Better Call Saul, 4 x 10, “Winner”

AMC’s Better Call Saul finishes up its fourth season with most of the main characters on the edge of their new lives as staples of the Albuquerque drug trade. This week opens with a guest appearance by Chuck in the flashback to time that Jimmy’s friends went to a karaoke bar after he first became an attorney. The brothers McGill put on a duet where they sing ABBA’s “The Winner Takes It All.”

Jimmy holds one year death anniversary activities in memory of Chuck. He stands by Chuck’s grave with flowers and greets colleagues and well-wishers. He signs a $23,000 check to fund a Charles McGill reading room and an accompanying party where he stands conspicuously aloof. Rick Schweikert and Howard Hamlin both attend, as do most prominent lawyers in the Albuquerque area. Jimmy’s sudden affection for Chuck has become his ticket for convincing the appeal board that he’s ready to become a lawyer again.

Meanwhile, Mike has men fan out to search for Werner. A sneaky Lalo spying on the Pollos Hermanos complex watches Fring’s men scramble as they prepare to comb the area for the missing engineer. Mike, meanwhile, figures out which wire service Werner used to bring money into the United States and from there he gets an idea of which resorts Werner might hide out in. Lalo attempts to follow Mike, but Mike drives into a ticketed parking lot where he uses his knowledge of ticket machines to jam the gate so that Lalo gets stuck in the lot. Later, Lalo visits the same wire service, calls Werner at his resort, Mike interrupts with his distinctive silence before he can learn anything important.

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Photo source: press.amcnetworks.com. Photo credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

As part of his grieving for Chuck act, Jimmy sits on a board of trustees that reviews high school students who need scholarships for college. Jimmy votes for one candidate who had previously had a shoplifting conviction, but unsuccessfully convinces Howard and the rest of the board that this girl deserves to turn her life around. He tracks downs the girl later and does his best to motivate by telling that she needs to take all the shortcuts she can in order to get ahead in life.

Mike tries to talk Fring into letting Werner live long enough to finish digging out the meth lab, but Fring will not agree to it. Mike tells him not to send anybody. After Werner realizes what Mike needs to do, he begs Mike for mercy. Mike makes him get his wife, who was coming to the States to meet him, on a plane back to Germany. Then, Mike walks him out to the desert and kills him in a beautiful, quiet, wide pan. Later, Mike returns to the meth lab where Fring is giving Gale Boetticher a tour, but Fring insists that they wait before they start cooking.

Kim watches Jimmy put his philosophy to work in front of the appeals board. Before the hearing, Jimmy and Kim agree that he should read the letter that Chuck left him in public as a testament to his good character. Jimmy reads half of it, then ad libs and completely lets out his feelings about Chuck’s death. The appeals board buys his speech and he gets his law license back. Kim feels proud of Jimmy, until they get out of the courtroom and he drops the remorseful act, revealing that he had lied to the board about his grief. Horrified, Kim watches as Jimmy fills out the paperwork for his law license and requests a DBA (doing business as) form. When she asks why, he answers, “S’all good, man!”

So, in season four, we saw both Mike and Jimmy get completely sucked into their illegal enterprises. Season four featured a lot of the great content that Breaking Bad mastered — from the awesome camera work and direction to the trademark bizarre soundtrack — but the plot leaves lots of cliffhangers. Will Nacho and his father ever escape the drug trade? How will the Pollos deal with Lalo’s presence? Will Kim cut Jimmy loose or attempt to save him from his Saul Goodman persona?

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Photo source: press.amcnetworks.com Photo credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

 

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Author: Aaron Heil

Follow Aaron on Twitter @AaronJamHeil or see all the different stuff he's into on Goodreads.

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