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"Chicanery" is the fifth episode of the third season of Better Call Saul and the twenty-fifth episode of the series altogether.



In a flashback to 2001, Jimmy drops by Chuck's house as he is having workers remove all electronics. Chuck is attempting to reconcile with Rebecca, but wants to keep her from finding out about his purported EHS. The dinner is initially a success, but Rebecca receives a cell phone call from her conductor, making Chuck anxious. He snatches the phone and throws it to the floor. Rebecca, angered, decides to call a cab. Jimmy wants to tell her about Chuck's EHS to salvage the evening, but he vehemently refuses.

Act I[]

Jimmy visits Dr. Caldera on the pretense of checking on a goldfish, asking if he knows someone with a "light touch" who is willing to do a job; Caldera replies that he does, as long as he does not have to fit in a tight space. Meanwhile, after a successful hearing before the New Mexico Banking Board, Kim informs Paige and Kevin of Chuck's allegations that Jimmy doctored the Mesa Verde files. Both Kevin and Paige disbelieve the claims, with Kevin being certain that Chuck is smearing Kim rather than admitting a mistake. Kim assures Paige that Mesa Verde will not suffer any blowback.

Chuck and Howard visit the courtroom where Jimmy's hearing before the New Mexico Bar Association will be held. Howard is reluctant to let Chuck testify during the hearing, telling him that they can present a solid-enough case based on the testimony of himself and Chuck's private investigator, Dave. Howard also reminds Chuck that by testifying, he is putting the reputation of HHM on the line. Chuck dismisses Howard's concerns, saying that meting out justice against Jimmy is more important.

Act II[]

As Jimmy's bar hearing begins, Kim and the prosecutor, Robert Alley, make their opening statements, with Kim asserting that the real story is of the feud between Jimmy and Chuck. Howard testifies first, giving his account of Jimmy's break-in. Under Kim's cross-examination, Howard tries to claim that Chuck blocked Jimmy's advancement at HHM to avoid an appearance of nepotism, but is forced to admit that he himself is the son of HHM's founding partner. Jimmy is told by Francesca Liddy that someone's flight is delayed, causing he and Kim to use a legal maneuver to stall for time.

While Chuck is practicing his testimony at his house, Jimmy's confession tape is played before the committee presiding over the case. Afterwards, the courtroom is cleared of electronic devices in preparation for Chuck's arrival; Jimmy claims to have left his cell phone in his car. Meanwhile, as Chuck and Howard enter the courthouse, Chuck bumps into a man on the stairwell; the man is revealed to be Huell Babineaux.

Act III[]

BCS 305 10

Chuck is sworn in and questioned by Alley about the circumstances leading up to his recording of Jimmy's confession. He also denies hating Jimmy, claiming he doesn't want Jimmy to toy with the rule of law. Chuck is stunned when he sees Rebecca enter the courtroom and greet Jimmy. After asking the committee for a recess, he approaches his ex-wife. Rebecca explains that Jimmy told her about Chuck's EHS, and expresses sympathy regarding his condition. Chuck tells her that Jimmy brought her to attend the hearing as a psychological tactic, and asks her to stay so she can see "what's what." Outside the courtroom, Kim tells Jimmy that Rebecca is going to hate him for what he is about to do. Jimmy agrees.

Act IV[]

Jimmy cross-examines Chuck, using Mike's photos of the interior of his house to question him about his state of mind at the time he taped Jimmy's confession. Jimmy further confronts Chuck about how close he has to be to an electrical object to be affected by his EHS. He asks Chuck to identify the closest source of electricity and reveals that he has his cell phone in his pocket, but Chuck—calling out what believes to be a bluff—points out that Jimmy had removed the battery. However, his condescension over Jimmy's "sorry little trick" is cut short when Jimmy asks Chuck to remove an object from his breast pocket, which proves to be the fully charged battery; Jimmy had Huell plant it on Chuck during their encounter in the stairwell, and although Chuck has been carrying it for an hour and 43 minutes, he has not been affected at all.

When Alley argues that Chuck's mental illness is a non-issue, comparing him to a schizophrenic, Chuck finally snaps and delivers a rant making it clear that he resents Jimmy and is desperate to get him disbarred. He angrily lists all of Jimmy's faults—stealing from their parents when he was nine, defecating through a sunroof, orchestrating the billboard stunt, falsifying the Mesa Verde files and then bribing the copy shop clerk to lie about it—and expresses his frustration over the fact that he didn't stop Jimmy when he had the chance, instead of taking him into his own firm. He then desperately urges the panel to put an end to Jimmy's career, but stops in mid-sentence as he realizes that everyone in the room is stunned by his outburst. Chuck regains his composure and asks Jimmy if he has any more questions. Jimmy answers no, having gotten the reaction he wanted from him all along.

