‘Better Call Saul’: 5 Key Moments From ‘JMM’ (RECAP)
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 5, Episode 7 of Better Call Saul, “JMM.”]
Better Call Saul picked things up where they left off last week in the latest episode “JMM,” as the answer to Kim’s (Rhea Seehorn) proposal of marriage to Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) was answered. From the couple’s new arrangement to the growing tensions between Gus (Giancarlo Esposito) and the Salamanca cartel, we’re breaking down all of the drama below, but beware of major spoilers.
Lawyer & Lawyer Say “I Do”
Kicking off in court, the episode begins with Jimmy and Kim getting their marriage license as he supposedly agreed to her proposal. Huell (Lavell Crawford) is there to witness the event and when he begins suggesting honeymoon options for them, Jimmy sets him straight. They don’t have rings and they’re doing this so Kim doesn’t have to testify against him if the occasion ever arose. Jimmy worries that this isn’t a dream wedding for Kim, but she doesn’t seem to mind as he shells out the $25 fee to obtain the certificate.
Heading into the courtroom, they are joined in marriage by a judge officiator (Shameless‘ Jim Hoffmaster) who seems just as surprised to learn the pair don’t have rings. When the ceremony concludes, the pair kiss as Huell snaps some photos from his disposable Kodak camera.
Later on we see Nacho (Michael Mando) give Saul a ring, and is told he’ll need to meet with a client in lockup named Jorge de Guzman. When Saul questions who Jorge is, Nacho asks, “Who you you think?” It’s obvious he’s referencing Tony Dalton‘s Lalo. The Salamanca cartel pillar stands accused of murder, robbery, tampering with evidence and arson among other criminal counts, and we see Saul with Lalo in court. When asked what his client pleas, Saul says, “Not guilty.” Ultimately things don’t start off great when the judge denies bond and Saul seems anxious when Lalo’s told he’ll have to wait 6 weeks for a hearing.
As the episode continues we see Saul meet with his client who asks what the JMM on his briefcase means. Unwilling to reveal his real name of James M. McGill, Saul tells him it’s his motto, “Justice Matters Most.” Anxious, Saul asks Lalo how the de Guzman identity will hold up, but the man reassures him, he won’t be caught. Continuing their talk, Saul claims he thinks he can get Lalo a deal, but the man isn’t interested in cutting deals. “No trial, no deal,” he tells Saul, adding that he wants to be out on bail. When Saul says that’s likely impossible, Lalo tries to entice him by asking if Saul wants to be a friend of the cartel, because if so, he’ll have to change his JMM motto to “Just Make Money.”
Later that night when he returns home to Kim, he seems to avoid the topic but eventually tells Kim about his predicament with a client wanting bail and offering friendship with the cartel. While there’s no decisions made, she tells Jimmy that she’s glad he told her. The next morning when he and Kim are discussing possible honeymoon weekend getaways, she departs from work and he gets a call from Mike (Jonathan Banks). After hanging up, though, he finds the man at his door.
Mike says he reps someone that has an interest in Lalo and that Saul will need to get him out on bail — confused by this, the lawyer says he doesn’t take orders from the man behind a curtain, unknowingly referencing Gus. Handing Saul a file, Mike says it’s in his best interest to listen, and when the package is opened, evidence is revealed within.
Before heading back into court with Lalo, Saul mentions Dave Clarke, the private eye (who Mike pretended to be in the last episode) that coached the key witness in the case to the plaintiff’s legal team, Detective Eli (Eli Donovan) and ADA Gina Khalil (Saidah Arrika Ekulona). In court, he tells Lalo to play to the judge acting humble and scared but when they take a look into the stands Saul’s clearly disturbed by the cartel man’s lack of empathy for the murder victim Travel Wire employee Fred Whalen’s family.
When proceedings begin, the plaintiff’s admit that there may have been some tampering with evidence when it came to their witness but they maintain that there are other reasons to keep Lalo detained, saying the man’s a flight risk. Meanwhile, Saul claims his client has ties to the community and wouldn’t run off as he points to a family in the back row of the courtroom, claiming they’re Mr. de Guzman’s loved ones and after being held for three days he should be granted bond.
The defense on the other side asks for a sidebar with the judge to which Saul joins in, and when they return to their seats, the judge reveals he agrees to allowing bond but that it will be set at $7 million. Appearing terrified, Lalo claims he can make that price happen for him, but the resulting guilt when Saul sees the murder victim’s family again makes us wonder if this was the right course of action.
When leaving court, he runs into Howard (Patrick Fabian) who asks if he’s given the job any more thought, and when Jimmy says he’s still thinking it through the other lawyer says, “Don’t bother.” Howard reveals he knows that Jimmy threw the bowling balls at his car and house as well as sent the prostitutes to his lunch table in previous episodes. He tells Jimmy he’s sorry he’s in pain, but then Jimmy lashes out saying, “You kill my brother and now you’re sorry?” He then goes on to tell Howard that the job would be too small for him. “I’m so far beyond you,” he yells in the courthouse lobby as Howard leaves.
Getting the Job Done
When Kim and Rick (Dennis Boutsikaris) meet with Kevin (Rex Linn) about Mesa Verde’s predicament, they apologize for how things went. Kevin admits he’s not happy and tells Kim she dropped the ball when it came to Saul’s case against them. When she and Rick leave, it’s unclear if they’ll be allowed to work with Mesa Verde in the future, so she turns around and goes back to Kevin’s office, asking for anther word. She proceeds to tell the man that he didn’t heed their advice, and so any unpleasant outcomes were his own fault. This realization leads him to say that Kim still has the job.
Crossing Criminal Paths
While Lalo’s in prison, he gets access to a cell phone which he uses to relay orders to Nacho, when Nacho goes to pass this info along to Gus, he meets with Mike. Before divulging the orders, Nacho wants to talk about his father with Mike. “I’m done, I want out,” Nacho tells the man, but without many answers, he eventually reveals that Lalo wants him to burn down Los Pollos Hermanos.
Next we see Gus in a Madrigal meeting with other heads of chain restaurants along with Peter Schuler (Norbert Weisser), the head of the company’s fast food division who fans will recall zapped himself during Breaking Bad‘s fifth season after Gus’ drug operation was exposed. Later that evening we see Gus in his hotel room where he’s staying after the meeting. He then goes on to open a connecting door to another room where Peter and Lydia (Laura Fraser) are waiting for him.
They discuss business, and when Peter asks if they’ll be able to begin production on the lab again, Gus discusses the issue of Lalo, but says killing the Salamanca would mean war for the cartels. Gus reassures that things will work out, and apparently that means humoring Lalo’s desires because later in the episode we see Gus work with Nacho to trash and burn Los Pollos Hermanos in a rigged grease fire explosion. Needless to say, things are heating up in the drug race.
On a bright note, we saw Mike reunite with his granddaughter as he read her a bedtime story and then join Stacey (Kerry Condon) in the kitchen. Together they chat about Matty and recall some good times, Mike tells her that he’s better now than before. He then tells her that he plays the cards he’s dealt.
But what cards will be dealt next week? Fans will have to tune in to find out.
Better Call Saul, Mondays, 9/8c, AMC