AMC’s Better Call Saul
Season 3, Episode 8: “Slip”
Directed by Adam Bernstein
Written by Heather Marion
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Expenses” – click here
* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 3 episode, “Fall” – click here
Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) is back at the old family store, looking in an old stash spot in the ceiling. He finds a tin of coins; one of which is an “Indian Head penny.” He needs cash, and bad. Things are getting tight. We also get a glimpse into Jimmy’s early days as a young thief, though one who saw the world as it was while his father seemed to have a doe-eyed idealism in him. Not saying it led the soon-to-be Saul Goodman anywhere good. Still, there’s a certain truth to how he sees things, even if he’s slowly but surely falling into criminality. As evidenced by the fact he knows how many patrol cars will come blazing through the neighbourhood.
In other news, Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) stops on a road in the desert. He has a pad of paper with him, likely with the location of where he’s headed, and a shovel, too. Even a metal detector. Soon, he comes upon a spot where readings grow strong. He digs, and digs, and digs, and digs. Until he finds a hand. But then he calls the police, claiming he was looking for arrowheads. So, is this a play to fuck up more of Hector Salamanca’s (Mark Margolis) business? Or something else?
Back at his place Chuck (Michael McKean) meets with a doctor (Clea Duvall) about his condition. He’s improving, getting better by the day. He wants to get back to the firm and start working without accommodations for his mental illness. He hopes to get back to regular life, to light the house again and have parties. She tries to make sure he keeps his expectations in check.
Jimmy’s still trying to sell the brothers at the guitar shop those commercials and airtime. They don’t particularly want to stick with him, but he’s a slick talker. Not good enough, they aren’t convinced. Instead, he quick-thinks a plan. Jimmy slips a drumstick onto the floor, has his crew roll their camera, then frames the place up for an insurance nightmare.
Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) meets once again with her Mesa Verde clients. Things are chugging along nicely. She’s even getting more work from them via referrals. Then, at the same restaurant, Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) and his buddies show up. He comes around acting like a pathetic ‘alpha’ male, trying to assert dominance. He’s so fake it’s painful. Rather than let it slide, Kim sticks one in his eye in front of his people, as well as hands over a cheque to settle the money Hamlin, Hamlin, & McGill have held over her head. Nice touch, lady! He has problems with the way she handled the case between Jimmy and Chuck, she’s disgusted with most everything about him. Although I have to say: that guilt is going to come back and bite her hard one of these days. I just know it.
Where’s Nacho (Michael Mando)? He’s preparing the fake capsules of pills for Hector, hoping to keep his own father out of the drug business, from being strong-armed by gangsters for whom he works. I keep wondering, is this how the old man ends up in his wheelchair? Best part about this is the tension, waiting to see how it plays out. Perhaps Nacho won’t succeed. We know he’s long gone when Breaking Bad‘s timeline starts, so there’s definitely an end to his time in the cartel business, somewhere along the road. Right now, he’s practising all the moves, down to the minuscule things, in order for his plan to go off without a hitch.
Chuck goes out into the world again, trying his damnedest to fight off the mental affliction that’s plagued him so long. He concentrates on the natural things around him, ignoring all the electricity and the digital elements. Until he looks for the soy milk, where he has to pass through a row of coolers on either side. And it’s tough.
But he made it through, and Howard drops by, pleased to see his progress. They also have to talk about Chuck’s “malpractice insurance.” Y’know, the tricky little wheels his younger brother set in motion at the insurance company last episode. Uh oh.
Over at the restaurant, Nacho’s purposely put out the AC. He and boss Salamanca sit around counting money, sweating. He goes a step further trying to switch pills; first try is a no go, the second time he pulls them from Hector’s pocket. He then prepares to make the switch with those new, fake pills.
What a tense scene! Jesus. He actually manages to pull it off, not without the shake of a few nerves naturally.
Out off the highway, Jimmy continues working away at community service. This also gives us a look at more of his slick talking con artist game. He offers a fellow worker – a drug dealer doing his own time in service – a way to make up hours; price tag is $700. Then Jimmy lies down on the ground, telling the boss his back is paining. He says he’ll sue the boss personally, not the city. Then he lays it on thick with a ton of legal talk to put a scare in the guy. Plus, he gets those seven bills.
Jimmy: “Out here you might be King Douchenozzle, but in court, you are little people.”
It’s becoming more apparent every single day to Jimmy he’s better off going outside the law than sticking within it. Getting closer to the end of Season 3, I’m seeing the endgame finally. Only I’m curious how it’s all going to come out in the wash; part of the fun of this series.
Over at Los Pollos Hermanos, Mike goes to meet with Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). He’s looking for a way to launder a bit of cash, so his family will be taken care of if something happens to him. Fring wants to keep their business relationship very secretive, and he adheres to a relatively honest way of operating for a drug kingpin. An agreement is struck, one that will last a long, long time.
AMC knocks it out of the park every week with this one. I can’t get enough. Penultimate Season 3 episode “Fall” is on next time. What’s going to happen? Will Hector be sidelined? And I’m eager to find out what’ll go down re: Chuck and the malpractice insurance. Hmm.