This article is about the Breaking Bad episode. For the television series, see Better Call Saul (TV series).
For the original score, see Better Call Saul (Original Score from the Television Series).

"Better Call Saul" is the eighth episode of the second season of Breaking Bad and the fifteenth episode altogether.

Summary

Teaser

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Badger is sitting at a bus stop when a thin guy sits next to him and asks if he is selling. Badger almost immediately laughs the customer off, convinced that he is an undercover cop. The customer lifts his shirt to show that he's not wearing a wire as Badger suspects, and almost starts to walk away before Badger apologizes. Still, Badger explains that he can't sell to the guy, because there's no way to be sure that he isn't a cop. The customer explains that a cop can't deny that he's a cop if asked directly, saying "it's in the Constitution". Delighted, Badger asks him if he's a cop. When the customer says "no", the two make a deal for some blue meth. A split second later, the customer pulls out a gun and badge, arresting Badger on the spot.

Act I

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Having had sex the previous night, Jesse and Jane lay together in his apartment. However, Jane abruptly leaps up when he suggests they smoke marijuana, explaining that she is a recovering drug addict who has been clean for eighteen months.

Marie tells Walt that she's worried about Hank, who has holed himself up in his bedroom since the incident with Tortuga incident. When Walt visits him, Hank admits that he was taken off guard by the war-like atmosphere in El Paso, but says that seeing a shrink about it would kill his career. Walt suggests that Hank could talk to him about it, explaining how his cancer diagnosis helped him conquer his fear of everyday life.

At Jesse's apartment, he and Walt split up $90,000. Walt, expecting more, asks Jesse about the missing money. Jesse explains that Badger hasn't put in his full amount. When Jesse calls Combo to ask for Badger's whereabouts, he learns that his friends were too intimidated to inform Jesse of Badger's arrest.

Act II

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Pulling himself together, Hank returns to the DEA field office in Albuquerque and is greeted with applause by his colleagues. Gomez informs Hank that Badger was picked up with the blue meth that Hank is so interested in. The two decide to head to the police station to join the APD in questioning Badger.

Detective Getz, the undercover cop who busted Badger, tries to convince him to give up his supplier. Before Badger can respond, Saul Goodman, a flamboyant criminal defense attorney, enters the interview room and dismisses Getz before looking over Badger's case and discussing his retainer fee. When he spots Hank and Gomez, Saul becomes convinced that the DEA must be interested in Badger only if they think he can lead them to bigger fish. Jesse takes Walt to Saul's law office at a strip mall, explaining to a hesitant Walt that they do not a criminal lawyer (a lawyer who defends criminals), but a criminal lawyer (a lawyer who is also a criminal).

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Walt loses a coin toss to determine who will go into Saul's office and pay his retainer fee. Upon entering the office, Walt introduces himself as Badger's uncle. Saul reports that the DEA wants Badger to lead them to a mystery man named Heisenberg. Saul initially insists on making Badger give up Heisenberg, but seems to reconsider when Walt offers him $10,000. Walt has another coughing fit. Upon returning to Jesse's car, Walt reports that Saul kicked him out of the office for trying to bribe him.

Act III

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After nightfall, Walt and Jesse, donning ski masks, kidnap Saul as he leaves his office and haul him to a freshly dug shallow grave in the RV. Aiming a gun at Saul, Jesse instructs him to represent Badger and threatens to kill him if anyone snitches to the DEA. Walt doubles over coughing, prompting Saul to recognize him. Saul instructs Walt and Jesse to remove their masks and each put a dollar in his pocket, thereby making their conversation protected by attorney-client privilege. The duo hear Saul's assessment of their situation: "Somebody’s going to prison. It's just a matter of who."

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Under questioning from Hank, Badger describes Heisenberg as a middle-aged bald man. Meanwhile, Saul hands Walt the dossier for a bald ex-convict known as "Jimmy In-'N-Out," who will willingly allow himself to be put in jail as Heisenberg for a fee. Saul outlines the cost: $80,000 plus a pound of Walt and Jesse's meth.

