NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Better Call Saul” are present in this review
Better Call Saul is continuing to amp up the drama in the lead-in to next week’s season finale, which is mostly continuing to go over very well. “Wiedersehen” completed the final set of obstacles for all of the show’s lead personalities this season, as Jimmy receives shocking news, Lalo makes himself known to Gus, and Mike encounters a last-minute snag as the superlab nears completion. These are all conflicts that are predictably left hanging by the end of the episode, all serving as key story devices for the season’s conclusion next week, but the setup is still going to do a great job of holding viewers’ attention, even if the plight of some characters may resonate a bit more than others’ for now.
The criminal storylines definitely ramped up this week, but Jimmy still arguably saw the most pressing battle laid before him. Things really seem to be going his way to start as well, particularly as Kim gets him in on another con, which amounts to securing a slight conference room expansion for Mesa Verde’s new branch in Lubbock, Texas. The cold open showing Jimmy and Kim posing as a pair of strained siblings that ‘accidentally’ ruin the old branch plans with spilled milk presents just the right combination of dark humour and slick results, and seems to show the two once again working like a well-oiled machine, with any relationship weakening now firmly in the past, even as it seems to be replaced with dishonest dysfunction.
This isn’t meant to be though, naturally, since Jimmy attends his hearing to be reinstated with the bar association, and appears to do very well at the hearing… At first. Jimmy then waits all day to stop the transcriber and check to see if he got approved, but, astonishingly, the bar plans to reject his application, since he refused to mention Chuck at all during the hearing. This was actually quite unexpected, since we know that Jimmy is definitely a lawyer by the time the events of Breaking Bad occur, and it really did seem like he was on a direct path to regaining his law license by the end of the season. The intensely angry scene shared between Jimmy and Kim that followed was also pretty outstanding (it even put another well-placed f-bomb in the dialogue, an extra rarity for an AMC season), and seemingly ends with their relationship once again on thin ice. The two do appear to make up by the end though, and it seems like Kim is going to be in Jimmy’s corner once again for the season finale next week, as the two work to overturn the rejection and make Jimmy a lawyer again during an appeal.
The superb lead conflict with Jimmy is definitely reason enough to be excited, but the criminal storylines also appear to be seeing several big developments this week, especially now that Hector is out of the hospital, and in a nursing home. This allows Lalo to make contact with his uncle, alongside Nacho, and present him with another essential bit of Breaking Bad lore, that being Hector’s hotel service bell. Turns out, there’s a pretty dark story behind Hector’s bell, which was intriguing enough to have Lalo hinting at during the conversation. What’s even more intriguing though is a point when Nacho is sent away, and Lalo has a private ‘conversation’ with Hector. When Lalo returns to Nacho, he then comments, “Same old Hector. Always wants to kill everybody.” While this could be an innocent crack, it could also suggest that Hector may be fully aware of who poisoned his medication, and may be instructing Lalo to start preparing an attack on Gus and Nacho in the near-future. That would certainly create an interesting threat for next week’s season finale!
Evidence of a potential attack is also implied when Lalo takes Nacho to pay a visit to Gus at Los Pollos Hermanos. Lalo goes into the back room to seemingly thank Gus for saving Hector’s life, and then makes a not-so-innocent reference to potentially striking at Don Eladio, since Eladio is intentionally perpetuating the, “Bad blood” between Gus and the Salamanca cartel. After Gus rejects the idea, Lalo claims that he is joking, but it also presents another interesting possibility as to what Lalo and Hector may have been conspiring about. Is it also possible that the revenge on Gus and Nacho by Hector is not a direct attack, but a staged attack against Don Eladio? That would probably also give Nacho a quick route to ending up six feet under (even if we know that Gus obviously survives into the events of Breaking Bad seemingly unharmed), but as usual, Better Call Saul is doing a good job of keeping its viewers guessing, even considering that Gus and Eladio do indeed seem to be at odds during the events of Breaking Bad. With Nacho and Lalo headed to Gus’ meth distribution farm, I guess we’ll have to see next week if anything bad is going to happen to Nacho, specifically before the season is done.
This just leaves Mike, who, by contrast, seems to have hit a small speed bump in the lead-in to next week’s season finale. With Mike’s and Werner’s crew finally successfully blasting the big intrusive rock that’s in the way of completing their meth superlab construction, Mike starts noticing that Werner is acting strangely. Werner is apparently starting to get cabin fever, and begins demanding to speak with his wife. Mike complies, but checks with the surveillance team to make sure nothing is amiss. Things seem fine and back on schedule afterward, but by the end of the episode, Werner has used a laser pointer to blind the cameras while making an escape, which Mike notices in the episode’s final seconds. This was sort of foreshadowed, since Werner often spoke fondly of the people in his life to Mike during their previous conversations, and how much he needs them, but Werner outright fleeing right when construction is nearing completion feels a bit like the show is forcing an excuse to give Mike something to do during the season finale next week. After all, Mike is absolutely correct when he says that Werner will never have to be away from his wife again after the job is done, and it’s almost done. Maybe next week’s episode will explain this, but for now, Werner suddenly taking off feels like too much of a stretch, especially when it would have made more sense to have Kai, a known troublemaker, run off, and have Werner simply assist in the getaway out of loyalty to his men. It would have probably achieved much of the same result. We’ll see where this goes next week though. Maybe there is indeed an important reason why Werner is suddenly doing something so seemingly irrational.
“Wiedersehen” does manage to do a great job of setting the stage for the end of Better Call Saul’s fourth season, as each of the lead characters seems to be on a collision course with a particularly difficult challenge next week. It seems like just about everyone’s professional integrity is on the line by this point, as Jimmy faces the possibility of having to wait at least another year to become a lawyer again, Nacho’s very life may be in danger, Mike sees a major containment breach with Gus’ superlab, and Gus himself may just be losing some of the iron grip he’s had over Salamanca territory. There’s certainly a lot to look forward to next week, with the fates of Jimmy and Nacho in particular no doubt indicating the direction that the already-confirmed fifth season of this show will be heading in. I will say however that we’re starting to gradually hear the name, “Saul Goodman” uttered more and more, and that’s fitting, since the timeline gap between Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad is starting to get pretty narrow. It’s enough to make you think about the irony that every attempt a third party has made to, “Protect the law”, be it Chuck or the bar association, merely seems to be constructing another piece of a man that is eventually determined to abuse it.
Better Call Saul's drama effectively amps up further this week, as all of the show's leads face a major professional hurdle.
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THE GOOD STUFF
Jimmy's scorn toward Chuck once again costing him his law license
Sinister conspiring between Hector and Lalo
The possible start of the Gus/Eladio animosity from Breaking Bad