Better Call Saul Fall Season 3 Episode 9 Recap – Kim takes a trip to Farwell, Mike takes a job at Madrigal, Howard and Chuck meet with the insurance company, and Nacho’s plan fails, and Jimmy investigates the state of the Sandpiper lawsuit in a very busy episode of Better Call Saul.
Better Call Saul Fall Season 3 Episode 9 Recap
Jimmy embraces his dark side
Up until this episode, Jimmy’s manipulations and scams were palatable because it could be rationalized that his victims deserved it – with one exception – his departure from Davis and Main. His antics to get fired from Davis and Main could be classified as the “we’ll all laugh about this someday” variety – suits, shirts and ties of every garish color, bagpipes, not flushing the toilet, etc.
Now, with the million plus payday from the Sandpiper case pulsing through his mind’s eye, Jimmy engages in the politics of personal destruction, putting poor, sweet Irene in the crosshairs.
The lengths Jimmy goes to is breath-taking: the kitty cookies, the trunk full of shoes in different sizes, and the tampered bingo balls. All the attention to detail, which before had been rather endearing, is now wielded in a ruthless fashion against an innocent septuagenarian, who only wants to mall walk and go to chair yoga with her friends. It is heart-breaking to watch the clique ostracize and shun Irene based on Jimmy’s whisperings.
The Long-Suffering Howard Hamlin
I’m probably in the minority, but I have enormous sympathy for Howard and I believe he is a decent person.
He’s also a highly competitive, alpha dog with the ability to shift into full tilt assholery – but I sense more good there than bad. Back in the day, he acknowledged Jimmy’s hard work and fondly dubbed him “Charlie Hustle”.
When Jimmy passed the bar, Howard has served as the messenger of bad news telling Jimmy that there wouldn’t be a position at HHM. It was Chuck who did not want the “monkey with the machine gun” representing HHM.
He has always accommodated Chuck’s quirks without so much as a sigh. In this episode, he is gleeful about the planning the retirement party because he genuinely wants Chuck to have an appropriate send off.
Instead of just pulling the plug on Chuck, Howard has gone to the trouble of paving the way for Chuck to transition into a sort of senior statesman of New Mexico law – with a guest speaker gig at the University of New Mexico and emeritus status at HHM.
And Howard has weathered the bizarre, the ugly, and the awkward McGill versus McGill fallout professionally and without visible (and completely understandable) frustration…until this episode. I was shocked when he asked Jimmy if he wanted a handout, and then proceeded to pull cash from his wallet.
While it was incredibly out of character for Howard, it could be that the decades of McGill wear and tear has finally come to a head. HHM has been stressed by Chuck’s meltdown at the bar hearing. HHM risks client defection – the reason Howard has been wining and dining three meals a day. Now the cash flow is threatened by excessive malpractice insurance fee.
Jimmy poking at Sandpiper is probably more than Howard can bear.
The nine lives of Hector Salamanca
There is no justice in Albuquerque when Irene suffers, but Hector Salamanca does not. It appears that, despite bringing Daniel ‘Pryce’ Wormald out of retirement and the blood, sweat and tears of switching out Hector’s heart pills with Nacho’s fake meds, Nacho’s plan has failed in the short term.
It looks as though Hector is going to ignore orders from Don Eladio to continue working with “the Chilean” and proceed with his plan to use Nacho’s father’s business as a cover. Nacho must admit to his father that he’s been doing work for Hector Salamanca and that soon his father’s business will be taken over (perhaps much like the restaurant Nacho and Hector work out of).
Speaking of honest, hard-working characters that can’t catch a break…
Asleep at the wheel
Kim Wexler has been running on fumes. Her all-nighters have become more frequent, and for some inexplicable reason, she took on the Gatwood Oil account. It seemed like she was going to refer it out in “Slip” and after talking to Jimmy she seemed to change her mind.
It could be that she saw Gatwood Oil as a quick win. Possibly a way of covering Jimmy’s half so that he could focus on completing his community service and somehow manage to finish his year of suspension with a minimal amount of damage.
Farwell, New Mexico is closer to Lubbock, Texas than it is to Albuquerque. It’s roughly a four-hour drive from Albuquerque to Farwell. Given Kim’s workload, that is a huge amount of time to spend on the road. Combined with the chronic lack of sleep, it was a recipe for trouble.
[Cue up Radiohead’s “Airbag”] Kim falls asleep at the wheel and veers off the road and crashes. Fortunately, no other cars are involved. Sadly, all the notebooks she rushed to assemble are littered on the ground around the car, and while Kim is scraped up and hobbling a bit – she has avoided what could have been much more serious injury. However, this incident probably means that things are in jeopardy with Gatwood Oil at a minimum and could possibly threaten her ability to deliver for Mesa Verde.
It’s hard to believe that we’re already at the end of Season 3 – but next week will be the Season 3 finale, “Lantern” and I’m sure there will be plenty of action and even more heart-break.
Better Call Saul reviews on TV Eskimo:
Better Call Saul Fall Season 3 Episode 9 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)
Mike Ehrmantraut – Jonathan Banks (Wiseguy, Beverly Hills Cop, Airplane!, Community, Breaking Bad, Dexter)
Nacho Varga – Michael Mando (Orphan Black, Territories, The Colony)
Gustavo Fring – Giancarlo Esposito (The Usual Suspects, Smoke, The Jungle Book, Breaking Bad, Allegiance, Last Holiday, Derailed, Ali, Homicide: Life on the Street)
Victor – Jeremiah Bitsui (Natural Born Killers, Breaking Bad, Flags of Our Fathers)
Hector Salamanca – Mark Margolis (The Wrestler, Black Swan, Gone Baby Gone, The Affair, Person of Interest, 12 Monkeys, Breaking Bad, Hannibal, Oz, Absolute Power)
Arturo – Vincent Fuentes (American Crime, The Iceman, Machete Kills)
Lydia Rodarte-Quayle – Laura Fraser (A Knight’s Tale, Breaking Bad, The Missing, The Loch)
Manuel Varga – Juan Carlos Cantu (Twin Peaks, The Bridge, Telenovela)
Insurance Rep – Rebekah Turner (Murder Made Me Famous, Steps of Faith, Dallas)
Billy Gatwood – Chris Mulkey (Whiplash, Captain Phillips, Timeless, Grimm, Boardwalk Empire, Saving Grace)