“Sunk Costs,” the 3rd episode of “Better Call Saul’s” 3rd season drew clear battle lines for the two key confrontations that should keep our main characters busy for awhile. Neither one of the central battles should come as a surprise to anyone who’s watched “Breaking Bad,” saw any promotional materials for this season, or just happens to be a living, breathing human being with a pulse who’s been paying attention since Season 1.
The first battle pits the inevitable alliance between Gus and Mike against Hector Salamanca. We did not know before last night if the two men would be immediate allies or if “Tracker Wars 2003” would start the two men off as enemies. But “Sunk Costs” shows how quickly the two men became allies as Gus hires Mike to play saboteur to Hector’s operation.
The second battle, of course, is between Jimmy and Chuck. But by no means was Monday night’s episode the first shots fired in the battle of the brother’s McGill. Chuck did his own bit sabotage on Jimmy that, for a long time, was a covert operation keeping Jimmy from being hired as a lawyer. And Jimmy answered with his bit of sabotage, forging documents that left Chuck embarrassed at a legal hearing.
But I believe we are now set for the ultimate, end all battle between the two brothers. I just don’t see how what little is left of the already dying relationship Chuck and Jimmy share will survive the drama about to unfold.
“You Care to Elaborate?”
Mike’s story picks up where it left off last week as we hear the rest of the conversation on that phone laying in the middle of the road. Of course, it’s Gus on the other end and he wants to talk. Shortly after Mike hangs up, the first meeting between these two epic characters unfolds.
Mike discovers that he and Gus share a common enemy in Hector (Ding Ding) Salamanca. And though Gus does not want Hector dying (because of Gus’s relationship with the Mexican drug cartel), he doesn’t mind (and strongly encourages) if Mike continue to plague Hector’s crew (who are rival competitors of Gus) with legal and financial problems.
The first scene of the show (in classic Vince Gilligan style) establishes the use of a pair of shoes tied together and hanging over electrical wires as a marker for illegal activity (you’d think the DEA would get wise to this at some point). Mike picks up some cocaine from a doctor (more on him later) and fills a show with it. Then, after finally getting the shoes to hang over a wire (with all the cool things we’ve seen Mike do, it was funny to see him struggle with this), Mike finds a hiding place with his sniper rifle. .
Two men in one of Hector’s ice cream trucks stop underneath the shoes and drop the guns off in a hiding place before crossing the border. But as they get ready to leave, Mike shoots one of the shoes, dropping cocaine on the back of end of the truck. The two men are arrested at the border after the cocaine is found. I expect (and the previews for next week confirm) new legal troubles coming Hector’s way. And I don’t think his response to them will be peaceful.
“I Believe You Can Change”
Did anybody else want to smack Chuck in the face while he gave Jimmy that little “you can change” lecture? I believe he was trying to change, big brother, while your pompous ass kept preventing him from getting a job as a lawyer. And Jimmy makes clear he’s not interested in Chuck’s rehabilitation efforts (more on this later).
And how about Jimmy’s time in prison? You know, the thing AMC focused almost all their promos on (other than the stuff about Gus returning), lasted all of ten minutes. Jimmy got a makeable bond and was out immediately following his preliminary hearing.
Jimmy is facing charges of breaking and entering (a felony), misdemeanor assault, and misdemeanor damage to property. All three charges together could equal two to three years in prison. So naturally, Jimmy wants to plea and try to get the felony reduced. He thinks he’ll have a great shot at it if Bill Oakley, a deputy district attorney that Jimmy negotiated with throughout season 1, gets the case. But not only will Oakley not be handling the case, no one in the D.A’s office in Albuquerque will be due to their previous relationships with Jimmy. Instead, someone from the outside is being brought in to handle Jimmy’s legal issue.
“Tough But Fair”
Kyra Hay is the name of the attorney being brought in to prosecute Jimmy. And I don’t think Jimmy’s charm will have much impact on her. She makes clear in her first meeting with Chuck that she will “hold the line” on the felony charge. But Chuck has another solution. He doesn’t want his brother in prison. He just wants Jimmy’s law license.
And that is the dilemma Jimmy voices to Kim in the episode’s final scene. He could take the “pre prosecution diversion” and avoid jail time. But that means Jimmy must confess to a felony, which will be submitted to the New Mexico Bar Association for review.
I think we all know Jimmy wasn’t taking that deal. And not only will Jimmy be fighting the charges, but Kim will be joining him after she insists he should let her help him.
-I loved Jimmy’s self awareness in that final scene when he asks Kim why she would help a guy like him.
-The Mesa Verde case has Kim spending many (if not all) nights at the office. Good thing there’s a health club with showers just across the street where she can get ready for work every morning.
-So Chuck’s had two people buy everything for him and meet every little selfish demand he has. He prevented one (Jimmy) of those from getting a better job and he fired the other (Ernesto). When Jimmy said “You’ll die alone” to Chuck, I think those words may prove prophetic.
-And Chuck sure didn’t seem to have any issues with “electricity” when he was lecturing Jimmy at the start of the episode.
-Three episodes in and we have yet to see Nacho?
Breaking Bad Reprisals
-Dr. Barry Goodman, the man Mike picked up the cocaine from, is a doctor who works for Gus. He operated on both Gus and Mike in Season 4 following the attack on the drug cartel in Juarez, Mexico.
Let’s hope we get some “Jimmy in court” footage next week as the show moves towards, what I think, will be Jimmy and Chuck’s final confrontation.