Better Call Saul 405
Better Call Saul season 4 episode 5 brought Breaking Bad fans the ultimate Easter egg — a flash forward to the time at the end of Breaking Bad when the jig was up and Saul Goodman was forced to leave Albuquerque and assume a new identity. Saul even refers to his time as Saul Goodman as “Quite a Ride.” If time jumps mess with your brain, here are some things to ponder about this scene:
- It’s future for Jimmy but past for Gene the Cinnabon Manager.
- It’s the end of the ride for Saul Goodman, the character Jimmy created.
- Those of us who watched Breaking Bad think of it as past, and to commemorate that, this scene was filmed on actual film, as they did when they filmed Breaking Bad, and not digitally filmed as they do for the majority of the Better Call Saul scenes.
Those of us who rewatch the show, looking for clues, have 3 questions:
- What’s in the box Saul takes from behind the Constitution wall?
- What happens on November 12th at 3 pm?
- Which law firm does Saul refer Francesca to?
I think I know the answer to number 1: It’s the box Gene gets out of the bottom of his closet in his lonely Omaha apartment in the very first episode of this show. Though I bet the video tape containing the Better Call Saul TV ads was added to the box later. In Saul’s office, it probably contained his old tin Band-aid box and photos from his childhood, and maybe his passport under the name of James McGill.
I have no idea about number 2. Sounds like Francesca’s supposed to show up at a pay phone, but we’re not sure why.
Regarding number 3: there’s a video extra on the AMC website entitled Better Call Saul Easter Eggs: Season 4, Episode 5. In this video, this episode’s producer/writer, Ann Cherkis, refers to the
business card for the Disappearer, and the way the video is edited, it implies that’s what Saul gives Francesca, but if you closely watch the scene, he’s talking about the police questioning her, and how she’ll need an attorney, so it doesn’t appear Francesca is going to “disappear.” From the context, it seems that the card is that of an attorney, and he says, “Tell ’em Jimmy sent you.” I zoomed in on the photo of Saul with the card and it seems to have 4 names at the top, so it’s not HHM. If it was the firm Kim is working at, assuming she’s an attorney in Albuquerque at this time, you’d think Saul/Jimmy would say something about Kim, since Francesca knows Kim. So this remains a mystery.
What I really want to know is, will we get more scenes like this? I sure hope so!
Mike Takes a Man for a Ride in a Van
We’re not sure what exactly Mike is up to, at first. Casual viewers might not even notice that the engineer from France seems to have flown into the Denver airport. Gus and Mike are making sure their applicants have no clue as to the location of the future underground meth lab. And it seems they are right to be cautious — the Frenchman brags about a tunnel he helped build from Mexico into downtown El Paso. Right after that, Mike’s phone rings and, though we only hear his end of the conversation, it’s clear Gus is rendering his verdict that this is not the engineer they’re looking for; Mike seems to agree. Imagine how our story might proceed differently if they picked this engineer and a year later he brags to another group of criminals about the secret underground meth lab he helped build!
Later we meet Werner, a German fellow who does things in a much more old school fashion than the high-tech Frenchman. Mike seems impressed, not just by the old school methods, but also by the more realistic attitude Werner has toward the difficulties this job will present. After hearing his full assessment, Gus comes out of his hiding place and introduces himself to Werner and we learn another detail about Gus: he speaks German.
Kim’s Ride as a PD Isn’t Over
At the courthouse, Kim successfully negotiates with Bill, from the prosecutor’s office, to get only 4 months probation for her young client who was caught robbing a jewelry store. She calmly and expertly deals with both Bill and her young client, who she claims needs another chance. We’re not sure if he deserves it, because afterward he whines about having to meet with a parole officer and tries to go home with the necktie Kim lent him.
We’re still not sure why Kim is doing this, but here are some things to consider:
- She tells Bill her only other client is a bank, but later we see her with Denise, who was caught with 2 ounces of some illegal substance.
- She seems to find Denise’s situation more of a priority than Mesa Verde paperwork.
- Apparently she’s keeping her new clients a secret from Jimmy.