Act IV

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The next day, the DEA and APD stake out the bus stop. Walt and Jesse watch from a distance in Walt's Aztek. Badger arrives on time, but Jimmy is late. Eventually a different bald man sits next to Badger, who doesn't know this isn't Jimmy. When the real Jimmy sits down on a nearby bench, Badger is busy soliciting the wrong man, trying to make the deal. Walt speeds around the block to the bench and makes Jesse intervene. After Jesse exits the car, Walt zips over to the stakeout vehicle to talk to Hank, thereby blocking their view and buy time for Jesse to redirect Badger. Jesse directs Badger to the correct bench and Jimmy's arrest goes down as planned. Later, Jane drops by Jesse's apartment and they make love.

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Saul visits Walt's high school and walks into his classroom, chiding him for being so easy to locate. Walt asks if Saul is blackmailing him, but Saul says that he isn't. Referencing The Godfather, Saul offers to act as Walt's consigliere in his meth operation, providing him with the right connections and strategy to succeed in the drug trade. "If you want to make more money, and keep the money that you make," Saul says, adding his professional catchphrase: "Better Call Saul!"

Official Photos

Trivia

  • This episode marks the first absence of Walter Jr..
  • As the title would suggest, this episode marks the first appearance of lawyer Saul Goodman, played by Bob Odenkirk.
  • The title of the episode refers to the slogan used by Saul in his advertising. These are also the last words of the episode, Saul using his slogan to invite Walt to call him if he wishes to do business with him.
  • The bench on which Badger sits is covered with an advertisement for Saul Goodman.
  • When Badger is checking the area for police, he mocks that their presence is obvious in the "brown van" and "flower van." He later turned out to be correct, for when the fake Heisenberg is caught at the end of the episode, a brown van and van with a banner that says "Flowers" pull up to arrest him.
  • When Saul speaks in Spanish, he says "always, always, I'm a friend of the Cartel's."
    • Saul says a similar phrase in the episode "Bagman" of Better Call Saul. He says the phrase to the group of mercenaries in the desert who attempt to steal his money and then murder him.
  • The ski masks that Walt and Jesse are wearing when they kidnap Saul are the same ones they wore in the Season 1 final episode, "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal".
  • Bob Odenkrik said that his favorite moment filming was when he, Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul were out in the desert at 2 A.M. He said it was fun to be a part of the show because of all the trouble they went through to make scenes amazing.
    • Odenkirk also stated that he had no clue what the Spanish words he spoke meant.
    • He also said he enjoys scenes with fake fights or fake money the most.
  • While Jesse and Walt have Saul on his knees in the desert, Saul is heard uttering "it wasn't me. It was Ignacio!" and he is relieved that "Lalo" didn't send them.
    • The character of Nacho was introduced in the episode "Mijo" of Better Call Saul. This is more explicitly confirmed later in "Pimento" as Mike Ehrmantraut researches Nacho and confirms his first name to be Ignacio. Actor Michael Mando has confirmed that Nacho and Ignacio are the same person.[1]
    • The character of Lalo was introduced in the episode "Coushatta" of Better Call Saul. He is a member of the Salamanca family who was sent to Albuquerque to help Nacho run their drug dealing business.
  • The vehicle used by Getz and Hank for the stakeout is a 2008 Ford Taurus.
  • After the deal with Badger, Jimmy In-'N-Out pretty much gets straight up and puts his hands behind his head before any cops are even seen. You can hear the sirens, but it was a bit of a giveway that this was staged.
  • In this episode, Saul Goodman reveals that his real name is McGill.
  • Saul's number posted on the park bench is (505) 164-2255 (CALL). This number does not exist, as the first digit of a phone number (as well as the area code) is restricted from being a 0 or a 1. The area code 505 is an actual area code in New Mexico however.
  • The exterior shot of the police station is the Wilshire Community Police Station, Los Angeles, CA, and thus one of the few original scenes in the series not filmed in New Mexico.
  • Saul mentions having his P.I. track down Walt, foreshadowing the debut of Mike Ehrmantraut.

