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‘Better Call Saul’ Truth And Lies: Wedding Bells, Arson, And Curly Fries

TRUTH — They actually did it, in front of God and Huell and everyone

Okay, full disclosure: I did not call this. I did the opposite of call this. I wrote, in the recap of last week’s episode, that I did not think Jimmy and Kim would get married. Ever. I had reasons and logic and I laid them all out in a reasonably sensible way and I was wrong. I was so wrong. They got married in the damn cold open. Huell was their witness and photographer and even offered to steal some rings for them. That’s a good friend right there. We should all be so lucky.

In my defense, this was very much a marriage of convenience, a practical matter that had more — at least as much — to do with protecting each other legally as it did with making a lifelong commitment to a romantic partner. It was a calculated move, mostly by Kim, which I somehow both support and hate with the fiery heat of an exploding chicken restaurant.


On one hand, yes, it is smart for Kim to get herself into a position where she can’t be forced to testify against Jimmy for all of the things Saul is doing and where he can’t be forced to testify about what she knew and when. They’re both playing a little fast and loose lately, him more than her, what with his borderline extortion of Mesa Verde and his representation of Lalo Salamanca. But she’s the one who brought him into Mesa Verde. And it seems like she likes touching the stove sometimes, just to be sure it’s still hot. If you’re going to do that, separately or together, you might as well make sure you have an oven mitt on. Smart, sensible, etc.

On the other hand, Kevin from Mesa Verde was right: she can do better than Jimmy. He’s going to drag her down with him if she doesn’t shake free first, and I’m not even saying that because I’ve seen Breaking Bad. It’s just a fact and a recurring theme in these recaps: Kim must run far away as soon as possible if she wants to come out of the situation whole. This is a terrible way to start that process.

LIE — Jimmy is handling the stress of his job in a normal and healthy manner


Jimmy is now representing Lalo — excuse me, “Jorge de Guzman” — in a murder trial, which is a heck of a next step from doing property shenanigans to hose a bank, but here we are. He does not appear to be having fun. There was a lot of sighing and looking over at the victim’s family and then sighing again. He was not in a great place.

Which brings us to Howard and his poor timing. Give Howard this: he’s a patient, forgiving man. He sniffed out Jimmy’s role in his recent, oh, let’s say “troubles,” and he still left the job offer open anyway. He’s like a very chill dad who was letting his toddler scream and shout and just tucker himself out with a little tantrum. It was never going to happen, though. Jimmy does not “tucker out.” I think everyone but Howard knew that, probably. We probably didn’t see the “LIGHTNING BOLTS SHOOT FROM MY FINGERTIPS” rant in the middle of the courthouse coming, though. That was a pleasant surprise. Bob Odenkirk is a Hall of Fame yeller, going all the way back to Mr. Show. Sometimes you need to cut the leash and let the big dogs run free. That’s what this was. Not a simple complaint coming from me.

Also, let’s not forget that he once pooped in the open sunroof of an adversary’s luxury car. Howard got off light with the hookers and bowling balls and shouting, all things considered.

TRUTH — We must protect Nacho and Kim


I know neither of them are angels here, and I know they’re trending in opposite directions. Kim is teetering toward the dark side and yelling at clients for not listening to the advice she gave them while she was secretly plotting against them. (Awful nice call center you’re planning here. Be a shame if anything… happened to it.) Nacho is trying to get out, with his dad, and leave the violence and danger of the drug trade in his rearview. He hates it and wants a new clean life that is safe and far away from anyone named Salamanca or Fring. He’s trying to be a better man. Trying.

And the thing is, these are the only characters on the show worth rooting for. They’re also the only main ones whose fates are unknown. Jimmy ends up in that sad Cinnabon. Mike dies. Gus dies. Hector dies. Huell ends up in that godforsaken motel room and probably in prison. There is a bleak future coming for almost all of these people. Kim and Nacho represent hope and the idea that a decent person can escape this freaking scorpion den. They’re all we have. It will probably end poorly for at least one of them. I’m going to be miserable when it happens.

And yes, I did just look it up and see that scorpions live in “a burrow,” technically, no a den. But “scorpion den” sounds much better. I’m going to stick with it. This one is on the scientists for choosing the wrong name, not me for improving it.

LIE — Gus Fring is terrible at bad guy stuff


Nope. Big lie. Gus is awesome at bad guy stuff. He always is, from the creepy theatrics of it to the meticulous planning to literally walking away from an explosion like he’s Rambo or something. I respect it so much. He terrifies me.

That scene in the restaurant told a story, too, about the difference between Gus and the Salamancas. Nacho was doing the chaotic stuff, the messy stuff, slashing cushions and smashing windows and spray painting stuff on the walls. He was all heat and emotion. Meanwhile, Gus was ice and steady calm. Picking out chickens, turning on the gas, setting up a Rube Goldberg arson device that features hot oil and a frozen sliding bird. It was everything in a nutshell, basically. And he did it in a suit. In a suit! Who does an arson in formal attire? I’ll tell you who: Gus Fring, because this was a business arson, and one dresses for business when doing business.

TRUTH — Lalo got what he wanted and it is probably going to cost him


You have to assume this doesn’t work out for Lalo, in part because we know the future a little bit and that future involves Gus Fring, and in part because if you and Gus Fring want the same thing — in this case, bail and torching the restaurant — it’s probably going to work out better for him. He’s just smarter than you are, probably, whoever you are, unless you’re Walter White a number of years from now. Which you are not, probably

What a weird situation, man. Gus is trying to avoid an all-out war while also kneecapping Lalo, and in doing so he had to destroy a restaurant and send Mike out with the evidence to more or less undo the things they did to get Lalo arrested in the first place. Mike didn’t look too happy about it. To be fair, Mike rarely looks happy about anything. But still. He’s a man who takes pride in his work. And it looked like he was having fun pretending to be Dave Clark, Private Investigator. (How perfectly Mike is it that he could come up with any fake name he wanted — Brock Seismic, Percy Billions, Tex Montreal, etc. — and he went with “Dave Clark”?) Had to hurt to undo so much of that. Poor Mike.

LIE — Lydia is very smooth at crime chat


Lydia! Welcome back! I had a feeling we might see her when that big Madrigal sign appeared on the wall, but I did not expect that adjoining rooms business and I really did not expect that very brief “Wait, are they going to kiss?” moment before they got down to their real business. Maybe that was just me. Maybe I’m the world’s first Gus-Lydia shipper. Feels good.

Two other notes:

  • “Shanked And Shivved And Whatnot” would be a great title for a prison memoir
  • The thing where Gus urged the Madrigal exec would bankrolled him with embezzled Euros to stay the course was very frustrating because Gus mentioned his previous life in Chile again and if I don’t find out what Gus was doing back then before the end of this show I am going to heave my laptop off my balcony

Just tell me! Come on!

TRUTH — I want to try those spice curls so bad


Jesus Christ. First the fried chicken, then the cinnamon buns, now curly fries “with a Southwestern kick.” Very few shows make me as hungry as consistently as Better Call Saul. I’m including actual food shows in this discussion. It’s not right.