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Recap / Better Call Saul S 4 E 8 Coushatta

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Jimmy goes to great lengths to right a wrong, as Kim pulls out all the stops for Huell's case; Mike lets his team blow off steam; Nacho receives a visitor.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: No Howard in this episode.
  • Actor Allusion: Possibly with Nacho. In one scene he can be seen wearing a red wifebeater shirt, just like his character from Far Cry 3.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Pulling a scam with Jimmy turns Kim on so much that she basically attacks him right in the courthouse.
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  • Armor-Piercing Response: After Nacho teaches one of his ring's dealers a lesson by ripping off his earring, Krazy-8 tries to butter him up by saying that he needed to learn and that Nacho was right to do what he did, to which Nacho replies, "So, why didn't you do it?"
  • Army of Lawyers: Kim gets a full-fledged team of S&C associates to attempt to intimidate ADA Ericsen into dropping the case against Huell. Ericsen dismisses them, and points out to Kim that these "shock and awe" tactics aren't going to fly. Which they weren't, obviously; they're just to make sure Ericsen is already flustered enough when Jimmy's fabricated letters from Louisiana arrive in the judge's chambers.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • The previous episodes had implied that the weak link in the German construction team would be Kai. He does, inevitably, get into trouble and ends up getting thrown out of a strip club, but Mike handles the situation without lasting damage. While Mike is dealing with this, the normally meticulous Werner causes much more serious trouble by getting drunk and talking about the work with some bar patrons.
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    • Previous episodes have made it seem like Jimmy and Kim's breakup is coming, and the deception they have to pull off feels like the last straw, until Kim reveals how much it turned her on and tells Jimmy she wants to do it again. It turns out she was really bored by her job and their uneventful life, and finds herself really enjoying running a scam with him.
  • Bring It: When Kai is thrown out of the strip club, he briefly fumes at Mike for sending him back to the compound. Mike just responds "Go on, try me".
  • The Bus Came Back: Jimmy hires up his old film crew to pose as fellow "parishioners".
  • Call-Back: After meeting with Kevin and Paige, Kim is seen rummaging in her desk and finds the cap from the Zafiro Anejo bottle from her and Jimmy's first scam as "Giselle".
  • Call-Forward:
    • Jimmy will later implement the donation feature of his phony web page here to help Walt launder his drug money.
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    • In his first appearance in Breaking Bad, Saul assumes that Walt and Jesse are hitmen sent by someone named "Don Lalo." The mysterious Don Lalo finally makes his first appearance tonight.
  • Character Development: In her previous appearances, the make-up girl in Jimmy's film crew had shoddy acting skills and wasn't good at keeping a straight lie. In this episode, she turns a very convincing performance as a concerned Bible thumping Southern belle who can curse out the prosecutor, and when Jimmy expresses being impressed by her abilities, she admits she's been taking improv classes.
  • Dramatic Irony: Judge Munsinger accuses Kim of asking the citizens of Coushatta, Louisiana to send letters of support for Huell, a scheme that was very much her idea. To which Kim says she hasn't with a straight face, since technically she's never talked to anyone from Coushatta and no one in Coushatta is actually sending letters.
  • Evil Feels Good: Kim is very turned on by the scam to get Huell off, making love with Jimmy right afterwards. The next day, when in a meeting with Kevin and Paige, she's still reminiscing about the scam, goes through her desk to uncover the bottle cap from the first "Giselle" scam, then immediately seeks out Jimmy and asks to do another one with him.
  • Face–Heel Turn: After running a scrupulously honest law practice for years, Kim decides to embrace unethical and illegal tactics to get Huell off the hook and then gleefully decides to pull another scam afterwards.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Inverted; the thrill and efficacy of their con rekindles Jimmy and Kim's sexual intimacy. By the end of the episode, Kim has been fully seduced and wants to pull it off again.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: This seems to be the reason for Werner's depressed state and why he starts talking about his work while drunk in a bar. His father was one of the engineers who worked on the Sydney Opera House and the building is a proud monument to his skill as an engineer. Werner, meanwhile, is working on an near-impossible engineering project, but the nature of the work means that he can never tell anyone about it and few people will know about it. He will leave no legacy that the public can look at and admire.
  • Invented Individual: Jimmy takes a Greyhound bus all the way to Louisiana to send letters of support for Huell from nonexistent parishioners of a nonexistent church.note  Then, when the letters make it to Albuquerque, he knows the A.D.A. will check some of the letters' listed phone numbers, and calls them to verify. All of the calls are just going to a row of burners in the back of the nail salon, where Jimmy and his film crew are stationed to answer them using false Southern accents.
