‘Better Call Saul’ Season 4 Recap (Episides 1-9)
An Overview of Season Four Episode by Episode.
Yet another black and white beginning to the season introduces post-BrBa Jimmy. He is being questioned by a hospital receptionist at the hospital where he was admitted to following an apparent stroke shown in the season 3 premiere. The receptionist asks for Jimmy’s ID which had been faked by the ‘vacuum salesman’ in Breaking Bad and it seemed to check out on their systems. The main show then opened in the wake of Chuck’s funeral. Howard Hamlin gave the small amount of $3000 for Jimmy’s portion of Chuck’s will – a rather low blow from him.
Good ole Slippin’ Jimmy is back to his old tricks and scams. In accepting a job offer at an unsuspecting Phone Sales Company, he enters the Executive office and has an interesting conversation with the bosses. He used his classic trick, manipulation, to persuade the young executives to give him a chief role in the company. This was achieved easily as he had stepped down from criminal law last season to the lower less complex job of phone sales.
A Hummell figurine spotted by Jimmy in the executive’s office, said to be worth thousands of dollars, is stolen and replaced by Jimmys counterfeit from “a friend, of a friend, of a friend”.
The hilarity of the hired thief’s escapade in stealthily infiltrating the Phone Sales company in the early hours of the morning is heightened by his entrapment. This is seen as one of the executives is kicked out by his wife and must sleep in the office where the figurine lies. Therefore, to claim the object he must navigate skilfully around him without detection. However, he could not see a way to do so. This resulted in him staying the night hunched under a desk as the executive ordered a pizza and lounged lethargically for the rest of the early morning.
Jimmy is called upon by the thief for a pickup so does so by distracting the executive with car alarms in the parking lot. This allowed the thief to pass through the office. The executive wanders to the underground car park where Jimmy is lurking in the shadows of the cars and the thief escapes.
An insane episode.
After Nacho was hit by Gus’ men to the brink of a coma, he is coerced to blame the attack on a rival Mexican drug cartel in return for Gus keeping quiet on Nacho’s involvement with Hectors’ alarming health decline. The merciless Salamanca twins then enter the cartel’s stronghold and shoot up the entire gang effortlessly with automatic machine guns spraying around the vicinity. An injured Nacho, in an attempt to cover for one of the Twins, is too impaired to do so as enemies close in, but he is saved by the other twin who covers for him instead.
What an opening.
A flash forward to the final events of Breaking Bad sees Saul Goodman before the Cinnabon in Omaha retreat. This perfect set up and unseen event from BrBa shows Saul’s actions during his departure from his firm. This is a rather heart-wrenching and frantic scene to say the least.
Jimmy meets Howard for the first time since Chucks funeral in the bathroom of his firm, with Howard seemingly at breaking point. He, who apparently visits a shrink twice a week, looks a complete and utter psychological wreck.
Jimmy is back in the swing with his cheeky business pitches at the phone sales shop and flogs a lot of ‘pay as you go’ phones to an IRS evading customer. This leads him to street flogging resulting in a mugging in the night. From this beating, the intimacy and closeness of Jimmy and Kim’s relationship is expressed as Kim nurses Jimmy’s injuries gently and with affection.
A spectacular scene as Mike sits in a van with possible builders to fit and make plans for Gus’ super lab. As they travel beneath a black hood through various terrain over time lapses of shots, the brilliant cinematography and screenplay by Vince Gilliagan and Peter Gould is once again shown.
Mike finds his guy, an incredibly thorough German architect, to project manage and blueprint the laboratory. This ends in Gus meeting the German to confirm as the immense price for the project is approximated.
The episode magnificently ends with Jimmy back on the trail of practising law as he plans through an agency to do so in a lawful and professional manner. This may be the season’s turning point and the creation of the notorious Better Call Saul soliciting firm.
A brilliant continuation of the series, as Jimmy bulks up on imports of ‘pay-as-you-go’ phones to sell on the side from his mundane job at the phone sales company.
Kim deals with a load of pro bono cases as a form of charity and quits Mesa Verde for a more solid job at Schweikart & Cokely. Jimmy’s plans to build a criminal law firm with Kim are thus destroyed, leaving a greater gap between their respective professions.
Meanwhile, Gus and Mikes German architect for the super lab is suited and booted with his team of builders. Gus seeks to keep them away from the public eye due to their criminal manufacturing of the meth laboratory.
To do this, he builds two self-contained homes in a massive bunker with cinema screens, pool tables, a bar, gym, basketball hoop and football pitch with hidden CCTV cameras.
The episode was a brilliant filler to set up the intense action to come.
With Hector now conscious, he resembles the cynical curmudgeon of Breaking Bad’s Salamanca don. He is able to respond with the iconic tapping of his bell for yes and no questions and knocks over a plastic cup of water to ogle at a nurses bottom. He is definitely self-aware and mentally sharp.
At this time, we see Gus being updated on Hector’s condition by the doctor, who informs him of his great health improvement. In response, Gus chooses to suspend treatment and send Hector to a nursing home instead of receiving further therapy. This is seen as a tactical move in order to permanently cripple the once unrivalled don of the Mexican drug cartel into the state we view him in in Breaking Bad.
Jimmy and Kim’s contrasting lives continue as Jimmy flogs his pay-as-you- go phones to dealers. He is caught and interrogated by an undercover police officer but is bailed out by bodyguard Huell who, deafened by headphones but visually aware, rushes to Jimmy’s aid and hits the officer with bag of groceries in a comical scene. Huell is taken into custody and Jimmy pleads with Kim to represent him in court. Kim accepts the offer and collaborated with Jimmy to make a plan, which we are not shown due to the episode ending on this cliffhanger.
This episode is light-hearted apart from a handful of scenes with Mike Ehrmantraut.
Mike took care of business with the lacklustre engineering boss and building crew proving once more he is a true character of epic proportions.
I thoroughly enjoy Jonathan Banks’ acting skills.
Gus was rather disappointed in learning that Hector Salamanca appeared to be recovering in hospital following his meddling. He then tried to divert medical resources from him.
Will halting Hector’s convalescence be enough? Or will Gus try to send him back a few steps in the recovery process by force? Riveting stuff.
From the bus ride to Coushatta, Louisiana, falsified letters are posted from Huell supporters in his hometown to the network of fake phone lines set up by Jimmy. This pre-empts the DA’s digging into the made-up campaign. The sub-plot was a huge amount of fun for viewers (nice Louisiana accent, pastor Jimmy). The pair did a good job in convincing the district attorney that Huell is important in his local church. But the show didn’t explain to the viewer why Huell was so important to Jimmy. Why go to such great lengths for a flunky who doesn’t seem especially close to Jimmy nor is particularly good at his job? Nevertheless, a fantastic episode.
What an amazing show.
The final episodes of season four are just as good as those at the end of season 4 in BrBa.
Absolutely amazing work from Gould and Gilligan.
There is a tense confrontation between Gus Fring and Don Eladio’s bisexual partner in buisiness. They challenge each other and Gus, who is it was under Don Eladio’s thumb, is ordered by the messenger who delivers information.
There is a brilliant ending scene as Mike is challenged intensely with music exacerbating the situation. There is a perceived threat which ends up being trivial and misguiding. This tense music is similar to Breaking Bad’s penultimate scene of season 4 concerning Walter.
The directorial work from the show runners is immensely beautiful and symmetrical to that of Breaking Bad.
A perfect show for shady lawyers.