Better Call Saul S3E6 “Off Brand”

*Spoilers Ahead*

One of the most interesting steps Better Call Saul has taken to differentiate itself from it’s predecessor is that, despite the lead character’s name being right in the title, it takes time to follow the stories of various other characters, some of whom are rarely in Jimmy McGill’s orbit. Mike, Gus and now, Nacho all exist outside of Jimmy McGill’s life, most of the time but the show focuses a good portion of it’s time on their plights, this might seem like Jimmy’s show but we’ve known for a long time that Jimmy McGill and Saul Goodman are different people, even if they are ostensibly the same person.

Perhaps that’s why Saul Goodman’s first real appearance feels like a game changer. We’ve been waiting two and a half seasons for this moment and while it plays with our expectations about what was going to cause it, Saul Goodman is finally here and it seems like all the disparate threads that we’ve been following throughout this series might finally tie together. Saul Goodman promises change for Jimmy and the world he inhabits but he’s not the only one attempting to move forward after the events of “Chicanery.”

Chuck is despondent over failing to get his brother out of the law but after a talk with Howard he agrees to move on. Apparently, for Chuck, that means attempting to figure out exactly what causes his condition, even calling the doctor who first suggested that his EMS was a mental condition.

Elsewhere, Jimmy rebuffs Rebecca’s attempts to get him to talk to Chuck and decides to deal with the year suspension he has from the Bar. First, in a great comedic montage where Odenkirk gets to flex his improv muscles while informing his clients of his “sabbatical.” Second, and the thing that leads us into Saul, he needs to find a way to use the ad time he purchased without violating the terms of his suspension or wasting the money spent. So, he makes another commercial one without any trace of Jimmy McGill to be found, no “gimme Jimmy,” here only and odd looking man in sunglasses with a ridiculously fake beard.

Finally, after being on the backburner for much of the first half of this season, Nacho comes back and gets the spotlight for the first portion of this week. We get a glimpse into the relationship between Hector and Nacho, Hector sitting behind him while he counts money, only speaking when he needs Nacho to beat some sense into someone who was short. We also see his other life, the one he lives for his father, working late at night making upholstery and trying to juggle both. Like so many of the characters on this show, Nacho is trying to walk in two different realms and like the others, sooner or later he’ll have to make a choice between them. If Hector gets his way, that might be coming sooner rather than later for Nacho.

Saul Goodman might finally be here but we’re still a long ways off from the end of this story, in fact, it feels like the actual story has really just started and that only means good things for Better Call Saul.

Bits ‘n Pieces

  •  Mike doesn’t get much to do this week but it was nice seeing him accompany his daughter-in-law to grief counseling.
  • It turns out Howard is a pretty decent friend to have or that he knows Chuck is needed to keep HHM viable, hard to tell exactly which.
  • Gus looks into purchasing the laundry that will eventually be the home of Walter White’s operation for some time.
  • We also get a surprise cameo from Lydia but I’m not thrilled about her appearance here, we’ll have to wait and see where this one goes.
  • “Don’t wear stripes, you’ll moiré.” Lines like this are the reason Bob Odenkirk is a national treasure.

Jesse Swanson is a would-be writer, podcaster and funny guy who covers TV shows of all shapes and sizes. You can find him on Twitter @JesseSwanson