The storylines for Mike and Jimmy are both are reaching a crescendo, and it sets up for some thrilling next few episodes.
On Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 3, Mike finally met the mysterious Gus Fring, while Chuck's endgame regarding Jimmy was put into razor focus.
Mike's story pickk right up from the end of Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 2, with his introduction to the man, the legend, Gus Fring.
Any scene with Mike and Gus together is awesome, and this one did NOT disappoint. Like predators circling each other in the wild, they probed each other for any perceived weakness.
Gus clearly respects Mike, or he would be dead by now. As we know, Gus is very good at "seeing things" in others.
Mike also has a healthy respect (and maybe even a little fear) for Gus, who's been a step ahead of him the whole time.
Check out this extended negotiation, and be sure to pay attention to the cold, clinical, thinly veiled threats Gus lays on Mike. Chilling.
Mike: You care to elaborate?
Gus: It is not in my interest for Hector Salamanca to die-at THIS time.
Mike: Who is he to you?
Gus: An associate of an associate.
Mike: How very specific.
Gus: Who is he to you?
Mike: We had a disagreement. He threatened my family. I'm not gonna let that go.
Gus: But, you had let it go-you'd taken his money. Your family was no longer in danger. And yet, still, you robbed his truck. Shouldn't that have settled the matter? Most men would have walked away. But, instead, you made an attempt on his life. Why? I understand that a civilian found the driver after you robbed the truck. Hector murdered this civilian, correct?
Mike: He wasn't in the game.
Gus: I can't allow you to kill Hector. However, I am not completely unsympathetic to your sense of justice. You hurt Hector when you robbed that truck-you hurt his business, his pride. Quite effectively. And, if you were to hurt him in the same manner again, I would not stand in your way.
Mike: You want me to rob another truck.
Gus: If you feel so inclined.
Mike: I'm done with that.
Gus: Then our business here is finished.
Mike: That's it?
Gus: That's it.
Mike: No more tracker, no more of your minions following me, just like that?
Gus: Just like that. Of course, I trust you are done with Hector Salamanca. Goodbye, Mr. Ehrmantraut.
Mike: Wait. You want his truck hit because you want to disrupt his supply line. Hector's your competition.
Gus: Why do you ask?
Mike: Because I'm not done with Hector Salamanca.
Giancarlo Esposito is brilliant in his portrayal of Gus, and I'm so glad he's back.
The actor has said more than once he'd love a spin off show detailing Gus' rise to power. He also didn't want to do a one-off, three or four episode arc with Gus.
He wants to do a really deep dive into the character, so it appears he's in this for the long haul, and we, the audience, are the ones who reap the benefits.
Now we know how Mike began his association with Gus, and it was about what I expected.
The rivalry between Hector and Gus has simmered for years, and this appears to be the opening salvo in their battle.
The plans and gimmicks on Breaking Bad and here have always been imaginative, and this one was particularly clever.
Tying the sneakers in at the dead drop site with Gus' plan for revenge was very inspired indeed.
As I've said before, it's the attention to detail, and the little things often missed, that are so important in how Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould tells their stories.
It also shows how far the reach of Gus goes. He has minions everywhere, ready to do his bidding.
Bastard Chuck drops the hammer on Jimmy after their blowup, and his B.S. speech about trying to help Jimmy made my blood boil.
I can't wait for Jimmy to finally give Chuck his comeuppance. and it won't be long IMO.
The look on Jimmy's face as he sat on the curb waiting to be arrested told me all I needed to know: Chuck is dead to him.
Here's what's gonna happen. One day you're gonna get sick, again. And one of your employees is gonna find you, curled up in that space blanket-take you to the hospital. Hook you up to those machines that beep and whir, and hurt. And this time it will be too much, and you will die there. Alone.Jimmy [to Chuck]
All the vultures are circling, and the only ally Jimmy has is, of course, Kim.
I liked the montage of her life. It showed the single-minded determination in her, and Jimmy is lucky to have her on his side.
I think she loves Jimmy but is afraid to open up totally to him. Not that I blame her. Jimmy cuts corners, he's sleazy, but she sees the good man deep inside.
I wonder what will be the final straw between them. I have no doubt it will be heartbreaking to watch.
Jimmy is definitely down right now, and Bob Odenkirk portrays that desperation with every once of his being: the frowns, the slumped shoulders, the sad eyes, the hushed voice.
He's bringing it in every scene.
Jimmy: Chuck played me like a fiddle, and schmuck that I am, I fell for it. Moron! I'm sorry. This is my screw up. It's my responsibility to fix it, and I know you want to help, of course you do, cause you're wonderful, but you're up to your ears in Mesa Verde. And I can't, I won't load this onto you, too. I will fix this. Myself, me, Jimmy McGill., OK? You have got to let me do this on my own.
We also get introduced to Ms. Hay, the tough but fair prosecutor assigned to Jimmy's case.
Chuck plays her like a fiddle too, putting his "caring brother" act on 11 (see my Spinal Tap reference?).
I can't get a handle on her just yet.
She seems like a straight arrow, and I get the feeling she's much more caring and empathetic than Chuck (but, then again, who isn't?).
Chuck: I'm curious about your strategy.
Ms. Hay: Well, as officers of the court, I feel we should be held to a higher standard. I don't intend to take it easy on your brother just because he's a lawyer.
Once she finds out what a Grade A weasel Chuck is, she might not be so quick to sell Jimmy down the river.
I mean, firing Ernie? WTF? He used the poor kid, then cast him aside like garbage once he got what he needed.
Chuck is smart, and he has the juice, but I think Jimmy is smarter and will eventually give Chuck the screw job he so richly deserves.
Kim: What's his game?
Jimmy: One condition of the PPD is that my written confession is immediately submitted to the New Mexico Bar Association.
Kim: Your written felony confession.
Jimmy: Yeah, I thought that he wanted me in jail. He just wants my law license.
So, this all goes back to petty, childhood jealousy. Sad. He can't reconcile the fact that Jimmy became a lawyer without "paying his dues." Seriously?
Mom liked him best: get over it, dude!
I still think Howard might have a big part to play in this.
His character has been shown to have more layers as time has gone on, and I don't think this whole deal sits that well with him.
Now that Kim and Jimmy have a united front, it will be very interesting to see how they can bring this house of cards down on Chuck's head.
I know the show is supposed to be about Jimmy turning into Saul Goodman, and I love his story, but I have to be honest.
I dig Mike's story much better. Maybe because it's more aligned in style and tone with Breaking Bad, but I find it more compelling at this point.
And now that they are folding in more of the characters I love from Breaking Bad, it makes it even better.
I never liked the way Mike's story ended, so I love seeing how he came to be the right-hand man for Gus.
Having his origin story here really makes the show for me. I wonder how many of you out there agree with me?
What story line resonates with you? Jimmy's or Mike's? Let me know in the comments section.
And of course, you can watch Better Call Saul online anytime, right here on TV Fanatic!