Better Call Saul Recap: Here's the Fring

Need to catch up? Check out our previous Better Call Saul recap here.

Yes, Breaking Bad‘s Hall of Fame villain Gus Fring made his long-awaited Better Call Saul debut this week… and he wasn’t the only familiar face to pay a visit.

Mike follows the mystery car that nabbed his gas cap last week to an abandoned lot, where a guy in a green truck pulls up and, after a brief chat, takes the gas cap with him. Mike then tails Green Truck Guy as he embarks on a long odyssey around town, driving to distant locations and retrieving packages. The next morning, Green Truck Guy slings a knapsack over his shoulder and enters a building with red-framed windows. He comes back out, and the gas cap must’ve stayed inside, according to Mike’s tracking system. As Mike pulls away, we see that the building is… a Los Pollos Hermanos! Anybody else hungry for a couple wings and a biscuit?

Needing another set of eyes, Mike rings up Jimmy and gets him to stake out the restaurant, waiting to see what Green Truck Guy does with that knapsack. Jimmy orders a meal and camps out in a booth to scan the room. Green Truck Guy arrives, knapsack on his shoulder, and Jimmy shifts his seat to keep a better eye on him. (He also makes his coffee downright undrinkable by pouring too much sugar in it while watching the guy.) Green Truck Guy stores the knapsack under his seat while he eats, and as Jimmy watches him, a man is in the back silently sweeping up — out of focus, but completely commanding our attention.

Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 2 Gus FringGreen Truck Guy polishes off his chicken, grabs his knapsack and leaves. Jimmy’s befuddled: Did he miss something? He reaches into the trash to see if the guy stashed anything in there, and he hears a voice: “Can I help you?” Yep, it’s Gus in manager mode, offering Jimmy a polite smile. Jimmy says he lost his watch in the trash, and Gus happily puts on a pair of rubber gloves and digs in to help him. He hands Jimmy back the watch, and Jimmy hightails it out of there, telling Mike he came up empty. But when he drives away, we see Gus sweeping up in the parking lot… and he’s not smiling anymore.

When Mike returns to the Los Pollos location later, he notices a black SUV screeching up to the lot, backing in behind the building, and then screeching out again soon after. The driver rolls down his window… and it’s Victor! (You know, the henchman whose throat Gus slit with a box cutter in Breaking Bad‘s Season 4 premiere. Nice to see him when he’s not gushing blood.) Mike’s tracker says the gas cap is on the move, so he drives off in pursuit. He ends up on an empty desert road, no car in sight, and he finds the gas cap placed in the middle of the road, with a ringing cell phone perched on top of it. Oh Gus, you resourceful bastard. A teed-off Mike answers the phone gruffly: “Yeah?” (Could the Chicken Man be on the other end of that line?)

Elsewhere in “Witness”:

Better Call Saul Season 3 Episode 2 Chuck HowardTHE TAPE DOESN’T LIE | Ernesto can’t keep his knowledge of Jimmy’s confession to himself — just as Chuck suspected — and he spills everything to Kim. She marches back into the firm and instructs Jimmy, “Gimme a dollar.” That makes her his lawyer, so they have confidentiality when she tells him she knows about his confession. Jimmy insists, “I couldn’t leave him in Crazy Town like that,” and thinks it’s his word against Chuck’s. When Kim tells him about the recording, Jimmy is stunned: “He taped me.” For once, the highly verbose Jimmy McGill is speechless.

Kim tries to reassure him he’ll be fine, rattling off legal strategies to get the tape excluded, but Jimmy’s heartbroken about his brother’s betrayal. He storms off to Chuck’s, kicking down the door and screaming at him for pulling “that heartstrings con job on me.” He finds the tape recorder and rips the tape to shreds in Chuck’s face, threatening to “burn this whole goddamn house to the ground.” And that’s when he realizes they’re not alone.

Chuck had been lying in wait, enlisting a private eye to do round-the-clock surveillance of his home, expecting Jimmy to break in. Howard’s there, too; he doubted Chuck’s strategy, but Chuck insisted, “I know my brother.” And he does, doesn’t he? Now the private eye and Howard are witnesses to Jimmy destroying evidence and threatening his brother. Jimmy, you might need to slip Kim more than a dollar for the next phase of your criminal defense.

Sidebars:

* New receptionist Francesca was a nice addition to the Jimmy/Kim firm, especially when Jimmy pushed her to be more “folksy” on the phone: “Say, is that a dog I’m hearing?”