Production

Credits

Co-Starring

Uncredited

  • Andrea Good as Laundry Worker

Filming Locations

  • The bench where Badger sells drugs to an undercover DEA guy doesnt exist, but the location is at 1000 Park Ave SW. This is the same location where Saul arranges the fake Heisenberg to get arrested later. (The tile art pillars can be seen in the background)

Featured Music

  • "Island Bounce" by Sleepyhouse (in a car going past during the teaser)
  • "Holla Hey" by Far East Movement (in a car going past during the teaser)
  • "Unknown Track #2" by Unknown Artist (in a car going past during the teaser)
  • "Better Call Saul!" performed by Bob Odenkirk as Saul (during Saul's TV commercial)
  • "El Ruso Bailando (Original Mix)" by Santiago Deep (Jesse asking Jane out for dinner)
  • "Thin Man Skank" by Lions (while Walt & Jesse test the money counter)
  • "America The Beautiful" by Pat Boone (in the reception of Saul's office)
  • "Star-Spangled Banner" by Peter Jackson (in the reception of Saul's office)
  • "Banderilla" by Calexico (as the police & DEA wait for Badger to meet Jimmy)

Memorable Quotes

"Hi. I’m Saul Goodman. Did you know that you have rights? The Constitution says you do. And so do I. I believe that until proven guilty, every man, woman, and child in this country is innocent. And that’s why I fight for you, Albuquerque! Better call Saul!"
―Saul’s television commercial

Saul to Getz: "What are you doing, detective, talking to my client without me present? You sneaky Pete. Which is which? What, did the academy hire you right out of the womb? You guys get younger every--"
Saul to Badger: "What'd you say to baby face? Did you say anything stupid? By "anything stupid," I mean anything at all. Look at you. Mouth open, vocal chords a-twitter. We'll talk about it later."
Saul to Getz: "Right now, you out. Ten minutes ago. Go on. There are laws, detective. Have your kindergarten teacher read them to you. Go grab a juice box. Have a nap. Go on."
―Saul making a breakthrough.

"What if I told you we do? I have spent my whole life scared. Frightened of things that could happen, might happen, might not happen. Fifty years I spent like that. Finding myself awake at three in the morning. But you know what? Ever since my diagnosis, I sleep just fine. And I came to realize it’s that fear that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So–get up. Get out in the real world. And you kick that bastard as hard as you can right in the teeth."
―Walter to Hank.

"Seriously, when the going gets tough, you don't want a criminal lawyer... You want a criminal lawyer.""
Jesse explaining Saul to Walter.

"My real name's McGill. The Jew thing I just do for the homeboys. They all want a pipe-hitting member of the tribe, so to speak."
―Saul explaining his real name to Walter.

"Oh, no, no, no! No, it wasn't me. It was Ignacio. He's the one."
―Saul threatened by Walter and Jesse, denounces Nacho Varga.

Saul: "Okay, now listen. The three of us are gonna work this out."
Jesse: "Yeah? How?"
Saul: "First thing, you'll put a dollar in my pocket, both of you. You want attorney-client privilege, don't you? So that everything you say is strictly between us. I mean it. Put a dollar in my pocket. Come on, make it official."
―Saul selling his services to Walter and Jesse.

Jesse: "You think Jimmy is actually for real? A guy who wants to be in prison?"
Walter: "There's more than one kind of prison."
―Jesse and Walter on Jimmy In-'N-Out.

Walter: "I don’t understand. What exactly are you offering to do for me?"
Saul: "What did Tom Hagen do for Vito Corleone?"
Walter: "I’m no Vito Corleone."
Saul: "No shit! Right now, you’re Fredo. But with some sound advice and the proper introductions, who knows? I’ll tell you one thing, you’ve got the right product. Anything that gets the DEA’s panties in this big a bunch you’re on to something special. And I would like to be a small and silent part of it. Food for thought, yeah? So if you want to make more money and keep the money that you make — “Better call Saul!”"
―Saul proposing his special services to Walter.

Videos

References

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