TV Recap: Better Call Saul – Ding Ding Ding …

Better Call Saul
“Wiedersehen” (Episode 409)
October 1, 2018

After pulling off a brilliant scheme to keep Huell out of jail, last week’s Better Call Saul ended with Kim wanting to continue the rush of the scam.  Nacho met a new Salamanca named Lalo and Mike had some German problems.

Tonight, all of that continues. But, if you need to know more, catch up with my full recap and review, here!

Now, on to tonight’s episode … after the jump (BEWARE OF SPOILERS)!

Remember when Kim said last week she wanted to do it [run a scam] again with Jimmy? We open tonight with the Dynamic Duo back at it, this time hustling their way in the City of Lubbock Building Commission Clerk’s Office.

Here’s the set up: Kim is a super stressed lawyer for Mesa Verde who has traveled to Lubbock to confirm that the plans submitted for the new Mesa Verde branch were in fact the correct plans. Kim, who is on crutches for a bad sprain, explains that there were a lot of last minute revisions and different versions of plans and, well, long story short, before she gets into it with her bosses, she wants to see if there is an actual issue.  Kim and Shirley, the very helpful clerk, go through the plans measurement by measurement and Kim quickly determines that the plans are the same. Whew.

Here comes Jimmy, er, “Phil”, dressed in his best Jimmy Buffet t-shirt, carrying a diaper bag and asking Kim if the milk he has is still good. See, this version of Kim has an 8 month old, Aidan, which she is raising alone. Well, not quite alone, she has her brother, “Phil,” who is helping her out while she’s mobility challenged.  “Phil, where is Aidan?!?” Kim races out to the Wrangler where “Phil” has left the baby and we see milk, which was left on the counter, begin to run over the filed Mesa Verde plans.

Kim comes back into the office to pick up the stuff she left and learns from Shirley that milk has ruined the filed plans.  Kim goes into meltdown mode as she’ll never be able to explain this to her bosses but Shirley is there to help. She tells Kim to just hand over her copy of the plans, they are the same after all, and Shirley will swap them out.  Wink Wink.  Kim asks if she is sure as this very against the rules and Shirley tells her that moms have to stick together. We see Kim switch out the Mesa Verde plans with a set different than the one she checked earlier and Shirley happily begins stamping the plans …

“Let’s make this official.”

Title Sequence.

Nacho and Lalo show up at Hector Salamanca’s old folks rehab center. Lalo kisses his uncle’s butt for a bit while Nacho stands off to the side, awkwardly. Lalo regales Uncle Hector with a story of a fire they set against an enemy and Lalo presents his uncle with a present from that fire. A bell he rescued. He hands Hector the bell and Salamanca begins to ding it incessantly. This Bell is maybe one of the things people associate most with Hector Salamanca from his Breaking Bad days so it’s amazing to see its origin story here.  Having been dismissed to find Jell-O, Nacho watches the conversation between Lalo and Hector from a far, with a Ding coming every few seconds. As Lalo and Nacho leave, Lalo laughs to himself about how Hector is always looking to have guys killed. Yeah, that Hector Salamanca is a real funny guy.  Nacho clearly understands that, with Lalo’s arrival, his position in the family has been diminished if not all together removed.

Mark Margolis as Don Hector Salamanca – Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Diner. Jimmy and Kim are celebrating their successful swindle and Jimmy reminds Kim that his reinstatement hearing is tomorrow. Looking ahead, he tells her that the drop phone business has been good for developing future legal business. Seizing the moment, he presses on Kim that there is a whole business line in providing the “Huell Babineaux treatment” but Kim says that she wants to use their powers for “good.” Jimmy reminds her that they just traveled to Lubbock to get Mesa Verde a bigger building – how is that “using our powers for good”? But he drops the subject all the same. They hold hands.

SuperLab Construction Site. Kai (ugh, that guy is still here) sets a charge and Werner checks his work.  He gives the okay and we are getting ready to finally blast that chunk of rock we’ve heard about in two episodes already.  Interestingly, the word “Wiedersehen” is spray painted across the rock. This means “meet again” in German.  Outside, Tyrus shows up in a big rig dump truck and Mike tells him to stand by.  The Germans tell Mike there is an issue.  A faulty light on the demolition board won’t light up so Werner has to go check the connection on one of the three charges.

Werner follows the questionable charge line all the way down to the blast site but, before checking the actual charge in the hole, collapses with some sort of panic attack. He admonishes himself to get it together and is able to fix the spliced line which isn’t connected. Coming back to the demo board, he says its fixed and Kai confirms this when all lights flash green.  Mike goes Tyrus the go ahead and they coordinate the timing if the blast to the same moment that Tyrus drives over the a vent cover with his big truck.  All has gone well and the Germans celebrate.  But not Mike. Because he noticed that Werner was flexing his hands in a manner most peculiar right before the bang.  Something is wrong with Werner and Mike is worried about whatever it is.  Commercials.

