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Recap / Better Call Saul S 3 E 6 Off Brand

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Hector holds court at El Michoacáno while Nacho collects from dealers. When Domingo can't come up with his quota, Nacho lets him off with a warning. "Who works for who," comments Hector as Domingo leaves. Resigned, Nacho drags Domingo into the back for a beating. Later, he distractedly injures himself while working at a sewing machine at the upholstery shop.

Kim makes her closing argument at the bar association hearing, arguing mitigating circumstances for Jimmy's break-in and confession. Rebecca goes to see Chuck after his humiliating testimony, but he won't answer the door: he's slumped on the floor in shock and disbelief. The bar rules that disbarment is too much for Jimmy McGill, but his law license will be suspended for one year. Jimmy and Kim are celebrating at Wexler-McGill when Rebecca arrives to ask Jimmy to help Chuck in his time of need. Jimmy refuses, having disavowed his brother for good. Rebecca realizes Chuck was right: Jimmy did only bring her in to make Chuck vulnerable. She tells him off for abandoning a mentally-ill man.

Stacey takes Mike to a grief support group, explaining how their family is adjusting to Matt's death. Stacey volunteers Mike to build a church playground, explaining that Matt always told her about how Mike let him pour concrete for their garage. Meanwhile, Chuck allows Howard in for some fine wine and harsh advice: leave Jimmy to his own devices and focus on rebuilding himself. What would Clarence Darrow have done if he wasted his talents on babysitting wayward siblings? Chuck agrees: "To new beginnings." Later, he forces himself to remove and then hold the battery from his tape recorder in his hand.


Jimmy and Francesca calls his clients to inform them of his "sabbatical". The last client on his list asks about his Fifi commercial specifically; Jimmy realizes he can't advertise his practice while he's suspended. Jimmy quickly calls a TV station to pull his commercials off the air, receiving a $4,000 fine for premature termination of his contract. Kim considers closing down the office and letting Francesca go, as Jimmy can no longer hold up his half of the rent. Jimmy refuses, but knows that he has to find some way to pay the bills.

Jimmy pitches a commercial to the owners of a carpet store, produced for cheap and broadcasted for free. While interested, they balk when he explains that they must film immediately as the air time is an hour away. Jimmy gives his film crew the bad news. When the make-up girl suggests they make a commercial for himself, he gets an idea. He drives to a satellite dish array to film his ad, but hesitates when he realizes that going into marketing after making his name as a lawyer would seem "off-brand" (to say the least). He asks for the make-up artist's satchel; he's going to "Karloff this shit."


At the Los Pollos Hermanos chicken farm, Victor and Tyrus get cocaine from the false bottom of a supply truck. Nacho and Arturo arrive to collect Hector's share, but Nacho gets a gun pulled on him when he takes six kilos: Hector promised five. Nacho explains that Hector expects him to return with six kilos. Tyrus calls Gus, who approves the deal; he's got bigger plans in mind then Hector's petty games, as it is revealed that he's standing in an industrial laundromat for sale. Lydia is waiting for him in a car parked out front. "So?" "It could work," he responds.

Wrapped in a space blanket, Chuck walks through downtown Albuquerque at night, braving the neon signs and traffic lights. Although his vision is bleary, he manages to make it to a payphone to call Dr. Cruz, who previously "treated" his EHS.

Nacho tells Hector about his standoff. Arturo takes a sudden phone call, prompting Hector to privately ask Nacho where his father gets his upholstery. When he warily replies with Jalisco, Hector tells him that he wants to circumvent Gus by using the upholstery shop as his new front business. Nacho explains that his father has no involvement with crime, but Hector "reassures" him that he can be taught and will be well-compensated. Arturo comes back in to report that Tuco got in a fight with a guard and another inmate and extended his prison sentence, provoking Hector into flipping tables. When he suddenly has a coughing fit, Arturo brings him some pills that he spills in his rage. Nacho makes sure to cover an unnoticed pill with his foot as Hector leaves.

Jimmy proudly tells Kim about his commercial for his new advertising business, selling his services to film commercials that he can run on the remaining airtime that "Gimme Jimmy" would've before. Jimmy plays the commercial for her: dressed like Steven Spielburg, he explains with tacky props and aggressive editing that business owners can combine their "natural charisma" with his expertise to attract customers normally glued to their TVs. With a promise that he can have their commercials on the air tomorrow, he signs off: "Call me, Saul Goodman!" A stunned Kim can only note: "That guy has a lot of energy." "It's just a name," Jimmy replies.

