‘Better Call Saul’ Recap: How to Get Stuck in a Corner

A review of this week You better call Saul“Black and Blue”, coming as soon as you cancel my whole week…

“You are right: I have a problem. It’s not the problem you think. I have a problem with Jimmy McGill. —Howard

After last week’s historic meeting between Kim and Mike, it would be easy to assume that the legal and cartel halves of You better call Saul would start to coalesce more and more in these later episodes. But it’s hard to see that happening to any significant extent, given that Saul doesn’t know Gus towards his introduction on breaking Bad. The stories may intersect periodically, but I imagine they will largely continue to run in parallel. And this week, they’re parallel in theme as much as they are in plot advancement. Specifically, we have Gus Fring and Howard Hamlin, two men unlikely to cross paths before Saul concludes, but who pass “Black and Blue” face similar problems: their livelihoods are both threatened by familiar adversaries against whom there is little they can do at the moment.

Gus has known for a while that Lalo is a danger, but these last episodes have him distressed with their lack of new information. He’s already gotten sloppy – remember the broken glass in his office that Nacho eventually used – and here we see him paranoid and distracted even doing the day-to-day business of running the flagship restaurant Los Pollos Hermanos. Gus Fring is never distracted, especially when doing his cover work, and it’s a sign of how shaken he is by the continued absence of Salamanca’s smartest

Tony Dalton as Lalo Salamanca – Better Call Saul _ Season 6, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Tony Dalton as Lalo Salamanca

Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Tel.

Talk about restraint: If you were the creative team on a TV show, you had a villain as charismatic and instantly beloved as Lalo, and you had a limited number of hours left to use Tony Dalton, would you keep him out? camera for the best part of four episodes? But the tension in cartel scenes only works if we, like Gus, ask where the hell this guy is and when he’s gonna move. Where Mike assumed Lalo would go after someone in Albuquerque, Lalo is instead making his presence felt in Germany, of all places. It has been more than four years since the end of

Saul Season four, so you’re forgiven if you can’t remember Lalo’s role in the death of Werner, the engineer in charge of the Super Lab excavations. Lalo obviously hasn’t forgotten and goes through Werner – or rather his widow Margarethe – to find the proof he needs that Gus acted against the interests of the cartel. The episode opens with a short film about creating a glass trophy with a slide rule inside – the kind of thing the meticulous but old school Werner would no doubt have enjoyed – and it ends by a tense scene where Lalo escapes the house with said trophy just before Margarethe finds it. (This is better news for Margarethe than for Lalo, as he would have simply killed her had he not been able to climb through the second story window, once again demonstrating almost superhuman agility.) How this trophy prove Gus’ intentions? We’ll have to wait and see, but we’re long past the point where we should doubt any plan this guy sets in motion.As with many cartel stories on Saul, there is the problem of the prequel. A few episodes ago, for example, Nacho was literally the only character in the desert scene who wasn’t definitely alive during

breaking Bad

, and unsurprisingly, he was the one who died in the end.  Here, meanwhile, we know Lalo is doomed, as Juan Bolsa and Don Eladio remain completely blind to Gus' true intentions until he has them each killed during the Heisenberg era.  The fun will hopefully be exactly how Gus triumphs, and here we see he's discovered the same itch that Lalo is trying to scratch.  The Super Lab was a key part of his plan to overthrow the cartel, and Lalo has so far ruined that part of the plan.  So Gus has Mike take him to the dig site, less to look for clues than to plant a weapon for what he assumes is a possible confrontation with Lalo under the old laundromat.

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler – Better Call Saul _ Season 6, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler – Better Call Saul _ Season 6, Episode 5 – Photo Credit: Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler

Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Tel.

