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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Better Call Saul Season 6 Episode 11 Recap: A Major Kim Clue

(4) Kim isn’t there, and whoever answers doesn’t know where she went. The trail is cold, and he has no way of finding her after all. Maybe she’ll show up at Cinnabon after all?

(5) Kim has some other unexpected reason for not joining him that I’m too dumb to figure out. Every time I try to anticipate what’s going to happen on this show, I’m wrong. That’s one of the main things that makes the show so good! So my money is on this option: the explanations that immediately jump out at me are wrong, and something is going on here that I can’t even anticipate.

Whatever the answer, the muted phone conversation, coupled with the news that his stashed fortune is gonzo, changes something in Gene. Whether it’s to get back at Kim, or to raise enough funds to hit the road and win her back, or just to distract himself from the hole in her soul, he wants to get back in the game. Given how reckless he does it, I wonder if he wants to get caught, perhaps as a way of appealing to Kim’s soft spot for indigent defendants.

An idea occurs to him as he ponders the mechanical mixer in the back of the Cinnabon. (And notice how the camera slowly zooms in on the EXIT sign behind his head during this sequence.)

He returns to Marion’s kitchen for another shot of booze and renegotiates his relationship with Jeffy. They are back in business. All Jeff needs to do is get the cab company to put him on the night shift, oh, and find some barbiturates.

Throughout this series, we have seen Jimmy McGill pull off many scams. They are usually elegant, even ingenious. This not. Yes, it takes some skill to fill your sleeve with booze all night and pretend you’re a blotto, but in reality, this is a brutal and crass operation. The idea is to get rich singles drunk, pick them up in Jeffy’s cab, drug them, duct tape open the front door, and then have Jeffy’s friend photograph all of Jeffy’s personal documents. The photos are then sold to a shady broker for piles of cash.

The first guy really deserves it, honestly. He is a selfish, obnoxious, cheating asshole. (Easter Egg Alert: According to his driver’s license, the jerk’s name is Alfred Hawthorne Hill, which happens to be the given name of British comedian Benny Hill.) But eventually Saul will find himself working at a very different kind of brand: a kind and gentle guy who, he reveals after taking a mouthful of pills, is battling cancer.

Which brings us back to Walter White, the chemistry teacher who becomes a murderous drug dealer after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Suddenly, we’re back in the RV with Walt, Jesse, and Saul for an extended remix of their momentous first encounter. There is a mention of $80,000 and a “job” for Saul to do; this refers to his successful effort to pay a career criminal to pose as “Heisenberg” and have Badger falsely identify him. Jesse also asks Saul to explain who Lalo is, which helps thread the original. breaking bad sequence with the Better call Saul version of events.

But mostly we’re having fun here, reliving the heady early days of this alliance that would go so wrong. And we’re seeing it through Gene’s eyes. He’s sorry, he has some. But I wouldn’t be surprised if he also had a score or two to settle.

Moving forward again, we have the meeting between Gene and the nice mark, the one with cancer. If Gene ever thinks twice about picking on the guy, it doesn’t last long. At this point, he truly is a soulless wretch.

He then returns to Saul Goodman’s office, where Mike Ehrmantraut visits him. They discuss Walter White, and Mike urges Saul not to get involved with him, saying, “Even if this guy were to live, I wouldn’t go near him, he’s a complete buff.” Funny, “hobbyist” is certainly a word that describes Jeffy and his friend with the dog.

Is that why Gene gets so upset when the usher decides not to steal the cancer patient’s private information? Gene runs to Marion’s garage (not without drawing her attention, despite her cat videos) and demands that the friend come back and finish the job. When he refuses, Gene fires him, without so much as a word of protest from Jeff.

Going back is obviously stupid. The door is closed. They don’t know how long the drug will last. Gene is clearly being irrational. But he is determined to see it through to the end, no matter what. He tells Jeffy to come back in 20 minutes, then walks to the front door and breaks the glass.

And with that, the episode ends.

Will Gene be caught, singled out, and sent back to Albuquerque to be defended by Bill Oakley? Will Jeffy’s friend get revenge? Will Kim come to the rescue? Will Walt and Jesse ever do anything that really adds to our understanding of the BBCS? Will Marion be disappointed that Gene is a bad influence?

Ahhhh, there are only two more episodes left!

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