‘Better Call Saul’ Season 5, Episode 4 Recap: There’s No Going Back to Jimmy McGill After That Bowling Ball Stunt
Fans were curious to find that Better Call Saul’s fourth episode of Season 5 was called “Namaste” because nothing is calm for Jimmy McGill right now. Straddling a world between law and crime, Jimmy is slowly but surely becoming the soulless, money-obsessed Saul Goodman we know from Breaking Bad and it’s heartbreaking for fans who have started to fall in love with Jimmy.
[Spoiler Alert: Spoilers ahead for Better Call Saul, Season 5, Episode 4: “Namaste”]
Kim still has a conscience, but Jimmy is losing his
Jimmy and Kim wake up rough from that previous night of drinking and beer bottle throwing. When the bleary-eyed pair encounters the smashed remnants of their rage, Jimmy says, “Don’t worry about it,” and insists the building maintenance person will take care of it.
But because Kim is who she is, she can’t just let it go. Kim finds a broom and starts sweeping up shards in her power suit. It’s a powerful reminder of Kim’s absolute commitment to cleaning up her literal and figurative messes because it’s the right thing to do.
Howard Hamlin meets Saul Goodman
This episode is very focused on identity. After a particularly hilarious meeting with the two drug addicts from “50% Off,” Jimmy utters the line, “Do you even know who I am?” and threatens to leave without representing them. It’s a key moment in the process of Jimmy becoming Saul and, more importantly, being proud of that change.
Jimmy leaves the meeting with his new clients to finally have that lunch with Howard Hamlin. When Howard inquires about Jimmy’s new name and persona, Jimmy explains that for now, Saul is still just a professional name.
“My friends still call me Jimmy. You can too,” he deadpans.
Howard asks about the motivation behind Saul Goodman and seems eagerly interested in the explanation. Saul gives him a rose-colored glasses version, calling Saul a righter of wrongs and champion of the underdog. “Couldn’t Jimmy McGill do all that?” Howard queries.
Howard offers Jimmy a job
Then Howard makes the move fans were predicting he might. Howard says HHM should have hired him multiple times over the years and admitted they made a mistake not doing so. “I’d like you to come work at HHM.” Howard says bluntly, before blaming Chuck for all the drama.
“You say what you mean,” Howard says. “You’re smart, you’re scrappy, you’re a go-getter. You don’t wait for things to happen, you make them happen.”
Jimmy and Howard leave lunch and the unflappable Jimmy appears speechless, which doesn’t happen often. Things get even more awkward when Howard goes in for a friendly hug. Even though the audience knows it can’t possibly happen, it’s easy to envision a different future for Jimmy at this moment.
Kim tries to save Acker the legal way
It’s clear that Kim isn’t letting the Tucumcari call center land controversy slide without a fight. She makes one last ditch effort to save Acker’s home by suggesting a second choice location, a vacant lot with a flooding problem. Despite Kim’s compelling case for the idea, Paige shoots her down and insists it’s not worth setting production back two weeks. Kevin agrees with Paige. He asks if they own the land and if they’re in the right legally — which they are. But that’s not enough to assuage Kim’s conscience.
Kim heads to court and watches Saul pull one of his usual cons when he tricks a witness into identifying the wrong person as the perp who robbed his store. Jimmy describes the ploy as “a bit unorthodox” but he ultimately gets what he wants: a mistrial.
This is enough to seal the deal. Kim admits she needs Jimmy’s help with the Tucumcari situation.
Schrader and Gomez get their hands on Gus Fring’s money
Gus Fring takes his frustration out on everyone else even though he has bigger chicken to fry than Los Pollos Hermanos. “This is acceptable to you?” he asks his employee Lyle, who offers to scrub the fryer again until he gets it right.
Lyle keeps scrubbing like Lady Macbeth as Fring stares at his phone, waiting to see how the DEA sting goes down. Meanwhile, Hank and Gomez stake out the dead drop. After a chase, the DEA ends up with $700,000 cash and a few arrests. But it’s not a big enough prize for Hank, who has always wanted to take down the big boss, not the small players.
After Fring’s phone finally rings, he tells a sweaty, exhausted Lyle that he’s dismissed.
“But is it ok? Like is it clean?” a Lyle asks eagerly. “It is acceptable,” Fring replies.
Jimmy makes Acker an offer he can’t refuse
Acker has no interest in listening to any more lawyers. But when Jimmy arrives with a very unique visual aid, Acker can’t help but be curious.
“Take a look at my proposal. I think you’ll find it persuasive,” Jimmy says, shoving the paper towards the old man.
“A man… f*cking a horse?” Acker says in awe. That’s when Jimmy launches into a spiel about hating Mesa Verde. “I’m a man who will do whatever it takes to give it to them,” Jimmy says, insisting Mesa Verde is the horse in this situation. And just like that, Acker has a lawyer.
After securing Acker, Jimmy shows up at Hamlin’s house and starts lobbing bowling balls before hitting his target and smashing the rear window of Howard’s car which bears the license plate “Namaste.” The word means, “I bow to the divine in you” and is used as a gesture of respect. Clearly, Jimmy does not respect Howard and has no intention of taking the job.
But we knew that already.
Mike wakes up in a strange place
Earlier in the episode, Mike stops by Stacey’s house to make amends, but Stacey has already hired a babysitter to cover Mike’s usual shift. Eventually, she admits she doesn’t feel comfortable leaving Mike and Kaylee alone together.
“Something’s going on with you. I don’t know what. But I’d be more comfortable if you didn’t sit for Kaylee, tonight,” Stacey says. Mike storms off and goes to numb his pain at the bar, presumably.
Mike, defeated, and most likely drunk again, walks past the same house where he got punched the previous evening. He gets jumped by the same group of guys only this time they get the better of him. After blacking out, Mike wakes up bruised and disoriented in a strange place. He’s in a sparsely furnished room with a cross, candles, and an austere look like a convent. He’s bandaged and cleaned up, but who did it?
The last shot of Mike walking out into a sunny desert courtyard makes it clear that Mike has no idea where he is and neither do fans. It looks like the action of Season 5 is just beginning.
Catch new episodes of Better Call Saul on Monday nights at 9 ET on AMC.