Regardless of her motives, Kim’s plan appears to be hitting a snag — or is it? — when Cliff Main confronts Howard about all the shady things he’s witnessed over these past few episodes. Howard Hamlin is many things, but stupid is not one of them, and he almost instantly recognizes that Jimmy is behind this scheme to discredit him. Like with Lalo vs. Gus, it’s more fun when both sides of the duel are smart and aware of what’s going on. But in this case, it’s fair to wonder exactly what advantage Howard just gained. He still doesn’t see that Kim, not Jimmy, is the real architect of his misfortune, for example. But more importantly, neither Kim nor Jimmy seem so troubled by the news that he’s upon them — as if it’s either an expected part of the plan, or even a necessary part. As Howard points out, they didn’t really bother to cover their tracks: Jimmy has used prostitutes against him before, and Kim was Cliff’s coffee date for the incident with Wendy. They had to know it was possible, maybe even likely, even if they couldn’t guarantee exactly when Cliff might face Howard.

. Interestingly, Cliff chooses to do this after seeing Howard in a moment of professional triumph, preventing a potential uprising from any Sandpiper clients willing to settle the case while they’re still alive to enjoy the money. Cliff notices that Howard is full of nervous energy watching Erin try and fail to calm the customers down, and it’s possible he interprets Howard’s performance as something fueled by cocaine as much as his innate charm.

Howard hires a private detective to track Jimmy (from the same agency Chuck used against Jimmy in season 3), but he chooses to eliminate his assault in a more direct way first: by luring Jimmy to his boxing gym for a few rounds. It’s, on some level, another example of Howard naively trying to appeal to Jimmy’s better nature, hoping that once confronted, the man he once dubbed “Charlie Hustle” would back down from all the fuss. nonsense he was trying. But most of all, he wants to beat the crap out of his enemy, and he does just that, in a fight that awe-inspiring how clumsy and unglamorous he is. It’s not Rocky versus Apollo, but two middle-aged men who specialize in brains rather than brawn. But Howard has more practice than Jimmy, and he also has more desire to win, while Jimmy only enters the ring out of guilt – because, as Kim would later remind him, “You know what’s going on. to follow.” Obviously, there’s another layer to the plan beyond what we know, and it must be much worse than what we’ve seen so far.

Gus knows Lalo is coming for him, and maybe even by which route. And he has the weight of franchise history behind him, even if Lalo seems to be in charge right now. Howard Hamlin, on the other hand, is one of the few remaining characters to never appear on breaking Bad. Almost anything could happen to him by the end of the series, and it doesn’t seem like good things are in store, despite knowing that Jimmy is plotting against him. Knowledge is power in the Heisenberg verse, but even knowledge can only take you if you are not the main character and your opponent is. A few other thoughts: * Another piece of Saul Goodman’s professional puzzle falls into place with the return of Tina Parker as Francesca, Jimmy’s former and future receptionist. Francesca hasn’t watched the last two seasons of

You better call Saul

, and is therefore surprised by all the changes: a new office, no Kim, Jimmy practices under a new name, and his adorable former law clients have been replaced by a group of summary criminal defendants. Still, she’s able to turn this uncertain new situation to her advantage, extorting the maximum salary possible from Jimmy (plus a “signing bonus” from the money he has in his wallet) and making sure she has his say in decorating this space once. the toilets are gone. We know ofbreaking Bad that beneath this sweet demeanor hides an absolute hustler, and she and her boss remain well matched. (Bonus points for her going to the mall while listening to Wilson Phillips’ “Release Me.”)

* Longtime Heisenberg-verse producer Melissa Bernstein takes her second turn behind the camera (following last season’s “JMM”) and makes her presence felt with a long oner through Pollos Hermanos’ kitchen as Gus has to hard to get your head around focusing on the minutiae of running the restaurant.* Finally, the past two seasons have mostly had no trouble hiding Bob Odenkirk’s post-Person transformation. But it was hard not to notice what a baggy t-shirt he wore for the boxing scene. In the movie, Odenkirk is supposed to be a guy who can naturally win every fight. Jimmy McGill, meanwhile, is a talker and not an action hero, so care must be taken to maintain the illusion.
#Call #Saul #Recap #Stuck #Corner

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