- Is it possible she sees these hard-luck cases as similar to Jimmy and this is her trying to save him?
What I can’t understand is why she wouldn’t have given the files to her paralegal so she could fix them if she was going to be unavailable. Maybe that’s what she means when she tells Paige that it won’t happen again.
Jimmy Takes a Ride Late at Night
We’re relieved to see that Jimmy doesn’t steal the cell phones he goes around selling on the street. This nighttime activity may be a violation of the terms of his employment with CC Mobile but it probably wouldn’t land him in jail. It does, however, mean he’s technically lying to the guy from the DA’s office when he tells him he’s not associating with known criminals.
As Kim patches him up, he asks himself “What’s wrong with me?” But he doesn’t mean, “why am I going out at night selling cell phones to criminals?” which is what we’re wondering. He’s asking, “Why did I let those punks take my money?” He tells Kim that back in the day, he would have been one of the punks or they would have known not to mess with him, and she tells him “Those days are over.” She’s wrong about that, but though he doesn’t tell her that, he seems almost on the verge of a change, and he agrees that he probably should see that “shrink” who he says he’ll call tomorrow. We see him scraping the privacy sold here message off the storefront windows.
However, tomorrow comes and Jimmy first has to go to his monthly PPD meeting. We see he’s treated a little differently when he enters the courthouse than he was as an attorney, having to submit to being scanned by a hand-held metal detector in addition to emptying his pockets. He reasons that they can’t keep him out of the men’s room reserved for attorneys, however, and while he’s there he meets Howard Hamlin.
Howard is not looking at all well. He’s got insomnia, which he says he wouldn’t wish on his worst enemy, and Jimmy can’t seem to understand what the problem is. He suggests that Howard talk to someone, and finds out that Howard has already done so. He has a standing appointment twice a week, and considers his therapist to be very good.
Jimmy concludes that if talking to someone has this kind of effect on Howard, then it’s not at all the right option for himself, and he promptly rips up the phone number and flushes it down the toilet.
Jimmy’s Plan for a Better Ride
In last week’s episode, when Jimmy told Kim about the CC Mobile job, he reminds them both he’s only got 10 months left before he can be an attorney again. This week’s episode ends with Jimmy going to his PPD meeting and telling the guy from the DA’s office that he’s got some plans. He’s counting the days, and it’s now 9 months and 24 days before he can practice law again. He says he and his partner will get an office and it will “be like it was” before, but “bigger and better. I’m gonna be a damn good lawyer and people are gonna know about it.”
It’s clear Jimmy’s fondest dream is to be an attorney again. And we know he will be, but it’s likely he’ll be doing that under the name of Saul Goodman, not James McGill. This episode set up lots of things that will likely pay off in the second half of Better Call Saul season 4. Episode 5 marks the halfway point of our 10 episode season.
Along for the Ride: Miscellaneous Details Too Good to Miss
Here are some random Easter eggs from Better Call Saul season 4, episode 5:
- Jimmy first sees the 3 punks who later mug him at the Wash Tub Landromat, which is where Jesse Pinkman sells some meth in the first montage scene in Breaking Bad.
- The Street Life montage with Jimmy selling cell phones shows Jimmy at the Dog Pound, a favorite hangout of some of the characters in Breaking Bad.
- I liked how it seemed sure the motorcycle gang was going to spell doom for Jimmy’s scheme, but instead he sells the rest of his phones to them before being robbed by Peewee, Scooter and Skippy.
- The scene in Kim’s bathroom was one of the most intimate scenes we’ve seen between these two, so it’s fitting that it takes place in a bathroom. He comes the closest he has to telling her the truth about his late-night escapades and seems ready to get some help.
- Jimmy has a habit of hiding things in walls and ceilings. Ironic that “Saul” used that as an example of a bad practice when he made his you-need-my-services marketing pitch in Breaking Bad.
- The Superlab is 56 feet below ground level. With all of Gus’s money, wouldn’t it have been easier to buy property and start with the underground lab and put a laundry on top of it? I think it’s a very interesting story line, either way.
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