If you start your directing career with an episode of a TV series, you could definitely do worse than “Hit And Run”. Saul star Rhea Seehorn not only directed a Kim Wexler-intensive story that kept her on her way most of the time, but it also included a pair of memorable shots that predict where several of the characters end up at the end of the episode (even if one of them has no idea of the danger around him).
#OperationHumiliateHowardHamlin continues unabated, while Howard spends time on his therapist’s couch. (BBusiness is booming at HHM, but all is not well between Howard and his wife Cheryl.) As Howard begins to tell his therapist about a dream he had, the camera cuts to a blurry shot of the back of Howard’s head. But it’s not the start of a dream sequence, and it’s not really Howard’s head. It’s Jimmy, in full HH cosplay (down to deep tan and Hamlindigo Blue knit tie), sneaking past the therapist’s office, where Howard’s NAMAST3-ed Jaguar is parked. Jimmy looks up and over his shoulder to see Howard through the window, confirming that Fake Howard is free to set his plan in motion.
Meanwhile, we cut to another shot, this one of the back of Kim’s head and her signature ponytail. She’s in a cafe, moving her chair and looking over her shoulder to get her seat at the table. She hides her cell phone on a shelf under the table and begins a nervous tapping, when Cliff Main arrives. As they catch up and strike up a discussion that Kim hopes will convince Cliff to partner with her on a project that will allow her to do more pro bono work, she surreptitiously texts Jimmy. SSoon, she and Cliff are startled by a speeding car. The driver stops a short distance away; the passenger door opens and a woman is pushed out, cursing the driver who owes her money. He quickly walks away, as a shocked Cliff asks Kim, “Isn’t that Howard?”
Why, no, Cliff, it’s not. It’s Fake Howard, in real NAMAST3-mobile, hence our future favorite breaking Bad Regular Crossroads Motel Wendy is pushed around. This planting of cocaine (baby powder) in Howard’s golf club locker was the prequel to this ruse, designed to add more doubt in Cliff’s mind as to the stability of his partner in the Sandpiper case. Crossing.
The stunt is successful, but after Kim drops Wendy off at the crossroads, she picks up a tail. She and Jimmy giddily recount their multiple victories with the scheme—in addition to the Howard element, Cliff seemed ready to go full speed ahead with the pro-bono project that Kim presented to him. She asks Jimmy if he ever feels like he’s being followed, because she does. “Bad guys run away when no one is chasing them,” Jimmy tells him. Does that mean he thinks they’re mean? No, it’s just a turn of phrase, he says (actually it’s from the Bible, Proverbs 28:1), and he tries to reassure her, she’s only questioning her feelings about the scam and thinkng she was followed because they got away with it.
Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but Kim’s instincts prove more reliable than Jimmy’s Bible knowledge. She confronts a pair of guys sitting in a car across from the El Camino restaurant, which has become her de facto office for pro bono clients. The guys in the car neither confirm nor deny their purpose there, but when she returns to the El Camino, a guest is waiting for her at the counter: Mike! It’s their first official meeting, and all those cars that have followed her (up to the one that’s followed her and Jimmy since they last met the Kettlemans) are courtesy of him. He drops another bomb: Lalo is not dead, despite what she heard. He might be planning to approach her with Jimmy, Mike says, so those cars will still be around. She wants to know why Mike tells her that and not Jimmy. “Because I think you’re made of a harsher substance,” he told her.
A shaken Kim later meets Jimmy at a mall where he is excited to show her the office space he has wanted to rent since Ms. Nguyen kicked him out of the salon, and he has a pocket full of retainer money. from the flood of clients who want “the guy from Salamanca” to represent them. She hesitates, confirming that he got all these new clients because of the cartel connection. Also, the place is dirty, smelly and there is a toilet right in the middle of the office. But Kim, who doesn’t share Mike’s conversation with Jimmy, quickly ceases to be buzzkill. She points out that the office is near the bail offices, jail, courthouse, and Taco Cabeza, so Jimmy should go there. All that remains is to secure the giant inflatable Statue of Liberty, and voila.
Kim, meanwhile, looks over her shoulder as she and Jimmy head to Taco Cabeza. And she’s not the only one with Lalo on her mind.
This beautifully shot episode opens with a pastel-clad couple riding bikes through their neighborhood. After pausing to drag a nearby house whose owners painted it “tomato red”, the couple arrive home…a dark house that contrasts harshly with the sunny day they had just enjoyed—where a living room full of computer screens shows cameras trained on the house opposite: Gus’s house.
When Gus arrives at his residence later that day, the sun illuminates his entrance a bit, then fades into darkness once he’s inside. We get our first real glimpse of his full residency –his lair—and his routine, as the camera follows him. The visit reveals his bulletproof vest and his gun strapped to his leg. Also, hThis house is multi-level, with movable bookcases and secret hidden doors, a passage downstairs, and people milling about, not greeting or acknowledging Gus in any way, even when he walks right by. ‘them. After working his way through the maze and climbing a flight of stairs, Gus arrives…inside the lounge where the cyclists with the pastel tracksuits entered earlier. Mike is there, and they are studying the same set of monitors. Mike has men at work all over town, 18 hours a day, he tells Gus, despite Lalo’s very presence in town. “Lalo Salamanca is alive,” insists Gus.
Gus, like Lalo, has a complex. This is not a ranch in Mexico, but two suburban homes connected by an underpass. Gus, like Kim, is terrified of a visit from Lalo Salamanca. OWhile Jimmy, for now, remains blissfully unaware of the threat that could be heading his way, Gus and Kim know it. And they look over their shoulders at the monster behind them.
- Mr. and Mrs. Ryman, the opening cycling couple, are played by married couple Kirk and Joni Bovill.
- The criminals love him, but Jimmy is the bane of the courthouse now that Bill, Hannah, the Beanie Baby-loving contract attorney administrator and the security guard all know he’s “the guy from Salamanca “. Assistant District Attorney Bill doesn’t just snub his former friend either. HWe make sure Jimmy knows he knows Jimmy ripped off the court and put the “cartel murderer psychopath back on the street”.
- On the other hand, while everyone can deal with their consequences right now, it was great fun to see Jimmy’s playful side front and center. Her speech to the courthouse administrator (the ever-fantastic Nadine Marissa) with the Beanie Baby owl wearing a graduation cap was a bust, but that line and delivery by Bob Odenkirk (“I can’t use a pen, I don’t have an opposable thumb”) will make me laugh for a long time.
- Special shoutout to one of the customers who love that Saul promises you “quick justice”: Spooge (David Ury), the memorable meth addict who robs Skinny Pete (and whose head meets the business end of a box office automatic) in the breaking Bad episode “Peekaboo” (Season 2, Episode 6). And remember, it’s just Spooge, not “Mr. Spooge”; you can skip the formalities when it comes to Spooge.
- Now that Kim seems likely to get Cliff’s support for her pro-Bono efforts, does she still need to get Jimmy’s Sandpiper settlement so desperately? If not, doesn’t that mean she’ll be forced to admit that she’s really trying to ruin Howard’s reputation just because she doesn’t like him? Will she be able to keep kicking herself, or will she be able to live with herself, if the consequences of this plot go further than she thinks? Like maybe Chuck-level consequences? With Howard’s marital woes on top of what Kim and Jimmy have planned for him, his life could go downhill very quickly.
- I don’t think Jimmy bought Wendy the case of root beer he promised her.