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This article is about the Breaking Bad episode. For other uses, see Better Call Saul. For the Better Call Saul episode with the corresponding title, see Breaking Bad (episode).

"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 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. Delighted, Badger asks him if he's a cop. When the customer says "no", the two make a deal for some blue meth. Immediately, the "customer" pulls out a gun and Albuquerque Police Department badge, arresting Badger on the spot.

Act I[]

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Having had sex the previous night, Jesse and Jane lie together on a makeshift floor bed in his apartment. However, when he suggests they smoke marijuana, Jane declines and gets dressed, explaining that she is a recovering drug addict who has been clean for 18 months.

After Skyler leaves for work, Walt gets a phone call from Marie that she's worried about Hank, who has holed himself up in his bedroom since the incident with Tortuga. When Walt visits him, Hank admits that he was taken off guard by the war-like atmosphere in Juárez, but says that seeing a shrink about it would kill his career. Hank dismisses Walt's initial offer of help, saying that their career experiences don't have any overlap. Walt explains how his cancer diagnosis helped him conquer his fear of everyday life.

At Jesse's apartment, he and Walt use a money-counting machine to 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 of Jesse's newfound reputation to inform Jesse of Badger's arrest.

Act II[]

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Pulling himself together in the elevator, Hank returns to the DEA field office in Albuquerque with gusto 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. Later, when he spots Hank and Gomez in the hallway with Getz, 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 need 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, "Mr. Mayhew." 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 in the RV to a freshly dug shallow grave. While Jesse and Walt have Saul on his knees in the desert, Saul utters "It wasn't me. It was Ignacio!" and asks them if "Lalo" sent them. Aiming a gun at Saul, Jesse instructs him to represent Badger and threatens to kill him if Badger snitches to the DEA. Walt suddenly doubles over coughing, prompting Saul to recognize him. Relieved that they are not associated with the cartel, 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. Saul then informs them that "Somebody's going to prison. It's just a matter of who."

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Under questioning from Hank and with Saul present, Badger describes Heisenberg as a middle-aged bald man. Saul later meets Walt and Jesse and hands them a dossier for James Kilkelly, a bald ex-convict known as "Jimmy In-'N-Out," who will willingly allow himself to be put in prison as Heisenberg for $30,000. Saul outlines the cost: $80,000 (he will take $50,000 as his fee) 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 tells Jesse to intervene. After Jesse exits the car, Walt zips over to the stakeout vehicle to talk to Hank, thereby blocking their view long enough for Jesse to inform 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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After hours, Saul visits Walt's high school and walks into his classroom, chiding him for being easy for his private investigator 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; he ends the conversation with "If you want to make more money, and keep the money that you make, Better Call Saul!", his promotional slogan.

Official Photos[]

Trivia[]

  • 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 episode "Breaking Bad" of the prequel series Better Call Saul pays homage to this episode's title.
  • 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, and when the APD show up to arrest him, they are in the brown van and flower wan. Both vans are also used for when the fake Heisenberg is caught at the end of the episode.
  • 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 wore when they kidnap Saul are the same ones they wore when they stole a barrel of methylamine in the Season 1 finale, "A No-Rough-Stuff-Type Deal".
  • Bob Odenkirk 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 enjoyed 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.
    • In Better Call Saul's "Point and Shoot", it's revealed what Saul's panic was about: while holding Saul captive, Lalo had revealed Nacho's role in an assassination attempt on him and implied that he believed that Saul was involved. Lalo promised to return for the full story, but he was killed shortly thereafter by Gustavo Fring. Saul remained concerned that Lalo would return for answers despite Mike reassuring him that Lalo wouldn't be back.
    • In "Breaking Bad", Jesse asks Saul about his freakout and mentions that he's never heard of Lalo before. However, Saul just brushes off Jesse's questions by saying he's "nobody".
  • The vehicle used by Getz and Hank for the stakeout is a 2008 Ford Taurus.
  • In this episode, Saul Goodman reveals that his real surname is McGill, foreshadowing his full name being "Jimmy McGill" in Better Call Saul.
  • 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 in "ABQ".
    • In "Breaking Bad", Saul is shown asking Mike about Heisenberg and he identifies both Walt and Jesse for him.
  • In Better Call Saul's "Breaking Bad", Saul's interactions with Walt and Jesse following his agreeing to work for them in the desert are further expanded upon.
  • The scene where Badger is arrested was referenced in the ninth part of the long running series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, The JOJOLands in Chapter 2 in which the main character Jodio gets arrested in the same way.

Production[]

Credits[]

Co-Starring

  • Tina Parker as Francesca
  • Jimmy Daniels as Jimmy In-'N-Out
  • Shenoah Allen as Schlubby Guy #1
  • Drew Pollock as Schlubby Guy #2
  • Casey Cerutti as Hot Chick Cop

  • Uncredited

  • Andrea Good as Laundry Worker

  • Filming Locations[]

    • The bench where Badger sells drugs to an undercover DEA guy doesn't 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 James Kilkelly)

    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!"
    ―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.

    Saul: "Gentlemen! I sense you're discussing my client. Anything you care to share with me?"
    Hank: "Sure. Your commercials? They suck ass. I've seen better acting in an epileptic whorehouse."
    Saul: "Is that like the one your mom works at? Is she still offering the two-for-one discount? DEA, huh? For a street bust. Now, what would two feds want with that little twerp?"
    ―Saul meets with Hank and Steve.

    "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.

    Saul: "Oh! No, no, no no, no! No, it wasn't me! It was Ignacio! He's the one! Oh, no! No, no, no, no! (in Spanish) I'm always a friend! Always! I'm always a friend of the cartel! Always!"
    Jesse: "Shut up, dude. Shut up, alright? Just speak English."
    Saul: "Lalo didn't send you? No Lalo?"
    Jesse: "Who?"
    Saul: "Oh, thank God! Oh, Christ! Oh, I thought..."
    ―Saul panicking after mistaking to Walter and Jesse as Lalo's henchmen.

    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.

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