FANDOM


"Winner" is the tenth episode of the fourth season of Better Call Saul, and the fortieth episode of the series altogether.

Summary

Teaser

BCS 410 01

In a flashback to 1998, Jimmy appears with a group of other soon-to-be lawyers before a bar committee. Chuck speaks before the committee and vouches for his brother. That night, a party is held at a karaoke bar celebrating Jimmy's new career. While Ernesto performs, Jimmy convinces Chuck to come onstage and sing with him. As the McGills sing a duet of ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All", Chuck takes the microphone and steals the show while Jimmy sits in the background. Later, the two drunk brothers come to Jimmy's apartment, where Jimmy states his ambitions of joining HHM as a fellow named partner to Chuck. As the two drunk brothers settle into bed and fall asleep, they finish singing the ABBA song.

Act I

BCS 410 02

At Gus' warehouse, Mike gives instructions to his men in their manhunt for Werner. He further phones a TravelWire agent, Fred, and cons him into divulging where Werner's wife wired him money. He drives off to the TravelWire office.

BCS 410 03

Meanwhile, to mark the one-year anniversary of Chuck's death, Jimmy shows up at Chuck's grave bearing flowers and makes a show of seemingly grieving for his brother; other mourners show up and see him, assuming his grief is sincere. This is revealed to be part of a scheme by Kim to aid Jimmy in reinstating his law license, by making him appear to be more sympathetic towards Chuck than he did before his suspension was extended. Jimmy stands at the grave throughout the day, occasionally taking breaks between visitors so that Kim can supply him with water.

BCS 410 04

Meanwhile, Lalo is in the desert, staking out Gus's chicken farm. He closely watches the goings-on through binoculars and jots down detailed notes. Lalo notices Mike and his team preparing to depart in search of Werner. Realizing that something is up, he packs up his equipment and sets off to follow Mike.

BCS 410 05
Mike reaches the TravelWire office and tells Fred that Werner is a friend who is lost and suffering from dementia. Accepting Mike's story, Fred shows him security footage and transaction logs from Werner's visit, revealing that he has arranged to have his wife flown to Albuquerque from Germany. Victor appears outside and summons Mike to meet with a displeased Gus. Realizing that Gus intends to kill both Werner and his wife, Mike takes responsibility for Werner's actions and assures him there is a way he can mitigate the situation before the wife arrives. Returning to the TravelWire office, Mike contacts his men and has a transcript of Werner's phone call read back to him. Realizing where Werner is going, Mike collects some travel brochures and leaves. Outside, Lalo watches Mike drive off and follows him.

Act II

BCS 410 06

Howard hosts the dedication of HHM's new law library, which has been named after Chuck; Jimmy, Kim, and Rich all attend. Howard is interviewed by Joey's film crew and says that HHM is making a comeback after a tough year, and that the library will become Chuck's lasting legacy. Kim and Joey's crew spread a rumor around the party that Jimmy anonymously donated the money used to build the library. Outside, Kim coaches Jimmy on how to continue the charade.

BCS 410 08

As he drives to Werner's location, Mike notices Lalo tailing him. Taking out and chewing on some gum, Mike pulls into a parking lot and collects a ticket; Lalo follows him. After the two men park, Mike takes two foil gum wrappers and sticks them together. When another motorist approaches the tolling gate, Mike cuts him off, drives to the gate himself, and jams the ticket machine with the gum wrapper. Mike drives away while Lalo and the motorist are stuck at the gate. Desperate to catch up, Lalo rear-ends the motorist and plows both cars through the gate. However, Lalo angrily realizes that Mike has given him the slip.

Act III

BCS 410 26

The following day, Jimmy, having been named as the member of HHM's scholarship committee in Chuck's will, joins Howard in attending a vote on which applicants will receive the scholarship. Jimmy emerges as the lone vote for Kristy Esposito, whom the other board members have voted down because of her prior record as a shoplifter. Reminded of how Chuck looked down on him over his own criminal past, Jimmy catches up with Kristy outside of the HHM building and gives her a life lesson: since the legal community will always treat her with disdain no matter how hard she she tries to make up for her past, she will have to cut corners and break the rules when necessary if she wants to succeed as a lawyer. In the HHM parking garage, Jimmy breaks down and cries when his dilapidated Suzuki won't start.

Act IV

BCS 410 25

Lalo visits the TravelWire office and tries to talk Fred into divulging the details of Mike's visit. Fred proves to be more suspicious of Lalo than he was of Mike, and refuses Lalo's demands. Undeterred, Lalo sneaks back into the office through the ceiling and busts his way through behind the front desk, pulling a gun on -- and seemingly killing -- Fred. Lalo looks through the security footage himself, sees Mike collecting the travel brochures, and pieces together where he is heading.

BCS 410 09

Meanwhile, Werner is lounging next to a pool at a hotel when he gets a page. He goes to a public phone and ends up talking to Lalo, who is posing as one of Gus's men. Mike manages to reach the hotel and cut the phone call short, but not before Werner unwittingly gives away details of the secret excavation to Lalo. Lalo taunts Mike before the latter hangs up the phone.

Act V

At Kim's apartment, she and Jimmy go over their strategy for his appeal hearing the following day. Jimmy suggests that he recite the letter Chuck left in his will during the hearing. Meanwhile, Mike drives Werner to a remote location and phones Gus, telling him that someone was following him during his search; Gus informs Mike that he knows who it is. Mike tries one final time to persuade Gus to spare Werner's life, but he is resolute. Werner tries to talk his way out of the situation, but Mike tells him that, no matter what he says or does, no one will trust him again. Realizing what is about to happen, Werner takes Mike's offer of a cell phone and contacts his wife, forcing her to turn around and head back to Germany. After ensuring that she will be spared, Werner stares into the night sky. Mike executes him.

