Previously on Better Call Saul, “Sunk Costs”
Deception is the key to success in this week’s installment of Saul as both Jimmy and Gus work a con on their respective adversaries, using Mike as the glue to piece their grand schemes together. “Sabrosito” played a dangerous game in a few ways: It featured McGill influencing Wexler to embrace the same grey area she originally detested for the first two seasons. Secondly, Mike’s continued venture with Gus and desire to ruin Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) is becoming painfully obvious to others, mainly his daughter-in-law, Stacey (Kerry Condon). Finally, “Sabrosito” was the most Breaking Bad-influenced episode of Saul’s run, providing cameos and narratives that added more dimension to the history of the cartel’s operations.
For some viewers this would be a welcome addition to the series but shouldn’t turn into a regular occurrence as Saul has already shifted a great deal to place Mike’s adjustment to life in New Mexico on equal footing with Jimmy’s sinking path to infamy. Nevertheless, Gus Fring’s brief stint in season three has already turned the show on its head. Virtually everyone associated with the Juarez cartel was present during the lengthy flashback in “Sabrosito”, from Hector and his loyal yet ill-fated driver Ximenez (Manuel Uriza), Salamanca’s powerful frienemy Juan Bolsa (Javier Grajeda) and of course, the forever smarmy Don Eladio Vuente (Steven Bauer). There was a lot to take in during the first half of the episode as it further enriched the already expansive backstory between Gus, Hector and Don Eladio.
From the smirk on Fring’s usually stoic mug, everything is going according to his plan. Thanks to Ehrmantraut’s disruptive actions, Hector went out of bounds and threatened the lives of Gus’ employees and customers with a few chilling gestures and a pair of intimidating footmen (hey look, Nacho finally made an appearance this season!) Even Ignacio knew Salamanca was drifting too close to the point of no return and thankfully Gus’ assistant manager Lyle (Harrison Thomas) didn’t kill Tio’s vibe and catch a bullet between the eyes for his trouble.
Mike’s shenanigans cost Hector precious time, trucks and money and now he must rely on his chief rival to ship his product across the border. Leave it to a sociopath to convincingly play the patsy and get the filth who killed his best friend to serve himself right into his Machiavellian hands. From the start of “Sabrosito” it’s obvious Salamanca’s old school methods aren’t as effective as they once were; his returns and methods are only getting worse, and as we already know, it’s a matter of time before Salamanca’s will is overcome by the rapid decline of his health.
Back in suburban Albuquerque, the McGills have begun shoring up their defenses for a proper legal battle. The pre prosecution diversion Kyra Hay drafted – with Chuck’s – is but the first step in a long, torturous process Jimmy must endure for his older brother’s amusement. The entire meeting was a dog and pony show meant to belittle James and essentially kick him while he’s down and hope he doesn’t have the strength to get back up and fight.
It’s befuddling to see how openly ruthless both Hamlin and McGill are during proceedings; it doesn’t help that Ms. Hay is a willing pawn in the matter and turns the knife even deeper when she strongly suggested Jimmy apologize to his brother. The act itself is completely unnecessary and not required for the PPD to be filed and certified but hey… Charles has to get his jollies somehow.
Unbeknownst to big brother McGill, Kim did her due diligence to find the repairman Charles hired to repair his door, allowing Jimmy the opportunity to call a favor with Mike and scout the home for a potential copy of the tape. We learned soon after the meeting that Jimmy destroyed the copy and Chuck has the master tucked away as evidence for the eventual hearing with the bar association.
Jimmy and Kim may not know exactly where the tape is stashed but at least their suspicion was confirmed and the photos Mike took inside the house could give Team Nail Salon the advantage they sorely need to overcome the avalanche of bad news thundering their way.
Better Call Saul S3E4
Better Call Saul – S3E4 -Sabrosito | Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn, Patrick Fabian, Michael Mando, Michael McKean, Giancarlo Esposito | Writer: Jonathan Glatzer | Director: Thomas Schnauz