about what he had to do. He doesn't even care for Mike's reasoning that somebody needs to deserve what their getting, as Jimmy simply wants to get money without any thought about the person he is robbing. It's a disturbing morality and it's sad to see Jimmy like this, but of course it had to be like this since the beginning of the show. This season so far is feeling more tragic than any of the others before, and it seems like a reality check for us watching, to remind us that this does not have a happy ending. The struggles of Nacho mentioned earlier, as well as Kim's in this episode continue to highlight that feeling.
Additionally on Kim, she is very clearly being set up for a fall and it is heartbreaking to watch. She is trying so hard to work for Mesa Verde and be successful while also trying to take care of Jimmy, who she loves. But both of them are completely destroying her in this episode. Mesa Verde essentially just piled an absolute ton of work on her lap while she is still fresh off of the car accident. She isn't even being thorough anymore, letting her assistant Viola do work which she isn't even bothering to check herself anymore. And then we add on Jimmy being extremely cold and detached and it's really easy to see the pressure mounting on Kim. The final scene is a breaking point for her as all of her emotions come pouring out all of a sudden (see: Best Moment).
I enjoyed the break-in sequence as well as it was very tense. I also loved the cameo of Ira, who was the owner of Vamonos Pest in "Breaking Bad".
I was ready to call the cartel story as somewhat bad because Gus didn't seem to plan it out too well as Nacho could have easily died. But then I realized that Gus didn't care for Nacho's life. If Nacho died, then it wouldn't matter to him since it would be another threat taken out, but if he survived, he could be of further help. Gus clearly didn't value Nacho's life at all considering what Nacho did to Hector.
The Bad: Nothing really. The episode is very depressing which could be grating on the viewers.
The Unknown: What are Kim's feelings on the Mesa Verde expansion? Does she not want to work with them anymore? It appears to be overwhelming for her.
Was Chuck's letter authentic? Could it have been made by Kim to lessen the impact on Jimmy? That could be one of the reasons that she cried. Speaking of which, why did she end up crying? The most fascinating part of this show is how a single character action makes sense but it could have 4 or 5 different reasons for why it happened.
Best Moment: Kim gives Jimmy Chuck's letter and Jimmy just reads it out casually and isn't effected by it at all. All the while Kim notices how broken Jimmy is and she tears up seeing him like this. It's powerful and heartbreaking television with so many layers. An extremely impressive scene.
Character of the Episode: Kim.
Conclusion: This was another great episode with layers and powerful emotions. The show has gotten darker and more depressing, and it is hitting the emotions harder than before.
Summary: Jimmy goes for a sales interview and is immediately hired after he puts on a great performance, but Jimmy is upset by this an refuses the offer. Kim goes to a meeting arranged by Howard regarding Chuck's will and she lashes out at him for offloading his guilt onto Jimmy. Nacho tells his dad that it's over and seeks to get out of the business. The cousins visit Hector in the hospital and Gus sends a proper specialist for him. Lydia talks with Mike about him doing his job. Arturo tries to take six packets of drugs again but is murdered by Gus. Gus tells Nacho that he knows what he did and takes ownership of him.
The Good: Jimmy's story continues to fascinate me as it progresses. What makes it so enthralling is that we don't fully know how he has dealt with Chuck's death and how it has affected him (see: The Unknown), and that makes his actions unpredictable and fun to analyze. Take the sales scene for example. It's hard to understand why exactly Jimmy decided to do what he did and chose to potentially rob the people who hired him, but that is what makes it so fascinating. There are many different possibilities (Jimmy I reminded of his dad, he's still upset about Chuck, he's torn about what kind of person to be, etc.), but it remains unclear where Jimmy's mind is currently at and what his next moves will be.
This pays off spectacularly with Kim's story as Kim's actions are based off of how she interprets Jimmy's actions following Chuck's death. Evidently, Kim believes that Jimmy has been broken by what happened, hence his carefree demeanor continuing on despite such a life-changing event. I initially interpreted her look at Jimmy in the previous episode as one of confusion towards why Jimmy would do something so cold to Howard, but now I see that it was in fact shock for how detached Jimmy has become after everything that happened to him. She believes that Jimmy has been destroyed to the point that he no longer cares and she will stand by him because of this. It should be engaging to see if Kim I accurate in her judgement and if she will face consequences for siding with Jimmy once more. I also really loved how Kim's loyalty for Jimmy led to her viciously attacking Howard at HHM, showing her passion in her beliefs and in Jimmy (see: Best Moment).
