Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Fall

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Kim learned the hard way: when you burn the candle at both ends, sometimes you get hurt. Really hurt.

On Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 9, the characters continued their inexorable descent, but it's Kim who actually suffered real physical harm.

Challenges at Work - Better Call Saul

Kim took the Gatwood Oil job only after seeing Jimmy revert to his old ways to get money for his share of expenses.

I know she has a good heart and is looking to help Jimmy any way she can, but the reality check at the end had to be a gut punch for her.

She was clearly exhausted, yet kept pushing herself to make a deal that really didn't need her input.

The way the airbag scene was seamlessly cut into her driving was as shocking as it was brilliant.

No one knows how much time actually passed, but it must have been awhile, because she was driving in a rather urban area, and the crash scene was in the middle of nowhere.

The car was mere feet away from plunging into an arroyo, and the sweeping wide shot showed just how close she came to a fatal accident. The fluttering pages of all her work scattered to the wind summed up the how sad her situation has become.

How this effects Kim going forward will be very interesting. We know how driven she is, but this is a clear signal she needs to take a step back from work and maybe Jimmy, as well.

Jimmy will, I assume, be wracked with guilt, but this might be the beginning of the end of their relationship. 

One million, one hundred sixty thousand dollars. Holy shit!


Jimmy's latest scam is low, even for him. I can't believe he would manipulate poor Irene, driving a wedge between her and her mall walking, bingo playing, Sandpiper buds. 

He abused their love and affection so he could leverage a settlement, just to get his greedy hands on his end of the booty.

I get that he needs the dough, and let's face it, it IS a lot of money, but messing with the minds of an adorable group of grannies is JUST WRONG on so many levels.

I LOVED the white track suit and red headband Jimmy wore in the mall: very stylish!

Howard Has a Problem - Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 9

To Jimmy's credit, he tried to convince Howard to settle the lawsuit, but we all knew how that was gonna turn out. 

Howard is so over Jimmy right now, since the Chuck fiasco in court practically ruined HHM. 

The venom in his voice was palpable, and it gave a nice edge to Howard's previously, fairly benign characterization.

The mask of civility came off on Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 8 in his conversation with Kim, and now it's off with Jimmy, too.

Please! All you care about is your part of the payout.

Howard [to Jimmy]

The gloves are officially off with Chuck, as well, but I don't think Howard expected Chuck to fight back. Howard is running scared, with the future of HHM suddenly in doubt, and his attempt to get Chuck to exit stage right totally blew up in his face. 

Chuck seems to be getting better as far as his "condition" goes, and his play acting skills are still top notch. He fooled the malpractice insurance people, and even has Howard believing he's "cured."

He isn't, of course, and I have a feeling it will backfire on him eventually.

Chuck: Yes, I'm suing HHM for breach of contract.
Howard: Do you have any idea what you're doing?
Chuck: I believe I do. I'm calling your bluff. This is MY firm. I built it. Your father was working in a 2 room office when I joined him, and you, I tutored for the bar exam. You're not kicking me out. If you can't trust my judgement then, as you say, so be it. But you're going to have to pay me for my share. I believe it comes to around 8 million dollars. We both know the firm doesn't have the money.
Howard: You'd rather tear down HHM than retire?
Chuck: You think I'm trouble now, as your partner? Imagine me as your enemy.

I frankly don't care about the HHM drama if it doesn't include Jimmy or Kim, so let them burn each other down. Big whoop.

Mike Meets Madrigal - Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 9

Mike didn't have much to do in this one, but it's worth noting we witnessed the first time he met Breaking Bad's twitchy Lydia from Madrigal.

It was far from a meet-cute scene, as Mike was skeptical, as usual.

Mike: How does this hire work, exactly? Walk me through it.
Lydia: You will receive a paycheck from Madrigal in the amount of $10,000 per week. I believe, at that rate, your employment should be paid out in about 20 weeks. Mr, Fring has arranged to cover FICA, the social security, the entirety of the tax burden. I assume that's all right with you.

