‘Better Call Saul’ Recap ‘Coushatta’: American Hustle

In the ‘Better Call Saul’ recap, Jimmy and Kim hustle to get Huell free from his charges, Mike runs into a problem with his Germans and Nacho meets a new Salamanca…

By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer

With only two episodes remaining in ‘Better Call Saul’ this year, it’s safe to say this might be the most downtrodden season yet.

Jimmy McGill has spent the entire season trying to find ways to make money and occupy his time while he’s serving his one year suspension from being a lawyer. He’s avoided — or otherwise doesn’t seem to care — about his brother’s death and he’s been seemingly slipping closer and closer to the television ad, ambulance chaser that we meet in ‘Breaking Bad’.

Meanwhile, Jimmy’s moral center — his girlfriend Kim — has been moving further and further away from him as she finds her passion as a defense attorney helping those truly in need while caring less and less about helping Mesa Verde expand their banking business. Last week’s episode saw Kim agree to help Jimmy with charges pending against his bodyguard Huell but it appeared that his willingness to throw a cop under the bus to stop the prosecution may have been one step too far.

Kim was abiding by the law and didn’t seem to have a place in her heart any longer for a ‘disgraced’ lawyer who was sharing a bed with her. By the end of this episode, we all realized that Kim is a much different person than we initially realized because she’s not running away from Jimmy’s scams — she’s anxiously awaiting the opportunity to pull another one alongside him.

And finally there’s Nacho Varga, who has taken up his new role as the leader of the Salamanca crew while just barely functioning through his everyday life. Nacho has secretly been taking orders from Gus Fring ever since Hector Salamanca’s near death experience but little did he know that a new Salamanca was coming to town.

With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘Better Call Saul’ titled ‘Coushatta’…

American Hustle

Last week saw Jimmy doing anything possible to make sure his pal Huell Babineaux didn’t end up going to prison for protecting him while he was peddling his burner phones on the streets of Albuquerque. Huell was a little overzealous in his job and ended up hitting a cop over the head with a sack of sandwiches and because of a prior arrest, the prosecutor decided to make an example out of him with an 18 month jail sentence.

Huell was ready to run but Jimmy was determined to get him out of trouble.

That’s where Kim Wexler came into the picture and the look on her face last week was unmistakable — she seemed disgusted at Jimmy’s latest scheme and even unhappier that she was being drawn into his web of lies to save someone from going to jail thanks to his unscrupulous capers.

But after shooting down Jimmy’s idea to tear down the cop who arrested Huell on the stand, she came up with a new plan to make sure his bodyguard didn’t spend a day in jail.

The first plan of attack was Kim bringing in several legal aides from her law firm with a slew of motions and requests before the case could ever go to trial. They wanted to subpoena security camera footage from around the area and then dig into the cop’s history because they believed there may have been some kind of bias in his arrest record. It was all a series of tactics to delay the trial and cause the prosecutor a giant headache over what should have been a misdemeanor case.

The other stroke of genius was Kim buying all that stationary from the office supply store last week. She puts Jimmy on a bus bound for Louisiana but the goodbye shared at the station were icy to say the least. Kim could barely muster a ‘see you on Thursday’ before Jimmy was jumping on the bus.

It turns out all that stationary was being used to fill out letters, cards and notes — including dozens filled out by random people on the bus — that would then be mailed out from Huell’s hometown of Coushatta, Louisiana and sent to the judge overseeing the case.

Back at home, Kim is still trying to get the prosecutor to see reason but she wants to put Huell behind bars. That’s when they get called into the judge’s chambers where he shows them the piles upon piles of letters written from people defending Huell and making it appear that they are about to prosecute Santa Claus.

When Suzanne the prosecutor follows up on the letters, she makes several calls to the people in Louisiana and begins to find out that Huell is nothing short of a saint in his hometown. Little does she know that she’s been calling Jimmy’s burner phones and he’s set up all of these lines in coordination with his college film crew, who are answering and praising Huell like he’s the second coming.

The final call from the prosecutor ends with Jimmy giving his best Bayou accent as a pastor from Huell’s church. He spins a tale of Huell saving some old folks from a fire and how everybody there loves him so much. He caps off the performance by telling the prosecutor that they will be bringing two busloads of church parishioners to the trial in support of Huell.

That’s all she needs to hear.

The prosecutor ends up settling with Kim by giving Huell a four month suspended sentence with some probation and he’s off the hook.

Jimmy was watching the proceedings from outside the courtroom and just waiting for Kim to return to tell him the news before anticipating that she would probably put an end to their relationship afterwards. Instead, Kim passes along the good news and grabs Jimmy in a passionate kiss before they return home from some successful scam sex.

The next day, Kim returns to her normal life at Schweikart and Cokely and she couldn’t care less about Kevin’s excitement about Mesa Verde’s expansion into Wyoming. She barely makes it through a meeting before leaving to go back to what she really loves.

