There are many people talking in Better Call Saul season 4, episode 4, but not all of them are speaking about what’s actually on their minds.
Kim Thinks Jimmy Needs to Talk to Someone
We know Kim means a therapist. Jimmy calls it a shrink. We’re pretty sure he would rather have a root canal. To come up with a plausible excuse, he actually agrees to take a job he previously turned down, Shift Supervisor at CC Mobile. This gives the brilliant set production crew an opportunity to create another throwback location, this time a cell phone store.
Jimmy’s not the only one not up for talking about their feelings. Kim tells Judge Munsinger she’s in his court “just observing” and stays even after he threatens to put her to work as a public defender if she keeps it up. I guess Mesa Verde’s aggressive expansion plans are not enough to keep Kim busy, or her new paralegal, Viola (who we don’t see in this episode) is taking care of the bulk of it.
Nacho Talks, IDing His Supposed Attackers
The Salamanca twins bring Nacho along as they track down the guys Nacho claims ran him and Arturo off the road. The supposed bad guys are a rival family gang, the Espinosas. Nacho talks about rounding up some hombres and returning to take them out at night, but the Cousins have other plans. They take a bag of guns, the only reinforcements they need beside each other, and head into the gang’s headquarters, an abandoned motel the gang has turned into a fortress.
In one of the few moments when we can really see what’s going on in a character’s head, Nacho clearly thinks he’s sent the twins to their deaths. He hears lots of shooting, and it’s hard to believe the twins could have survived, and then the odds get even longer when a truck pulls in and more goons with machine guns join the battle. Nacho decides he must go in and help, despite the severity of his wounds.
We get a clear picture of how badly wounded Nacho is. He is unable to slide the safety off of his gun using his right arm, due to the damaged shoulder. After just a few steps, he’s already limping and holding his side. A few more steps, and he almost falls to the ground, and his stomach wound starts bleeding again. He manages to take out one of the enemy goons, and then sees that several of them have Leonel seemingly trapped. Nacho is aiming for one of the gunmen when Marco appears behind him, shooting with a gun in each hand and takes them all out.
The blood on Marco’s clothes indicate he may have been shot as many as 5 times across the chest and shoulder, but he is walking as if he’s not wounded, while Nacho can barely stand.
Señor Varga and Nacho are Talking Again
Gus tells Nacho to get some rest. “You have more to do.” Nacho is not pleased to hear that, and heads to his Dad’s. Señor Varga is shocked to see what “they” did to him, and Nacho begs him not to call anyone or cause any trouble.
Señor Varga doesn’t need to talk to tell us how he feels.
Ira Talks and Gives Jimmy an Idea
Jimmy spends most of the day not talking to anyone in the empty cell phone store. He takes a break to go visit Ira, who has a new job restocking vending machines. He tells Jimmy the Bavarian Boy fetched a boatload of dough, and that Jimmy should call the vet if he wants to contact Ira again. Apparently Ira gets a new cell phone each time he gets a new job. “You never know who’s listening,” he says, giving Jimmy an idea for cell phone marketing. Later we see Jimmy painting letters across the front windows of the CC Mobile storefront. As Jimmy walks out to admire his work, we see that the red and gold letters spell out “Is the Man Listening? Privacy Sold Here.”
Mike’s Talking is Not Popular
Mike does a lot of talking in this episode, but he’s not sharing his true feelings. He seems to have developed a friendship with Anita, his friend from the grief support group, who meets him for lunch. She wants to reach out to Henry, and Mike tells her his theory that Henry is a fraud who is lying about his dead wife.
At group, Stacey starts talking about how she realized she hadn’t thought about her late husband, Matty, once all morning, even when making his favorite breakfast of French toast. Mike is obviously feeling serious emotions about this, and we’re even treated to a flashback showing a younger Mike building a carport and letting Matty write his name in the cement. The bit of cement he poured would make a carport for a Tonka toy — maybe the rest of the carport will be made from the paver bricks we see stacked on the side?
Instead of sharing his feelings, Mike blasts Henry, exposing his fraud. Henry rubs his wrist (his “tell”) and then abruptly leaves the room. Mike clearly feels his point was proved, but Stacey and Anita are not convinced.
Next, we see Mike inspecting another Madrigal location; this one seems to be a distribution point. Most of his talking involves infractions he finds: the temperature in the refrigerated truck is too high, cartons marked “Do Not Double Stack” are stacked at least 3 high, and straps that hold product in place are frayed. While he’s working, Mike declines to talk to Stacey who calls on a cell phone that’s clearly several years older than the ones on sale in Jimmy’s new place of employment. But he does take a call from one of Gus’ guys who tells him, “He wants to see you tonight.”
Mike meets Gus at night in a parking lot filled with chicken trucks, and more talking occurs. Mike has clearly come to a place where he’s not afraid to die, so Gus’ goons don’t have the desired threatening effect on him. Gus is disappointed that Mike failed to talk about his knowledge of Nacho’s plans for Hector Salamanca. Mike tells Gus he should “stop running a game on me and just tell me about the job.” But there the episode ends and we’ll have to wait till next week to find out what the job is.
Impressive Unspoken Details
The visuals in this episode are again detailed and often dazzling:
- Espinosa’s headquarters, which we see at night in a teaser and then again through Nacho’s eyes in daylight, is a concrete and barbed-wire, graffiti-covered motel that is morphing into a junk yard.
- The lenses of the binoculars Nacho and the Salamanca brothers use to spy on the Espinosa compound reflect red, like the blood that is spilled there.
- The colorful CC Mobile store provides a great backdrop for Jimmy to display his nervous energy while waiting for customers to show up and buy the latest slide phones.
- Judge Munsinger’s chambers are cluttered with stacked boxes of files, and he sports a high-tech corded phone and chrome Newton’s cradle clack-clack balls on his desk.
- The metal detector/x-ray conveyor belt at courthouse entrance is one of those extra details that makes this show stand out from the crowd.
- Jimmy’s window painting color scheme coordinates with the Better Call Saul logo and not with the store’s fluorescent green and blue
- Jimmy’s favorite soda is Fanta. Though lately he’s been craving Thai iced tea.
Talking about Next Week
In next week’s episode, we’re hoping
- To see Mike do a job;
- That Kim does some work;
- Nacho starts to feel better; and
- Jimmy sells some phones.
Talk to us. Tell us what you think in the comments.
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