This episode starts something that continues through much of Better Call Saul, and that’s Jimmy and Mike having separate storylines. Sometimes, an episode will cut back and forth between them, that’s more typical, but in this one it’s more like a relay race, with Jimmy’s world getting the bulk of the airtime before he passes the baton onto Mike.
Unlike some others, this one doesn’t jump into a different timeline but picks up right where the last episode left off, with the five-dollar bill Chuck left on his neighbor’s driveway when he stole the newspaper. The neighbor has called the cops.
Two cops go to Chuck’s door and ask him to open up. “We know you’re there, you’re casting a shadow through the peephole.” Chuck says he’d rather not, that he has a condition, that he can’t go outside. They don’t believe him since he was just outside stealing his neighbor’s newspaper.
He starts to cite law on probable cause when one of the cops goes around to the other door and calls the other one over. They see all of Chuck’s camping stove fuel and they think he might be cooking meth (hello, Breaking Bad resonance) and go back to the front door. Chuck still refuses to open the door and says they can only come if they don’t bring any electronics. No cell phones, no flashlights and especially, especially, no tasers..
They break open his door, and go in, and taze him.
As these teasers like to do, we once again take a little trip to another point in time. This time, the time is Jimmy’s old days in Cicero, IL. Or I should I say “Slippin’ Jimmy’s” old days? For the first time, we see a con start to finish from Jimmy’s younger years.
It starts with Jimmy a guy walking about at night, talking about picking up girls, and howling like werewolves. Which like shouldn’t actually be tried as a pickup line (howl?) because I think most responses would like, umm what? and a blank stare and then a retreat. But anyway, they’re walking and talking, and then they come across a wallet. And it’s full of cash. A thousand bucks or so. Looking at the ID in the wallet they see it belongs to a guy who they see passed out in the alley.
Jimmy tries to awaken the passed out guy who grunts, flips them the finger and mumbles some beautiful drunken nonsense poetry about how he’s going to fuck them up, go into McDonald’s and get them fired (what) and it just sounds like the babbling of one very drunk dude. He quickly passes out again.
Jimmy sees his watch and takes it off the passed out man and pockets it himself. His howling friend wants to see it and reluctantly Jimmy shows it, a Rolex. Jimmy pretends not to know what that is but the howler wants the watch, saying it’s worth way more than the money. He gives Jimmy the wallet full of cash, plus $580 of his own money and Jimmy gives him the watch. The howler thinks he has won the night.
Wow, so, these first two episodes really feel like one two-part episode instead of two separate ones. I believe they aired that way back in the day when the show was premiering. Like many good two-part TV episodes, this one tells a self-contained story.
We rewind a bit from where the last episode left off but see it, this time, from Tuco’s perspective. Then Tuco’s grandma comes in with the twins, the one of them still pretending to be injured. They’re speaking really bad Spanish, asking for money, and then one of them makes the ultimate mistake by calling Tuco’s grandma a “biznatch.” This fuels Tuo’s rage for the rest of his time in the episode.
Tuco tries to get his abuelita upstairs watching her shows so he can take care of the twins. She comes down a couple times and sees a stain on the rug, which Tuco assures her is salsa, but we know has to be blood.
Jimmy comes to the door, which we saw from Jimmy’s perspective at the end of the last episode and now see from Tuco’s. Jimmy talks Tuco down from hurting the twins. Tuco’s about to release them…when they say that Jimmy put them up to it. Which, technically, he did. It just wasn’t supposed to be on Tuco’s grandma but Betsy Kettleman.