Before that call, Gus wants Nacho’s father brought to him, which he must envision as a kind of check mate that will force Nacho’s surrender. Mike, however, will not countenance that idea and says so, bluntly and firmly, in his first act of overt insubordination. This gets a gun pointed at his head by the ever stylish Tyrus Kitt (Ray Campbell), the only henchman in Gus’s crew you could imagine in line at a Manhattan nightclub.
“Whatever happens next, it’s not going to go down the way you think it is,” Mike says.
Precisely what that means is a mystery, at least to Your Faithful Recapper. He might be referring to the sniper set up outside of the office, with whom Mike is in radio contact. But that guy appears to be looking for signs that Lalo or his colleagues are readying an attack. It’s at least possible that the same sniper has been instructed by Mike to kill Gus and Tyrus in the event that Mike is killed. Or that Mike has an entirely different plan. Or that he’s bluffing.
Speaking of bluffing, on to the Jimmy McGill and Kim Wexler frame-up show, where “Operation Ruin Howard Hamlin’s Life” is entering Phase 2. This involves revisiting the series’s answer to Bonnie and Clyde, namely Craig and Betsy Kettleman (Jeremy Shamos and Julie Ann Emery), who in the Season 1 timeline were represented by Howard in an unsuccessful attempt to defend Craig against charges that as a county treasurer he embezzled $1.6 million. Having served his sentence, Craig is a free man in highly diminished circumstances, running a bargain basement, and corrupt, tax prep company out of a roadside mobile home.
Jimmy shows up with a proposition: Hire me, and I’ll get you exonerated by arguing that your lawyer was a coke head. This is a bluff. But Jimmy and Kim apparently intuit that the Kettlemans will double cross Jimmy, then head straight to the office of Clifford Main and attempt to enlist him as their attorney. They further know that Main, who saw that planted bag of fake cocaine tumble out of Howard’s locker, will toss the Kettlemans from the office, then wonder whether their story actually has some truth to it.
What’s best about the latest iteration of Jimmy and Kim’s improbable little scheme is the opportunity it provides Kim to demonstrate an almost thuggish toughness. She threatens the Kettlemans with jail time, courtesy of an aborted call to an I.R.S. enforcement office, a power play of pure sang-froid. There’s a Robin Hood quality to her maneuverings — the Kettlemans were scamming their financially struggling clients — but one can envision the day when she flexes even harder against less worthy targets. Or when she’s mixing it up with the show’s true baddies.
Odds and Ends
Well, now we know where Jimmy got that inflatable Lady Liberty that sat atop his office in “Breaking Bad.”