‘Better Call Saul’: 3 Key Moments From ‘Dedicado a Max’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 5 of Better Call Saul, “Dedicado a Max.”]
Better Call Saul continued to deepen the Breaking Bad history as viewers took a trip south of the border with Mike (Jonathan Banks). Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim (Rhea Seehorn) in the meantime continued their efforts to help Mr. Acker (Barry Corbin) with his home against Mesa Verde.
Below, we’re breaking down the major plots from the episode, but beware of spoilers ahead.
In the previous episode, viewers saw fixer Mike Ehrmantraut get stabbed by a group of neighborhood thugs, which he’d previously antagonized. When he woke up, he’d been treated and was staying at a mysterious adobe farm house in what we’d presume to be Mexico. This suspicion was confirmed when he questioned the old woman running the place where he was and if Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) was responsible. Taking off, he finds himself at the edge of the road as his wound opens back up. When a smart car approaches him, Dr. Barry Goodman (JB Blanc) greets Mike, who asks why Gus is doing this.
The doctor tells him he’s been ordered to keep Mike alive. Wanting answers, Mike has to find a way to charge his phone to reach Gus — eventually he does. Instead of having the call he wants, Gus brushes him off and says “now is not a good time” and hangs up. Bothered by the rejection, Mike is unhappy at first but eventually makes do with his recovery in Mexico.
During his time there, he gets a call from Jimmy about a possible job, but Mike blows the lawyer off. In the meantime, he helps around the house and finally comes face-to-face with Gus in the little town’s center where there’s a large water fountain. Gus explains that Mike was heading down a bad path and he has an opportunity for work. Gus says he’s in a war and needs a soldier, that Mike knows revenge like Gus. This is particularly powerful because the fountain they’re standing by is “Dedicada a Max,” which means dedicated to Max. As Breaking Bad fans will recall, Max Arciniega (James Martinez) was Gus’ partner for Los Pollos Hermanos — the other half of the chicken brothers. Max is the main motivation for revenge over the Salamancas for Gus as he was shot poolside in a Breaking Bad flashback.
Jimmy’s Work and Kim’s Deception
Jimmy is busy taking on Mr. Acker as a client against Mesa Verde who wishes to bulldoze his home. Needless to say, Jimmy pulls out all of the stops in order to halt demolition, including removing address numbers from Acker’s mailbox, dropping powder that reads as radioactive on the land, and dying clay pots to stage a faux archeological finding. Meanwhile, Kim offers to give up the case in Tucumcari with Mr. Acker to avoid a conflict of interest with Jimmy, but Kevin (Rex Linn) from Mesa Verde doesn’t want to lose his star lawyer, so he allows her to work, unaware she’s working against him for Mr. Acker.
When Jimmy’s antics have reached a breaking point, Kevin tells Kim to make the vacating of Mr. Acker’s house happen no matter what. Hands tied, she tells Jimmy, but he offers another option — go after Kevin. So they hire Mr. X (guest star Steven Ogg) to dig some dirt up on the Mesa Verde head, but all he comes back with are some photos and news about a DUI the guy had in college. Unsatisfied, the man offers to take a different course of action, hinting at violence, but Jimmy turns him away.
Kim’s Skating on Thin Ice
Just as Kim’s looking over Mr. X’s findings, she spots something that relates to a cowboy silhouette, and it appears she has some dirt on him — for what, we don’t know yet. Excited, she’s clearly onto something when Rick (Dennis Boutsikaris) enters the office suddenly. He tells her she’s off the Mesa Verde case. She questions why, and he reveals he’s suspicious of her behavior. Offended, but also caught, Kim makes a scene in front of the office and asks why she’d risk her job for something like duping Mesa Verde. Rick relents and allows her to continue on the case, but it’s obvious he’s still not convinced by her.
What will happen as the season carries on? Tune in Mondays to find out.
Better Call Saul, Season 5, Mondays, 9/8c, AMC