We come back to the Germans celebrating in the Residence and Mike notices that Werner is still not right.  He follows him off to the side and presses him on what the issue is.  Mike needs to know.  Werner hems and haws but then says that he misses his wife – married 26 years, he’s never been away this long. He asks to fly to Germany for a long weekend; they could leave Kai in charge with detailed instructions.  Mike appreciates his issue and tells him the solution is not a weekend trip to Germany but rather, buckle down, and finish the goddamn work.  As a concession, he offers to give Werner an extra phone call home.  Werner thanks him.

“You hang in there.”

Los Pollos Hermanos. Lyle comes back to Fring’s office to let him know one half of some trouble makers he recognizes from “last year” are back.  The not scary one.  Upfront, Gustavo sees Nacho sitting with Lalo, who enthusiastically compliments Gus on his excellent chicken.  Nacho looks like he wants to be anywhere else but here. Lalo asks to meet the owner and Fring tells him that that is him.  Lalo wants to asks about “franchising” and Gus invites him back to his office to discuss in private.  Nacho remains at the table.

Back in Fring’s office, Lalo introduces himself as a Salamanca and, on behalf of the entire family, proceeds to thank Gustavo for saving Hector’s life.  Fring demurs that it was nothing more than instinct that made him act. In Spanish, Lalo asks Gus if he thinks Don Eladio likes to encourage the bad blood between Fring and the Salamancas. Imagine if Fring and Salamanca got along even better, he dot dot dots.  Gus objects to the phrasing of “bad blood” and tells Lalo that he’s happy with the current arrangement. Sure sure, Lalo says backing off. he tells Fring he’d be crazy to go against Eladio in any case.  With that conversation done, Lalo takes his leave.  Not before, however, telling Gustavo that the Salamancas owe him a favor so, whatever he needs, give Lalo a shout.

In the parking lot, Lalo asks about the 6 kilos Nacho picks up a week and where he picks it up. Nacho explains it’s at a chicken farm way out of town and Lalo happily tells Nacho to show him. And off they go (complete with Lalo throwing his soda cup out the window … which is such a nice detail to show his true lack of respect for Gus). Commercials.

We return and Jimmy is all spiffed up for his meeting. He braces himself in the hallway and then its go time.  This is Jimmy’s bread and butter, selling himself with oodles of charm.  He talks about the letters of commendation from the PPD supervisor as well as his CC Mobile Manager (he made Silver Circle three months in a row!).  Jimmy coyly says that the cell phone business has given him a new outlook on client relations.  Wink Wink!

They move to questions of whether Jimmy has kept up on changes in the law and Jimmy seizes on this going off about a recent Supreme Court case.  That box gets checked well. How about the reasons for his original disbarment?

“I’m humbled by the sheer stupidity of my actions. Remorse doesn’t begin to cover it.  I’m not going to make excuses because there’s no excuse for what I did.”

He promises the board that “nothing like that, will ever happen again” which is an interesting choice of phrasing.  “like that.” Hmmm

The board finds his answer satisfactory. Last question, what does the law mean to you?  Jimmy chokes up a bit and goes into a story about how his diploma says University of American Samoa which is a metaphor for how hard Jimmy had to work to get through, and stay with, the law.  It wasn’t until he became a lawyer and began working with and for clients that he realized how important it is to him. How it’s the best thing he’s ever done.

“And this past year, I’ve missed the Hell out of it.”

No one and I mean NO ONE, does sincere like Jimmy McGill!

Last, last question, is there anyone that he’d like to credit for his views.  He says all credit to UAS, “Go land crabs,” but I feel like they were looking for,”my dear, dead brother Chuck.” In any case, they end the meeting and tell Jimmy he’ll receive their decision in the mail.  Jimmy deflates a bit, he thought he was finding out today but recovers and thanks them all as he takes his leave.   Jimmy realizes something happened just there at the end and sits in the hallway until someone comes out.  Eventually, the stenographer emerges and her looks tells him that it didn’t go his way. He chases down one of the questioners and demands to know why they’re denying him. “I did everything he right,” he pleads. The examiner looks like he’d rather be eating glass than having this confrontation but finally says that “it was a question of sincerity.” Some members of the committee found Jimmy insincere (guess I was wrong up top, huh?) and the examiner tells him he can apply again next year.  Jimmy throws his briefcase against the wall.

SuperLab Residence. Mike checks in with the security guys in the trailer and he gets an update. The Germans are playing volleyball (Kai cheats) and Werner has been on the phone with his wife for an hour and a half – nothing of note.  Mike says he’s going to check the perimeter.

In the residence, Werner hangs up with his wife with a wistful look on his face.  He mopes back to the trailer and before heading inside, looks around taking note of the security cameras.  Sad music is playing over the sound track.

Kim’s Office.  She’s on a Mesa Verde conference call but mutes herself to take a call from Jimmy. Her face falls as he, presumably, tells her the news.  Next we see, Jimmy’s car is racing out of a parking garage; he’s going to meet Kim who is waiting outside her office, waiting and smoking.