Act VI

The following day, Gus, Mike, and Gale visit the excavation underneath Lavanderia Brillante. Gale is excited at the prospect of cooking in what will become a meth superlab, but Gus stresses that he won't begin work until the lab is complete. After Gale leaves, Gus and Mike stare at each other in the darkness.

Jimmy and Kim arrive at the courthouse, where Jimmy is about to deliver his appeal before the bar committee. Outside the courtroom, Kim gives Jimmy some final words of encouragement, assuring him that she is still on his side. Sensing that the committee is inclined to rule against him, Jimmy flips the script and stops reading from Chuck's letter, instead improvising a speech about how Chuck influenced him to become a lawyer, but constantly withheld his approval. Jimmy promises to try to be a better person and "do everything in my power to be worthy of the name McGill" if the committee votes to reinstate his law license. Jimmy's speech moves Kim and a couple of the committee members to tears.

Outside the courtroom, Jimmy and Kim celebrate his imminent reinstatement. However, Kim's joy turns to confusion and horror as Jimmy reveals that his entire speech was a calculated performance meant to sway the "suckers" on the committee; he never meant one word of his comments about Chuck. Kim is further perturbed when Jimmy reveals that he no longer plans to practice law under his own name, contrary to his statement before the bar. As a clerk leads Jimmy into an office to sign some paperwork, Kim asks him what's going on. Jimmy turns back and replies: "S'all good, man!" Kim is left behind in stunned silence.

Official Photos

Trivia

BCS 410 Storyboard
  • With a duration of 60 minutes, this is the longest episode of Better Call Saul so far, as well as the longest episode in the Breaking Bad universe. Until this episode, the longest episode was the Breaking Bad pilot (58 minutes).
  • At the beginning of the episode, its been a year since the events of "Lantern" and "Smoke" when Chuck committed suicide.
  • Jimmy McGill’s personality death and transformation into Saul Goodman begins with his breakdown in his car, according to producers. His transformation is official with the reinstatement of his license and his decision to practice under a different name. This is teased at the end by his infamous line “It s’all good man.”
  • The camera angle that slowly pulls away above Chuck and Jimmy in one of the opening scenes has been used before in Breaking Bad. Many consider that camera effect to correlate with the death of someone of great importance to the series. In "Crawl Space", it marked the "death" of Walter White. In "Felina", it marked the death of Heisenberg. Here, it foreshadows the "death" of Jimmy McGill.
  • Kristy Esposito’s last name likely plays homage to the actor whom plays Gustavo Fring, Giancarlo Esposito.
  • Both Werner Ziegler’s last words as well as the night starry sky may indirectly reference some of Walt Whitman’s poems, whom Gale Boetticher is a fan of. Coincidentally, the very next scene shows Gale talking to Gus about cooking in the new superlab to be.
    • Gale is holding his infamous Lab Notes, the cover being visible when Gale exited the superlab site.
  • Mike's mercy killing of Werner bears similarities to that in John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men. Over there, as Lennie faces certain death by Curly and his mob, his best friend George gets him to reminisce about their beautiful dream of owning their own farm and land. Whilst dreaming, George shoots Lennie at the back of his head, sparing him from Curly's mob. Similarly here, in order to prevent Werner's capture and likely brutal murder by Gus' men, Mike takes matters in his own hands by allowing Werner to walk towards and gaze into the beautiful starry night sky over New Mexico. Whilst Werner is mesmerized by the view, Mike silently follows him and shoots him in the head, sparing him from a worse fate by Gus' men.
  • Despite occurring in a linear fashion in the episode itself, the separate storylines with Jimmy and Mike do not appear to occur at the same time. For Mike, the episode takes place immediately following "Wiedersehen". However, for Jimmy and Kim, it appears to have been at least a week or so. When Jimmy is at the grave site, it has been a year since Chuck's suicide with the last episode occurring a year after Jimmy was suspended in "Sunk Costs". At least a couple of weeks appeared to have passed between Jimmy’s being suspended and Chuck’s committing suicide. Furthermore, enough time has passed for Jimmy and Kim to have filed an appeal on his license reinstatement issue, donated the Charles L. McGill Reading Room and set up the reception surrounding its opening.
  • The ABBA song "The Winner Takes It All" that Chuck and Jimmy sang together during the flashback contains lyrics that may have a connection between Jimmy and Chuck's rivalry for each other.
    • This song could be heard earlier in the season, during "Piñata", at CC Mobile: a pan flute version of the song plays in the background when Jimmy receives a phonecall about Mrs. Strauss' will.

Production

Credits

Co-Starring

Filming Locations

  • Trip Wire Money Order Services - Filmed in a store located at 3455 San Mateo Blvd. In the episode Cherokee Rd Stop Sign & the Oasis Vape store can be seen while Mike is standing out front of the store.
  • Los Pollos Hermanos Chicken Farm - Filmed at 9615 Broadway Blvd. The location no longer has the chicken houses on it. A google satellite image shows where these buildings used to stand.

Featured Music

  • "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler (sung karaoke by Ernesto at Jimmy's celebration party in a flashback)
  • "The Winner Takes It All" by Abba (sung karaoke by Jimmy and Chuck at Jimmy's celebration party in a flashback and while they are in bed together)

Memorable Quotes

"S'all good, man!"
Jimmy to Kim as he begins his transformation into Saul Goodman


"There are so many stars visible in New Mexico. I will walk out there to get a better look."
Werner Ziegler’s final words before his execution at the hands of Mike


Videos