Kim ends up meeting Jimmy at the latest location where he’s scouting potential offices for his return to a law practice with his suspension coming due any day now. Outside, Kim and Jimmy share a cigarette just like the old days at H&M and the dour look on her face has him convinced she’s about to drop the hammer on their relationship.

Jimmy begins apologizing for the scam and drawing her into the plan to get Huell off those charges. Instead of lashing out at Jimmy, Kim looks him dead in the eyes and tells him that she wants to do it again.

It turns out, Kim wasn’t the uptight law abiding do gooder — she gets a real charge from pulling these scams with Jimmy and now she’s itching for another fix. It was a brilliant twist after the entire season painted Kim and Jimmy as breaking apart as they went further and further away from each other in terms of how they saw the law. Now it seems Kim might be the one suggesting to Jimmy to go by Saul Goodman and run those late night ads that make him Albuquerque’s No. 1 choice for sleazy representation.

It Won’t Happen Again

The work is slow on Gus’ super lab so Mike takes it upon himself to give the German work crew a break from the monotony of their warehouse living by taking them out to a strip club and a nearby bar.

The workers enjoy some naked ladies while Mike shares a beer and some personal stories with Werner, the head engineer. Mike takes him to the same bar where he will later punch Walter White on ‘Breaking Bad’. The two share some drinks but Mike gets called away to check on the workers after one of them made a scene at the strip club.

Mike pays off the bouncers and promises that the incident will never happen again.

When he returns to the bar, Mike finds Werner not only chatting up a couple of bar patrons but he’s actually drawn schematics for the super lab on the back of a coaster as he talks construction with his new pals. Mike gets concerned rather quickly and pulls Werner out of the bar.

The next morning, all of the workers are in a much better mood but Werner has to personally apologize to Mike for his behavior. Mike reminds him that Gus Fring is not a man who deals with uncertainties and Werner would be wise never to let something like this happen again.

The problem is Mike is starting to like Werner so he might be letting him off the hook with a warning with more serious actions could have been taken.

Mike then meets with Gus while telling him the latest progress on the super lab including the delays in construction. He informs him of the incident with Werner but then vouches for the engineer that it was a one time accident and it won’t happen again.

As stated in last week’s recap, it seems highly unlikely that this German work crew will ever cross the Danube again because they might all be buried in a New Mexico desert.

Lalo

Over the past nine months that past since we saw Nacho Varga, he’s taken up his new job as the leader of the Salamanca crew. It’s a familiar position because he watched Hector Salamanca do it for quite some time.

He acts as the boss and he has his soldier Krazy-8 taking money from the various dealers who come into the restaurant to pay what they owe. This week shows a dealer coming in a little short on his payment so Nacho dishes out some punishment by ripping his earring from his head and then reminding him that he’ll pay back every dime owed with interest.

Much like Hector gave him a harsh lesson when Krazy-8 failed to make payment last season, Nacho then passes down the same kind of education to his newest soldier.

When he leaves to return home, Nacho is living in a nice house with a pair of women who are watching TV and just waiting for him to return. He tosses them a couple of bags of meth, ignoring their requests to smoke with them and he retires to his bedroom.

There Nacho opens up a safe where he’s been tucking away money as well as a pair of fake Canadian ID’s for himself and his father. Nacho is plotting his eventual escape as he hopes to get away from this life and take his father with him.

What Nacho doesn’t know is that everything is about to change because when he arrives at the restaurant the next day, he finds somebody cooking in the kitchen and a shocked look on Krazy-8’s face when he walks through the door.

The cook in the kitchen talks about a secret family recipe and how he wants Nacho to try it. That’s when Nacho realizes he’s just talking to some interloper — he’s speaking to somebody with the last name Salamanca.

The cook is all sorts of jubilant before introducing himself — his name is Eduardo Salamanca, but everybody just calls him ‘Lalo’.

After his introduction, Lalo tells Nacho that he has nothing to worry about and it will be like he’s not even there. Lalo then goes out to the front and plants himself down next to Krazy-8 where he will eat his food and presumably greet the dealers coming in with payments.

Lalo is there to keep an eye on the books — and to ensure that his family’s interests are being looked after. Safe to say that won’t sit well with Nacho or more importantly Gus Fring.

Now Lalo is a character from ‘Breaking Bad’ but in name only.

Back in season 2 when Saul Goodman is introduced for the first time as Walt and Jesse take him into the desert and pretend like they’re about to shoot him, he pleads for mercy and asks if ‘Lalo’ sent them. He soon realizes they aren’t Lalo’s men and Saul is relieved.

Now we know that ‘Lalo’ is Eduardo Salamanca and before ‘Better Call Saul’ is finished, he’ll be in business with Jimmy McGill.

‘Better Call Saul’ will return next Monday night at 9 p.m. ET with the penultimate episode for season 4. Check out a couple of previews below:

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