“Insincere. INSINCERE. A Goddamn year. What am I supposed to do for a whole year? Guarantee I’m not selling cell phones for a fucking year. I’ll tell you that.”

Kim is trying to get Jimmy to calm down but he’s all lit up. Can’t prove sincere to an appeals board.  He finally hears her words and calms down and tells her the story. He talks about how he nailed the questions, how he knew his shit but didn’t seem like an egomaniac. He talks about nailing the “what does the law mean to you” questions. Kim is confused, there has to be more to the story. What did they say when you talked about Chuck, she asks?!?

?!?!

You didn’t mention Chuck, she asks? “Why would I,” he responds.  She tells him that they will appeal and work on making him look sincere. I was sincere, he swears, corny but he meant every word.  He tells her that she doesn’t believe him. She starts to deny but only half-heartedly. He goes on that Kim only sees him as “Slipping Jimmy,” the lawyer guilty people hire.

“You wanna know why the committee called you insincere? Because you didn’t mention Chuck.”

Jimmy is still confused why she keeps mentioning Chuck and she responds that the committee read the transcripts of his disbarment hearing, they know what happened and they were waiting for him to say something about his brother. The fuck, Jimmy basically says. He doesn’t think about Chuck and he doesn’t miss Chuck.  To mention him would be insincere, he says.

Kim gives a face and Jimmy points it out, “and that’s why we don’t have an office” he accuses her. She tells him to stop talking about the stupid office. The fact is, she’s always been on Jimmy’s side, backing him and cleaning up his messes.

“I have a job and I drop everything. For you.”

Jimmy calls her on wanting to roll around in the mud with Slipping Jimmy when she’s bored but otherwise, she’s too good for the likes of him. And she comes back that he is the child who mind fucks with her boss about ski retreats. She tells Jimmy that maybe the next time he calls, she won’t come. He tells her that’s some way to kick a man when he’s down.

“Jimmy, you are always down.”

She huffs at his stupidity and walks away.  Commercials.

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill – Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

That night, Kim sits alone in the apartment, waiting for Jimmy. He comes in but heads right to the bedroom without speaking.  He pulls some clothes on to the bed and begins to pack a box with books. She comes in and stares at him.

“I messed it all up.”

These two do silent so well, that when Jimmy finally speaks these words, they have so much more extra weight.  She asks Jimmy if he still wants to be a lawyer. He says yes and she tells him, “we can start with that.”

Next day, Mike comes out to the construction site and checks in with the security trailer. He brings coffee which makes him the best boss ever.  Mike gets the overnight report, which includes Kai being up for a while and then Werner being up for a while.

Mike notices that the camera focused on the trailer, Camera 6, has some dead pixels and that it wasn’t like that yesterday.  Security Guy tells him there was a voltage spike and the camera flared about 20 seconds but then came back on. Must have happened then. “A voltage spike,” Mike asks with disbelief in his voice.  Camera 10 also spiked. Camera 10 also has the dead pixels. He asks to see the outside cameras.  They also have some dead pixels. Mike’s red alert light is flashing and he springs into action.

Down in the residence, Mike has his guy turn on all the lights as he heads into the trailer.  In Werner’s bedroom, Mike finds a letter and what looks like a schematic.  As the German workers pour out of their trailer, Mike sends his guy to check out the area covered by Camera 10.  He finds a broken lock and a jimmied door.  The door leads to a ladder. The ladder leads to the rood. The rood leads to freedom for Werner.  Mike’s security guy stares down at Mike who is outside on the ground.  Werner is gone baby, gone. On the ground, Mike finds a laser pointer that when focused at a security camera, causes a flare and the dead pixels.  As Mike shines the laser into the nearest security camera, we hear the sizzle of the pixel and the episode ends.

Thoughts. Oh Michael, Michael, Michael. You should never have vouched for Werner last week – I TOLD you that was a mistake.  Ugh. Fring is not going to be happy with this, at all. Though, it does look like Werner left instructions like he originally proposed to Mike when he asked for a weekend away.  That was nice of him.  Of course, Fring will hunt Werner down and have him killed so, I hope it was worth it.

Jimmy and Kim. It looked like tonight was the end but then, that last scene in the apartment … what is Kim thinking? How does she think she can rehabilitate Jimmy at this point?!? To be fair, Jimmy is a pretty disreputable attorney but he was spot on about Kim enjoying her hi jinks with Jimmy when she’s bored or listless.  We saw that at the end of last week’s episode which carried over into the cold open tonight.  Kim likes having Jimmy round for relief from her stressful adulting version of being a lawyer.  I do believe these two honestly and sincerely love each other.

And last, poor Nacho. With that meeting between Lalo and Hector and then Fring and Lalo, his days become numbered I fear. Unless, UNLESS, Gustavo takes action to take Lalo out. His enthusiasm comes off more than vaguely threatening and Fring may very well enjoy continuing to deal with Nacho who is a devil he knows (and controls).  We’ll see. Until next week!!

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