Lydia calmed his concerns enough for him to sign up, but his classic eye rolls and heavy sighs told you more about his misgivings than any dialog.

Jonathan Banks is national treasure.

Not many actors could pull of as many dialog-free scenes as he did this season, and he does more with a look or a grunt than most actors can do with their entire being. He's so good.

We get more hints about just how connected Gus is in the grand scheme of things with this little back and forth:

Mike: You seem to be risking a lot for a drug dealer.
Lydia: Drug dealer? If that's all you think he is, then you don't know Gustavo Fring.

There were hints throughout Breaking Bad and on Better Call Saul about Gus possibly being highly placed in the Pinochet regime in Chile back in the day, but we don't know specifics just yet.

We need a good Gus backstory episode about his days before hooking up with Don Eladio and the cartel, and here's hoping Vince Gilligan will give us that one day. How awesome would that be?

Hector Meets with Gus - Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 9

The ultra tense phone meeting with Bolsa really raised the stakes.

Don Eladio is basically forcing the uneasy drug transportation alliance between Gus and Don Hector to become permanent, and this doesn't sit well with Hector, as you can imagine.

Fuck Eladio! Fuck Bolsa! And fuck you!

Hector [to Gus]

Of course, he didn't have the cajones to say that to Bolsa or Eladio, only Gus. Brave guy, huh?

His seizure sure put Nacho on edge, didn't it? Did you expect Hector to keel over like I did? 

Well he didn't, so it looks like it will take longer to get Hector in that wheelchair, after all.

Nacho is Tense - Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 9

The inevitable talk between Nacho and his Papi about Hector taking over the upholstery business was very sad. No matter how much Nacho pleaded, he hit a brick wall with Papi. 

There are only a couple of ways this can end for Nacho, and only one is really good for him.

Best case: Hector has the stroke and ends up incapacitated. Papi is saved.

Worse case: Papi fights after being taken over, and Hector "eliminates" the problem.

Worst case: Papi goes after Hector before he takes over, and either Nacho, Papi, or both get dead.

Not good.

I can't believe there's only ONE episode left! NOOOOO! 

I don't see how they can resolve everything in that one installment, so I expect to have two or more cliffhangers to mull over during the off season.

Will Jimmy's granny scam come back to bite him in the ass? My guess is yes. It IS Jimmy we're talking about.

Will Chuck go hammer and tongs with HHM, or will Howard cave? I lean toward Howard caving.

Has Kim seen the light regarding Jimmy? I think we're seeing the beginning of the end for them.

Will Hector still be standing (literally) by the end? I think that shoe will drop next season. We'll see.

Will Nacho or Papi survive? I think both will at this point, but it doesn't look good for Papi long term.

Will Gus win the battle of wills with Don Hector? We know he ultimately does, but will this be the turning point? Maybe.

"Gene" Makes a Decision - Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 1

And maybe you guys forgot about the OTHER cliffhanger we were left with on Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 1, but I sure didn't.

Saul's new identity, "Gene" from Cinnabon, collapsed to the floor after his encounter with the mall cops, and we were left hanging. I hope they throw us a bone and resolve that.

They have done this before: showed us a Gene scene in the season premiere, and then resolved it in the finale of the same season. 

My guess is we will get a payoff for that. They'd better, or I will be pissed!

I'm super excited for the finale. Tell me your theories for the finale in the comments section.

And if you need to binge before the finale, you can watch Better Call Saul online right here on TV Fanatic: get caught up NOW!

Fall Review

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Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 9 Quotes

Mike: How does this hire work, exactly? Walk me through it.
Lydia: You will receive a paycheck from Madrigal in the amount of $10,000 per week. I believe, at that rate, your employment should be paid out in about 20 weeks. Mr, Fring has arranged to cover FICA, the social security, the entirety of the tax burden. I assume that's all right with you.

One million, one hundred sixty thousand dollars. Holy shit!