The other half of the episode with Nacho was very good too. The ending of course was terrific, but I think the build up to it was very good too. I enjoyed the scene between Nacho and his father. It showed that both characters were unwilling to forget their past, as Nacho wouldn't let the relationship with his father go away and his father truly wanted Nacho to get out of the business. Both characters felt sincere and subtle in their wishes and it was well-executed to the point that it made me want to see Nacho escape from his life, which made the final scene with Gus all the more tragic.
Additionally, the scenes with Hector in the hospital were very good. The cousins made a welcome appearance and instigated a surprisingly funny scene where Arturo and Nacho spoke to Hector, parodying the idea of people speaking to their loved one while they are in a coma. Only this time Arturo and Nacho were talking about how they were ruling the streets in the Salamanca name. I also liked that Gus was keeping tabs on Hector, sending his men into the hospital stealthily to watch over his health.
Of course this takes us to the shocking ending scene. I'll start off by saying how I love the way that "Better Call Saul" and "Breaking Bad" both play off of previous scenes in the series, making them feel richer and more important to the plot. The scene from last season with Arturo and Nacho taking six packages felt like a complete scene and served its purpose back then, but it is deepened a lot here as it ends up paying off with one of the most dramatic scenes that this show has ever done. Arturo tries to take six packages again but he pays the price with his life and Nacho is essentially picked up as Gus' new man. Gus came off as terrifying and threatening in this scene in the same way he was back in "Breaking Bad" and we seem to have witnessed the event that made Gus so cold-blooded as a person, seeing that he was rather tame in the last season and didn't use his power threateningly. The scene was also shot to perfection, particularly the reveal of the shadow before Gus swiftly attacked Arturo.
Lastly, I enjoyed Mike's storyline in this episode. Mike and Lydia both detest each other in "Breaking Bad" and it looks like we are getting some story to flesh out their history. There are already tensions between them presented in this episode and I enjoyed seeing them essentially write each other off. I especially liked seeing Mike scoff at the thought of going to some fancy hotel to meet with Lydia, clearly thinking she is pretentious and overly cautious in bad ways.
The Bad: The final scene had a problem with tension. While it's interesting and exciting to watch, it doesn't have us as engaged as it should because it doesn't hit us with as much tension as it thinks it does. The problem is that we know that Victor and Tyrus survive until "Breaking Bad" and we also know that Nacho won't be dying in this episode because it won't be satisfying. This means only Arturo is in actual danger and that removes majority of the tension from the episode.
The Unknown: What does Chuck say in his letter? Will Kim choose to give it to Jimmy? Or will Jimmy find it himself? How will Jimmy react to Kim withholding information from him?
Why does Jimmy want Mike to steal the figurine? Is it just a way to punish the store owners?
More importantly, what was with Jimmy's interview? Why did he turn so suddenly on the owners? Was it because they reminded him of his father? Or was it because he is still torn on what kind of person to be? Perhaps both? Perhaps something else entirely?
Best Moment: Kim attacking Howard was one of the best scenes in the entire show so far. It was so damn powerful. I love the subtle detail with Kim not even bothering to properly dress up o meet with Howard, subtly foreshadowing that she may not keep her emotions in check. Anyways, Howard trying to cut Jimmy out and offload his guilt has rubbed Kim the wrong way and her rage slowly comes out at Howard as she exposes everything he has done to Jimmy and how selfish it is. Rhea Seehorn kills it in this scene and delivers her best performance yet. But most impressive is Howard, who does a terrific job of adding even more power to this scene. Howard is evidently a good person and he clearly didn't intend for things to be taken this way. When he asks how he can fix things he feels sincere. He has been through a lot and is now trying to do whatever he can to bring things back to normal for himself but he is in over his head. It's easy to sympathize with him throughout the scene despite Kim throwing all of her rage at him. The scene has so many layers of depth, emotion, character, conflict and more to it, making it all the more impressive.
Character of the Episode: Kim.
Conclusion: This was a really solid episode raised up by an outstanding scene between Kim and Howard. It's an easy watch and continues the story in very fulfilling ways.
