I have always said that Jimmy McGill’s biggest talent is marketing. He is able to quickly assess a potential customer’s felt need and make a pitch as to why whatever he’s selling will be the perfect thing to meet that need. We’ve seen him do this over and over again, both as Jimmy McGill and, in Breaking Bad, as Saul Goodman.
As Jimmy, we’ve seen him con people into writing checks and paying for expensive bottles of booze. We’ve seen him convince juries to vote a certain way, convince business owners to buy TV commercials, convince the supervisor of a community service road work team to let one of the workers to see his kid in the hospital while still giving him credit for the day’s hours. Not to mention he convinced that same worker to pay him $800 to convince the supervisor to let him go. We’ve seen him create TV commercials that get results. And we can’t forget how he managed to convince crazy Tuco not to kill him and his two teenage skateboarding scam artist buddies back in season 1.
As Saul, we first saw him track down Walter White, show up in his Chemistry classroom and convince him of his need to launder the money he’s earned illegally selling meth.
In Better Call Saul, season 4, episode 2, we see Jimmy give a classic marketing pitch. His job interview at the Neff photocopier company seemed to go well, but he gets the definite vibe that they have, or are hoping to find, a better candidate. After thinking it over on his way toward the exit, Jimmy goes back in and makes an impassioned pitch. He not only convinces them to hire him on the spot, but he gives them a sample of the kind of pitch he’d be using to sell their copiers once they hire him.
But then, Jimmy does a strange thing that has us wondering what’s going on in that mind of his: he chews them out for jumping so quickly to hire someone they don’t know. “I could be a serial killer. I could be the guy who pees in your coffee, I could be both!” he tells them. He criticizes them, calling them suckers and likening them to cats chasing after something shiny. And we’re left wondering why he did this. It did seem like the perfect job for him. Was he embarrassed to tell Kim he was a copier salesman? Did he have bad memories of slimy copier salesmen from when he worked in the mailroom? Does he have no respect for these men, so he can’t imagine having them as his bosses? Or is it really just that he sees a bigger payoff from acquiring the Hummel figurine in their display case and selling it?
I think we’ll learn some more about that last part, at least, in next week’s episode.
Kim tells Howard what she thinks
In this episode, Kim finally opens her mouth and vents all of the pent-up feelings that have been building up, maybe for years. She’s seen Chuck and Howard mistreat and underestimate Jimmy, and she’s suffered from some of the same treatment. Now that neither of them is employed by HH&M and have no expectation of needing anything from the firm in the future, Kim tells Howard what she thinks of his confession, in last week’s episode, that he believes Chuck killed himself because Howard forced him out of the firm. She questions his motives for doing this on the day of Chuck’s funeral, and she points out that the pitifully small check that Jimmy is receiving from Chuck’s estate is the minimum calculated to make legally contesting Chuck’s will not a viable option. She even berates Howard for the personal letter Chuck left for Jimmy, which Kim assumes will be one more attempt to belittle and criticize Jimmy from the grave.
Later, when Chuck arrives home, Kim tells him she’s been sitting around the house all day, and hides Chuck’s letter (presumably unopened) in a box of files. They sit down on the couch to eat the take-out food Jimmy brought home, but Kim quickly decides she has more of a hunger for romantic activity than for food. This is the first sign of real affection we’ve seen between the two of them recently, aside from a comforting hand squeeze.
Lydia and Gus have a disagreement about Mike
Mike is summoned to meet Lydia in yet another Madrigal Electromotive location. He is directed to a large conference room, where Lydia and her laptop are the only occupants. Lydia wants an explanation for his surprise security check of the Las Cruces facility. He explains his theory that it’s more believable that he really works for Madrigal if his face has been seen there. She disagrees, but he tells her he plans to visit the other 7 terminals Madrigal has in the southwest. She tells him, “At the moment, you have Gus Fring’s respect. I’d want to keep that if I were you.” Then she quickly leaves the room.
Later we see her calling Gus, who doesn’t see a problem with Mike’s plan. She says she doesn’t want him stealing employee badges, and Gus replies that she should issue him his own badge.
Gus is a frightening and powerful enemy
Much of this episode was taken up with the continued fallout from Nacho’s attempt to take out Hector at the end of season 3. Gus, seeking more information on Hector’s condition, enlists the services of Dr. Barry Goodman (no relation to Saul), a character Breaking Bad fans will remember from the end of season 4 and the beginning of season 5. Dr. Goodman, accompanied by several of Gus’ henchmen, examines Hector by flashlight in his hospital room, unbeknownst to the night staff. He reports that it’s unclear if Hector can recover. Gus finds this unacceptable, and the next day, while Marco and Leonel stand guard, a specialist from Johns Hopkins arrives, funded by a special grant. She prescribes occupational therapy and tells the Salamanca cousins, and Nacho and Arturo who arrive a few minutes later, that it’s important to talk to Hector to stimulate his brain function.
Later, we see Arturo and Nacho arrive at the drug distribution barn that doubles as a chicken farm for Los Pollos Hermanos. Gus’ henchmen give them 5 bricks instead of the 6 usually given to Salamanca. Arturo pushes back, demanding 6 and backing it up with his gun. They are given the 6, but only then Arturo realizes his mistake. Gus meets them outside and soon enough Arturo is tied up with a plastic bag over his head. Nacho is held at gunpoint and forced to watch, unable to save Arturo as he slowly suffocates, giving us fans a horrible image to go along with the episode title.
Gus tells Nacho that he knows what he did to Hector, though the Salamancas don’t know. Then he tells Nacho, “You are mine!” Nachos efforts to get out of the Salamanca organization have backfired, and now he sees that he’s in more danger than ever from an even more ruthless criminal than Don Hector.
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