better call saul Namaste review

This week on Better Call Saul:

  • Jimmy goes bowling!
  • Kim has a plan!
  • Mike takes a trip!
  • Gus has a problem with his fryer!

Kim

Kim Wexler has a plan. She always does. Her latest plan involves trying to set things right regarding the Mesa Verde situation with Mr. Acker. Kim’s wealthy clients at Mesa Verde are ready to have the law haul Acker out of his house so they can claim his land, but none of this sits right with Kim. She’s a fighter for justice, and even though Mesa Verda is well within the law to give Acker the boot, none of it sits right with Kim.

Her solution: A well-thought-out sensible alternative proposal to Mesa Verde that involves abandoning Acker’s land and letting him stay. Kim makes several good points about how this would be in Mesa Verde’s best interests – but it doesn’t work. They want to move forward and tear down Acker’s house. And Kim is now at a crossroads.

So much of Better Call Saul has been devoted to Kim trying to stay on the straight and narrow even while Jimmy grows more and more crooked. She knows Jimmy doesn’t play by the rules, but she loves him anyway – and is willing to tolerate his unorthodox ways as long as he stays out of her on-the-level approach to the law. But we’ve also seen time and time again that Kim gets a thrill out of going against the grain. She has a bit of a con artist inside her, and she’s employed it more than once.

But she wants to stay clean now. That’s not a problem for Jimmy McGill, aka Saul Goodman. And that’s where Kim’s new plan comes in. She wants Jimmy to represent Acker and help defend him against Mesa Verde. And sure enough, Jimmy does just that, managing to woo the crusty Acker to be his client by providing “visual aids” – a photo of a man fucking a horse.  “Picture me as the man, and Mesa Verde as the horse,” Jimmy tells Acker. It works. And Kim has triumphed…for now.

Jimmy

Jimmy’s trip out to Mr. Acker’s is a success, but things aren’t entirely great for the man now known as Saul Goodman. He has to haggle with clients to get paid – his latest pair are the destructive meth heads who got up to so much mischief in the “50% Off” episode. He also finds himself inexplicably being wooed by Howard, who takes him out to lunch and offers him a job.

“Tell me about Saul Goodman…if he’s not Jimmy McGill, who is he? What’s he about?” Howard asks.

“Saul Goodman is the last line of defense for the little guy,” Jimmy says. “He’s a righter of wrongs, he’s friend to the friendless.”

“Couldn’t Jimmy McGill do all that?” Howard asks.

“Maybe he could,” says Jimmy. “But Saul Goodman is.”

Despite the generous offer, Jimmy wants nothing to do with Howard, or HHM. And it’s not because of the ghost of Chuck. It’s because the Jimmy McGill who wanted to work at HHM no longer practices law. He’s been replaced by Saul Goodman, “righter of wrongs” – aka a guy who doesn’t give a shit about the law anymore.

And so, after Howard’s offer, Jimmy does what any person recently offered a huge job would do: He buys some bowling balls from a junk shop, creeps off to Howard’s place at night, and throws the balls at Howard’s car.

Gus

While Jimmy and Kim are both able to take matters into their own hand this week – Jimmy turns down a job he would’ve killed for years ago, Kim refuse to take no for an answer from Mesa Verde – Gus is in a much different situation. The meth dealer and fast food chicken joint owner has to sit back and let a hefty some of money – over $700K – get scooped up by the DEA. As Gus sits in his darkened office at Los Pollos Hermanos, Hank and Gomez are out rounding up much of Gus’s cash. And there’s nothing he can do about it. He has to let the money go, or else Lalo will know he’s on to him.

So how does Gus, a man who clearly likes control, handle this entire situation? He takes control elsewhere, forcing his poor assistant manager Lyle to scrub a fryer clean again, and again, and again. It’s clear the fryer is in tip-top condition, but Gus derives a sadistic – but quiet – glee in being able to force Lyle to do his bidding. Gus may not be able to take control of the DEA situation, but he can take control of his hapless co-worker as a consolation prize.

Mike

Mike’s downward spiral continues – and takes him somewhere very unexpected.

Sobered-up, he attempts to set things right with his granddaughter Kaylee after having snapped at her for bringing up her dead father, Mike’s son, Matty. But Kaylee’s mother, Stacey, is uncomfortable with Mike spending more time with Kaylee for the time being. Enraged, Mike stalks off. And by nightfall, he ends up back on that same street where he was attacked by a group of young goons. That attack ended with Mike getting the upper-hand, and breaking the bones of some of his attackers in the process.

This time, when Mike runs into the same tough crowd, things don’t go so well. He’s overpowered – and stabbed. Only to then wake up…somewhere else. He’s in an adobe located in the middle of nowhere, seemingly alone. How did he get here? And just where is here?

Sidebar

  • “Public urination…?” “Hold it too long, you get kidney stoned.”
  • “Two sweetest words in the English language: mis trial.”
  • I feel really bad for Howard. Give him a break!
  • Also: I feel really bad for Lyle. Give him a break, too!
  • Kim sweeping up the broken glass after Jimmy shrugs it off and suggests letting someone else take care of it is the perfect illustration of the difference between Kim Wexler and Jimmy McGill.
  • I could listen to Hank and Gomez talk about culverts all damn day, let me tell ya.

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