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"JMM" is the seventh episode of the fifth season of Better Call Saul and the forty-seventh episode of the series altogether.

Summary

Teaser

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Jimmy and Kim discuss their impending nuptials outside of the courthouse while waiting to get their marriage certificate. Kim makes Jimmy promise to not hide anything from her ever again. After Huell arrives as their witness, Jimmy explains to him that this marriage is purely a formality. The couple exchange their vows in front of a judge, with Kim appearing very happy while the judge says the vows.

Act I

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After the wedding, Kim leaves for her office at Schweikart & Cokely, promising to return home early. Jimmy gets a call from Nacho, who tells him that he has a new client named Jorge de Guzman. "De Guzman" is actually an alias being used by Lalo, who has been charged with the murder of Fred Whalen and is being held in the Metropolitan Detention Center. Jimmy pleads not guilty on Lalo's behalf; however, the judge denies bail. Later, as he and Jimmy privately discuss the case, Lalo says that he wants neither a deal with the prosecution nor a trial, intending to be released on bail. Jimmy replies that that will be very difficult since the charges against him are serious. Lalo assures him that he will be considered a "friend of the Cartel" if he succeeds in the task.

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At Stacey's house, Mike is reading the copy of The Little Prince he obtained from the library to Kaylee as a bedtime story. She eventually falls asleep. Mike joins Stacey in the kitchen and helps her wash dishes. She is surprised when Mike casually brings up Matty, a subject he'd been reluctant to discuss in the past. Mike tells her that his emotional state is much better now, deciding to accept the "cards that were dealt" to him.

Act II

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Kim, Rich, Paige, and Kevin convene at Mesa Verde's offices to discuss their disastrous meeting with Jimmy. Kim apologizes profusely for the incident, but Kevin is disappointed with how poorly S&C dealt with the situation. Before Kim and Rich leave, Kevin tells Kim she can "do better than" Jimmy. She starts to leave with Rich, but then impulsively returns to the meeting room. Kim tells Kevin that for all S&C's slip-ups, Kevin also bears some responsibility for the fiasco by ignoring her legal advice: Kevin decided to listen to Jimmy, even when Kim explicitly told him not to. Kevin is apparently impressed upon hearing Kim's counter-argument, and sets their next meeting for Thursday.

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Kim and Jimmy return to their apartment while Kim talks about her meeting. When she asks about his day, Jimmy says, "I got married"; he carries her to the bedroom. They begin to make love but Jimmy stops suddenly, making Kim ask what is wrong. Jimmy tells her about his new client, mentioning the offer of being a "friend to the Cartel." Kim says that she is glad that Jimmy shared this news with her.

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Lalo arranges for a cell phone to be smuggled to him inside the MDC. Cooped up in his bunk, he calls Nacho via the phone and orders him to burn down a Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant. Nacho meets with Mike the next day, having decided since Lalo is incarcerated, Mike should help him and his father find a way out of the drug business. When he learns about Lalo's order to burn down a restaurant, Mike points out that this means that Lalo is not really out of the picture yet; Nacho can't get out from under either his or Gus's employ.

Act III

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In Houston, Gus attends a board meeting of the CEOs of Madrigal Electromotive's restaurant chains, chaired by Peter Schuler. Later that evening, after checking into a local hotel, Gus visits an adjacent room where Peter and Lydia are waiting for him. Peter complains about the delays in building the excavation and warns that it will be difficult to allocate further funds, considering how close he has come to getting caught. Gus assures him that things will be smoothed out, reminding him of a dangerous situation in Santiago that the two men escaped from, which resulted in Gus being indebted to Peter. Lydia suggests that they arrange for Lalo to be assassinated in jail, an idea Gus dismisses because such circumstances would cast suspicion on him for the killing. However, Gus realizes that he has to do something to prevent Nacho, his insider in Lalo's crew, from being exposed.

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At their apartment, Jimmy looks over real estate listings while Kim readies herself for work. After she leaves, he receives a phone call from Mike, calling to offer a job. Jimmy tries to make up an excuse for ending the call as he goes to answer a knock at the door, only to find Mike standing there. Speaking as Gus's emissary, Mike asks for Jimmy to get Lalo bailed out of jail. He refuses to say who he is delivering this request on behalf of, as Gus does not want Lalo to know what he's up to, and hands Jimmy a dossier with the pertinent information from his visit to Lillian Simmons.

Act IV

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Under the cover of darkness, Gus and Nacho break into a Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant in Los Lunas. While Nacho vandalizes the seating area, Gus turns up the burners in the kitchen, filling the room with gas, and heats up a fryer full of oil. He then grabs a frozen chicken from the freezer and sets it on the backside of the cooker's cover as an improvised ramp, so it will slowly slide down into the fryer. He then leaves the restaurant, returning to his car. The frozen chicken falls into the fryer and ignites the hot oil, causing a massive explosion that destroys the restaurant.

Lalo appears in court for his bail hearing. Jimmy tells the judge that the star witness in the case was coached by a private detective; the prosecutor admits to this fact. Jimmy has also hired actors to perform as Lalo's fake family to prove that he has community ties to Albuquerque. Based upon these factors, the judge sets Lalo's bail at $7 million in hard cash. Lalo says he can arrange for the money, but Jimmy will have to personally drive across the border to pick it up.

