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"Bad Choice Road" is the ninth episode of the fifth season of Better Call Saul and the forty-ninth episode of the series altogether.

Summary

Teaser

Jimmy and Mike are continuing their journey through the desert, while an anxious Kim waits at home for any sign of Jimmy's whereabouts. Jimmy is repeatedly searching for a signal with his cellphone and finally receives it. He immediately calls Kim and tells her that he is safe. Kim breaks down after receiving the good news.

Act I

Jimmy and Mike arrive at a truck stop, where they are picked up by Tyrus and Victor. Jimmy is told to practice a script to explain why the pickup took 36 hours instead of a single afternoon. The two men are informed that Gus has sent men to clean up the aftermath of the shootout, but Jimmy's wrecked car could not be located.

A disheveled Jimmy posts Lalo's bail, raising the suspicion of the prosecutors in his case. They enter the bail office and demand to know where all the money came from, but Jimmy has no answer. Lalo is released and tells Jimmy that he has become a friend of the cartel. Jimmy is alarmed when Lalo compliments him on his wife Kim, being unaware that she visited Lalo in jail.

When asked what took so long, Jimmy sticks to his script and tells Lalo his car broke down and he walked alone cross-country so he would not risk losing the money. Lalo tells Jimmy he plans to avoid the U.S. authorities by returning to Mexico.

Act II

At the apartment, Kim tends to Jimmy's sunburn and bruises. Jimmy tells her the same cover story he told Lalo. When asked why he went through all the trouble, he tells her to look in the bag containing the $100,000 payout he just earned. Unbeknownst to him, Kim comes across his bullet-pierced travel mug and realizes that he is lying.

Mike reports to Gus, who realizes Juan Bolsa arranged the attack on Jimmy to protect Gus' business. He calls Bolsa, who is practicing on a golf simulator at his hacienda, and gives him a brief update on the situation. Mike tells Gus that Nacho wants to stop working as his informant, but Gus refuses, since Nacho has already proven that he is prone to betrayal.

Act III

Jimmy ends a day of convalescence early to deal with a client. Kim tells him she knows he is lying about what happened in the desert and that she will be ready to listen when he decides to tell her the truth. That day, Kim quits Schweikart and Cokely, handing over the Mesa Verde account while keeping her pro bono clients. As she departs, Kim takes the tequila bottle stopper she previously kept as a souvenir.[b]

Jimmy tells Mike he is experiencing post-traumatic stress. Mike tells Jimmy it will pass with time. When Jimmy questions the events that brought them to the desert, Mike says they both made choices, good and bad, so they have to live with the consequences.

Act IV

At Casa Tranquila, Lalo says goodbye to Hector and has Nacho bring him to the pickup site where Jimmy received the bail money. Instead of waiting for the Cousins to arrive, Lalo searches for Jimmy's car. After finding it in the ravine where it was dumped, he tells Nacho to drive back to Albuquerque.

While Jimmy and Kim argue about her leaving S&C, Jimmy begins receiving several phone calls which he declines out of frustration. Kim goes to the door to answer someone knocking, allowing Jimmy to pick up the call. The caller turns out to be Mike, who tells Jimmy to leave his phone on but hidden so he can listen. The visitor at the door, turns out to be Lalo, who enters the apartment and asks Jimmy repeat the story he told him about his desert trek. Outside, Mike has sniper rifle trained on the room from a nearby roof. Lalo reveals he found bullet holes in Jimmy's car. Kim tells Lalo that passersby probably shot at the car for fun and berates him for not trusting Jimmy. Lalo seems satisfied and departs. He tells Nacho to drive to Mexico, but not the original pickup site.

Trivia

BCS 509 Storyboard

Storyboard of the episode: Thomas Schnauz masked a deleted scene with Nacho and Lalo in Act 2, some elements of which could be reused in a future episode of season 6.

  • This episode is the highest rated of the show on IMDB, along with Bagman. It has an outstanding score of 9.8/10.
  • With a duration of 59 minutes, this episode is the third longest of Better Call Saul, as well as the third longest in the Breaking Bad universe. The two longest, at 60 minutes, are "Winner" and "Something Unforgivable", the final episodes of seasons 4 and 5 of Better Call Saul respectively.
  • The name of the episode comes from Mike's speech about the choices he and Jimmy make leading them down a road of good or bad decisions. Saul uses the same speech later to describe Kim resigning from her job at Schweikart and Cokely, along her duties with Mesa Verde.
  • It's revealed that Tiburón and the gangsters from "Bagman" were part of a Colombian gang hired by Juan Bolsa to protect Gus' interests and thus the cartel's. Gus' men are able to recover most of the bodies, but can't find Tiburón's since he died in the middle of nowhere.
  • The Cousins included an extra $100,000 in the money bags to pay for Saul's services at Lalo's request, making the exact amount that Saul carried across the desert $7,100,000.
  • Saul displays signs of PTSD following his misadventure in the desert.
  • Mike tells Gus that fear isn't a good motivator while discussing Nacho's case. This is a reference to the Breaking Bad episode "Green Light", where it is Gus who ironically tells Mike the same thing when discussing the situations regarding Walter and the Cousins.
  • Gabriel Nunez was the stunt double who made Lalo's jump on top of Jimmy's car. He previously played the role of Lalo's cousin, Joaquin Salamanca, in the Breaking Bad episode "Salud".
  • While discussing with Mike, Jimmy says "I can't believe there's, like, over a billion people on this planet, and the only person I have to talk about this to is you". In the French dubbed version, the sentence has been translated as "There is more than 7 billion humans on this damn planet, and the only person I can talk with about this is you". This translation is a mistake, as the plot of the episode is situated in 2004, when the global population was estimated as a bit more than 6.4 billion people.
  • After Jimmy exits Mike's car, two skateboarders can be seen crossing the street in the background. This is likely an allusion to Lars and Cal Lindholm, the two low-level scam artists that were part of the failed hit-and-run con from the Season 1 episodes "Uno" and "Mijo". This incident is what got Jimmy his "start on the bad road" with the criminal underworld after Tuco Salamanca was inadvertently brought into the situation.
  • The band Lola Marsh recorded a new version of the song "Something Stupid" that was made specifically for the teaser. Their original version was used in the teaser of the episode "Something Stupid".

Production

Credits

Featured Music

  • "Something Stupid" by Lola Marsh

Memorable Quotes

"What kind of operation are you running, anyway? Tell me. Because I think I know why you sent him to do this job. It's obvious. You have no one else you can trust... right? So you sent some lawyer through the desert with your... with your seven million bucks? That... I... no offense, but you need to get your house in order! [...] Yeah, really! If you don't trust your men with your money, you have bigger problems than if you trust Saul Goodman. And for the record, he doesn't lie. Not to me, not to his clients. He's telling you the truth. But next time you have a bunch of money, and no one you can trust, leave him out of it, okay? Try a wire transfer, try a shell company or... you've heard of the Cayman Islands, right? Jesus, get your shit together and stop torturing the one man who went through hell to save your ass."
―Kim berating Lalo for mistreating Jimmy as his lawyer.


Videos

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