Tonight’s Better Call Saul found Jimmy running into a wealth of cash which he used to play hardball against Hamlin Hamlin & McGill before pulling off his biggest stunt to date.
The show opened with its second flashback in as many weeks. This time Jimmy is out on the town causing the trouble that landed him in jail. He and his friend have been tricking people into buying fake watches – a scam that earns them just enough money to buy beer. (Jimmy’s partner looked just like Huell in Breaking Bad when he was laying on the ground “drunk,” didn’t he?)
Notably, Jimmy mentions the name “Saul Goodman” for the first time in the series during this flashback. It was interesting because it revealed he’s had this name in his back pocket for a much longer time than we thought.
In present day, the Kettlemens are begging Jimmy to not tell anyone about their whereabouts after he discovered them hiding a few miles behind their backyard. Jimmy suggests they give the money back to its rightful owner, but they refuse and compare their situation to the legality of slavery (“Yeah, this is right up there with that,” Jimmy advises).
So what can they do? The Kettlemens offer Jimmy a wad of the cash, but he says he can’t accept because it’s a bribe. When he suggests he take it as payment to be their lawyer, the Kettlemens (particularly the wife) say no. “You’re the kind of lawyer guilty people hire,” Betsy tells him before handing him the cash and essentially admitting to the truth about their situation.
The next morning at the court house Jimmy offers Mike his thanks for helping track down the Kettlemens, but the old man’s not so eager to accept praise or engage in conversation. Inside, Jimmy picks up Nacho, who’s now a free man, and taunts the officers who were wrong about the Kettlemens’ whereabouts.
So things are cool between Jimmy and Nacho, right? Not so much. Nacho thinks that Jimmy ratted him out, but the latter rightly points out that Nacho’s visit to the Kettlemens’ home was sloppy. That’s all we see of Nacho this week.
Who needs a bad guy like Nacho?! In his office Jimmy begins counting up the cash the Kettlemens paid him, and it amounts to a hefty $30,000. Now that he’s loaded, Jimmy begins building his church. His first order of business is to no longer look like a lawyer who guilty people hire, so he buys the most expensive clothes he can, whitens his teeth as much as possible, and restyles his hair.
It turns out the makeover wasn’t just so people could take him more seriously. He’s also placed a new billboard for his personal law firm off an Albuquerque freeway which makes Jimmy and his business look suspiciously like Howard and his prestigious firm.
Hamlin Hamlin & McGill quickly find out about the billboard. Kim unsuccessfully tries to ask Jimmy to take it down, so Jimmy and Howard fight it out with a judge who decides in the latter’s favor. Funnily enough, Jimmy and Howard are wearing the same exact outfit in front of the judge. Surely that didn’t help Jimmy’s case!
Not willing to back down, Jimmy decides to get the public on his side by hatching a Slippin’ Jimmy plan. He hires a couple kids to film him in front of the billboard as it’s being taken down while he discusses how this is unfair to the little man. As they’re filming, the worker taking down the billboard falls and dangles high in the air. Jimmy springs into action, climbing up the billboard and pulling the man to safety. Any doubts over Jimmy planning this were wiped away when he gave the billboard man a subtle high five.
The plan was brilliant because news outlets all over Albuquerque decide to write up the “heroic” story. The people of New Mexico are taken by Jimmy: Seven messages are waiting for him when he checks his voicemail the next afternoon.
Jimmy goes to Chuck’s house to relay the good news about his influx of work, but he doesn’t share the stunt he pulled. Jimmy only tells his brother that many potential clients have come knocking now that he’s showing his face around town.
Chuck’s proud, but he has one problem: Where’s today’s copy of the local paper that Jimmy was supposed to bring inside? Chuck realizes something is up when he looks out the window and notices the paper on neighboring driveways. Curiosity gets the better of him, so he puts on his space suit and steps outside to grab the paper from a neighbor’s driveway across the street.
Chuck’s mind starts going crazy as soon as he steps in sight of electricity. It’s a funny (yet sad) scene because the neighbor whose house he takes the paper from is watching from her window in shock. Chuck too enters shock when he sees his brother on the front page of the Albuquerque Journal for a story he definitely doesn’t like.
What did you think of ‘Better Call Saul’ episode 4?
Jimmy probably didn’t fill Chuck in on the stunt because of what’s been going on in the flashbacks. Chuck warned him many years ago to stop being a criminal, and Jimmy promised he would. Now Jimmy is up to his scheming ways again, and Chuck won’t be happy.
Jimmy may try to convince his brother that the story is completely legitimate, but Chuck will surely see through his lies. Their inevitable fight will be fun to watch on next week’s Saul.