Jimmy and Howard unexpectedly meet outside the courtroom. When Howard enquires about his previous job offer, Jimmy says that he still has not decided. Howard is apparently aware about Jimmy's pranks and accuses him of throwing bowling balls at his car and sending prostitutes in the restaurant. Jimmy initially denies the allegations but after Howard says, "Jimmy, I'm sorry you're in pain", he accepts them and begins a vicious outburst at Howard, yelling at him as he leaves the courthouse.

Trivia

  • This episode is the directorial debut of Melissa Bernstein, who has worked as producer on all seasons of Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and on El Camino.
  • Lalo asks Jimmy if he wants to be a “friend of the cartel”. In his debut episode on Breaking Bad, when Walt and Jesse kidnap him, Jimmy claims to be a friend of the cartel (in broken Spanish "siempre un amigo del cartel"). According to the writers, this is an intentional callback.
  • When Mike calls Jimmy, Jimmy says he is in a tunnel as a callback to their last conversation. He also mockingly quotes Mike's dialogue from when he turned down a job with Jimmy in "Something Beautiful".
  • The title of the episode refers to Jimmy's initials, James Morgan McGill, which appear on the monogrammed briefcase offered by Kim. When Lalo asks him what these letters mean, Jimmy replies that it is his motto, "Justice Matters Most". Lalo chuckles and suggests a new motto: "Just Make Money".
    • This symbolizes the choice that Jimmy has to make: Does he want JMM, i.e. himself, to mean justice, or does he want to join the dark side and become a friend of the cartel?
    • The discussion between Jimmy and Lalo about what JMM means is also a callback to Jimmy and Howard's discussion in the episode "Namaste", where Howard asked Jimmy who "Saul Goodman" is, to which Jimmy replied that he is the ultimate defender of the defenseless. Considering Jimmy is now helping Lalo, a cold-blooded murderer, to escape justice, it seems he has changed his mind.
    • It also evokes the JMM billboard from Season 1's "Hero" where he parodied HHM and Howard's appearance, leading Howard to file a motion with a judge to get the billboard taken down.
  • Jimmy and Kim get married in this episode. Jimmy has to give the clerk documents from his two previous dissolutions, confirming that he has been divorced twice.
    • In the Breaking Bad episode "Green Light", Saul states to Walt that he has been divorced twice, mentioning that his second wife cheated on him with his stepfather, although it is unclear whether he was saying this just to prove a point.
    • In a deleted scene from the Breaking Bad episode "Caballo Sin Nombre", Saul stated to Walter that he has been married three times.
    • In the Better Call Saul episode "Nacho", Jimmy is arrested after accomplishing a "Chicago sunroof" to get revenge for his ex-wife's infidelity with a man named Chet. It is unknown whether this is his first or second wife:
      • His second wife could have slept with multiple men.
      • Chet could have been his stepfather (although he does not mention so in his rant).
      • There remains the simple possibility that his first wife was also unfaithful.
  • Just before Jimmy's confrontation with Howard at the end of the episode, Jimmy looks at the family of Lalo's victim while hiding from behind a corner. His face is mirrored by the wall, symbolizing the duality of Jimmy and Saul, and the conflict within him to decide which path he wants to take: James McGill or Saul Goodman? Justice or Money? Defender of the defenseless or friend of the cartel?
    • Just as Howard greets Jimmy, and Jimmy says he's still "giving some thought" about Howard's job offer, Jimmy turns his head, and sees the victim's family walking away. That is the moment Jimmy switches to Saul and gives up the path of redemption he could have taken. He does not accept the position of a respectable lawyer at HHM he always dreamt of, and lets a defenseless family of a cartel's victim walking away, denying them justice.
    • Jimmy starts his rant at Howard by accusing him of killing his brother - whereas Jimmy is equally responsible for Chuck's death. For Jimmy, embracing Saul Goodman's dark side is also a way to deny and refuse to face his guilt for his brother's death.
    • Jimmy accuses Howard of being a "teensy tiny man in a teensy-weensy little bubble" and claims that the job offered by Howard is "too small", that Jimmy "travels in worlds that [Howard] can't even imagine". Jimmy is having delusions of grandeur, just like Walter White will have as Heisenberg.
    • At the end of Jimmy's rant against Howard, he claims that "lightning bolts shoot from [his] fingertips". This is a typical power used by members of the dark side of the Force in Star Wars; Lightning bolts shoot from the fingertips of Emperor Palpatine in Episode 3 while shouting "unlimited power!"
  • Even though Gus dismisses Lydia's suggestions of a prison shanking, she later authorizes Walt and Jack Welker's gang to carry out this exact plan to deal with 11 affiliates of Gus' who would possibly rat out the details of Gus' operation. ("Gliding Over All")

