Get caught up and read each of our Better Call Saul episode recaps.
Last week on Better Call Saul, Gale made his first appearance in the Better Call Saul storyline as Gus told him he was meant for better things than meth manufacturing. Oh, how people change!
While last week we got Mike’s stoic “It’s not for me. I don’t think it should be for you, either” line as he refused Jimmy’s offer to steal a Bavarian figurine, that was all we saw of him. But this week was Mike-heavy. This show could be called Better Call Mike because it’s just as much about him as it is about Jimmy turning into Saul.
In the teaser, we see a young boy (I always get worried since we know the writers won’t hesitate to kill off a child) as he watches his father pour cement. Eventually, we learn it’s a flashback of Mike and his young son Matty, who has since passed away. Then we cut to Mike speaking to the grief support group as he says “You asked me to talk, so I talked.”
This ties into the very end of the show after Mike has been suspicious of a guy named Henry who he thinks is lying about having a wife who died. His love interest/friend Anita isn’t sure she believes Mike, so they make a bet to see if Henry changes his story at the next grief support group. Anita tells Mike “You have a very suspicious nature.”
That one line could be a thesis of this particular episode. Mike, Gus and Jimmy all pretend to be normal, everyday guys and they’re great at it. Even when Hank starts to suspect Gus might be a drug dealer later in Breaking Bad, no one in the DEA believes him. In this episode, Jimmy easily lies to Kim as he has done many times and she believes him. And no one suspects Mike is this underground badass “fixer” who runs with criminals. But Anita sees something. And she calls him out on it.
Mike follows protocol so closely he tells the guy at Madrigal the freezer should be 35 degrees not 38. The straps are too worn down. Nothing is up to standard in his eyes. And then Henry lying about his wife dying at the grief support group (which is never verified) bothers Mike so much he can’t stand it? Now who’s the pot calling the kettle black - which is something Mike would probably say. He likes the solid, old-fashioned idioms.
Part of his issue with Henry is that even though Mike says he’s going to the group to support his daughter-in-law, we can assume he is also going for himself but can’t admit that. The way the show sets it up, it seems as if the teaser flashback of Matty and Mike was what Mike was thinking about in the support group as his daughter-in-law spoke about her grief. Instead of crying or talking about his feelings, he chooses to tell Henry off, and then says “You asked me to talk so I talked” tying the very beginning of the show to the end.
This was a deep episode for Mike. The other big moment for him was when he stood up to Gus. Has anyone else stood up to Gus like that except for Walter White? The difference is that Mike is loyal and trustworthy, even if he’s living a secret gangster lifestyle. He stays the course and says what he means. Gus is taken aback by Mike’s intelligence and straightforward demeanor and we know Mike becomes Gus’ right-hand man. This makes what happens in Breaking Bad even more poignant. You’d think Mike would be relieved that Walt killed Gus but he’s pretty upset, as far as Mike and his emotions go. “Just because you killed Jesse James, doesn’t make you Jesse James” he tells Walt.
Jimmy and the burner phones
He refuses but then takes a job working in a cell phone store, CC Mobile, with the show’s staple colors appearing in the letters: blue, green and yellow (blue=meth, green=money, yellow is his signature color).
The store is filled with green and he has to wear a green jacket. Does this job explain all the burner phones he always has in his desk in Breaking Bad?
The store is dead. We never see a single customer. He even has a Steve McQueen moment from The Great Escape as he throws a ball against the wall. Jimmy meets with the guy who stole the Bavarian figurine and gets his share of the money (which is way more than he thought), and the guy says “New job, new phone. You never know who’s listening.” Jimmy goes back to the store and paints (with yellow and a little bit of red) “Is the man listening? Privacy sold here.” This is directed at a certain kind of clientele, the kind he will be serving in Breaking Bad as Saul. It also looked like he might have been painting Saul Goodman, but it was just a tease.
Kim is going to the courthouse to watch cases. Is she going, as the judge put it, to “rediscover her love of law” or simply to learn more?
Will Nacho recover from these wounds? Can he recover without going to the hospital? And the Salamanca twins taking down the (wrong) drug dealers after being set-up by Gus with the help of Nacho? They bring the only action in this show, like terminators who cross the border from Mexico whenever there’s a problem. Co-creator Peter Gould said they consistently break one of the ‘lazy’ tv writing rules, in that every scene must raise the stakes as much as possible to amp up the drama.
What did you think of this week’s episode? How soon will Jimmy become Saul Goodman? What is Kim’s end goal? What did you think of the colors?