‘Better Call Saul’ Season 2, Episode 3: ‘Amarillo’

One thing is for sure about Jimmy: He is a people person. Unfortunately, his breaking the rules — and the law — is becoming a real problem for him.

This week’s episode starts with Jimmy — decked out in his awesome “Matlock” white suit and cowboy hat — bribing a driver who is transporting Sandpiper residents to dinner to fake a mechanical error so he can give his spiel in getting them involved with the lawsuit. This, obviously, will probably be a problem down the road for Jimmy, Davis & Main and HH&M with regard to solicitation.

In fact, it is when during a meeting when Jimmy is showing off his amazing numbers in getting folks involved with the case that Chuck senses something fishy — he knows Jimmy has a scam, and that scam could potentially screw everyone in the room over — so he brings up solicitation during the meeting. You can see Jimmy seething and trying to come up with an excuse to satisfy the room, which he does with a half-baked response. He is lying through his teeth, and he knows Kim knows he is up to something.

So, he suggests taking a different task as to downplay any suspicion regarding solicitation. Later, he makes the suggestion of making a commercial for Davis & Main (the mailers are not working and they can’t prove Sandpiper staff are tossing them out) aimed at times Jimmy knows older people are watching “Murder She Wrote.” It is a good idea, but senses a lot of red tape in getting this thing done. Davis & Main’s last commercial was bogged down with weird technicalities, and the result was garbage.

Kim also lets Jimmy know that any shady stuff on his part is a reflection on her now. Her reputation would be tarnished (as well as Howard) for going to bat for him with this new job and him ruining it all with his impulses to break the rules.

Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut - Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC
Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut – Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC

Mike is having problems with his daughter-in-law Stacey and granddaughter Kaylee. Stacey says there has been shootings in the neighborhood. And Mike does a stakeout overnight to make sure nothing funny is going on. And nothing did happen, but while working his ticket booth, Stacey calls him and has him come over. There is a weird mark on the side of her house, which she says was cause by a bullet the night before. Having been there all night, Mike knows this simply isn’t the case — and as a viewer, I’m starting to think she may be having a mental breakdown.

Jimmy decides to take the old adage of “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission” to a new level. He goes out and hires some goofy film students (who don’t even bring a dolly) to make a commercial. So he is going to do this on his own, and show it to Cliff once it is done. He is ambitious, that’s for sure.

So, with the commercial shot (and previewed to Kim, who was impressed with what Jimmy did with some film students), Jimmy wants to show it to Cliff. But he starts hesitating, he knows what happened to the company’s last commercial. So he decides to go behind the company’s back and air the thing in Colorado Springs.

And it works. It works very, very well. They get more than 100 phone calls from the folks in the Sandpiper retirement homes interested joining the lawsuit. So Jimmy found a way around the solicitation angle in finding clients.

Ed Begley Jr. as Clifford Main - Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC
Ed Begley Jr. as Clifford Main – Better Call Saul _ Season 2, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/Sony Pictures Television/ AMC

Unfortunately Cliff is irate with him doing this behind the company’s back. “Jesus, Howard said you were a little eccentric, he didn’t tell me you were a goddamned arsonist,” Cliff yells at Jimmy over the phone. They have a meeting setup for the morning. Jimmy promptly doesn’t tell Kim any of this.

With Stacey and Kaylee staying with him now, Mike needs higher paying jobs. His hookup (the guy at the vet) tells him “next level pay requires next level work.” Being a body guard/backup at $200 a pop will not get him far.

But he does get a call from the vet, with an offer for a lot of money. He doesn’t know what the job is, but the client asked for Mike specifically. I’m not going to lie, when Mike pulls into the shady meetup, I was expecting Gus Fring — Mike’s boss in “Breaking Bad” — but it turns out to be Nacho. Nacho wants someone to “disappear.” We don’t know who this is yet, but I am very interested to find out.

THOUGHTS:

  • The tape of the commercial is titled “Davis And Main: Who Stole My Nest Egg.”
  • “That’s not a real tear, is it?” Kim asks Jimmy about the commercial. He tells her it was Visine.
  • I loved that Jimmy is comparing himself and the film students to classic directors. They are making a cheap commercial.
  • “The dollies are extra,” the film student tells Jimmy. “Does anybody like you?” Jimmy asks in response.
  • Jimmy’s speech in that vehicle with the elderly people was solid.