Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for season 3 episode 4 of Better Call Saul.
“Sabrosito” for the most part felt like a classic Breaking Bad episode: most of the running time was comprised of Mike and Gus’s storyline with Jimmy’s storyline pushed to the end of the episode. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the episode balanced the two storylines perfectly making for a very satisfying episode.
In classic Breaking Bad fashion, the episode begins with a flashback: Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) is delivering his tribute to Don Eladio (Steven Bauer). If you recall, Don Eladio had the worst pool party ever in Breaking Bad when Gus poisoned everyone to death. Anyway, Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) sent 3 suitcases worth of cash to Don Eladio earning his favor. He even sent a Los Pollos Hermanos T-shirt in his size to him. Hector is super jealous and to make matters worse, his own operation, which involves using an ice cream store as a front, is made fun of by Eladio. There are quite a number of similarities cinematography-wise in this opening with previous Breaking Bad episodes that involved this same pool location. It’s a credit to the show’s impeccable and precise attention to detail: any Breaking Bad fan would instantly recognize the shots in this scene.
In the present, Hector rudely requests to see Gus and causes a scene in Los Pollos Hermanos. Gus is visiting a fire station (the very same fire station Walter White leaves baby Holly in “Ozymandias”) when he gets a call from one of his workers. He gets to the restaurant and finds all his employees seated around a table, the place deserted. He tells everyone to go home and that he will personally compensate them for the lost hours. He confronts Hector, who is rudely smoking a Cuban at his desk; Hector demands the right to use Gus’s trucks to transport his product. Since Mike had sabotaged Hector’s whole operation, Gus has the high ground when it comes to concocting a plan to take Hector out of the game permanently. The next day he gathers his employees and gives an impassioned speech about America and standing up for one’s self, which is greeted to a great deal of applause.
Mike (Jonathan Banks) refuses Gus’s payment for the job. Gus goes to visit Mike at his toll booth to ask him why he didn’t take the money. Mike tells him that he doesn’t need it and all he wanted was to hurt Hector. Gus asks Mike about possibly working for him in the future. Mike tells him that it would depend on what the job entails. Before he leaves, Gus tells him why he asked Mike not to pull the trigger. Regarding Hector, Gus says “a bullet to the head would have been far too humane.”
Back in the Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) storyline, Jimmy hires Mike to gather evidence on Chuck (Michael McKean). Mike poses as a handyman and fixes the door that Jimmy broke while also snapping photos and picking up pieces of intel. At Jimmy’s confession meeting, the prosecutor asks Jimmy to personally apologize to Chuck. After an extremely uncomfortable-to-watch apology, the meeting is adjourned and Jimmy books it to the exit. Kim (Rhea Seehorn) confronts Chuck about him having a second tape. Chuck confirms that she is right and plans to submit it as evidence in the hearing, making Chuck the most unlikable Breaking Bad universe character ever, and that’s saying something. Kim meets up with Jimmy and tells him about the second tape and that Chuck’s admittance to said tape was all part of her plan.
It was the strongest episode of the season so far. The callbacks to Breaking Bad meshed well with Jimmy’s storyline and the acting, writing, and directing were all outstanding, but that’s par for the course for this series. We may know what all of this leads to but that doesn’t make it any less riveting to watch.
Episode Grade: A-