(4) Kim isn’t there, and whoever answers doesn’t know where she went. The trail is cold, and he has no way to find her after all. Maybe she’ll turn up at Cinnabon after all?
(5) Kim has some other, unexpected reason for not joining him that I’m too dense to figure out. Any time I try to anticipate what’s going to happen on this show, I’m wrong. That’s one of the main things that makes the show so good! So my money is on this option: the explanations that immediately jump out at me are wrong, and there’s something going on here I can’t even anticipate.
Whatever the answer, the muffled phone conversation, coupled with the news that his stashed fortune is gonzo, changes something in Gene. Whether it’s to get back at Kim, or to raise enough funds to hit the road and win her back, or simply to distract himself from the hole in his soul, he wants back in the game. Given how recklessly he goes about it, I wonder if he wants to get caught—maybe as a way of appealing to Kim’s soft spot for destitute defendants.
An idea occurs to him as he ponders the mechanical mixer in the back of the Cinnabon. (And notice how the camera slowly zooms in on the EXIT sign behind his head during this sequence.)
He heads back to Marion’s kitchen for another shot of schnapps and renegotiates his relationship with Jeffy. They’re back in business. All Jeff needs to do is get the taxi company to put him on the graveyard shift—oh, and find some barbiturates.
Throughout this series, we have seen Jimmy McGill pull off a lot of scams. They tend to be elegant, even ingenious. Not this one. Yes, it takes a certain amount of skill to pump booze up your sleeve all night and pretend to be blotto, but really, this is a blunt, thuggish operation. The idea is to get single rich guys drunk, pick them up in Jeffy’s cab, drug them, tape open the front door, then have Jeffy’s buddy photograph all their personal documents. The photos are then sold to a shady broker for stacks of cash.
The first guy really deserves it, honestly. He’s a selfish, obnoxious, cheating jerk. (Easter egg alert: per his driver’s license, the jerk’s name is Alfred Hawthorne Hill, which happens to be the given name of the skirt-chasing British comedian Benny Hill.) But eventually Saul will find himself working a very different kind of mark: a kind, gentle fellow who, he reveals after downing a mouthful of pills, is battling cancer.
Which brings us back to Walter White, the chemistry teacher who transforms into a murderous drug lord after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Suddenly, we’re back in the RV with Walt, Jesse, and Saul for an extended remix of their momentous early encounter. There’s a mention of $80,000 and a “job” that Saul needs to do—this refers to their successful effort to pay a career criminal to pose as “Heisenberg” and have Badger falsely ID him. Jesse also asks Saul to explain who Lalo is, which helps thread the original Breaking Bad sequence in with the Better Call Saul version of events.
But mostly we’re having fun here, reliving the heady early days of this alliance that would go so wrong. And we’re seeing it through Gene’s eyes. Regrets, he has a few. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a score or two to settle too.
Flashing forward again, we get the encounter between Gene and the nice mark, the one with cancer. If Gene ever thinks twice about screwing the guy over, it doesn’t last long. At this point, he really is a soulless wretch.
Then it’s back to Saul Goodman’s office, where Mike Ehrmantraut pays him a visit. They talk about Walter White, and Mike urges Saul not to get involved with him, saying, “Even if this guy was gonna live, I wouldn’t go near him—he’s a complete amateur.” Funny, “amateur” is certainly a word that describes Jeffy and his buddy with the dog.
Is that why Gene gets so angry when the accomplice decides not to steal the cancer patient’s private information? Gene races over to Marion’s garage (not without attracting her notice, her cat videos notwithstanding) and demands that the friend go back and finish the job. When he refuses, Gene fires him—without so much as a word of protest from Jeff.
Going back is obviously stupid. The door is locked. They don’t know how long the drugging will last. Gene is clearly being irrational. But he’s dead set on going all the way, come what may. He tells Jeffy to come back in 20 minutes, then walks up to the front door and smashes the glass.
And with that, the episode ends.
Will Gene get caught, fingered, and sent back to Albuquerque to be defended by Bill Oakley? Will Jeffy’s friend get his revenge? Will Kim come to the rescue? Will Walt and Jesse ever do anything that actually adds to our understanding of the BBCS? Will Marion be disappointed that Gene is a bad influence?
Ahhhh, there are only two more episodes left!