* Smarter viewers than me picked up last week that Chuck actually wanted Ernesto to hear Jimmy’s confession, so Jimmy would find out and try to steal the tape. He fooled me! I’m gonna chalk this one up to Michael McKean’s convincing performance, and not my own dumbness.

* It was nice to see Jimmy and Mike share the same scene for once, wasn’t it? I got a kick out of Jimmy gawking at Mike’s “James Bond stuff” (his tracking system): “This car doesn’t have an ejector seat, does it?”

* A nice callback to last week, with Jimmy carefully rolling the tape off of his freshly painted office mural with both thumbs, then tearing the rest off in anger after stewing about what Chuck did. (And tearing it did leave a ragged, uneven edge. Chuck was right!)

* If you counted up the total words spoken in the first two episodes this season, it’d have to set a new record for the least words ever spoken in two hours of TV drama, right?

Got thoughts on tonight’s Better Call Saul, and Gus Fring’s return? Drop ’em in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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21 Comments
  1. TV Gord says:

    Yup. (To use more words would be superfluous.)

  2. Betsy says:

    Best show on television.

  3. Joey Padron says:

    New episode was so good. Good to see Gus again. I was surprised to see Victor on the show! Not good Jimmy fell for Chuck’s trap and now he’s in big trouble.

  4. Brandon says:

    I’m still lost as to what this does to jimmy, knowing well that he does still maintain lawyer status through both shows. Maybe he re tested for bar under identity of Saul? Idk, but this episode ended in a serious cliff hanger of course. As for mike , they played him too naive this episode to have things their way. Mike would’ve known to tell jimmy to be more discreet inside pollos for likelihood of cameras? Mike would’ve known he was on top of a bridge when he didn’t see a car but was on spot with the first gas cap trail. Mike should’ve known his cover was blown once nothing happened after jimmys visit to pollos. Idk, maybe he’s “still learning” if that’s possible – 👀. Looking forward to miserable chucks demise.

  5. GregK says:

    You have to actually live in New Mexico to appreciate this show, especially this episode. The explanation by Francesca of why it is DMV in NM rather than MVD was hilarious. We live in Santa Fe and getting a drivers license renewed for my 75 year old wife was indeed the 5th circle of hell!

  6. Jj says:

    I feel terrible saying this, but most of the time Mike is on screen I lose focus completely. Everything else has been superb.

  7. vic says:

    isnt francesca the woman who told hank marie was going to the hospital so hank would not find jesse and walt in the van?

    • Kat says:

      Francesca is the same receptionist that Saul Goodman had when we first met him in Breaking Bad (the one who made the call to Hank saying Marie was in the accident). Interesting to see that she started out as a happy, efficient receptionist and then eventually became bitter when working for Saul.

    • George H. says:

      Nice catch. I thought she looked familiar. So now we know Francesca has been with Jimmy even before he became Saul. Probably why her attitude about the job has changed by the time we meet her in Breaking Bad, where she was willing to do shady things for cash. It’s nice to see how the characters have evolved, even the minor characters.

  8. kirads09 says:

    My ?: Wouldn’t it have been more of an “OMG” moment and coup if somehow the show had 100% kept us in the dark re Gus/Los Pollos coming back? Promoting it dimished the shock and awe value. But oh that look on Gus’ face when he views Jimmy’s old car driving away – chills.

    • Abdaubda says:

      I thought maybe Gus’ face because he noticed Jimmy’s and Mike’s cars together?.. Or he wouldn’t know which one was Mike’s car? Or that’s what you’re saying as well? :D

  9. Great episode directed by Vince Gilliam. Every actor on this series deserves an Emmy nomination. I hope my heart holds out when this show, Fargo and Twin Peaks are all on at the same time this season.

  10. George H. says:

    May be too early to actually say this, but I am liking this season better already than the first two. I loved them, but for some reason, liking season 3 even more. Even if there isn’t a whole lot of dialogue so far. The actors and directing is great. Love the twists and turns. I’m a happy camper.

  11. LAwoman says:

    No more words were needed. This show is just everything. I love it so much. I know some haven’t liked the split time between Mike’s story and Jimmy’s, but I am equally fixated on both. I recognized Victor, but I’m glad someone here pointed out that Francesca was the same receptionist for Saul. I somehow missed that! Vince Gilligan can do no wrong.

  12. Francesca is also a callback. She is Saul’s assistant in Breaking Bad.

  13. Rich says:

    The only think I absolutely HATE about this show is that I have to wait 7 days for the next episode. Completely riveting story lines. Fabulous acting.