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"Carrot and Stick" is the second episode of the sixth season of Better Call Saul and the fifty-second episode of the series altogether.

Summary

Teaser

At Nacho's house, his junkie girlfriends Amber and Jo are lazing around when Mike, Tyrus, and Arthur walk in unannounced. Mike tells the panicking girls that Nacho isn't coming back and gives them a bundle of money, instructing them to leave town and never return. After the girls leave, Mike searches the house while Arthur uses a large power drill to break into Nacho's safe. Inside, Mike finds stacks of cash as well as two fake Manitoba IDs for Nacho and his father Manuel. He puts the money and Nacho's ID card in a sack while pocketing Manuel's ID card. Victor drives a duplicate safe to the house, into which Mike places the money and Nacho's ID card, as well as a sealed white envelope.

Act I

At Kim's apartment, Jimmy is practicing a monologue as part of his and Kim's plot against Howard. Their plan is to persuade Cliff Main to take a meeting concerning a phony personal injury case, then have Cliff hear an anecdote about Howard abusing cocaine, building on their caper at the country club. Kim and Jimmy trade suggestions on how to get their story just right to be believable. Kim comes up with an idea, but tells Jimmy that "you are going to hate this."

Meanwhile, at the Los Pollos Hermanos chicken farm, Gus and Tyrus look over several documents and crime scene photos connected to the assault on Lalo's hacienda. Tyrus says that the details and the dental records of Lalo's apparent corpse all check out. Gus gets an idea and makes a phone call to Juan Bolsa, telling him that he knows how to keep the peace within the Cartel.

Outside Albuquerque, Jimmy drives to a tax servicing business. He admires a large inflatable Statue of Liberty on the property. The owners of the business turns out to be Craig and Betsy Kettleman, the latter of whom is not pleased at Jimmy's presence. Jimmy offers to exonerate the Kettlemans for their past legal troubles, telling them that their embezzlement case contains the basis for a civil suit. He asks the couple to sign letters of engagement prohibiting them from taking on competing lawyers—deliberately name-dropping Cliff—which they initially balk at; however, when Jimmy feigns taking the offer off the table, Craig desperately agrees to sign the documents, much to Betsy's chagrin. Jimmy tells the Kettlemans the basis of their would-be civil suit: Howard, the lead attorney in their case, was impaired in his legal duties by using cocaine. The Kettlemans agree to use the information but refuse to hire Jimmy as their lawyer. Jimmy feigns being upset by their refusal but smirks as he walks back to his car, having gotten exactly what he wanted.

Act II

At the Motel Ocotillo, Nacho paces around his room and chafes under the anxiety of waiting for rescue. Hearing footsteps outside his door, Nacho draws his gun, only to find that the manager has left food for him on a tray. He peers out the window and watches a man wandering around the property. His attention is drawn to a small building across the parking lot from his room, where one of the boarded-up windows has a hole that can be peeked through.

At Davis & Main, Erin Brill approaches Cliff and tells him that the Kettlemans are present, seeking to sue their former lawyers at Hamlin Hamlin & McGill. In their meeting, the couple blame Craig's conviction for embezzlement on Howard's alleged cocaine abuse. Cliff declines to take their case, stating that doing so would be a conflict-of-interest since Davis & Main has partnered with HHM on another lawsuit, that reversing Craig's conviction is unlikely, and that he doesn't believe what the couple claim about Howard. The Kettlemans walk out frustrated. However, when he returns to his office, Cliff—having seen Howard in apparent possession of cocaine at the country club—is troubled enough by their story that he is unable to play his guitar.

At the Casa Tranquila Nursing Home, Gus and Bolsa visit Hector. While he openly admits that he never got along with Lalo, Gus offers his condolences for the apparent death of Hector's nephew; both he and Bolsa promise to aid the Salamanca family in avenging him. Hector—not telling him that he has already been in contact with Lalo—shakes Gus's hand, but uncharacteristically looks him in the eyes while doing so. Outside the nursing home, Gus—barely containing his alarm—contacts Mike and tells him that Lalo lives.

Act III

Bolsa's men ransack Nacho's house and use a power tool to cut into the decoy safe. Inside, they find Nacho's fake ID card as well as the envelope left by Mike, which contains information for a Cayman Islands bank account as well as a phone number. Bolsa himself dials the number, which connects him to the motel where Nacho is hiding.

The following day, Nacho is monitoring the small building across from his room when he is again left with food by the manager. Just as he opens his door, Nacho sees movement behind the boarded-up window of the building. He collects the food outside his room in a casual manner, in full view of the people watching him, but throws it in anger once he goes back inside. Nacho considers dialing Tyrus, but instead opts to escape the room by kicking out the air conditioning unit in the rear window.

Nacho sneaks into the small building, where he finds a Mexican man surveilling the motel room. Nacho forces the man to surrender his gun and demands to know who he works for; the man claims to not know, and says that he is just paid to take note of Nacho's comings and goings. Holding the man at gunpoint, Nacho dials his phone to Tyrus, tells him that he is about to flee the motel, hangs up, then turns off the phone. The man's own cell phone then receives a call, causing Nacho to realize that Gus has double-crossed him. Instead of shooting the man, Nacho knocks him out.

