Cameron Lee ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Spoiler Alert: This recap contains spoilers for season 3 episode 8 of Better Call Saul
This week’s Better Call Saul episode continued Jimmy’s (Bob Odenkirk) trajectory towards becoming Saul Goodman and gave us some great character moments with Mike (Jonathan Banks) and Chuck (Michael McKean).
In typical Better Call Saul/ Breaking Bad fashion, the episode begins with an extended flashback. Jimmy and his childhood friend Marco (Michael Rodriguez) break into Jimmy’s family abandoned convenience store. Jimmy is there to find an Indian head penny for a con game he wants to pull off with Marco. He finds the coin collection in an old band aid box. When Marco asks why he wants the coin collection, Jimmy tells him that he started the coin collection after his father wanted but ultimately failed to return a rare coin to its owner. Before they leave, Jimmy takes the band aid box with him. This scene will undoubtedly connect thematically to what happens down the line. Right now it’s hard to say but maybe by the season finale we will have a better understanding of why that scene was included.
But back to the present; Mike (having been told information about the dead truck driver from last season by Nacho) travels to the desert with a metal detector and a shovel to dig up the driver. In a beautifully edited sequence we see a bird’s eye view of Mike digging up potential burial spots as the day gradually goes by. Once Mike finds the body, he gives the police a tip off and leaves. Later in the evening Mike realizes that he can’t spend the money he stole from Hector (Mark Margolis) without getting noticed, so he meets up with Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) in his office to ask him if he can launder the money for him. Gus agrees and the two shake hands, signaling the start of a partnership that will last many years, at least until Walter White comes along and ruins everything.
Meanwhile, Chuck is meeting with his therapist to discuss his progress. Chuck wants to get back into society but the therapist warns Chuck that it will take time and that he should prepare himself for a long fight. Michael McKean (who should really get an Emmy nomination for his tremendous performance this year) really makes us care and feel bad for Chuck, especially when he goes to the grocery store and struggles to get groceries. He’s still a scumbag, but his beliefs about Jimmy are indeed correct. But because we love Jimmy so much, it just makes us hate Chuck with a burning passion.
Jimmy unsuccessfully tries to argue for the music shop owners to pay him for the commercial he shot for them. Jimmy then stages a slip and fall con (nice fall stunt) and injures himself in the process. At least Jimmy got what he wanted and he is also able to make $700 off his community service by giving a lengthy defense to a drug dealer who needs to leave to see his “sick child” and threatens the supervisor with a class action lawsuit (that guy had it coming).
Nacho puts his Hector assassination plan into motion: he breaks the restaurant’s AC unit in order to get Hector to put his coat on the chair. He lies about not trusting a certain dollar bill allowing him to walk over to Hector and switch the pills out for the newly made poison pills. A stressful scene to watch!
While Hector’s storyline has a very obvious ending (insert wheelchair bell here), all the other storylines are unclear in where they will end up by the end of this season. But with quality episodes like this, it’s hard to get worked up.
Episode Grade: A –