'Better Call Saul' season 4 episode 9: Jimmy is denied his law license and Hector is gifted his infamous brass bell in 'Wiedersehen'
The penultimate episode of the fourth season of 'Better Call Saul' sets things up nicely for what is likely to be a spectacular season finale next week
Episode eight of 'Better Call Saul' season four kicked off with Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) putting their ingenious, extralegal plan to free associate Huell Babineaux (Lavell Crawford) into motion. It was curious to see Kim buy all that stationery, and we saw how exactly all those pens would be crucial in freeing Huell.
Jimmy takes a bus out of town and uses some of his classic persuasion skills to get hundreds of strangers to write glowing reviews about Huell, mailing them from a nowhere town in Louisiana to the judge in charge of the case to 'influence' his decision. Of course, the plan would also involve some fake people, a fake church, and a fake website, but it got the job done, and Huell walked away practically a free man.
When the season started, Mike (Jonathan Banks) was not supposed to be anything more than a ghost on the books of Madrigal, but his resourcefulness and meticulous approach would prove to be invaluable to Gus (Giancarlo Esposito).
The former cop soon found himself on the forefront of a secret operation to construct an underground meth lab, and while things were moving a little slower than anticipated, the job was getting done. However, there has been trouble brewing, with workers and Werner (Rainer Bock) showing signs of restlessness, but Mike seems to be on top of everything. For now.
Nacho (Michael Mando) had gone missing since his staged injury left him close to dead. The intervention of the Salamanca twins Leonel and Marco (Daniel and Luis Moncada) eventually saved his life, and in 'Coushatta,' he was back in action, working as an enforcer for Don Hector (Mark Margolis) once again. Now a double agent, he shows he's lost none of the ruthlessness that made him such a trusted lieutenant in the first place, though the entry of Eduardo 'Lalo' Salamanca (Tony Dalton) might prove troublesome for him in the future.
The episode also seemed to diverge from the normal theme of the season that suggested Kim and Jimmy were drifting apart from each other. While Kim remains icy towards her friend for the entirety of the duration of their court case, a win sees her celebrate by jumping into Jimmy's arms. Cut to one scene later, and the pair is lying in bed together just like old times, though the feeling remained that a storm was coming.
'Coushatta' saw Kim express how she wanted to embrace some of Jimmy's illicit schemes further, and in 'Wiedersehen' that angle was developed a little further, though the primary talking point would be how Jimmy was on the cusp of getting his law license back.
The story of how Hector got his infamous bell
'Faceoff,' the 13th episode of the fourth season of 'Breaking Bad', will forever live in fans' memories as one of the most iconic scenes to grace television in the 21st century. As Gus can't help but visit Hector to antagonize him once again, the Salamanca patriarch begins tapping his bell furiously. When Gus realizes what's going on, it's too late. The camera pans to the Los Pollos Hermanos supremo casually walking out of the door and adjusting his tie, before then shifting to show how half his face has burned to a crisp.
That bell has become synonymous with Hector, and we see how he came about it in 'Wiedersehen'. Lalo pays his uncle a visit and recalls a time they showed a Spanish teacher his place, taking glee in how they tortured and killed him in front of his wife before setting his house on fire.
Lalo then says he couldn't leave the scene without a souvenir, explaining how he went back in through the flames to retrieve a gift that he had been saving for Hector all this time. A neatly wrapped box opens to reveal the shiny brass bell, which Lalo then fastens on to Hector's wheelchair, much to the drug lord's delight.
Mike has a problem to solve
During his conversation with Gus, Mike expressed his concern about the German construction workers, as well as supervisor Werner. He assured Gus that he would keep an eye out for trouble, and in episode nine, his suspicion only grows further. He keeps a close eye on Werner as they get ready to set off the final explosions, noticing how the engineer seemed more fidgety than his usual self. He confronts Werner, who tells him that this is the first time he's been away from his wife for so long and that it would be great if he could let him leave for Germany for a weekend.
Mike, however, rules out the solution emphatically, instead offering to let Werner speak on the telephone for as long as he likes. While it seemed like that had done the trick, he realizes something is amiss when the cameras around the warehouse begin acting up. A closer look reveals that Werner exploited a few deficiencies in the security system to make his escape, leaving Mike with quite the predicament to control.
Potential faceoff between Lalo and Gus?
As Lalo continues his conversation with Hector, he gestures for Nacho to leave the room, and we overhear him talking to his uncle about 'the Chilean'.
Cut to another segment of the episode, and one of Gus' employees walks into his room and notifies him about two suspicious looking gentlemen sitting in the restaurant. Gus goes out to see who exactly these people are, only to find Lalo and Nacho waiting for him. While he puts on a broad smile as Lalo compliments the Los Pollos Hermanos chicken, it's quite clear the conversation is laced with false exuberance.
It's more of the same when Gus invites Lalo for a private chat inside his office. While Lalo continually thanks Gus for being the one who saved Hector from a certain death, and Gus gracefully keeps accepting the plaudits, it feels as though both were scoping each other out for information — Lalo's comments on Don Eladio were most certainly bait that he wanted Gus to hook on to — and possible weaknesses. Sure, the pair split by shaking hands and promising to come to the aid of the other if need be, but it's quite likely we'll see Gus trying to eliminate Lalo when the opportunity arises.
Jimmy is denied his law license
The entirety of the season was teasing Jimmy's transformation into Saul Goodman, so when the New Mexico Bar Association denied him his law license, it didn't seem to make any sense. But when you think about it, it would be quite poetic if Jimmy embraces his alter ego after cooking up some scheme that would trick the members of the committee into handing his license back to him. And of course, that seems to be exactly the direction the show is heading towards for its season finale next week, with creators Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan possibly leaving audiences wondering if Kim and Jimmy's plan, if it exists, will work as intended.
But that wasn't the only narrative on show as 'Wiedersehen' closed out. Jimmy, clearly aggrieved after being told he was denied his license back because he was "insincere", loses his cool with Kim, accusing her of being with him only because she enjoyed the thrill of hanging out with Slippin' Jimmy. She hits back equally hard, clearly hurting Jimmy with some pointed accusations. While they make up in the end, the outburst felt like a watershed moment, almost as if something had been permanently fractured.
Season four has been set up for a spectacular finish, and 'Winner' may prove to be not just the episode of the season, but the episode of the series.