Alex Casey recaps the ninth episode of Lightbox’s much anticipated Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul.
I have been hanging out all week to see if Chuck has beat his electro-magnetic condition. It really is the damning condition of our times, thank goodness he’s only in 2002 and not 2015. He wouldn’t last three seconds with all our microchips and smartphones and Paywave. Hellish. He’s chilling out on a bench outside, and seems to be coping despite the buzzing power lines. “Feels good eh,” says Jimmy. It sure does, what a relief to see Chuck in a scene without enduring brain-scraping industrial noise.
This episode revisits Mike in Philadelphia – and he’s bought a dog. I can’t imagine this has anything to do with the Shady Vet that he’s been knocking around with. He needs an excuse to be visiting that vet’s office all the time, and topping up on Puppy Chow seems like the best way forward. The puppy is to Mike what fried chicken is to Gus Fring.
Talking of Fring, Mike’s first job in begins in a carpark. But not just any carpark, it looks EXACTLY like the Breaking Bad carpark where Walt tries to blow up Gus Fring’s car. Holy shit, are we about to meet Gus Fring?!
Turns out no. I’m easily excited and misled. These three beefheads have been recruited to protect this geek on a drug deal:
After being taunted for not bringing a gun, Mike gets his ultimate revenge by using nothing but his bare hands and a pimento sandwich. Both the other guys bodies’ hit the floor, Mike takes their guns, and accompanies Geek solo to the job. There has never been a better advertisement for the power of pimento cheese sandwiches.
Back at Camp Jimmy, he’s trying to go all Erin Brockovich on this elderly fraud case. Again, it seems his entire understanding of law comes straight from mainstream popular culture. Wrapping Chuck’s ankles in tinfoil, they head to Hamlin to seek some big-gun backing for their underdog case. Turns out Hamlin doesn’t want to work with them, and wants to buy the case entirely off Jimmy.
He is truly a bigger cock than his boardroom desk suggests:
Jimmy is forced to decide if he wants to take the money or the bag. The bag being his dignity, and any future in law. I think I know which one he’ll go for.
In the middle of nowhere, Mike and The Geek are waiting at the drug drop-off. As ever, The Geek is deeply nervous and Mike is deeply composed. Geeks aren’t known for their drug deal proficiency. The three thugs turn up, and Mike is insistent on counting the money. They are short $20 – something you really, really don’t want to be when you are answering to Mike. His stony disappointment is almost unbearable, not to mention the fact that he can freely kill people with nothing but a pimento sandwich.
Finally, the episode rounds off on a terrible, heartbreaking note. Chuck is seeming cheery – too cheery. Like he’s covering something, and not just his tinfoil undergarments. Soon enough, we find out that he tipped Hamlin to Jimmy’s case.
It’s an incredible unravelling, their tender brotherly relationship seems to fall apart in less than two minutes. “You’re not a real lawyer,” Chuck yells at Jimmy, “Slippin’ Jimmy with a law degree is like a chimp with a handgun.”
Devastating, just when you thought things were looking up Jimmo. I’m deeply hurt and want to rip Chuck’s tinfoil anklets clean off.