Act IV

Nacho breaks into a pickup truck with the intent to steal it. However, just then, a group of Cartel henchmen, accompanied by the Cousins, descend on the motel. The Cousins and the henchmen spread out to search the location, breaking down the doors of every room. Nacho attempts to hide in the pickup but is soon confronted by one henchman, who holds the motel manager hostage. Nacho shoots and kills the henchman, which draws the attention of the others. He is briefly pinned down by another henchman but the Cousins shoot him, wanting Nacho alive. Nacho hotwires the pickup and drives it in reverse, damaging the Cousins' car in the process. A brief standoff ensues between Nacho and the Cousins, which ends when Nacho charges at them with the pickup—with the two parties exchanging fire throughout—and manages to speed away from the scene.

At Kim's apartment, Jimmy receives a hectic phone call from the Kettlemans. Jimmy schedules a meeting with them the following morning. As he retrieves another large wad of money from the duffel bag in the closet, Kim asks whether Jimmy will use "the stick" on the Kettlemans; Jimmy replies that they are more of the "carrot types". To Jimmy's surprise, Kim suggests that she accompany him to the meeting. He is perturbed, but agrees.

The following day, at the chicken farm, Mike communicates via radio with Arthur, who is monitoring the property through the sight of a sniper's rifle. In Gus's office trailer, Tyrus informs him that Nacho's stolen truck has been found while Nacho himself remains missing; Lalo is also missing, and the Cartel believes he is dead. Mike says that none of his men have seen or heard any indication that Lalo has returned north of the border, surmising that he is also looking for Nacho and is planning to use him to turn the rest of the Cartel against Gus. Gus struggles to keep his composure, knocking over a glass of water. Mike tells him that their only option is to send four of Mike's best men across the border to track down Nacho before the Salamancas do. Gus tells Mike to bring him Manuel, Nacho's father. Mike flatly refuses, causing Tyrus to brandish his gun at him. At that moment, Nacho calls Mike on his phone; Gus allows him to answer it. After a brief exchange, Mike says that Nacho wants to talk to Gus.

Act V

Jimmy and Kim drive to the Kettlemans' tax business. Inside, Betsy angrily tells them that the couple have gone to four different lawyers and that they have all told them they have no case, accusing Jimmy of using the Kettlemans to engage in character assassination against Howard. Betsy turns down Jimmy's offer of money, instead demanding that he make good on his promise of exonerating Craig or else they will tell Howard about his scheme.

Overhearing the conversation, Kim resorts to her "stick" method and makes a call to the Albuquerque office of the IRS. She speaks with an agent in their criminal investigation division, obliquely threatening to turn in the Kettlemans for engaging in tax preparer fraud. In a panic, Betsy hangs up the call and gives in. Kim instructs the Kettlemans to give their customers what they are legally owed and forget about Howard, threatening to completely ruin them otherwise. The couple are left shellshocked and defeated, but they take Jimmy's money. Jimmy is visibly taken aback by the incident; in the car, he remarks to himself, "Wolves and sheep." As Jimmy and Kim drive away, they are followed by a gray sedan.

Official Photos

Trivia

  • 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, on par with the "Bad Choice Road" episode. 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 1964 Chevrolet C-10 that Walter White purchases in Breaking Bad episode "Ozymandias" makes an appearance parked in front of The Kettleman's tax servicing business. The original owner of the vehicle, Joseph Prado, also makes an appearance as one of their clients. Prado's name is never said and only appears on the check being printed for him in this episode.
    • On the bank cheque that Betsy Kettleman prints out for Joseph, the day's date lets us know that the episode begins on 23 May 2004.
  • The inflatable Statue of Liberty prop is the same one used in Breaking Bad that sits atop Saul's Office.
  • The way Nacho speeds away from the motel in his truck, almost hitting The Cousins is reminiscent of how The Cousins die in Breaking Bad, where one of them gets hit by Hank's car in the process.

Production

Credits

Co-Starring

  • Eric Steinig as Nick
  • Howard Ferguson Jr. as Arthur
  • Sophia Santi as Mrs. Ruiz
  • Manny Martinez Hernandez as Watchman
  • William Runsabove as Joseph Prado
  • Catherine Fridey as "Ma" Customer
  • Cliff Gravel as "Pa" Customer
  • Eliza Valdez as Elderly Customer
  • Fred Padilla as Worker
  • Alexander Alayon Jr. as Grinder
  • Daniel V. Graulau as Scary Looking Dude
  • Darryl Deloach as Rough Looking Dude
  • Felix Miguel Quiñones as Cartel Gunman

Uncredited

  • TBA

Featured Music

TBA

Memorable Quotes

"You think you lost everything? You have no idea."
―Kim to Craig and Betsy Kettleman

"Whatever happens next, it’s not gonna go down the way you think it is."
―Mike to Gus and Tyrus


Videos

TBA

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