Better Call Saul S2E9: “Nailed”
Well that episode was certainly something. We’ve had a fair bit of table setting in the past few episodes and while the show has handled that brilliantly, build up is nothing without an equally great payoff, and that’s exactly what we got in the penultimate episode of season two of Better Call Saul. “Nailed” sees a heated McGill showdown that matches or maybe even one ups the one we saw in “Pimento”, Kim tries to stay two steps ahead of the madness that ensues in the episode, and Mike finally puts his plan into action. There’s a lot to get into so let’s get it started.
I mentioned Mike last in my intro but the show starts with him in a cold open so let us do the same. After several episodes of scouting and preparation, Mike finally makes his move. As a Regalo Helado truck makes its trek from Mexico to Hector’s ice cream shop, Mike sets up camp and a mechanism to deploy his spike strip. Patiently he waits for the right moment, and he gets it, the truck driver hasn’t nearly enough time to break or swerve away and he drives right onto the trap and loses control. A fully disguised Mike ties and tapes him up and gets to work looking for the cash. Mike finds 250 thousand dollars hidden inside a tire and takes it himself, leaving the truck driver to the fates. I was super excited to finally see Mike make his move and get his revenge and I think Mike felt the same way, partaking in a very un-Mike like manner by buying a round for the entire house at a bar to celebrate.
Mike’s victory parade doesn’t get to last very long as Nacho calls and asks for a meet with Mike. And the meet, Nacho correctly deduces that Mike was the one who stole the money as he left the truck driver alive. Almost anyone who is working with or messing with the cartel knows that you can’t leave loose ends, if you have to kill someone then that’s just what you got to do. Mike isn’t that guy yet and Nacho knows he isn’t because he wasn’t willing to pull the trigger against Tuco in “Gloves Off”. Nacho is upset when Mike tells him that his intent wasn’t to kill anyone, it was just to draw police attention onto Hector. Nacho knows that if they get to Hector, they likely get to him. It then becomes Mike’s turn to become upset as Nacho explains why the story wasn’t in the paper. A Good Samaritan came along and untied the truck driver. The truck driver calls Hector and Hector kills the guy to make sure the incident is untraceable. Mike’s inability to kill someone actually got someone killed. Mike says he hadn’t forgotten about Hector and this new knowledge won’t be making him forget anytime soon. Something tells me Mike vs Hector is just getting started.
Elsewhere, Jimmy’s harsh pan takes action as Chuck, Howard, and Mesa Verde head to court to finalize an expansion move out to Arizona. They get held up when the addresses on the documents (thanks to Jimmy) don’t match up. We see how error free and full of himself Chuck is when he flat out tells Mesa Verde that they are the ones that are wrong and he is the one who’s right. This pride of his makes it all the more embarrassing when Mesa Verde hops back over to Kim but Chuck can’t help but shake off the feeling that something happened here.
Chuck calls up Kim on pretense to handover the Mesa Verde files over to her but he is really bringing her over to reveal that he has figured out Jimmy’s scheme. To his dismay, Jimmy tags along with Kim and we get a tense and brilliant conversation between the three. Chuck correctly deduces step for step how Jimmy went about doctoring the documents and while Kim knows that Chuck is right, her human side shows as she sides with Jimmy. She acknowledges who Jimmy is, a corner cutting colorful lawyer but she uses the opportunity to blame it on Chuck. She correctly says that Jimmy idolizes Chuck and has gone around his entire career trying to impress him while Chuck has done nothing but focus on the disappointments of his brother. Chuck has played a part in creating the monster that he loathes and he doesn’t want to admit to it. Kim calls his plan as one that reeks of conspiracy and has evidence that is only circumstantial at best and then she leaves with Jimmy.
What’s done is done and while Kim absolutely does not approve of what Jimmy has done, she is content to allow this one to slide as this secured her Mesa Verde. She never wants to talk about it again and wants to make sure Chuck has absolutely nothing solid to push this claim of his. While Jimmy is content in what he’s done, Kim smartly reminds him that he’s probably left a loose end somewhere. The copy guy! Jimmy is quick to rise and heads on over to the copy store to take care of his loose end.
Unfortunately for Jimmy, Chuck has beat him to the scene through Ernie. After Ernie leaves, Jimmy heads on in and buys copy shop employee Lance’s silence as he knows Chuck is likely coming in to confirm what Lance told Ernie. Jimmy watches anxiously from the opposite street as Chuck comes in right on schedule, without a space blanket. Lance stays loyal to Jimmy which makes the error free Chuck with three huge rights he’s being denied. The address being wrong because of Jimmy, Kim denying the fact and Lance denying what he told Ernie was right. This is all way too much for Chuck to handle. It’s so stressful that you almost forget he is in a very electrical filled store. With his condition and all the stress of being denied his correctness, Chuck collapses and hits his head on the counter before falling down. Jimmy watches it all unfold, concerned for his brother and he prays someone will call 911. Does he love his brother enough to blow his cover and come in if no one calls fast enough? I get the feeling he would but that’s something we will be exploring next episode.
Jimmy’s commercial continues to be a work in progress. Him, the UNM camera guys and a make-up artist cross the street (which if you look hard enough resembled a mirrored version of Abbey Road) to shoot a scene at a school. Jimmy comes up with an elaborate lie about filming a Rupert Holmes documentary. The British singer behind the Pina Colada song actually went to school in Albuquerque, well the school that was standing there before the current school. All that to get one shot behind an American flag. That scene was a joy to watch.
Is Mike getting a little homesick? He asks the waitress at his go to diner if snows out in Albuquerque in the winter. We learn it does, probably a whole lot less than Mike was used to back in Philly though.
Quote of the Day, Kim: “Are you going to carry boxes or are you going to gloat?” Jimmy: “Some from column A, some from column B.” Hey, at least he’s honest.
Chuck is denied his correctness multiple times over by Jimmy and it breaks him, Mike’s finished business has likely become unfinished again and Kim tries to balance a very difficult balancing game.