  • A Day in the Limelight: Nacho is the sole main cast member to appear in the teaser.
  • All for Nothing:
    • Despite Chuck putting in an insane amount of effort trying to get Jimmy disbarred, Jimmy was let off with a year-long suspension of his law license.
    • Despite Hector getting Mike to say that the gun was his in order for him to have a shorter prison sentence, Tuco just had to up and attack several prisoners and a guard, thus extending it.
    • Despite all the effort he went through with Mike, Nacho is still under an Ax-Crazy boss whose last name is Salamanca.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: Rebecca asks with complete sincerity what is Jimmy's "excuse" not to go and help his brother out of his reclusion and depression. Well let's just say there's plenty of reason for Jimmy NOT to help Chuck.
  • Ambiguous Situation: We have no idea in this episode why Chuck decided to go out to a payphone to try and get in contact with the doctor that treated him in Seasons 1 and 2 .
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    Rebecca: Your brother is mentally ill. What's your excuse?
    • Subverted though, the question falls flat on the audience that knows quite well how justified Jimmy's resentment is and that Chuck has been doing that before his mental illness showed up, although he is seen very hurt for the whole situation (either his brother's suffering or his backstabbing).
  • Bait-and-Switch: We're suckered into thinking we're seeing the stroke that puts Hector in a wheelchair with his violent reaction to Tuco attacking people in prison. Not quite yet, though it does clue Nacho in about his health problems.
  • Breather Episode: On the Jimmy front, at least. While spending most of the episode trying to figure out what to do with his year long suspension and his remaining commercial air time, he manages to come up with the idea of making commercials for other people. The only real conflict was with Kim and him arguing about the building they use and whether or not to get rid of Francesca.
  • The Bus Came Back: Lydia Rodarte-Quayle makes a reappearance, and is shown assisting Gus in scouring the industrial laundry which will become Lavanderia Brillante in Breaking Bad.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Gus inspects the industrial laundry that will eventually become the site of the superlab - and specifically has bought it for that purpose, instead of starting it as a legitimate business and then repurposing it later. He is also in contact with Lydia, establishing for the first time his partnership with Madrigal.
    • The sequence of Victor and Tyrus offloading the drugs from the truck at the Los Pollos Hermanos distribution plant is very similar to the opening montage of Walt's meth being loaded onto trucks in "Kafkaesque", right down to having similar music.
    • Jimmy makes a commercial for his commercial-filming business as "Saul Goodman". The commercial also shows the beginnings of the trashy commercials Saul will employ to appear as nothing more than an over-the-top Ambulance Chaser.
  • Fingore: Nacho is so distracted thinking about the beating he had to give to Krazy-8 that he ends up cutting the area between his thumb and index finger with the sewing machine.
  • Foreshadowing: Once again Hector takes pills and looks unwell, this time after the news Tuco has just increased his prison sentence with a prison attack - especially as one of the victims was a guard. Closer and closer does he approach to what we all know is coming.
  • Hard-Work Montage: Jimmy, as he is now suspended for a year from practicing law, has to phone round all his clients and tell them he's "on sabatical" - and these phone calls are shown as this.
  • Hypocrite: Hector, who believes that 'la familia es todo' (the family is all), wants Nacho to jeopardize his father's business by converting it into a front for drug-running. Either that, or he truly believes this is a gift for Nacho's father.
  • I Have No Brother: Almost word for word by Jimmy ("not anymore, he's not" when Rebecca points out that Chuck is Jimmy's brother and should be helped), who has finally decided to cut the cord with Chuck.
  • Jerkass: Tyrus shows to be true to his Breaking Bad self when stopping Nacho from getting the sixth chunk of money in a blunt, sarcastic manner.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Nacho is left shaken from Hector making him beat up Krazy-8 for being short on his drug payments. Plus he resists when Hector decides he wants to turn Nacho's father's upholstery shop into a new front business that will recover his drug supply line, reminding Hector that his dad is not in the game. It's especially the latter infringement that convinces Nacho to turn against Hector.
  • Loophole Abuse: Jimmy's contract with the TV station bars him from selling his ad space. However, there's nothing stopping him from making commercials for other people and throwing in the ad time for free as an extra.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Nacho shows little if any response to flaying his hand with the sewing machine.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Nacho seems to be thinking of getting out from under Hector's thumb after an episode of humiliations. Hector makes him beat Krazy-8 for being late with a payment, uses him as a pawn in his rivalry with Gus (and doesn't seem to care about Victor and Tyrus holding him at gunpoint), then expects him to turn his father's car upholstery business into a front for drug-running. The way he studies the pill that Hector dropped is revealing, as if he was thinking of swapping them out for placebos after finding out what they are for.