Production

Credits

Co-Starring

  • Juliet Donenfeld as Kaylee
  • Alison Yates as Cleo Epstein
  • Victor Samuel Armijo as Bellhop
  • Lisa B. Lisa as Marriage Licence Clerk
  • Sandi K. Shelby as Courtroom Clerk
  • Lewis Brown Jr. as Bailiff
  • Danette Sills as Fred Whalen's Mother
  • Roy Ward as Fred Whalen's Father
  • Kristin Broadwell as Beth
  • Kathryn Phipps as Grandma Mary
  • Harper Frawley as Christopher

Uncredited

  • TBA

Featured Music

  • "Chuncho (The Forest Creatures)" by Yma Sumac (while Gus and Nacho infiltrate and vandalise a Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant)

Memorable Quotes

Lalo: "JMM. What's that?"
Jimmy: "Oh, that's my motto."
Lalo: "Oh, yeah?"
Jimmy: ""Justice Matters Most." [Lalo chuckles] Okay, brass tacks, how solid is this "de Guzman" thing? Because if they find out you're not who they think you are, that could be a little..."
Lalo: "It's not gonna be a problem."
Jimmy: "Great. Um... First up, we're gonna get this murder wrap down to manslaughter. Now, I think that the DA is primed to cut a deal. So I say make them come to us, power move."
Lalo: "No."
Jimmy: "No?"
Lalo: "No. No deal."
Jimmy: "Here's the thing about going to trial."
Lalo: "No, no, no. No trial, no deal."
Jimmy: "Okay, sure. It's just... What did you have in mind?"
Lalo: "You're gonna get me out on bail."
Jimmy: "Bail? That's... Well, the thing there–I mean, I don't know how things work south of the border, but here, under these circumstances, it's uh... Well, that's a long shot."
Lalo: "¿Quieres ser amigo de cartel?"
Jimmy: "I'm sorry. I don't..."
Lalo: "[pause] You wanna be a friend of the cartel? Time to get yourself a new motto: "Just Make Money.""
―Lalo instructs Jimmy to find a way to get him out of prison.

Nacho: "I'm not telling you shit until we talk about my dad!"
Mike: "What you tell me and when you say it is not up to you."
Nacho: "Listen. You said when Lalo's out of the picture, we'll talk about my father, right? Well, he's out of the picture!"
Mike: "...Say your piece."
Nacho: "I'm done! I want out."
Mike: "And you want me to square it with Fring?"
Nacho: "Fring's not all of it. It's the cartel. I disappear, they're gonna go after my father. He's gotta come with me. But no matter what I say with him, it's the cops or nothing."
Mike: "The cops won't solve this."
Nacho: "[pause] You got a way?"
Mike: "Hm. What are you holding out?"
Nacho: "Lalo called me from inside. He put me back in charge."
Mike: "And?"
Nacho: "And... he wants me to burn down Los Pollos Hermanos."
Mike: "[pause] Then, he's not out of the picture, is he?"
―Nacho confessing to Mike that Lalo is still in the game despite his incarceration.

Gus: "You look well."
Peter: "Well... I don't feel well. Maybe things will improve now that you're here. Lydia tells me Salamanca is in jail. This means you can continue construction?"
Gus: "[pause] Eduardo Salamanca has been arrested for murder. However, even from jail, he creates... issues."
Peter: "What kind of issues?"
Gus: "He ordered his men to burn down one of my restaurants."
Lydia: "You're kidding. He's in jail, and he can still do that?"
Gus: "I'm afraid so."
Lydia: "I know it's not exactly my area of expertise, but don't people get killed in prison all the time? I mean, shanked... and shived, and whatnot."
Gus: "If anything happens to Salamanca on this side of the border, the cartel will assume that it was my doing. It would mean war. A war, for which we are unprepared."
Peter: "My God. This nightmare never ends!"
Lydia: "[to Gus] He's concerned about the money."
Peter: "Concerned?! 4,800,000 euros! It's a miracle I haven't been caught! Last year, the auditors came this close. One of them–a woman–I think she knew."
Gus: "Peter..."
Peter: "At first, it was a year. Then, it was two. Then, three. And now you are telling me how long?! I can't! I can't! They will catch me, and then it is over!"
―Gus tries to appease Peter Schuler, who fears being found out about the embezzlement of funds used to finance the construction of the superlab.

Howard: "Jimmy, I'm sorry you're in pain."
Jimmy: "Sorry. You're sorry? You kill my brother, and you say you're sorry? Let me tell you something. The job offer, it didn't upset me. It amused me. Ooh... big job at the illustrious HHM. A chance to play at the palace! With little old me?"
Howard: "I was trying to..."
Jimmy: "You have no idea what's going on! You're a teensy, tiny man in a teensy-weensy little bubble!"
Howard: "Oh, Jimmy..."
Jimmy: "Oh, don't you fucking, "Oh, Jimmy," me! You look down on me, you pity me! [Howard starts walking away from Jimmy] Walk away. That's right, Howard! You know why I didn't take the job? 'Cause it's too small! I don't care about it! It's nothing to me! It's a bacterium! I travel in worlds you can't even imagine! You can't conceive of what I'm capable of! I'm so far beyond you! I'm like a god in human clothing! LIGHTNING BOLTS SHOOT FROM MY FINGERTIPS!"
―Jimmy dramatically rejecting Howard's job offer.

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