Better Call Saul Off Brand Season 3 Episode 6 Recap – Jimmy must close down his law practice and decide on a path for the next 12 months until his suspension is over. Nacho has a very, very hard day at the office.
Better Call Saul Off Brand Season 3 Episode 6 Recap
“Off Brand” was an episode of recalibration. Howard and Chuck raise a glass of 35-year-old Macallan scotch to “new beginnings.” Howard’s pep talk led me to believe that he could be every bit as masterful in a summation as Kim Wexler was in defending Jimmy. Howard coaxes Chuck out of his funk with a masterful blend of pandering flattery and Jimmy-bashing. Where would modern law be today if Clarence Darrow had passed up cases in order to supervise “ne’er-do-well relatives”?
And with regards to Jimmy? Howard points out that while Jimmy’s suspension isn’t permanent, it is for 12 long months and, if there’s any sort of screw up on Jimmy’s part, the pre-prosecution diversion (PPD) will be nullified and Jimmy will be facing disbarment and prosecution. A little schadenfreude to go along with that aged scotch.
A little later in the episode, that theme of “guys who simply can’t manage to maintain good behavior even when the stakes are high” plays out at El Michoacano. While Hector is suggesting/telling Nacho that he will be using Nacho’s father’s business as a front, Arturo takes a phone call. Bad news on the Tuco front. Tuco has attacked another inmate and a guard. Tuco’s now in solitary, but what angers Hector is that this will mean that, rather than getting out in six months, Tuco’s sentence will be extended. (So, some good news for Nacho in an otherwise awful series of events.)
Earlier in the episode, Nacho had to administer a beating on Krazy-8 (who we haven’t seen since last season of Better Call Saul, and of course who ultimately met his demise in Jesse Pinkman’s basement at the hands of Walter White in season one of Breaking Bad – And the bag’s in the River). Hector can’t elaborate on his plan to use Nacho’s father because the news about Tuco has so upset him. He begins to trash the restaurant but is quickly stymied with a coughing fit which has him fumbling for some meds.
One of the pills falls to the floor. The always alert Nacho covers the pill with his boot. (We’ve just seen Chekov’s pill…perhaps?)
My part…your share
Several characters talk about parts and shares in this episode.
Nacho is the first when he asks Krazy-8, “why didn’t you make it up with your share?” Krazy-8 is short on the money he owes Hector.
Nacho, acting as Hector’s proxy, takes more that Hector’s normal share when he goes to pick up the product from Fring’s agents.
When Howard is offering the scotch to Chuck, he says, “I won’t even tell you how much this cost…don’t worry, it’s coming out of my end.”
And Jimmy tells Kim that the minute he can’t come up with his share of the rent she can pull out of the lease.
All these relationships feel shaky. There’s a definite sense of “this is not going to end well.”
Talk about gorgeous photography! Emboldened by scotch, a commitment to new beginnings, and, I’m certain, a massive desire for payback after what happened at the New Mexico Bar Hearing, Chuck dons a space blanket and heads out into the (highly glamorized) streets of Albuquerque. At first I thought he was doing a sort of recovery acclimation to the outdoors, but it turns out he was simply making his way to a rare pay phone. He places a call to Dr. Lara Cruz (who appeared in the Season 2 finale Klick and the Season 1 masterpiece Alpine Shepherd Boy).
I can only image two reasons for Chuck to push himself to such an extreme. One reason would be to improve his chances (regain some dignity) with Rebecca. But I think that’s out of the question. The other reason would be to get well enough to administer hell’s fury on Jimmy. Howard vision of Chuck getting back on track and ascending to the loftiest levels of law practice is probably the furthest thing from Chuck’s mind.
Gustavo Fring expands operations
There has been much speculation about how Tio (Don Hector) Salamanca ends up in a wheelchair with a bell – maybe a bullet from Mike or maybe going a step too far with Gus. In this episode, with the threat on Nacho’s father’s business and Hector’s coughing episode, we can add two more possibilities: Nacho tampering with Hector’s meds or Hector having a debilitating stroke.
I think Gustavo allows Hector to throw his weight around and take an extra brick simply because Gus has much larger fish to fry with his new Stevia-loving partner from Madrigal. Gus tours the “for sale” property that will become the massive Los Pollos Hermanos distribution hub, laundry facility, and subterranean, state-of-the-art meth lab we know from Breaking Bad.
“Look at you! You’re a triple threat”
We all knew that Jimmy would struggle with his post-hearing suspension. But in the short term, he’s more than occupied with notifying his clients of his “sabbatical” and trying to get off the hook for a $4,000 TV ad spend.
“Gimme Jimmy” James McGill can’t pitch advertising production – it would be off brand. So Jimmy Karloff’s the thing and throws a record number of star wipes into the new spot and promotes Saul Goodman Productions.
With four episodes left in Season 3, Saul Goodman is born.
Better Call Saul Off Brand Season 3 Episode 6 Recap Odds and Ends
Nacho doesn’t want to administer a beating on Krazy-8, but when Hector throws out the “Who works for who? Huh?” he has no choice. We mostly hear the beating – and it sounds vicious. Nacho’s reluctance reminded me of the discussion he had with Mike last season about who would go so far out of their way NOT to pull the trigger. Nacho and Mike seem cut from the same cloth.
It seemed like working the sewing machines was so therapeutic for Nacho. The look on his face – running the leather through the sewing machine so deftly – was so peaceful. And then what happened? Did his thoughts shift to what Hector had in store for his father? Was that enough to knock him out of the zone and get his hand punctured by the needle?
Jimmy has taken care of the goldfish – just as the veterinarian instructed him to! She’s in there with a bubbling treasure chest – is that a nod to A Fish Called Wanda?
As the camera panned around the circle at the support group that Stacy and Mike were at – I wondered if the facilitator would be Jesse’s future rehab group leader (Jere Burns) but it wasn’t.
“Better get ready to get famous, Albuquerque!” I love Jimmy’s student crew. I don’t think there’s anything that provides more joy than one of Jimmy’s/Saul’s television ads. I think Gilligan and Gould must feel that way too since Saul/Gene brought the video cassettes to Omaha.
Better Call Saul reviews on TV Eskimo:
Better Call Saul Off Brand Season 3 Episode 6 Recap characters and cast include:
Jimmy McGill – Bob Odenkirk (The Birthday Boys, Fargo, Breaking Bad, Nebraska, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Run Ronnie Run)
Kim Wexler – Rhea Seehorn (Franklin & Bash, Whitney, The Shaggy Dog)
Howard Hamlin – Patrick Fabian (Joan of Arcadia, The Last Exorcism, Bad Ass, Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike)
Chuck McGill – Michael McKean (This is Spinal Tap, Planes Trains & Automobiles, Clue, Family Tree, For Your Consideration, A Mighty Wind, The X-Files, Best in Show, True Crime)
Francesca Liddy – Tina Parker (Breaking Bad, Men Women & Children, Rectify)
Rebecca McGill – Ann Cusack (Nightcrawler, Sully, Fargo, Private Practice, Accepted)