  • Moving The Goal Posts: Hector asks Nacho to take six pallets of drugs instead of the original five solely to piss off Gus. It doesn't work as Gus simply let him have it while working on his bigger project.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: For some definition of hero anyway. If this episode doesn't spell out that Chuck's actions are directly at fault for Jimmy becoming Saul, nothing does.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Nacho tries to go easy on Krazy-8 but he is too merciful in front of Hector. When Nacho realizes that Hector thinks him to be weak, he has no choice but to deliver a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Krazy-8 or risk Hector thinking that he has no use for Nacho.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Nacho does this to Krazy-8 in response to Hector's comments. He feels rather guilty over it.
  • Oh, Crap!: Jimmy's reaction when he realizes his "Gimme Jimmy" ads are still running, and that if he doesn't cancel them, he'll be in trouble with the bar association.
  • Only Sane Man: Continuing to fill this role, Howard tries to convince Chuck that getting Jimmy suspended for a year is still a win and that continuing the vendetta isn't worth Chuck's time and effort, which would be better spent working toward the future at HHM. But just like last week, Chuck (seemingly) decides to double down.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Jimmy discredited Chuck's testimony and avoided getting disbarred for destroying evidence. However, he still committed a violent felony and has to face consequences for it by having his license suspended for a year. This wrecks his business since he has to inform all his clients of what happened and is unlikely to regain most of them as clients in a year. He is not allowed to advertise which means all the airtime he bought on the local TV station would go to waste.
    • Nacho thought that he could keep his criminal and private lives separate but he works for Hector who does not respect such desires. If Hector can further his own interests by exploiting someone's family, he will do it.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: When Jimmy disowns Chuck and refuses to help him, Rebecca replies that Chuck was right about him all along. Not that it would mean anything since Chuck is practically dead to him the moment he revealed his true nature.
  • The Reveal: We finally get the origin of the Saul Goodman persona. As it happens, he was the guy who could make commercials for you.
  • Stylistic Suck: Jimmy's first commercial as Saul Goodman is incredibly terrible and cheesy, with an overreliance on jump-cuts and star wipes.
  • Title Drop: Jimmy when he expresses reluctance to switch gears with his commercials.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Quite a lot of truth economy in this episode's trailer:
    • Howard telling Chuck he is 'at a crossroads'? Is this Howard-style manager-speak for 'GTFO Chuck, you're a liability to HHM'? No, for some reason he still wants Chuck as a partner, and is simply telling him to end his crusade against Jimmy.
    • Rebecca telling Jimmy to do what's right. Aww, are Jimmy's heartstrings tugged and he now rushes to the aid of his stricken brother? Nope, Jimmy has finally learned that lesson good and hard, and tells Rebecca no.
    • Hector pushing over the table he and Nacho are sat at - has Nacho offended him in some way? Well sort of, he did just resist the idea of using his father's business as a front for Hector's drug-pushing, but it was the news that Tuco has attacked people in prison (including a prison guard) and thus extended his sentence from its then six months, that causes his anger.
    • Jimmy saying he can do for two people what he just did for himself - is he now becoming Saul, who can get people off when they are caught dead to rights? No, he can't practice law for a year and the two people are business owners who he is trying to sell spare advertising to.
    • And Kim's mention of Saul Goodman - is the lawyer of Breaking Bad about to rise? Sort of, but not yet as a lawyer - he sells airtime on commercials at the moment due to the suspension of his law license.
    • In the extended preview of the episode, we see Nacho and Domingo "Krazy-8" conducting business. Domingo tries to pass the time with idle chitchat as Nacho counts the money, to which Nacho points out that he has come up short for the week. Domingo tries to explain why it happened and pleads with Nacho to give him some time; Nacho thinks for a moment, then tells him to just make it up next week. As Domingo exits the restaurant, Hector simply says to Nacho "Who is the boss of who?" and Nacho sighs before the scene cuts to black. This would appear to show that Hector is making fun of him, thinking that Nacho is going soft on his crew. However... the full scene shows that Hector is actually "reminding" Nacho that he is the boss, and he wants Domingo to be punished. This results in Nacho dragging Domingo back into the kitchen, and giving him a vicious beatdown as he begs Nacho for mercy.
  • Troll: Hector's willing to move the financial goalposts to piss off Gus.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The disastrous outcome of his testimony before the bar causes Chuck to hole himself up in the house and refuse to answer the door. Rebecca spends an hour knocking on the door, and Howard only compels Chuck to let him in when he says he won't leave until they've had a chance to talk.
  • Wham Line: "Call me, Saul Goodman!"
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Averted by Jimmy, who just plain doesn't want to help Chuck when Rebecca asks him to. Chuck had pretended to go off the deep end before to entrap him. Although quite what Rebecca thought Jimmy could achieve, after hearing Chuck's rant, is unclear, it is clear that Chuck certainly won't be opening the door for Jimmy if Rebecca tried for an hour and failed.


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