Official Photos[]


  • The episode is dedicated to Jane Marzelli Smith, the late mother of Gordon Smith. It is the second episode of the third season to bear such a dedication.
  • This episode has the outstanding score of 9.7/10 on IMDb. This is the fifth highest rating of the series, only being surpassed by "Bagman", "Bad Choice Road", and "Saul Gone", with a score of 9.8/10, and "Plan and Execution" with a score of 9.9/10.
  • This is the first episode in the series in which Mike does not appear, making Jimmy the only character to appear in all episodes of the series.
  • Jimmy asks Chuck if he would have been embarrassed to tell Rebecca if he had lung cancer instead of his electromagnetic hypersensitivity. It is likely that this is a reference to Walter White and his initial reluctance to tell Skyler about his disease.
  • This episode marks the earliest chronological appearance of Huell Babineaux, who first appeared in Breaking Bad.
  • Chuck alludes to the legal maxim Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
  • When Chuck arrives to testify, the clock displays 12:16 before being unhooked. 1216 is the address number of Mesa Verde Bank and Trust changed by Jimmy to replace 1261. ("Fifi")
    • Chuck's excuse to Rebecca as to why his power is out is that the city mixed up his address number (512) with another's (215), likely another reference to 1216.
  • When Chuck is practicing his testimony, he mentions how he loved his brother just like how the Unabomber's brother loved him. This is likely a reference to Marie Schrader's comparison of Mr. Lambert to the Unabomber.
  • In its top 10 best TV episodes of 2017, Time ranked Chicanery in 8th place, stating that "Better Call Saul's particular gift for moral ambiguity hit a high point with this episode".[1]




  • Jackamoe Buzzell as Private Investigator
  • Anthony Frederick as Laborer
  • Jalene Mack as Female Committee Member
  • Cornell Womack as Male Committee Member
  • Rebecca Hill Casey as Court Clerk
  • Lora Zachek as Court Reporter

Featured Music[]


Memorable Quotes[]

Jimmy: "Chuck, you sure this is the right play? I mean, in my experience, the bigger the lie, the harder it can be to dig out."
Chuck: "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it."
―Jimmy and Chuck on setting up a ploy to hide Chuck's disease at Rebecca.

Jimmy: "I'm looking for someone with a light touch. I'm not talking about some teenager taking a five finger discount of string cheese at the local Stop and Shop. I need: highly skilled, high end, discreet. A real pro."
Caldera: "You gotta fit him in a tight space?"
Jimmy: "I don't think so."
Caldera: "I got just the guy, then."
―Jimmy and Caldera.

"Let justice be done, though the heavens fall."
―Chuck on his will that justice punish Jimmy.

Kim: "Did Jimmy know his brother was the one who prevented you from hiring him?"
Howard: "No. He did not."
―Kim and Howard on the fact that it is Chuck who refused that Jimmy is hired to HHM.

Kim: "You know, she's going to hate you when this is over."
Jimmy: "Yep."
―Kim and Jimmy about Rebecca.

Chuck: "God, Jimmy! Don't you know by now this is real? I feel this: it's a physical response to stimuli, it's not a quirk. What do I have to do to prove it to you?"
Jimmy: "I don't know, Chuck. Could you reach into your breast pocket and tell me what's there?"
Chuck: "What now?"
Jimmy: "Can you tell the court what that was?"
Chuck: "A battery."
―Jimmy demonstrating to the court that Chuck's disease is probably not physical.

Chuck: "I AM NOT CRAZY! (...) I am not crazy! I know he swapped those numbers, I knew it was 1216! One after Magna Carta, as if I could ever make such a mistake! Never! Never! I just–I just couldn't prove it! He–he–he covered his tracks, he got that idiot at the copy shop to lie for him..."
Alley: "Mr. McGill, please. You don't have to go into—"
Chuck: "You think this is something? You think this is bad, this–this chicanery? He's done worse. That billboard! Are you telling me that a man just happens to fall like that? No, he orchestrated it! Jimmy! He defecated through a sunroof, and I saved him! I shouldn't have! I took him into my own firm! What was I thinking? He'll never change. He'll never change! Ever since he was nine, always the same! Couldn't keep his hands out of the cash drawer! "But not our Jimmy! Couldn't be precious Jimmy!" Stealing them blind! And he gets to be a lawyer?! What a sick joke! I should have stopped him when I had the chance! And you, you have to stop him! You–"
―Chuck imploding in front of his relatives and the court.