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Benjamin Taylor
Benjamin Taylor

PimentoBetter Call Saul : Season 1 Episode 9

"Pimento" is the ninth and penultimate episode of the first season of the AMC television series Better Call Saul, the spin-off series of Breaking Bad. The episode aired on March 30, 2015 on AMC in the United States. Outside of the United States, the episode premiered on streaming service Netflix in several countries.

PimentoBetter Call Saul : Season 1 Episode 9

Steven Ogg's character is named Sobchak in the script for the show, but never referred to by name, and later only named as the alias "Mr. X" in the fifth-season episode "Dedicado a Max". The name was selected by Schnauz in reference to John Goodman's character Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski.[1]

A flashback scene filmed for this episode featuring a young Jimmy McGill witnessing his father get scammed at by a grifter, who was portrayed by Stephen Snedden.[2] Snedden was previously a starring cast member of The Lone Gunmen, a spin-off of The X-Files that Better Call Saul co-creator Vince Gilligan wrote and developed.[3] The flashback scene was dropped for time constraints.[2] However The staff also chose not to release the scene as a bonus feature during the first season Blu-ray release out of hopes of using it further down the line; the scene would eventually be used for the second season episode "Inflatable".[4]

The episode received critical acclaim, with many critics praising the plot twist at the end and the performances from Bob Odenkirk and Michael McKean. On Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews, it received a 100% approval rating with an average score of 8.8 out of 10. The site's consensus reads, "A terrifically-acted, heart-wrenching revelation, mixed with a tough and powerful subplot for Mike, makes "Pimento" a superior penultimate episode of a consistently strong season."[6] Roth Cornet of IGN gave the episode a 9.0 rating, concluding, "Better Call Saul revealed the betrayal that may very well be at the heart of what turns Jimmy McGill into Saul Goodman, as this stunningly crafted story continues to unfold."[7] The Telegraph rated the episode 4 out of 5 stars.[8] Odenkirk submitted this episode when nominated for the Emmy for Best Actor.[citation needed]

In the "Better Call Saul" Season 1 episode "Alpine Shepherd Boy," Jimmy tries to attract aged clients needing their wills drawn up by studying the behavior of TV's Matlock, and then going where everyone loves "Matlock": a nursing home. He glad-hands the elderly in a Matlock-esque linen suit and passes out gelatin cups emblazoned with his name and the slogan, "Need a will, call McGill!" The name of that nursing home is Casa Tranquila, and it's the same place where bell-ringing "Breaking Bad" bad guy Hector Salamanca (Mark Margolis) lived.

By the end of the first season of "Better Call Saul," Jimmy is still trying to attract elderly clients by volunteering at a retirement home, working as a bingo caller. A bunch of B numbers in a row make Jimmy slowly lose his cool. As he does so, he keeps having to vamp for B words: "'B' as in 'betrayal,'" "'B' as in 'brother,'" and "'B' as in 'Belize.' Beautiful place. So I've heard. I would love to go there, but let's face it, that's never going to happen." So far, so good for Saul, because on "Breaking Bad," "send him to Belize" was a code phrase Saul and Walt would use that meant "have them murdered."

Prior to the broadcast of the fifth episode of the second season of "Better Call Saul" in 2016, the show's official Twitter account teased that Hamlin, Hamlin, McGill would "welcome a familiar business as a new client." The client that lawyer Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) brought in turned out to be Mesa Verde, a massive local financial institution. It also happens to be the same credit union where Walter White started the events of "Breaking Bad." He goes there in the pilot episode to withdraw his life savings in order to buy the RV that would become his mobile meth lab.

Many "Breaking Bad" characters have shown up on "Better Call Saul" as younger versions of themselves. Perhaps the most memorable criminal from "Breaking Bad" was ruthless meth kingpin/fried chicken purveyor Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito). He showed up in Season 3 of "Better Call Saul," but that was old news to hardcore "Saul" fans, who had figured that out at the end of Season 2. How? The clues were in the season's episode titles: "Switch," "Cobbler," "Amarillo," "Gloves Off," "Rebecca," "Bali Ha'i," "Inflatable," "Fifi," "Nailed," and "Klick." Take the first letter of each title, rearrange them, and it spells out "F-R-I-N-G-S-B-A-C-K." When the code was cracked, "Better Call Saul" co-creator Peter Gould said, "I guess we really underestimated the genius and hard work of our fans."

