'Better Call Saul' season 4 episode 3: Nachos is in trouble and your favorite meth cook returns in 'Something Beautiful'
'Something Beautiful' may not have been as eventful as episode 2, but it still had some big surprises in store
'Breathe' built on the foundations laid by the season 4 opener and saw Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk), Kim (Rhea Seehorn), and Howard (Patrick Fabian) dealing with the death of Chuck (Michael McKean) once more. While Jimmy decided to turn to a familiar coping mechanism — a genuine hunt for a job leads him to come across a 'Bavarian Boy' doll worth a cool $8,000 and a subsequent plan to steal it for himself — it was Kim who was left to deal with Chuck's will and a letter he had left his younger brother. Unperturbed, Kim showed exactly why fans of the series love her so much, laying into Howard for the stunts he'd pulled previously.
Elsewhere, Don Hector Salamanca's (Mark Margolis) nephews were back in town. 'The Cousins,' or the 'Murder Twins' as I like to call them, find themselves in Albuquerque after their uncle suffers a stroke. Leonel and Marco Salamanca (Daniel and Luis Moncada) earned a sort of cult popularity from 'Breaking Bad' for their austere, mechanical physicality and non-verbal interactions. Here, they were back to their pathological, cold-blooded best, intimidating Nacho (Michael Mando) and his companion Arturo (Vicent Fuentes) with their mere presence.
And, of course, how can we forget Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). The introduction of Albuquerque's top drug lord in season 3 had ensured that the stakes in 'Better Call Saul' had been taken up by a notch, but he would still remain very much in the periphery. That is, until now. In a scene reminiscent of the one where he took a box cutter to one of his accomplices' throats in front of Walter (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul), Gus choked the life out of Arturo with a ziplock bag in front of Nacho. He followed that up by making it known that he was in the know about the drug runner's plans to kill Hector in a not so subtle way, telling him, "You. Are. Mine." Chills.
For all the eventfulness of episode 2, the opening of episode 3 indicated that creators Vince Gilligan and Gould would return to basics: a contemplative, slow-burning scene in the middle of the desert infused with just the right dosage of suspense. 5:49 minutes passed before a single word was uttered, and when we hear the first spoken words, one thing becomes quite apparent...
Nacho has gotten himself into one hell of a bind
Nacho is another one of those who finds himself in the ruthless and cutthroat world of the drug trade without wanting to be there. Hector's insistence at involving his father's car trade in the meth smuggling business leaves him little choice but to assassinate the cartel supremo, but the plan goes awry and fails. Furthermore, Fring's vendetta against Hector means that the Los Pollos Hermanos boss figures out that Nacho is behind the scheming, almost denying him the satisfaction of ridding the Salamanca patriarch himself.
So now, Nacho is in the servitude of another psychopathic meth baron, and he was not let off easy. To cover the tracks on Arturo's murder, Nacho is taken out to the desert to stage a crime scene. But it wouldn't be realistic if just one of the targets ended up dead, so he takes a bullet to the shoulder, and one to the gut. Bleeding out and on the verge of passing out, he has a short window of time to call for help and chooses to phone in the murder twins. A quick appointment with Dr. Caldera (Joe DeRosa) sees him survive the ordeal, but its quite clear that there is much, much worse to come. He's now a double agent for Gus, so what happens when the Salamanca plan get in on his scheming?
Guess whose favorite meth cook is back?
No, I'm not talking about Walter. Fans of 'Breaking Bad' will remember the heartwrenching moment when Walter forced Jesse's hand into killing Gale Boetticher (David Costabile) to save their skin and, as it turns out, my prediction that he would make his bow in 'Better Call Saul' has come true! When we saw the chemist a few years ago, he had displayed a knack for cooking meth, picking up on Walter's recipe for the blue crystal meth quite quickly. As it has been with many of the show's other characters, 'Better Call Saul' is now being used to provide him with a much-needed backstory, and it's likely we learn why he became such a valuable asset to Fring.
In 'Something Beautiful,' we see Fring visiting Gale in his university lab as the lively chemist prances around the elaborate setup of an experiment. Fring enquires of the results of a test he had asked Gale to conduct regarding the purity of the meth samples he had provided, to which Gale answers by suggesting that the quality can be improved if he were hired as the cook instead. Eager and willing to prove his loyalty, it looks like he will be the supplier Fring has been tasked to find by the Mexican cartels. However, it will be more interesting to see how the relationship between the pair blossoms.
Jimmy gets his doll, but it's no thanks to Mike
As 'Breathe' closed out, we saw Jimmy hatching a plan to steal the 'Bavarian Boy' doll he chances upon at the copier shop where he interviews for a job. A quick search confirms that it's worth a mini fortune, and soon enough, he calls up Mike (Jonathan Banks) to put his scheme into action. However, he's perplexed to find out that Mike is not interested in the plan, and staying characteristically true to himself, the former cop refuses to reason out why. But Jimmy was never one to take no for an answer, so he seeks out other avenues to complete the theft, using his charm and silver tongue to convince one of Dr. Caldera's contacts to do the deed for him.
But when has anything ever gone perfectly smooth for Jimmy? As his partner-in-crime breaks in and finds himself in possession of the doll, he's surprised to find that the copier owner is in residence. An unfortunate coincidence meant that the robbery was scheduled for the same day he found himself kicked out of his house, leaving Jimmy's accomplice in a bit of a bind. Tasked with getting him out, Jimmy uses his quick-thinking, as well as knowledge from his slippin' Jimmy days, to lure out the owner and complete the gig. The doll is in his hands now, but where next for Albuquerque's top criminal lawyer?
Kim is breaking apart at the seams
We already know that Kim does not feature in 'Breaking Bad,' and it's looking like the events in season 4 are very much preparing to write her out of the picture. The accident at the end of season 3 has already hinted at her finding it difficult to cope with all the extra workload from Mesa Verde, and 'Something Beautiful' all but confirms that theory. While Kim now has a new paralegal by her side, it seems to be doing little to abate the feeling that the walls are closing in. The disillusionment only grows when Kevin (Rex Linn) gives her a tour of the bank's ambitious expansion plans for the future, and a visit to the courts only increases the intrigue surrounding her predicament.
However, what was quite possibly the biggest sign that her character is about to undergo a major change came from Jimmy's reading of the letter Chuck had left behind for him. While there was a feeling that the letter would be 'one last screw you from the grave,' it turned out to be surprisingly wholesome and encouraging. As Jimmy reads it out, we can see her tearing up before then completely breaking down and running out of the room. Portrayed as headstrong and unemotional, it was quite eye-opening to see her like this, and almost certainly does not bode well. Is Kim going to self-destruct? We can only speculate.