Better Call Saul The Guy For This Review

This week’s Better Call Saul, “The Guy For This”, has nearly all the characters at rock-bottom, or at least as close to it as they’ve ever been. Jimmy takes a giant leap towards his inevitable criminal lifestyle; Kim’s pro bono work isn’t enough to assuage her guilt; Nacho is caught between two warring drug lords; and Mike crawls even further into the bottle.

Mike

Before we get to the meat of the episode, let’s check in with Mike, shall we? He’s continuing his downward spiral, drinking himself into a stupor at a bar. This is followed by a leisurely, drunken stroll home – at which point he’s accosted by a group of youths, one of whom demands 20 bucks from the old man. Mike’s reply? “I got a lot more than 20 bucks, asshole.”

A confrontation ensues, by which I mean Mike easily overpowers this young man and violently breaks his damn arm. Ouch.

Nacho

Nacho has his own somber experience this week. His father comes by Nacho’s huge, kind of depressing house, and reveals that someone put an offer in to buy his shop – an offer worth much more than the building and the land. Nacho thinks his old man should take the deal, but dear old dad thinks this is all a set. He’s convinced the deal is really coming from Nacho, and that his son is once again trying to buy him off with dirty money – and he’s not having it.

After Gus flat-out threatened to murder Nacho’s dad, you can understand why Nacho might suddenly want to try to get the guy out of town again. But it’s clearly not working.

Jimmy

It’s inevitable that Jimmy get closer and closer to full-blown crime this season, and sure enough, “The Guy For This” starts off with a very sweaty, nervous Jimmy being brought by Nacho to see Lalo. Nacho and Lalo want Jimmy to turn on the Saul Goodman charm to help the recently incarcerated Krazy-8 – but they don’t want him to do something as simple as getting the drug dealer sprung from the joint. Instead, they have an entire script penned out – a little play that they want Jimmy and Krazy-8 to enact for the feds – or, in this case, the DEA.

Enter our old pals Hank Schrader and Steve “Gomie” Gomez, together again, blissfully unaware that someday they’re both going to end up murdered and buried in the desert (spoiler alert?). Hank and Gomie are dubious about dealing with “Saul Goodman”, but Jimmy – and Krazy-8 – are both able to sell them on the idea: Krazy-8 will give up the location of several dead-drops containing money, and in exchange, the DEA will make the charges against him go away – and make him a Criminal Informant, to boot.

The dead drops belong to Gus, and this is all part of Lalo’s plan to ruin Gus in the eyes of the cartel. And now Jimmy (and the DEA) are both inadvertently involved. Jimmy really doesn’t want to get mixed up in this, even if it’s paying him nicely. And he tells Nacho as much. But as Nacho says, it doesn’t matter what Jimmy wants. “When you’re in,” Nachi says, “you’re in.”

Kim

This is ultimately a Kim episode, which is always a welcome thing. The episodes so far have kept Kim mostly with Jimmy, but she gets to branch out on her own this week – and deal with things she’d rather ignore. Kim, in her never-ending quest to prove to herself that she’s not as crooked as Jimmy, thrives on her pro bono work. But pro bono doesn’t pay the bills, and sure enough, she’s forced to head out to Tucumcari to handle some Mesa Verde business.

An old, crusty, cranky man named Mr. Acker is refusing to leave his house so Mesa Verde can tear it down and develop on top of it. Morally, Acker may be in the right. But legally, he doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Because he’s never owned the land his house was built on – and now Mesa Verde does. Kim tries very hard to reason with the man, but he – understandably – doesn’t want to hear it. Things get so intense that Kim snaps, angrily telling Acker that he doesn’t get to make up his own rules and bend the law. It’s a conversation you can’t help but imagine her wanting to have with Jimmy as well.

But Kim, being Kim, is overcome with guilt, and eventually heads back to Acker’s house late at night – with several house options for him to pick from. She even goes so far as to offer to help him movie – and pay for it all. But again, Acker isn’t moved. This leads to an impassioned speech where Kim talks about never having a home of her own – of always being forced to move from one place to the next by her broke mother. It sounds 100% honest – but not to Acker. “You’ll say anything to get what you want,” he says before shutting the door on her.

Defeated once again, there’s nothing Kim can do but return home to Jimmy – and start smashing some beer bottles.

Sidebar

  • As someone who is pretty much afraid or grossed-out by all insects, I did not appreciate the nearly 2-minute scene featuring extreme ant close-ups and loud ant chewing sounds. Not one bit.
  • “Once I found a can of old frosting. I ate that, and I’m still here.”
  • “What do you drive?” “A Suzuki Esteem.”
  • It’s nice to have Hank and Gomez back, but their appearance here comes with the melancholy that accompanies most characters on this show. Because we know how things eventually turn out for them: Not great.
  • Mike demands the bartender take down a postcard of the Sydney Opera House, which, you might recall, the late Werner Ziegler’s father helped build.
  • Gus mostly remained in the shadows this week, popping up at the very end to learn about Lalo’s plan. It clearly angers Gus, but he can’t do anything about it – at least not yet. If he has the money removed before the DEA can get to it, Lalo will find out and know there’s a rat somewhere in the organization. For now, all Gus can do is bide his time.
  • I feel like I say something like this every week, but god damn it, give Rhea Seehorn all the acting awards. She’s so good.
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