Nevertheless, Jimmy runs to the stockroom and makes a phone call. A familiar voice answers when Ed, the vacuum cleaner repairman who disappears people on the side, picks up. Ed is played by legendary character actor Robert Forster on "Breaking Bad" and in the 2019 sequel film "El Camino." As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Forster's brief scene here was actually filmed during the production of "El Camino," long before anything else in Season 5 was filmed. Sadly, Forster would not live to see Ed's final appearance as he passed away in October 2019, several months before Season 5 would air. The premiere episode is dedicated to his memory.

In the third episode of Season 6, "Rock and Hard Place," we see Jimmy and Kim's battle plans in their secret war against Howard, marked out in multi-colored sticky notes on the back of a painting in their apartment. We don't get a very good look at the notes themselves, and what we do see is indecipherable. They include a drawing of a carrot (perhaps a reference to the "carrot and stick" used on the Kettlemans in Episode 2), notes that simply say "phone call?" and "costume," as well as one that is just a cartoon angry face.

After an episode that was relatively light on Jimmy and Kim, Episode 4 ("Hit and Run") gets into the weeds with our favorite married lawyers and packs in several high profile callbacks to "Breaking Bad." First and foremost is the first "Better Call Saul" appearance of the Crossroads Motel, nicknamed "The Crystal Palace" by Hank Schrader way back in Season 1 of "Breaking Bad" when attempting to scare Walt Jr. straight. The motel is apparently Albuquerque's number one spot for junkies, dealers, and sex workers of all stripes, and for their next play against Howard, Jimmy and Kim hire the services of the palace's most famous resident, Wendy (Julia Minesci).

Just as the show brought back the Kettlemans at the start of the final season, the episode "Plan and Execution" (the mid-season finale of Season 6) re-introduced Irene Landry (Jean Effron), the kindly, guileless Sandpiper Crossing Retirement Home resident who hired Jimmy to oversee her will in Season 1's "Bingo." When Jimmy discovers that Sandpiper has been grossly overcharging Irene and other residents for services, he mounts the class action suit that, years later, is at the heart of Jimmy and Kim's plot against Howard.

It is a heartbreaking moment, but nothing compared to the coda that follows: A time jump, at least one year into the future, where we see that without Kim, Jimmy has fully flowered into Saul Goodman. The enormous, tacky home seen in the season premiere returns, as Saul and his massive bald spot wake up next to a sex worker on his revolving bed and get to work. The Kettlemans' inflatable Statue of Liberty now adorns the top of the office, and Francesca's waiting room is now the wood-paneled hellhole first glimpsed on "Breaking Bad." In his office, now covered in Constitution wallpaper and marble columns, Saul sips from a "World's Greatest Lawyer" mug, which is not just a "Breaking Bad" callback but an awful reminder of the "World's 2nd Best Lawyer" Kim gave him in Season 2. He can only call himself the world's greatest lawyer because she's not around.

In previous seasons' flash-forwards, we saw Gene identified as the former Saul Goodman by a cab driver named Jeff, played by character actor Don Harvey. In a panic, Gene calls Ed, the "vacuum cleaner repairman," to buy a new identity for himself. But just before he is about to pull the trigger and disappear from Omaha forever, Gene reconsiders. "I'll handle it myself," he tells Ed over the phone, and more than two years later, we see that "handling it" isn't about violence or threats, but about Gene doing what he does best. Marion turns out to be Jeff's mother, and when he comes home after a shift driving his cab, what does he find but Saul Goodman sharing a drink and a homemade dessert with his mom in the home that they share.

Jesse Pinkman famously was never meant to survive the first season of "Breaking Bad." Kim Wexler began "Better Call Saul" with just two lines in the first episode. Even Saul Goodman started small: Bob Odenkirk was hired not for his dramatic chops but for his legendary sketch comedy work, and the very first Saul Goodman television ad plays like something that could have been on "Mr. Show." Each of these characters grew into something rich and compelling from humble beginnings, and in Saul's case, it's only appropriate that his final downfall would come from that first ad.

The saga of Wayfarer Airlines flight 515 is an important part of the "Breaking Bad" mythology. Thematically, it was a symbol of the way Walter White's actions had terrible, unexpected consequences; his decision to let Jesse's girlfriend Jane (Krysten Ritter) die from a heroin overdose leads to her father (John de Lancie), an air traffic controller, inadvertently causing a midair collision that rains debris all over the White household. Stylistically, it coined many of the elements that "Breaking Bad" and "Better Call Saul" would be known for, with evocative black-and-white prologues in Season 2 flashing forward to the disaster. The season also hid the disaster within the titles of each episode, a trick "Better Call Saul" pulled in Season 2 with its "FRINGS BACK" anagram. 041b061a72


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