Summary: In flashbacks, Gene recovers from fainting and takes a taxi ride but is alarmed when the driver keeps looking at him. He gets out of the taxi ahead of time and walks away. In the present, Jimmy learns about Chuck's death and goes into silent grieving. Howard blames himself for Chuck's death and Jimmy goes along with it, coldly dismissing him. Nacho disposes of the pills, but Gus has put a tracker on Nacho's car and Victor sees him do it. Mike infiltrates Madrigal and turns his fake job of security consultant into a real one as he points out the facility's security issues.
The Good: As expected, this episode heavily focuses on the aftermath of Chuck's death and it is very powerful stuff. Jimmy's initial shock reactions are sad and powerful and the scenes with Jimmy and Kim do well to demonstrate Jimmy's grieving process and how shook up h is after losing Chuck. The subdued nature of Jimmy's grieving is terrific and makes a lot more sense than actual tears considering the bad terms the two brothers were on before Chuck died. This leads to ta shocking development at the end though (see: Best Moment) as Jimmy takes some major steps towards becoming Saul Goodman as he coldly brushes past Chuck's death and tries to move on quickly, clearly still bothered by Chuck's final words with him.
As expected, this episode did a fantastic job with the little details. I loved the callback to Chuck sitting on the bench and being afraid of the transformer from "Rico" back in season 1. It fit the story because it's entirely logical for someone in grieving to reminisce over recent memories, and that memory likely sticks with Jimmy since it was one of the last memories that Jimmy had of Chuck before their relationship was destroyed. I also love how Chuck's face and body is never shown in this episode, which is a terrific way of symbolizing Jimmy's lack of closure as well as his alienation from Chuck which explains his bizarre reaction at the end of the episode. Lastly, I loved that they played the Sicilienne song during Chuck's funeral, which was the same song that Chuck played on his piano back in "Cobbler".
The other storylines were also very well done. Mike's storyline as really fun to follow and I'm very thankful for that as it keeps the episode from becoming overly depressing. I enjoyed seeing Mike do what he does best as he monitors Madrigal's security and tells them how to improve it. The entire sequence of him exploring the facility was really well done and enjoyable to watch. The most fascinating part is that we have no idea what he is planning to do and we come up with all of these possible explanations in our head until the show reveals to us that Mike is only doing his job. It's a funny twist and fits Mike's character as well as he seems to be lacking a purpose without a job.
Nacho's story was very good too and he appears to have gotten himself in deep trouble. The scenes were incredibly tense as Nacho is essentially surrounded and watched by enemies at all times. We want him to get out and be free, but as expected Nacho isn't careful enough when disposing the pills and Victor takes notice, essentially putting a target on Nacho's head. While this episode didn't accomplish a whole ton, it does let us know that Nacho is in huge danger and his story will be very exciting to watch this season.
Gene's scene this season was great at always. There was so much tension seeing Gene go about his life as so many moments teased him being found out, like the moment with the secretary and the taxi driver. The show has done such a good job of demonstrating how paranoid Gene has become because he is so afraid to face the consequences. But he is already facing the consequences and is living in a prison of his own paranoia. The Gene story is building up really well and I'm excited to spend more time with him.
The Bad: The opening shot of Jimmy and Kim with the fire burning was a bit too cheesy for my liking.
The Unknown: Did the taxi driver recognize Gene or was it just Gene's paranoia?
What will Gus do to Nacho now that he likely knows that he was involved with Hector's stroke?
What has happened to Jimmy? He went full Saul Goodman in that final scene, is it just him repressing Chuck or has he taken Chuck's words about not being remorseful anymore to heart?
Best Moment: Howard comes to confess the truth to Kim and Jimmy and Patrick Fabian delivers his best scene yet. Howard's guilt is powerful and it earns our sympathy as we can understand that Howard respects Chuck and treats him like a friend, so to see him feel responsible for his death hurts. But the scene takes a dark turn as Jimmy coldly replies "that's your cross to bear", showing no empathy and earning shocked looks from Kim and Howard. Then, Jimmy goes about his business, feeding his fish and making coffee, just like the opening sequence of the episode, showing that he has moved on. They even added in a whistle, mirroring the scene in "Breaking Bad" where Walt was whistling, showing to Jesse that he really wasn't bothered by Drew Sharpe's death. This was just terrific and powerful storytelling and it gives us a crucial hint as to why Jimmy will become Saul in the future.
Character of the Episode: Howard.
Conclusion: This was the usual slow paced opener, but the storytelling was still terrific and there was a lot of emotion in seeing the reactions to Chuck's death. While this won't be remembered as one of the best episodes, this was a strong start to season four.
Just a university student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.