AMC’s Better Call Saul
Season 4, Episode 3: “Something Beautiful”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by Gordon Smith

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Breathe” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Talk” – click here
Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 1.40.04 AMWe see Victor (Jeremiah Bitsui) drive straight through some spikes in a car, tearing up the wheels and riding on the rims for a little ways before coming to a stop. He’s working to make it look as if there’s been a car accident on the road, along with Tyrus (Ray Campbell), who’s tossing broken glass out the window along the way to the staged accident. And Nacho (Michael Mando) is their driver. They’ve got a body in the car’s trunk, too: Arturo. They shoot the car up after the corpse is in the driver’s seat, pumping the doors and every inch of the frame with lead. They empty several clips into the vehicle.
Afterwards, Nacho sits in the passenger seat. He allows Victor to shoot him in the arm. Following his gunshot wound, he heads for the desert. Before he can say a word he takes an unexpected gut shot. This is life in the service of Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito)— better get used to it!
Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 1.41.17 AMAt a diner, Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) meets Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) about an apparent new job for them. Jimmy’s got a lead on a “Bavarian boy,” a priceless figurine but a “dumb tchotchke” to the average eye. It’s not really a high stakes job, other than the payoff. Otherwise, pretty easy. So it seems, anyway. Mike knows there’s something more to this than meets the eye. Jimmy keeps raving about “free money” essentially, but the old guy decides he’ll pass. He likewise advises his pal to pass, as well.
The Arturo murder scene is left for Leonel and Marco Salamanca (Daniel & Luis Moncada) to find. They survey the wreckage, finding a trail of blood that leads out towards the hills. So, naturally, they follow a bit. They stumble onto Nacho, barely conscious and bloody in the dirt. The brothers get Nacho to a vet, who manages to save him. Lucky it wasn’t a shot to the gut, it was through and through on the side. After a while, and a blood transfusion, he’s out of the woods. No death for Nacho. Still a bullet stuck in his shoulder, though. Could be worse.
Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) is back to business as usual. She soon gets a visit from Kevin Wachtell (Rex Linn), CEO of Mesa Verde. He offers condolences for Chuck’s death, asking about Jimmy’s well-being. He’s excited to show her a bunch of models for various cities. The company’s going for “aggressive expansion.”
After so much, Jimmy gets somebody to do the job with him. The guy slips into the building, finding the office where the figurine is kept. It’s the place where Jimmy had his job interview then turned it down. And the manager, he’s sleeping there, having problems at home. This puts the robber in a compromising position with nothing left to do but wait. He calls Jimmy frantically when he’s able. Slippery McGill’s got a few tricks up his sleeve to get the guy a bit of time to escape.
Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 2.05.23 AMGus is putting things into motion against the cartel. He speaks to Juan Bolsa (Javier Grajeda). He promises things will get moving again soon. Bolsa pushes for Fring to find someone local to buy meth from, though the latter cautions Don Eladio might not approve. This takes our chicken man to see a familiar face— Mr. Gale Boetticher (David Costabile). The two have already become acquainted, and they continue to do so.
We’re seeing events which will lead us right up into the timeline of Breaking Bad, eventually. For now, we’re being introduced to all the elements long before they come into contact with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Here, Gale’s been testing samples for Gus, to sort out the good from the bad shit on the street. He’s criticising the “dreck” samples, offering to cook some himself. “Its the least I can do,” he says. The chicken man refuses, promising “better things.”
At home, Jimmy wakes up late while Kim is working hard to get back to a sense of normalcy. Also, Kim’s got her talk with Howard Hamlin (Patrick Fabian) weighing on her mind. She brings him the release to sign. He treats his lightly, not dwelling on anything. He’s not dealing with anything, either. Then he’s given the personal letter from Chuck. Jimmy opens it, and, between bites of cereal, he reads his older brother’s deepest emotions about their relationship. He doesn’t react with any emotion himself, whereas Kim is in tears. There’s a dead part inside Jimmy, which the death of Chuck has definitely not helped in any way. He’s only becoming more numb to a sense of happiness, or goodness.
Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 2.30.37 AMLike always, Better Call Saul delivers the goods. The character development, on all fronts, is impeccable. Love Kim, and I can’t wait to see her arc progress almost more than anyone else on the show. “Talk” is next time.

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