  • Implied Death Threat: Mike all but threatens Werner with one for his drunken slip-up.
  • In Vino Veritas: Mike has to intervene when Werner gets drunk and starts talking about his secret work with Gus to some fellow bar patrons.
  • Know When To Fold Them: The ADA is initially uncompromising on the charges. However, once Kim and Jimmy's ruse works, the ADA quickly agrees to a plea bargain that lets Huell off with time served. Prosecuting a dumb but lovable home town hero on what she knows are exaggerated charges will not make her or the DA's office look good to the public, the threatened (fictional) media circus would get her on the judge's bad side, and that level of public support could even sway the jury and cost her the whole case. As the judge points out, the case is not big enough to be worth all that.
  • Narm: Huell's church photos are an in-universe example, perhaps not quite as Jimmy intended.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Jimmy's bayou accent is...basically no better than Senator Tankerbell, though it's good enough to fool the prosecutor. Kim even snarks about how unconvincing it is afterward.
  • Pet the Dog: Mrs. Nguyen, who has been a ceaseless nagging harridan to Jimmy during her every appearance, is genuinely kind to Jimmy as his relationship to Kim is falling apart.
  • Reality Ensues: When Werner tries to downplay the liability his drunken slip-up at the bar might have proven him to be, he insists that the patrons will have forgotten about him by now. Mike counters that on the contrary, that's not really the case.
    Werner: This? Don't be concerned. I said nothing. Men at the bar, talking to make talking. And look, no details, no scale at all. Could be a skyscraper, could be a box for shoes. I said nothing about the construction that would not be true for 1,000 of others. By now they've forgotten me entirely.
    Mike: "They forgot." The German national in the middle of Albuquerque... talking about pouring hundreds of tons of concrete at a secret underground location?
    Werner: Yeah you're right. I'm sorry Michael. I had too much beer. And I may said more than I should have.
    Mike: Listen to me, carefully. The man we're working for is very serious. Think about the precautions we take to keep everything that goes on here quiet. Think about how much money you're making. Think about what happens if something goes wrong. Do you understand what I am saying to you?
  • Refuge in Audacity: Kim and Jimmy pull off their most advanced scam ever, forging letters of support for Huell to strongarm the ADA into dropping the case. After they pull it off, Jimmy remarks that they're guilty of ex parte communication, contempt of court and hundreds of counts of mail fraud, which could have easily destroyed both them and Schweikart & Cokely if it got discovered. Which is slightly ironic, as mail fraud was the "smoking gun" that turned the Sandpiper case into a huge class-action lawsuit.
  • The Reveal: The coloring supplies Kim bought in the last episode were for Jimmy to fabricate letters of support for Huell from a nonexistent church.
  • Shout-Out: When Jimmy's letters come in, the exasperated Judge Munsinger asks if ADA Ericsen is trying Santa Claus, likening this to Miracle on 34th Street.
  • Soul-Crushing Desk Job: Kim seems to increasingly regard her work with Mesa Verde as depressingly pointless and boring.
  • Stylistic Suck: The church website — which exists as an Easter Egg — comes complete with a terrible slideshow of Huell doing staged good deeds like singing in the choir, tending a garden, and working on a DIY project. The "donate" button goes to an actual food bank in northwest Louisiana.
  • Source Music: For each fake phone call, Jimmy has his crew play appropriate ambience sound on CDs. When it comes to answering as the "church", he has a CD of organ music put on right before he picks up.
  • Wham Episode: The mysterious Lalonote  finally makes his appearance, while Kim slips back into being a full on con artist.
  • Wham Line:
  • Xanatos Gambit: We see here what all Gus's plans regarding Nacho have been building up to, with the latter now in charge of the Salamanca gang. Had his plans failed then Nacho would simply have been killed, thus giving Gus a measure of revenge for the attempt on Hector's life, but this gives Gus the much bigger prize of being able to use Nacho as his puppet in order to control the Salamanca operation. At least, until the unforeseen complication of Lalo's arrival.
  • You Are in Command Now: Subverted by Nacho, who at the start of the episode has been left in charge of what remains of the Salamanca gang, due to Tuco being in prison, Hector incapacitated, Arturo killed, and the Cousins having been forced to retreat to Mexico after their massacring the Espinosa gang. At the end of the episode, however, a hitherto-unseen Salamanca family member, Eduardo (aka Lalo) suddenly shows up to take control of the gang.

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