AMC’s Better Call Saul
Season 4, Episode 8: “Coushatta”
Directed by Jim McKay
Written by Gordon Smith
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Something Stupid” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Wiedersehen” – click here
Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) is ready to hit the road, as Kim (Rhea Seehorn) does what she can to help him with Huell’s (Lavell Crawford) legal situation. Clearly her rope’s wearing thin with all this, and she’s only having to save Jimmy from himself. Either way, he’s off on the bus right now. He uses the various supplies Kim bought recently to write different postcards and letters in various colours and styles. All part of the big plan. Like dark magic watching Mr. McGill at work. He even enlists the help of other passengers on the bus. By the time the rides over he’s got himself a bag full of mail to send. His last stop is Coushatta, Louisiana’s post office.
At the restaurant, Nacho (Michael Mando) has to hand out a little discipline for a short count from one the dealers. “What you owe, you owe,” he tells the man, there’s no paying late, no paying next time. He also makes sure Krazy-8 (Max Arciniega) knows he should be handing out discipline, too.
At home, Nacho has a couple women waiting for him. But this life is clearly draining him. He’s become an emotionless, ruthless man. We see he wants another life. He has fake IDs for himself and his father, looking like they’ll head for Manitoba, Canada. Let’s hope whatever happens to Nacho for him to disappear before Breaking Bad doesn’t also happen to his dad.
At a strip club, Mike (Jonathan Banks) watches over the engineer’s team while they party. He realises the engineer would rather go for a quiet beer. So, Mike takes the man with him for something less loud. There, the engineer buys a beer for a guy who mangles the German pronunciation— Mike doesn’t dig that, they shouldn’t bring any attention to themselves. There’s a problem with one of the crew at the strip club. While Mike’s gone looking after it, the engineer draws architecture for his new pals at the bar. Fuck. Not a good scene when Mr. Ehrmantraut returns. The next day, Mike confronts him about it, and he’s promised it won’t happen again. Once could’ve been enough.
Note: Great soundtrack with Stereolab’s “Tempter” featured on Kim’s playlist!
We see Jimmy’s not totally oblivious. He knows there’s a strain on his relationship with Kim, he’s just not sure if he can fix things. He’s not unaware of his personality, most good liars are very aware of their shittiness. This is why Jimmy has been such a strong character, he’s genuinely sympathetic instead of totally abhorrent.
Meanwhile, Kim’s taking a bunch of other lawyers to talk to ADA Suzanne Ericsen (Julie Pearl). They’re bringing lots of legal power to the table. They’re doing their best to jam up the process a while, heading into discovery to look at the officer in question’s record. Might turn into a case of Huell having his “civil rights violated” if they dig too deep. The ADA’s not backing down from “shock and awe,” though she can tell there’s something else going on. And, of course, Kim won’t be backing down anytime soon, either. The more she keeps it up, the worse she feel inside. She’s probably the character I feel for the worst.
All those letters sent by Jimmy have arrived to piss off the judge. Coushatta’s where Huell is from, and Jimmy’s brought every “swamp dwelling do–gooder” out of the woodwork to fight for his rights. This doesn’t faze the attorney. She starts reading the letters. Some actually have numbers. DA Ericsen calls one and a woman answers to tell her about how Huell’s such a good man. Apparently Huell’s a staple of their local church— he’s all over their website, too! This is the devious work of Jimmy. He’s got the film students back again, using those burner phones to keep up the ruse. So far, it’s working like a charm. DA Ericsen’s looking pretty defeated.
Jimmy waits anxiously to hear from Kim, who lets him know the case is settled. They fall into one another’s arms, heading home to bed. As much as Kim’s morals are tested by their relationship, she finds Jimmy endlessly attractive in his role as rebel. Back at work, Kim seems lost in the excitement of walking on the wild side with her man. In her office she keeps the top of the Zafiro Añejo tequila she and Jimmy drank together, as if holding onto a reminder of their craziness together.
On the construction site, Mike fills Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) in on how things are going with the work, as well as the engineer. He’s taking personal responsibility, keeping his eye on the man, so it won’t look good if the guy screws up again, and worse still if it causes Gus any issues.
Looking at more office space, Jimmy finds his “price range” doesn’t do much for feng shui. He’s interrupted by a visit from Kim. She’s doing a lot of thinking, whereas he’s been feeling a bit of guilt for dragging her into the mix. However, she’s been bitten by the thrill of illegality. “Let‘s do it again,” she tells him plainly. This is headed bad places for Kim.
At the restaurant, Nacho walks in to discover one of the other Salamancas, Eduardo a.k.a Lalo (Tony Dalton) in the kitchen cooking. He’s there as a “helping hand,” or better yet as a man to watch over things. This makes Nacho feel trapped worse than he is already.
Fantastic episode, we’re truly growing towards big things every episode. Recently, Guillermo del Toro spoke my own feelings in that he said Better Call Saul, for him, is the better of the two shows, simply for the fact the gradual downfall of Jimmy towards becoming Saul, and later Gene, is such a slow decline that it’s somehow more painful.
“Wiedersehen” is next, the penultimate Season 4 episode before our finale.